Easyjet is “in the right right place” to meet the summer demand, according to chief executive Johan Lundgren.
The airline reported that bookings have been above pre-pandemic levels in the last 10 weeks, with the number of tickets sold increasing by 15 per cent on 2019 levels.
Lundgren added the airline was “absolutely focused” on increasing its operational resilience after a disastrous Easter period.
“It has been well documented that the industry is experiencing some operational issues so, as you would expect, we have been absolutely focused on taking action to ensure we have strengthened our operational resilience for this summer so we can deliver a great, reliable operation to our customers,” Lundgren told reporters this morning.
Easyjet – alongside the likes of British Airways – was forced to cancel hundreds of flights in the run up to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend because of general labour shortages and a spike in the number of Covid infections among its staff.
Earlier this month, the carrier removed the back row seats from its A319 planes to cope with personnel shortages.
“We can put the seats back in at any point of time if the situation changes, but just to make sure that we’re in a good place for resilience this summer, it’s an action we have taken,” he added.
The chief executive’s words come as Easyjet posted its half year results, which saw the carrier narrowing down its pandemic losses from £645m to £557m, City A.M. reported.
According to Easyjet, capacity will go up to 90 and 97 per cent of 2019 levels in the third and fourth quarter of the year respectively.
Commenting on the results, travel expert Rob Staines said: “Lundgren’s pragmatic outlook will serve to bolster consumer confidence and create stability in a market that has suffered many obstacles and it’s encouraging to see they will be operating to near 2019 levels.”
Despite the positive uptick, the company refused to provide financial guidance for the second half of the year, but said the spike in fuel prices was “layering additional costs,” despite Easyjet hedging around 71 per cent of fuel.
“We are in a good place as you can see versus competitors… but you are absolutely right that this will be coming towards us like all other companies in terms of the costs,” Lundgren explained.