Low-cost airline EasyJet is expecting to fly up to around 60% of its pre-pandemic flight programme over the summer quarter – up from 17% in the previous three months – following the easing of travel restrictions.
It said the reopening of travel in continental Europe and relaxation of rules for the fully vaccinated in the UK would drive a marked rebound in demand in its fourth quarter to September 30.
The carrier is planning to boost flights to 74 countries on the so-called amber list – such as Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Cyprus – after the Government announced on July 8 that fully vaccinated passengers would be able to fly back from these countries without quarantining.
EasyJet’s trading update for the three months to June 30 showed it narrowed headline pre-tax losses by 8.2% to £318.3m, which was in line with its expectations, as cost cutting helped limit the ongoing hit from the pandemic.
Johan Lundgren, chief executive of EasyJet, said: “During this quarter we have successfully managed through the continued challenges of the pandemic, using our operational responsiveness to capture demand while focusing on cost control and minimising cash burn.
“We have used our existing strengths like our network with renewed purpose – pivoting capacity to Europe where we saw the strongest demand and the very way we have approached the challenges that we faced means we have adapted and built back stronger for the future.”
Mr Lundgren said the road to recovery from the pandemic wasn’t going to be a “straight line” but the carrier was “ready to compete”.
He added: “Using these new-found strengths with everything we have learned leaving a long-term, positive imprint on the airline, transformed ready for the post-pandemic era.”
Like this story? Why not sign up to get business news straight to your inbox.