easyJet has reported a loss before tax of £1.27 billion for financial 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic rips through the aviation industry.
The figure compares to a profit of £430 million last year, and represents the first full-year loss in the low-cost carrier’s 25-year history.
Total revenue for 12 months decreased to £3 billion, down by 55 per cent from the £6.4 billion in the previous year.
easyJet saw passenger numbers decrease by half, with 48.1 million people travelling in the year to September 30th.
Capacity decreased by 47 per cent over the year.
Commenting on the results, Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “I am immensely proud of the performance of the easyJet team in facing the challenges of 2020.
“We responded robustly and decisively, minimising losses, reducing cash burn and launching the largest Cost Out and restructuring programme in our history - all while raising more than £3.1 billion in liquidity to date.”
He added: “easyJet has not only withstood the impact of the pandemic, but now has an unparalleled foundation upon which to emerge strongly from the crisis.
“Our unmatched short haul network and trusted brand will see customers choose easyJet when returning to the skies.
“While we expect to fly no more than 20 per cent of planned capacity for quarter one 2021, maintaining our disciplined approach to cash generative flying over the winter, we retain the flexibility to rapidly ramp up when demand returns.”
Looking ahead, Lundgren said demand would return in 2021.
He concluded: “We know our customers want to fly with us and underlying demand is strong, as evidenced by the 900 per cent increase in sales in the days following the lifting of quarantine for the Canary Islands in October.
“We responded with agility adding 180,000 seats within 24 hours to harness the demand.
“And last week we saw the welcome news about a possible imminent vaccine roll out.
“I would like to thank everyone at easyJet for their work which has left us well positioned and expecting to bounce back strongly.”