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easyJet sees short-term Omicron hit before summer recovery -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – An EasyJet plane lands at Son Sant Joan Airport in Palma de Mallorca on April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Enrique Calvo

LONDON, Reuters -The Omicron variant COVID-19 is affecting the performance of British airline easyJet (LON), but they expect strong demand for this summer’s capacity to be at pre-pandemic levels.

According to the company, it flew 64% pre-pandemic capacity during its first quarter ending in December. However, its load factor of 77% was below its predicted forecast of more than 80% due to Omicron’s depressed customer demand.

Johan Lundgren is the Chief Executive. He said bookings increased in Britain after travel restrictions were eased. Then, they surged again next month when testing was announced by government.

According to him, “We expect a strong summer with pent-up demand that will see easyJet return to near 2019 levels with UK beaches and leisure routes performing especially well.”

It stated that it currently had 67% of its pre-pandemic capacities on sale, up from 50% in January.

Before Omicron had any impact, easyJet forecast that November’s capacity would hover around 70%.

EasyJet reported that the total group revenue increased by 805million pounds to $1.08 billion in its first quarter, compared to 165 million pounds last year. However, easyJet claimed that its headline loss after tax nearly doubled to 213 millions pounds.

($1 = 0.7450 pounds)

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