Covid-19

EasyJet land huge profit fall

One of Europe’s most profitable airlines is heading for a fall in yearly profits for the first time in its history, as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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EasyJet, considered to be second only to Ryanair in Europe, announced earlier this week, is expected to report a full-year loss for the first time since it began flying twenty-five years ago, forecasting a pre-tax loss of between £815m and £845m for the last 12 months.

At the end of March, the airline grounded their entire fleet and closed three of its UK bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle Airports.

However, EasyJet claims to have bled 700 million pounds since flights resumed in July.

They only carried over 9 million passengers between July and September, equivalent to just 38% of capacity planned before the pandemic.

Johan Lundgren, EasyJet’s chief executive, said the company had taken decisive action to minimise its losses, reduce cash burn and boost its liquidity to face the challenges presented to aviation by the pandemic.

“At the beginning of this year, no one could have imagined the impact the pandemic has had on the industry,” Lundgren said.

“EasyJet came into this crisis in a very strong position thanks to its strong balance sheet and consistent profitability. This year will be the first time in its history that the company has ever made a full-year loss”.

The carrier had raised around £2.4bn in cash since the start of the pandemic, including a 600m pound loan from the treasury and Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus fund which it secured in April with its fleet grounded.

Lundgren reported the immediate plan, was to target profitable routes during the winter season, while operating at just a quarter of its usual schedule between October and the end of the year, in order to minimise its losses.

The carrier has also called on the British government to provide airlines with a bespoke package of support measures urgently, warning that aviation is facing the most severe threat in its history.

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