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Easyjet shoots for the stars as bookings surge

01/28/2022 | 01:21am

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 yesterday following Easyjet's first quarter results.

In the UK, bookings initially jumped up 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 decision of 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 effec- tive 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 summer bookings to surge as a result of pentup demand, with beach routes such as Greece becoming the biggest ever in the fourth quarter of 2022.

To meet demand, Easyjet has increased seat capacity by 1.1m from London Gatwick, adding 25 new aircraft to its fleet.

Despite the short-term impact of Omicron, the airline managed to halve its losses to £213m from £423m last year. In the quarter, the group's re avenue went up 387.9 per cent from £165m in the first quarter of 2021 to £805m. Both passenger and ancillary revenues skyrocketed to £547m and £258m respectively.

(c) 2022 City A.M., source Newspaper

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