EasyJet pares first-half loss, says summer earnings are unclear

EasyJet trimmed its first-half loss and reported a surge in summer bookings, while saying demand was too uncertain to provide a financial outlook for the fiscal year ended September.

With people booking closer to departure than they did before the Covid-19 crisis, even short-term visibility is limited, EasyJet said on Thursday.

Sales over the last 10 weeks are 6 per cent higher than 2019 levels, although almost two-thirds of the places are available for the crucial three months from July.

The Luton, England-based airline said it was therefore “inappropriate to provide any further financial guidance for financial year 2022”.

The company reported a pre-tax loss of £545m (€643m) for the first half to March, in line with guidance published last month.

Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren said EasyJet is taking steps to address stumbling blocks as travel picks up and is “absolutely focused on taking action to ensure we have strengthened our operational resilience for this summer”.

A staff shortage has led to flight delays and cancellations, particularly at UK airports.

European airlines are bringing back capacity as the lifting of coronavirus restrictions releases pent-up demand as they try to gauge the pace of the recovery.

Ryanair, Europe’s biggest discount airline, issued an upbeat outlook on Monday while warning that bookings could still be disrupted by a number of factors, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Irish company also held back with a specific financial forecast.

EasyJet shares initially traded lower before being up 2.8 per cent as of 8.16am in London.

The airline said it expects to operate 90 percent of 2019 capacity this quarter, rising to 97 percent for the three months from July that mark the start of Europe’s peak season.

Like competitors like British Airways, EasyJet is struggling to hire enough staff to keep up with demand.

The discount airline has announced that it will remove six seats from its smallest Airbus SE A319 jets to allow flights with three cabin crew instead of four.

https://www.independent.ie/business/world/easyjet-pares-first-half-loss-says-summer-earnings-unclear-41665531.html EasyJet pares first-half loss, says summer earnings are unclear

Fry Electronics Team

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