Britain’s biggest budget airline, easyJet, lost £3m a day between October 2021 and March 2022. But its boss believes the airline will be “a winner in Europe’s post-pandemic aviation recovery”.
EasyJet’s half-year results show an overall pre-tax loss of £545m, an improvement on the £701m lost in the corresponding six months of 2020/21.
Load factor, the proportion of seats filled, increased from 64 to 77 percent. The airline’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “easyJet has reduced its losses year on year, at the best end of the guide.
“Suppressed demand and the lifting of travel restrictions allowed for a strong and sustained recovery in trade that has been further fueled as a result of our actions.
“These include the radical reallocation of aircraft that has seen more than 1.5 million seats moved to better performing markets.
“As we return to a more normal summer season, we are ready to capture the highest levels of demand across our network.
“We are confident in our plans for the summer, which will allow us to reach flight levels close to those of 2019 and we look forward to competing with our renewed strengths as winners in the post-pandemic recovery of European aviation.”
Tickets for July, August and September are selling at levels 15 percent higher than in 2019, the last summer before the pandemic.
The airline expects to operate 97 percent of its 2019 capacity in those summer months.
Its subsidiary, easyJet Holidays, is expected to carry more than 1.1 million customers this year.
But easyJet keeps canceling more than 20 flights before the day due to resource problems.
lundgren said bbc breakfast: “It is a challenging job market. We have seen staffing shortages at various airports. Not everyone in the UK, by the way.
“Those cancellations were made in early April. Most customers were reassigned on flights, usually within hours.
“We transport 250,000 passengers daily, very much in line with the same on-time performance as in 2019.”
The airline is removing a row of seats from its smallest Airbus A319 aircraft to reduce seating capacity to 150, reducing the number of cabin crew from four to three.
Meanwhile, passengers still report being turned away in error because the airline imposed incorrect policies on passport validity, despite easyJet aligning with European Commission rules in April.
As Lundgren spoke, Simon Eaton was at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, where he says he was turned away from the 7am EasyJet flight to the Algarve airport, where he was starting a golf weekend with friends.
Your passport is valid for travel to the European Union until June 11, 2022, for a stay of two months. He is now booked on a Ryanair flight to Dublin and then to Faro, which will take him to Portugal.
the independent has asked easyJet to comment on why he was denied boarding.