Coronavirus

Easyjet says summer bookings exceed pre-Covid levels | easyJet

easyjet-says-summer-bookings-exceed-pre-covid-levels-|-easyjet

EasyJet has said summer bookings are above pre-pandemic levels as British holidaymakers plan to flock to destinations including the Greek islands, and said it was confident despite the severe disruption and cancelled flights over the Easter holidays.

The airline, which had to cancel hundreds of flights owing to high levels of Covid among its crew and understaffed airports, said it has managed mostly to stick to its schedule in the past week.

It said that despite the recent severe disruption to flights in the past week it has flown 94% of the planned schedule, adding that flight volumes of about 1,500 a day were four times those of the same time last year.

“This is despite the recent increase in the number of crew testing positive for Covid-19, together with normal operational disruption such as weather and air traffic control delays,” the company said. “We have proactively managed this in advance by making pre-emptive cancellations as early as possible, enabling the majority of our customers to rebook on to flights departing the same day.”

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said the airline had experienced a “strong and sustained recovery” since the government lifted travel restrictions on 24 January.

“We remain confident in our plans which will see us reaching near 2019 flying levels for this summer and emerge as one of the winners in the recovery,” he added.

The airline is expecting to report a loss of up to £565m for the six months to the end of March, lower than the £618m forecast by analysts and the £701m loss in the same period in 2021. Shares fell 2% on Tuesday morning.

The company said the proportion of bookings between the UK and European Union are now back to equal. They had been skewed 70% towards the European Union because of the UK’s strict travel restrictions.

It is seeing strong demand for its summer trading quarter – July to September – when it expects overall capacity to be “near 2019” levels. Capacity in the three months to the end of June is forecast to be at 90% of pre-pandemic levels, with March at 80%.

“We continue to see strong demand for the fourth quarter (Jul-Sep), especially on leisure routes where easyJet will be the biggest it has ever been,” the company said. “This has been boosted by the addition of a further five aircraft worth of slots in Greece. EasyJet will be the largest carrier into the main Greek Islands this summer.”

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