EasyJet ‘reducing cancellations’ as airline eyes summer capacity recovery

EasyJet has reported progress in reducing cancellations due to staff shortages and says it hopes to carry almost as many passengers over the summer as it did in the same period in 2019.

The low-cost carrier revealed, alongside its half-year results, that it had moved more than 1.5 million seats to its best performing markets to meet pent-up demand after two years of on/off COVID restrictions.

It said bookings had remained strong despite pressure on family budgets from the deteriorating cost of living crisis.

EasyJet had been forced to cancel dozens of flights daily – peaking over the Easter break – as skies opened up.

A combination of staff sickness and staff shortages were blamed, the latter a consequence of the sector struggling to recruit, train and hasten security processes for workers after a brutal two years for the industry that forced thousands out of work.

Johan Lundgren, its chief executive, said easyJet was “absolutely focused” on strengthening its operational resilience.

The company signalled an improvement, including in the area of recruitment, and said it was planning to sell 97% of capacity during the final quarter of its financial year – the summer – than it did before the pandemic.

It reported that bookings in the last 10 weeks had been consistently above those seen in 2019.

EasyJet said it had managed to decrease its pre-tax loss in the six months to March from £645m in the same period a year ago to £557m.

It also said that it was well hedged to limit the damage from rising oil prices.

Mr Lundgren added: “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,” he said.

EasyJet said it would not be appropriate to provide any further financial guidance for the second half.

(c) Sky News 2022: EasyJet ‘reducing cancellations’ as airline eyes summer capacity recovery

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