easyJet cuts flights, looks ahead to winter recovery
easyJet has undertaken further significant cancellations in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Capacity cuts will continue on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future and could result in the grounding of the majority of the easyJet fleet, the low-cost carrier said.
To help mitigate the impact from Covid-19, easyJet said it was taking every action to remove cost and non-critical expenditure from the business at every level.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “At easyJet we are doing everything in our power to rise to the challenges of the coronavirus so that we can continue to provide the benefits that aviation brings to people, the economy and business.
“We continue to operate rescue and repatriation flights to get people home where we can, so they can be with family and friends in these difficult times.
“European aviation faces a precarious future and it is clear that coordinated government backing will be required to ensure the industry survives and is able to continue to operate when the crisis is over.”
Aircraft groundings will remove significant levels of variable costs, easyJet said.
easyJet maintains a strong balance sheet including a £1.6 billion cash balance, an undrawn $500 million revolving credit facility, unencumbered aircraft worth in excess of £4 billion and a large and valuable slot portfolio.
easyJet has no debt re-financings due until 2022 and is in ongoing discussions with liquidity providers, the carrier said.
At this stage, given the level of continued uncertainty, easyJet said it was “not possible” to provide financial guidance for the remainder of the financial year.
In an effort to bring in some cash, easyJet has also brought its annual winter sale, giving customers the chance to book flights between October and February next year.
The move follows an announcement from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office that Brits should avoid all but essential travel for the next 30 days.
The discount flight sale and easyJet holidays’ winter season launch is expected to be welcomed by travellers whose Easter and summer holiday plans have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over 147,000 flights are set to take place across easyJet’s network between October 25th and February 28th, providing over nine million seats for passengers.
Robert Carey, easyJet chief commercial officer, said: “We’ve taken the decision to put our flights for the winter season on sale today in order to support customers as much as possible during this time.
“To further assist customers who have had their travel plans affected easyJet has waived the change fee associated with changing their flights.
“All customers are now able to change the dates of their upcoming flights to any time before February.
“The change fee waiver applies to both existing and new bookings until further notice.”
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