Annual losses set to hit £190m at easyJet

Low-cost airline easyJet says it expects its third full-year losses in a row to be between £170m and £190m with bookings now hitting pre-pandemic levels. Tony McDonough reports

An Airbus A320neo passenger aircraft operated by easyJet. Picture by H Gousse / master films


Low-cost airline easyJet will report its third full-year losses in a row for the 12 months to September 30.

In a trading update on Thursday, easyJet said it expected pre-tax losses to be between £170m and £190m. However, this is a big improvement on the last two years when the impact of COVID sent losses above £1bn two years in a row.

And the carrier, which operates 25 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said it expects bookings in October, November and December to be 30% up on last year. It said it expected to fly around 20m passengers during the first quarter of its fiscal year. And it expects October half-term and Christmas booking to return to pre-pandemic levels.

During its final quarter of the full year, the peak summer season of July, August September, easyJet flew 26.3m passengers. Its operating capacity for the full year was 88% of the last pre-COVID year. At the end of the final quarter load factors (percentage of seats filled) reached 92%.

In the spring and the summer airline and airports were hit by delays due to staffing problems. This disruption, says easyJet, cost the company around £75m.

Its trading update added: “The impact of Omicron, war in Ukraine and the industry wide issues experienced this summer all affected operational performance during the financial year.

“Despite this, demand has been strong for easyJet’s optimised primary airport network which continues to deliver alongside step-changed ancillary revenue and the rapid growth of easyJet holidays.”

It also said: “Some specific areas of the wider European airline industry continue to have some ongoing challenges outside of easyJet’s control, for example air traffic control.

READ MORE: Easyjet bets on hydrogen to reach net zero

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “easyJet achieved a record bounceback this summer with Q4 operating profit expected to be between £525m and £545m and passenger numbers almost doubling versus last summer.

“easyJet is Europe’s largest operator at primary airports with one of the strongest balance sheets in the aviation industry.

“We face the uncertain macroeconomic environment with many strengths through our brand, network and business model which enable us to provide low fares to millions despite the rising cost of living.”

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