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New variant of Covid-19 causing problems at end of year for airlines and travel

Written by  Nov 30, 2021

The British airline EasyJet reported on Tuesday a weaker demand for year-end travel due to new Covid-19 hotspots, estimating that its capacity should return to pre-pandemic levels next summer.

Demand was strong at the beginning of the fiscal year in October as the peak of the winter holidays season approached, and bookings for next summer also rose, EasyJet said.

The company ended the fiscal year in September with a pre-tax loss of £1.14 billion ($1.52 billion), adding that at the start of the new fiscal year, in the last three months of 2021, capacity should reach around 65 percent 2019 levels.

Next summer, in the fourth quarter of EasyJet’s fiscal year, they should be almost equal to the 2019 level, they estimate. Their forecast is incomplete because clients book flights closer to departure, they point out.

In the second half of the fiscal year, its revenue surpassed its pre-pandemic level, so they announced that they would increase their fleet by 25 aircraft, with added slots at airports in Gatwick, Porto, Lisbon and Milan's Linate.

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said the company became more flexible during the pandemic, quickly switching to required routes, reducing costs and strengthening the balance sheet, allowing them to cope more easily with new problems.

Late last week, airlines were shaken by news of the emergence of a new variant of the omicron coronavirus. The low-budget Irish airline Ryanair has already warned that European airlines are facing a difficult end to the year as the infection rate in Europe is rising.


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