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EasyJet posts first ever annual loss of £1.27bn

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

The budget airline has posted its results up to the end of September 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic slamming profits.

The £1.27bn loss is the first in the airline’s 25-year history and compares to profits of £430m in the previous 12 months.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, passenger numbers for the year ending 30 September 2020 decreased by 50% to 48.1 million (96.1 million in 2019), while total revenue decreased by 52.9% to £3,009m (£6,385m in 2019).

EasyJet said that based on current travel restrictions in the markets, it expects to fly no more than about 20% of planned capacity in the first quarter of 2021. However, the airline said it has retained the flexibility to rapidly ramp up capacity when demand returns.

The statement struck a positive tone with regards to flying in 2021.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive at easyJet, said: “I am immensely proud of the performance of the easyJet team in facing the challenges of 2020. We responded robustly and decisively, minimising losses, reducing cash burn and launching the largest cost out and restructuring programme in our history – all while raising more than £3.1bn in liquidity to date.

“EasyJet has not only withstood the impact of the pandemic, but now has an unparalleled foundation upon which to emerge strongly from the crisis. Our unmatched short haul network and trusted brand will see customers choose easyJet when returning to the skies.

“We know our customers want to fly with us and underlying demand is strong, as evidenced by the 900% 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.

“And last week we saw the welcome news about a possible imminent vaccine roll out. I would like to thank everyone at easyJet for their work which has left us well positioned and expecting to bounce back strongly.”