No-frills airline easyJet says it faces summer 2022 “with optimism” as it has trimmed its half-year losses and bookings pass 2019 levels.
It reported a half-year headline loss before tax of £545 million for the six months to the end of March, compared to a £701 million loss in the same period last year.
In the last 10 weeks, bookings have been 6% above the same period in 2019, and the Easter holidays saw load factors of 90%.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “easyJet has reduced its losses year on year, at the better end of guidance.
“The pent-up demand and removal of travel restrictions provided for a strong and sustained recovery in trading which has been further boosted as result of our actions.
“These include the radical reallocation of aircraft which has seen more than 1.5 million seats moved to the best performing markets and the step-change in our ancillary products delivering increased revenue – both of which have contributed to our total yield increasing by 9% compared to the same period in FY19.”
He added: “Since Easter we have been flying up to a quarter of a million customers and 1,600 flights every day and in the second half leisure and domestic capacity will be above 2019 levels.
“We expect to operate 90% of FY19 capacity in Q3 and we have capacity on sale of around 97% of FY19 flying in Q4, with easyJet holidays now on track to carry over 1.1 million customers this financial year.
“We are confident in our plans for summer which will see us reaching near 2019 flying levels.”
• Meanwhile, easyJet has also announced its interim carbon reduction target – a 35% improvement for carbon emissions intensity by 2035, compared to 2020.
The airline plans to achieve this target through a combination of fleet renewal, operational improvements and efficiencies, airspace modernisation and the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Lundgren said: “Decarbonising aviation is the challenge of a generation, but we know it can and must be done.
“We have now embarked on our journey to net-zero and while there will be challenges along the way, I’m really excited about what lies ahead.”
Other environmental initiatives include eliminating more than 36 million single-use plastic items used on its flights, and new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles.