Flying capacity scaled back again by EasyJet after latest virus restrictions
3 years ago
Budget airline easyJet has said it has been forced to further scale back its already reduced flight schedule due to the latest virus curbs in England and continental Europe.
On Friday, it said it now expects to fly no more than around 20% of its planned capacity for the rest of the year.
It said it remains focused on “cash generative flying” over the winter season in order to minimise losses, after predicting the low capacity for the rest of the quarter.
EasyJet said it will retain flexibility to allow it to ramp capacity back up quickly once it sees a return in demand.
Its latest capacity guidance represents a slump in optimism, as it downgraded from the 25% capacity plan it revealed last month.
Budget airline rival Ryanair has said it hopes to have 40% flight capacity for the same period.
The stuttering recovery of flight traffic continues to put pressure on the airline’s finances.
In the same update to shareholders on Friday, easyJet said it had raised £130.7 million through the sale and leaseback of 11 aircraft to two parties.
The group secured £96 million through the sale of 10 A320 family aircraft to ACS Aero 2 Beta Limited, with the craft being leased back for an average of 58 months.
It also sold one A320 family aircraft to JLPS Holdings Ireland for £34.7 million.
Last month, easyJet raised around £300 million through a separate sale and leaseback deal aimed to help shore up its finances.
The group has raised around £900 million through similar deals this year, as well as securing around £600 million through UK Government Covid relief programmes and around £400 million through a share placing.
EasyJet said it now retains a fleet of 141 fully-owned aircraft, representing around 41% of its overall fleet.