EasyJet cuts losses and eyes return to pre-pandemic capacity

Budget airline EasyJet hopes to be back to carrying nearly as many passengers at the end of this financial year as it did prior to the pandemic.

The low-cost carrier also revealed that it had reduced losses over the six months to the end of March. Pre-tax losses amounted to £557 million over the half-year period, down from £645m a year earlier.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “EasyJet has reduced its losses year on year, at the better end of guidance. The pent-up demand and removal of travel restrictions provided for a strong and sustained recovery in trading which has been further boosted as a result of our actions.”

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The airline said that it will put nearly as many seats on sale in the last three months of this financial year as it did in 2019. Capacity on sale will be 97 per cent, it added.

“We have transformed the airline during the pandemic which has enabled us to emerge with renewed strength, underpinned by a product, network and service that customers really value,” Mr Lundgren added.

“It has been well documented that the industry is experiencing some operational issues so, as you would expect, we have been absolutely focused on taking action to ensure we have strengthened our operational resilience for this summer.”

Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There’s no getting away from the fact that if faced with a recession, a holiday simply isn’t going to happen for millions of people. This isn’t a flashing red indicator at this juncture, but it’s something to keep one eye on.”

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EasyJet said pent-up demand and the removal of travel restrictions provided for a 'strong and sustained' recovery in trading. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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