Budget airline Easyjet is preparing to expand its flight schedule over the summer to cater for higher than expected demand.
The company’s share price soared more than 10 per cent this morning after it said it will fly at around 40 per cent of capacity over the summer following “better than expected” bookings.
Previously it had planned to fly at 30 per cent of capacity.
Total group revenue in the three months to 30 June was £7m, with Easyjet resuming flying again on 15 June after grounding all flights on 30 March. The initial flight schedule delivered a load factor of 88.9 per cent.
In July Easyjet said it flew more than 2m passengers with a load factor of 84 per cent, with destinations such as Faro and Nice popular among holidaymakers.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said the government should work with the airline industry ahead of implementing quarantine plans, following the decision to impose a two-week quarantine on travellers returning from Spain.
He said there had been “no consultation, no dialogue”, and there should be “more engagement with the industry in general”.
Lundgren said: “Despite the challenge we continue to face due to the pandemic, we remain no less committed to fulfilling our customers’ desire to fly sustainably through our carbon reduction initiatives, including offsetting on behalf of our customers.
“As we look ahead, I am confident that Easyjet will continue to serve our customers well, delivering our renowned friendly service and value across our unrivalled network.”
“With the airline expecting to run flights at 40% of capacity, we are seeing a clear sign that many people are confident enough to travel despite the Covid risks that have held some back,” IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony said.
“With the airlines likely to see better-than-expected revenues after improved demand, the subsequent alleviation of pressure on their finances should lessen the need for further funding going forward.”
Easyjet has previously announced plans to cut jobs due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to a third of Easyjet’s pilot roles are at risk of redundancy as the low-budget carrier seeks to cut costs due to the crisis.
The airline has begun consultation with pilots’ union Balpa over the plan to reduce its staff headcount by 30 per cent.