Investors look for glimmer of hope as EasyJet set to reveal historic loss

EasyJet will this week lay bare the catastrophic impact on its financial performance from the global pandemic.

The distinctive EasyJet planes are a familiar sight at Scottish airports including Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The budget airline, along with the whole aviation sector, has been battered by travel restrictions brought in to tackle the health crisis. It is expected to record the first annual loss in its history.

Investors will be looking for any glimmer of light when the carrier releases its full-year results.

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Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Landsdown, said: “Easyjet investors will be hoping the airline can ride out the latest burst of turbulence brought on by fresh lockdowns across Europe, until a mass vaccine rollout can take effect.

“The vaccine breakthrough saw lift off for its share price, rising by more than 40 per cent, although it’s come a little off that high given concerns of the logistics of such a huge immunisation programme.

“However, it has given the airline sector a major boost of confidence, amid hopes that demand for air travel will return sooner rather than later.

“In the meantime though the winter remains bleak, with severe travel restrictions still in place. The crisis forced EasyJet to make the descent into its first ever loss and it forecast that it would still only be able to fly a quarter of planned capacity in the first few months of 2021.”

Last week, EasyJet said “the party may have to wait” as it marked the 25th anniversary of its first flight by offering discounted fares.

The airline is not hosting a major celebration for the “milestone birthday” as it has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

It expects to fly no more than around 20 per cent of its planned capacity for the rest of the year, and is set to record the first annual loss in its history this week.

EasyJet’s first flight was from Luton to Glasgow on November 10 1995.

The airline’s UK manager Ali Gayward said: “We are delighted to mark this milestone birthday with a small gesture of thanks to our customers.

“Whilst the party may have to wait this year, we can pause and look back and be very proud of everything we’ve achieved.”

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