EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren has said the airline remains optimistic about 2022, following a recovery in customer confidence.
“Customers are more confident in their ability to travel due to our flexible policies,” Lundgren told investors this morning following the company’s first quarter results.
In the UK, bookings initially jumped off on 5 January, when the government decided to scrap PCR tests for travellers.
The end of all travel testing caused the UK to lead in terms of bookings over the EU for the first time since the pandemic started.
“In fact, a recent survey showed that UK consumers plan to spend more money on holidays this year than ever before, with around two thirds saying a trip abroad in 2022 will be the main priority for them,” he added.
Following the UK and other countries’ – including France, Italy and Switzerland – to either ease or remove testing for fully vaccinated travellers, Lundgren expects travel testing to become “a thing of the past”.
“The World Health Organisation has said that testing on travel is not an effective measure to combat the virus and that has been confirmed by more studies,” he told investors. “I think there is more of an understanding that testing doesn’t need to be re-introduced into travel because of the little effect it has in combating the virus.”
The low-cost airline is expecting a summer bookings to surge as a result of pent-up demand, with beach routes such as a Greece becoming the biggest ever in the fourth quarter of 2022. To meet demand, EasyJet has increased seat capacity by 1.1 million from London Gatwick, adding 25 new aircraft to its fleet.
Earlier this morning, the airline recorded a 67 per cent slump in December demand, as it went down from 80 per cent between October and November as a result of Omicron, City A.M. reported.
Despite the short-term impact of Omicron, the airline managed to halve its losses to £213m from £423m last year.