UK budget carrier EasyJet is expecting to fly up to 20% of its pre-crisis capacity over the third quarter, up from 14% during the first half, and foresees these levels to start increasing from late May onwards.

The airline provided the latest outlook as it projected first-half headline pre-tax losses, to the end of March 2021, would be “slightly better” than forecast at around £690-730 million ($950 million-1 billion).

“Our capacity forecasting has been accurate and disciplined throughout the pandemic, which has allowed for strong cost control,” the airline says.

“Our focus on cash-generative flying over the winter season has minimised cash burn, with cash burn in the second quarter [of £470 million] better than guidance.”

EasyJet says customers are booking closer to departure times and visibility for the second half “remains limited”. It is not giving estimates for full-year 2020-21 performance.


Source: EasyJet

At its peak over the first six months the airline operated 161 aircraft, just under half the figure for the same period to March 2020.

Passenger numbers were down 89% and it indicates group revenues fell 90% to £235 million. Headline costs were down 64% to £940 million.

“We will continue to operate a reduced schedule throughout much of [the third quarter] but are ready to ramp up our operations to match the level of demand we see in the market,” says the airline. It says it remains “well-positioned” for recovery this summer.

EasyJet says it had unrestricted access to about £2.9 billion of liquidity at the end of March 2021, having raised over £5.5 billion since the beginning of the pandemic.

It says it has repaid the first £300 million tranche of borrowings from the government’s corporate fund set up to support businesses during the crisis, with the remaining £300 million due for repayment in November.

EasyJet carried out sale-and-leaseback transactions on 35 aircraft during the first half, raising £842 million in gross proceeds. It retains ownership of 56% of its fleet, with 41% unencumbered.