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.
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
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 government’s ‘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
Easyjet’s 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 Easyjet’s 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 government's 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 industry’s recovery.