Share this @internewscast.com
EasyJet expects to fly 97% of its pre-pandemic schedule by July as bookings rise 6% above 2019 levels following surge in demand for air travel
- EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said there has been a big rise in flight bookings
- He said the airline could be operating at 97 per cent capacity over the summer
- Losses for the October-March period have fallen by £88 million in a year
- The airline is removing the back row of seats from its aircraft as part of the plan
Arline easyJet will return to 97 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity in July for the summer period, the budget airline has announced.
In a briefing, the company said it had reduced losses over the six months to the end of March as they have seen the number of people flying increase as Coronavirus restrictions were restricted.
It said that pre-tax loss hit £557 million over the half-year period, down from £645 million a year earlier.
EasyJet said it will return to 97 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity in July as the number of passengers booking flights continues to increase
Chief Executive of the airline Johan Lundgren said easyJet was benefiting from an increase in pent-up demand from people who were unable to fly during the pandemic
Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said: ‘EasyJet has reduced its losses year on year, at the better end of guidance.
‘The pent-up demand and removal of travel restrictions provided for a strong and sustained recovery in trading which has been further boosted as a result of our actions.’
The business said that it will put nearly as many seats on sale in the last three months of this financial year as it did in 2019. Capacity on sale will be 97 per cent, it said.
And the hopes of selling them look good. Over the past 10 weeks customers of the airline have booked 6 per cent more tickets than they did in the same period two years ago.
‘We have transformed the airline during the pandemic which has enabled us to emerge with renewed strength, underpinned by a product, network and service that customers really value,’ Mr Lundgren said.
EasyJet is planning to remove the rear row of seats of its Airbus A-319 fleet allowing them fly with three rather than four cabin crew
This has included moving planes to different routes in better performing markets.
‘Since Easter we have been flying up to a quarter of a million customers and 1,600 flights every day and in the second half leisure and domestic capacity will be above 2019 levels,’ the chief executive said.
‘It has been well documented that the industry is experiencing some operational issues so, as you would expect, we have been absolutely focused on taking action to ensure we have strengthened our operational resilience for this summer so we can deliver a great, reliable operation to our customers.’
The business has managed to weather the massive spikes in price for jet fuel in recent months.
In the last year the price of a tonne of fuel has almost doubled, to £617, easyJet said.
Yet the cost of the fuel bill that easyJet had to pay for every seat on the planes that took off was actually nearly a fifth lower. The business said it had bought enough fuel ahead of time to withstand the big hikes.
Under CAA regulations, three cabin crew are entitled to handle up to 150 passengers
EasyJet, like many other airlines was suffering staff shortages which forced them to cancel flights.
The airline announced it was reducing capacity on its Airbus A319 aircraft by removing the rear row of seats which would limit the number of passengers to 150.
By setting this limit, they would be able to reduce the number of cabin crew aboard from four to three and keep within CAA safety regulations.
The airline said: ‘This summer we will be operating our UK A319 fleet with a maximum of 150 passengers onboard and three crew in line with CAA regulations. ‘
‘This is an effective way of operating our fleet while building additional resilience and flexibility into our operation this summer where we expect to be back to near 2019 levels of flying.’