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Easyjet adding more flights to cope with demand

Despite the challenges of quarantine measures coming back into play for the popular holiday destination of Spain, Easyjet said it is adding more flights to its schedule to cope with increased demand from Brits looking to get away this summer, first published by By Molly Dyson, BTN Business Travel News Europe.

The airline had originally only planned to operate 30 per cent of its normal capacity this summer but now says it is expanding its schedule to 40 per cent between July and September due to strong forward bookings.

Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren said the carrier saw an average load factor of 84 per cent in July, with destinations such as Faro and Nice proving popular. But he added criticism for the UK governments damaging quarantine procedures, saying airlines had been given no warning about the reintroduction of measures for travellers returning from Spain, making it hard for them to plan their operations.

However, total revenue for the quarter ending 30 June was just £7 million compared to £1.7 billion in the same period last year, with Easyjets entire fleet grounded between 30 March and 15 June as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It carried 117,000 passengers out of a total 132,000 available seats in the remaining two weeks of the quarter.

Combined with overhead costs and cash burn, the dip in revenue saw the airline lose £324.5 million in the quarter before tax compared to a £174.2 million profit last year.

But Easyjet said its first full month of flying in July yielded better results, with 2 million passengers flying during the month.

The airline is planning to cut up to 4,500 jobs in a restructuring move to help it survive a long-term decrease in passenger demand. The plan includes closing Easyjets bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

The company said it currently holds more than £2.2 billion in liquidity, including a £600 million loan obtained through the UK governments Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

Easyjet used its earnings report to join calls for the UK government to temporarily abolish Air Passenger Duty to stimulate passenger demand and help the aviation industrys recovery.

 

Photo: Easyjet A320.