EasyJet will operate 1,000 flights a day in August as the airline expands its summer vacation services
EasyJet sees an unexpected increase in the demand for flights and increases its summer flights to 40% of normal capacity
- Airline is expanding the schedule from July to September to boost the airline industry
- The company’s fleet ran aground on March 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic
- The stock price of EasyJet soared in the news, hitting a massive 8% in morning trading
EasyJet said today that it is operating more flights than previously planned as demand exceeds expectations.
The airline expands its timetable to 40% of normal capacity between July and September, compared to the 30% forecast in June.
In the three months to the end of June, the budget company made only £ 7 million in revenue after the company’s fleet was grounded from March 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet director, (pictured at Gatwick in June) said: “By going back to the air, we can do what we do best and take our customers on much needed vacations.”
In mid-June, the plane started flying again, carrying 117,000 passengers in the 132,000 seats it had available in the past two weeks of the quarter, easyJet said.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “By going back to the air, we can do what we do best and take our customers on much needed vacations.
“I am immensely proud of all of our people whose care and dedication, along with the introduction of our industry-leading biosafety measures, has led to customer satisfaction rates peaking at 80% since the restart, up 13 percentage points over the same period last year.
“I am very encouraged that we saw higher than expected demand in July with an occupancy rate of 84%, with destinations such as Faro and Nice remaining popular with customers.
“Our bookings for the rest of the summer are performing better than expected, which is why we decided to expand our fourth quarter schedule to approximately 40% of capacity.
“Due to the increased flying, we can connect even more customers with family or friends and take the breaks they have worked hard for.”
EasyJet said it has seen strong demand from British holidaymakers flying to Greece, Turkey and Croatia.
Mr Lundgren claimed that the UK’s quarantine policy “is not specific enough” and called for it to be based on regions rather than countries.
He said, “We have urged them to look at this from a regional basis, which I know they are considering doing.
“But of course the damage and the uncertainty and inconvenience for customers who had booked and had to go home and quarantine for 14 days, that is already happening.”
He continued, “You see parts of Spain – the Balearic and Canary Islands – that have significantly fewer infections than other parts of Spain and also in the UK.”
Mr Lundgren said that the government’s decision to remove Spain from the list of quarantine exemptions has reduced the number of new bookings, but most customers with existing plans are continuing.
The stock price of EasyJet skyrocketed as of this morning’s news, gaining 8% in morning trading.
EasyJet began flying again in mid-June, carrying 117,000 passengers in the 132,000 seats it had available in the last two weeks of the quarter.
The airline has been forced to ground its aircraft during the coronavirus blockade and will cut 4,500 jobs.
His rival, British Airways, has already said it plans to cut 12,000 rolls, prompting Unite union leaders to threaten a strike.
It came after the British government advised against all essential travel to Spain following the emergence of a second wave of coronavirus in parts of the country.
BA has so far taken advantage of state leave schemes, gained access to £ 300 million in UK government loans, and shut down its fleet of 747 jumbo jets ahead of schedule.
EasyJet’s success in restarting its services will encourage the broader aviation sector, which was one of the hardest hit sectors during the corona virus crisis.
Last month, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary told staff to prepare for more cuts after announcing a loss of £ 166m in the three months to June.
In March, the regional airline Flybe went bankrupt and in September last year Thomas Cook collapsed stranding 150,000 British holidaymakers abroad.
Yesterday, Hays Travel – which bought 555 travel agents from Thomas Cook last year – announced it would cut 878 of its 4,500 jobs.