The loss compares with the £ 361.5million profit made by the group last year, before COVID-19 hit the travel and tourism market.
Like most airlines, Jet2 grounded its fleet in mid-March as the coronavirus spread, also placing around 80% of its UK staff on the government’s leave program.
The industry has been hit by a massive drop in travel demand, restrictions on travelers entering other countries and UK rules that told people to stay at home.
Jet2 resumed operations on July 15, after the UK government presented a list of countries from which travelers could arrive in the UK without isolating themselves for two weeks.
Since then, the group has focused on the air routes it considers more profitable “supported by our flexible operating model that is quick to market”.
In the six months to September, Jet2 carried 999,000 passengers in a single sector, up from over 10 million at the same time last year.
The average load factor (the fill level of an aircraft) was only 69%, down from 93.1% last year, a drop attributed to “the uncertainty created by the many changes in UK government quarantine guidelines ”.
Jet2 executive chairman Philip Meeson said the year had been one of “unprecedented operational and financial challenges” but the group had benefited from a “strong and carefully managed balance sheet” and its “response thoughtful but quick to the pandemic ”.
“As is the case with the company, further losses are expected in the second half of the year as we prepare operationally for the proposed flight program for summer 21.
“In addition, the ability to fly in the short term remains uncertain, as UK government guidelines currently restrict international travel, except in limited circumstances, until at least December 3, 2020. “