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easyJet expected to fly at a maximum of 20 percent capacity in the first quarter of 2021. The budget airline is committed to “cash generative flying over the winter.” It hopes to “ramp up” capacity once demand resumes.
easyJet is one of many airlines impacted by the coronavirus pandemic which saw global travel screech to a halt earlier this year.
Today the carrier revealed the first annual loss in its 25-year history of £1.27 billion.
The COVID-19 has seen passenger numbers for the year ending 30 September 2020 decrease by 50.0 percent to 48.1 million down from 96.1 million.
Capacity has plummeted by 27.5 percent to 55.1 million seats down from 105 million.
Passenger revenue decreased by 54.0 percent.
On this, easyJet said in its report today: “The key driver of this was government travel restrictions in most of the markets where easyJet operates, including full national lockdowns during Q2 which led us to ground the entire easyJet fleet for 11 weeks.
“Whilst there was some recovery in demand as travel restrictions eased during the summer, widespread quarantine measures introduced in September once again eroded demand and consumer confidence to travel.”
The low-cost carrier remains confident for the future, however.
Commenting on the results, Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive said: “While we expect to fly no more than 20 percent of planned capacity for Q1 2021, maintaining our disciplined approach to cash generative flying over the winter, we retain the flexibility to rapidly ramp up when demand returns.
“We know our customers want to fly with us and underlying demand is strong, as evidenced by the 900 percent increase in sales in the days following the lifting of quarantine for the Canary Islands in October.
“We responded with agility adding 180,000 seats within 24 hours to harness the demand.”
So what does all this mean for holidaymakers?
An easyJet spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: “Any customers whose flights are cancelled will be notified in advance and informed of their options which include transferring their flights free of charge, receiving a voucher or a refund.”
The airline’s website explains in more detail: “If part / all of your trip is cancelled, you will be notified directly via email and will be informed of your options, which include:
1. Switch to another easyJet flight for free. This includes the option to select a different arrival and departure airport within the same country of the original booking if you wish.
2. Choose a voucher for the full value of your ticket. The voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and gives you the flexibility to book travel anywhere on our network when you’re ready to fly.
3. Request a refund. You can request a refund via our Refund Request Webform.
We are doing our best to process refund requests in the shortest possible time.
Once you have submitted an online refund request, you can track the status of your request here.
“Once your flight is cancelled, you can request any of these options online via Manage Bookings at easyJet.com or the easyJet mobile app and you do not need to contact our Customer Services team.”
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