The news raised easyJet’s stock price by more than 8% on Tuesday morning.
Johan Lundgren, chief executive, said the UK’s sudden decision to reimpose a quarantine on people arriving from Spain last month had not prompted customers to cancel travel plans, but had discouraged them from doing so. new bookings in the country. He said vacationers are now looking for other beach destinations such as Greece, Turkey and Croatia.
He called for more commitment from the UK government, saying the aviation industry had not been consulted in advance on the quarantine decision, and proposed regional quarantines. “We urgently need to target quarantine requirements on places where the peaks have occurred rather than nationally,” he said.
EasyJet, along with other airlines, was recently criticized by the Civil Aviation Authority for not reimbursing canceled flights quickly enough. Lundgren said he can understand customer frustration and the airline is processing refunds within 28 days. “We are working day and night to further reduce this situation,” he added. He noted that easyJet processed 260,000 cancellations during the quarter, resulting in a large backlog.
Airlines resumed flying in June after grounding their fleets for about 11 weeks as governments imposed national lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
EasyJet has laid off 4,000 of its 9,000 UK employees as part of the government’s job retention program, but has kept its crews and planes in flight-ready mode so they can perform more flights with about two weeks.
The airline operated 709 flights in the three months ending June, up from 165,656 last year, and carried 117,000 passengers, up from 26.4 million.
It fell to a pre-tax loss of £ 324.5million in the third quarter, from a profit of £ 174.2million a year earlier. He said his loss in the current quarter would be less but did not make a prediction for the entire year.
The collapse of air transport has forced many airlines to announce significant job losses. EasyJet plans to cut up to 727 pilot jobs – around one in three – and up to 1,200 cabin crew jobs across the UK. In total, it foresees 4,500 layoffs across Europe. The carrier has also raised £ 450million from investors to bolster its cash reserves.
EasyJet has called on the UK government to temporarily remove air passenger rights to help the airline industry recover.