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Gloucestershire Business News

EasyJet 'well placed to bounce back' after £700m loss

No-frills airline EasyJet has reported a £701m loss for the first half of its financial year.

But the airline has said it expects to see a pick-up in demand for flights from June and it is well placed to bounce back.

Passenger numbers for the six months ending March 31 decreased by 89.4% to 4.1 million, compared to 38.6 million for the same period last year.)

EasyJet said its financial performance would have been worse but for a cost-cutting programme that is expecting to deliver £500m in savings over the 12 months to September as the Covid crisis continues to hit the industry.

The underlying loss during the half-year to March compared to a figure of £193m during the same period last year - a time when flight schedules were starting to grind to a halt as the pandemic hit European shores.

Commenting on the results, EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: "With leisure travel taking off in the UK again earlier this week where we are the largest operator to Green list countries and with so many European governments easing restrictions to open up travel again, we are ready to significantly ramp up our flying for the summer with a view to maximising the opportunities we see in Europe.

"We have the ability to flex up quickly to operate 90% of our current fleet over the peak summer period to match demand.

"We know there is pent-up demand - we saw this again when Green list countries were released and added more than 105,000 seats - and so we look forward to being able to help many more people to travel this summer supported by our industry-leading flexible customer policies which means they can book with confidence.

"Over the past six months, we have successfully undertaken a major restructuring and cost reduction process alongside maintaining an investment-grade balance sheet with significant liquidity and managing our cash burn better than expectations. This has delivered results in line with guidance. Our agility, trusted brand and famous value means we are well placed to bounce back in the recovery."

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