EasyJet sees faster rebound in passenger demand

Bookings for late summer are ahead of projections

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

EasyJet said it’s seeing a faster than expected rebound in passenger demand following the lifting of lockdowns and is accelerating the addition of flights.

Aircraft operated with 84 per cent of seats full in July, EasyJet said in a statement Tuesday. With bookings for late summer ahead of projections it will operate 40 per cent of capacity in the quarter through September, up from the planned 30 per cent.

“I am really encouraged that we have seen higher than expected levels of demand,” chief executive Johan Lundgren said in the release. “We have now completed more than one month of restart operations and are seeing encouraging performance across the network.”

With Covid-19 infection levels declining in most of Europe, governments have been easing travel restrictions. Britain’s biggest discount carrier was among the first European airlines to begin building up services as lockdowns eased, though the reintroduction of UK curbs on people arriving from Spain may weigh on demand for flights there.

EasyJet posted just £7 million (€7.7 million) in revenue for the fiscal third quarter ending June 30th, down from £1.76 billion a year earlier, after resuming flights mid-month following a near grounding of its fleet at the height of coronavirus lockdowns. It posted a loss of £324 million versus a profit of £174 million.

EasyJet, which raised £419 million in a share sale in June, said it’s planning to sell more planes to raise about £245 million, before leasing them back. – Bloomberg