EasyJet is bullish about a release of “pent-up demand” for travel in 2021 but is expecting to fly only 10 per cent of its usual capacity for the first quarter of the year due to the ongoing restrictions wrought by the pandemic. In its trading update for Q1, the airline said it has the ” flexibility to rapidly ramp up to capture that demand,” and noted that it is “uniquely placed to take advantage of the material reduction in competitor capacity at [their] key bases.”
“Our performance in the period was in line with management expectations, despite more stringent restrictions coming into place,” said CEO Johan Lundgren. “We have taken the right actions to emerge leaner with a reduced cost base and the retrenchment of legacy carriers at key airports will provide additional opportunities for easyJet.”
“Our core strengths remain unaffected by the pandemic,” he continued, “we have loyal customers who know and trust our brand, an unmatched network, offer value for money and a leading position on sustainability with high customer satisfaction.”
The airline also conducted a survey of 5000 consumers across Europe between January 8-20, which revealed that 65 per cent were planning to or had already booked a flight for 2021.
“It is great to see that so many consumers plan to travel this year as soon as they can,” commented Lundgren. “We will be ready to ramp up our flights to ensure we can take our customers away to see friends and family or on long-awaited holiday breaks when they take to the skies again.”
“This survey further underlines the fact that people want to travel as soon as they can. We know the biggest single barrier to booking and travelling is government restrictions. This is why a government plan of how restrictions can be unwound when it is safe to do coupled with the successful roll out of the vaccination programmes will undoubtedly be the key to unlocking travel again, giving consumers both the confidence to book and travel.”
In June 2020, easyJet was operating 18 routes from Belfast.