18 APRIL 2022
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Luton-based easyJet has told shareholders that it expects to report a smaller-than-expected loss of between £535m and £565m for the first six months of its financial year.
Updating shareholders ahead of posting interim results in May the airline reported “strong, sustained recovery in trading since the relaxation of travel restrictions”.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive, reported that daily booking volumes for the summer were “currently tracking ahead of those at the same pre-Covid period in 2019”, adding: “We remain confident in our plans, which will see us reaching near-2019 flying levels for this summer”.
What will not help the budget carrier is national newspaper headlines that feature flight cancellations due to a spike in Covid rather than difficulty recruiting staff Lundgren said: “About 5% of our programme was cancelled over the last seven days. But we’re flying 250,000 customers a day on up to 1,600 flights”.
He said customers on flights cancelled this week “were all notified in the early part of last week, enabling the majority to rebook on flights the same day”, adding: “These were pre-emptive cancellations, not day-to-day cancellations”.
Lundgren insisted: “We’ve not been struggling to recruit cabin crew. The issue is the high level of crew absence due to Covid, currently, we have 10% absent, but at some bases it’s up to 20%. It’s not about us being short of crew”.
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