The British low-cost airline Easyjet announced that it expects to fly no more than 10% of 2019 capacity in Q2 2021 due to an ongoing pandemic-related revenue decrease of 88% for Q1 2021.
As a result of COVID-19 related travel bans and lockdowns, EasyJet reported that during Q1 2021 its revenues decreased by 88% to $225 million (£165 million), while its passenger numbers fell by 87% compared to the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, the airline underlined that the cost performance for Q1 2021 was in line with its expectations. According to the report, the cost-cutting efforts, including 1,400 job cuts and reduced costs for aircraft maintenance, were the main measures that helped Easyjet to reduce its cash burn to $54.6 million (£40 million) per week “in a fully grounded scenario”. Easyjet noted that just 152 of 318 company’s aircraft were in service during Q1 2021.
“Our performance in the period was in line with management expectations, despite more stringent restrictions coming into place. […] We have taken the right actions to emerge leaner with a reduced cost base and the retrenchment of legacy carriers at key airports will provide additional opportunities for Easyjet,” quoted Johan Lundgren, the Chief Executive of Easyjet, in the statement.
However, EasyJet outlined that due to uncertainty regarding new air travel restrictions in the markets it operates, the low-cost airline expects to fly “no more” than 10% of Q2 2019 capacity for the second quarter of FY2021. Despite a troublesome year, Easyjet said it still had liquidity of $3.4 billion (£2.5 billion) in Q1 2021, backed by sales and leaseback agreements for its aircraft worth over a billion.
As for fleet renewal plans, Easyjet agreed with Airbus on aircraft deferral from FY2022, 2023, and 2024. A total of 22 planes will be moved from FY2022 – FY2024 to FY2027- FY2028. The airline also outlined that no changes to the total number of a firm airbus A320neo Family aircraft would be made.
In December 2020, the airline announced its plans to expand the London Gatwick base, the largest base of Easyjet, with additional aircraft, new routes as well as higher operating frequencies. According to the latest air carrier’s statement, Easyjet plans to add four additional aircraft to Gatwick base for the summer season of 2021, increasing the number to 71. Besides, the air carrier aims to increase the frequency of existing domestic and international routes by offering 107 destinations across 28 countries from the summer of 2021.