EasyJet adds more flights to cope with high summer demand

Aug 4, 2020

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Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold on the aviation and travel industries, the question has long been what the return of travel will look like. On some scales, demand has picked back up. But largely — and especially for long-haul travel — demand remains low.

But low-cost carrier EasyJet sees an opportunity. In fact, the airline is expanding its route network to keep up with increased demand.

The carrier announced on Tuesday that it’s adding more flights to its schedule in order to cope with high demand from holidaymakers. Specifically, the carrier said that it’s seen strong demand for British travellers flying to Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

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When the airline unveiled its plans for resuming service after lockdown, it expected to operate at 30% of its normal capacity, but it’s expanding that number to 40% of normal capacity between July and September in order to cope with the number of would-be travellers looking to buy airfare.

“I am really encouraged that we have seen higher-than-expected levels of demand, with load factor of 84% in July with destinations like Faro and Nice remaining popular with customers”, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said.

Interestingly, the airline has seen high demand to destinations that the U.K. government is currently advising against travelling to. For example, since the launch of travel corridors and the FCO’s lifting of its advice, Portugal has never appeared as a viable holiday option, given the need to quarantine for 14 days on return to England. However, that hasn’t deterred Brits from travelling there, as evidenced by the likes of EasyJet, Wizz Air and Ryanair adding more flights to destinations in the country.

Related: All 78 countries and territories that are currently on the UK’s travel corridor list

In EasyJet’s third-quarter trading update, Lundgren criticised the U.K. government’s approach to changing travel advice to Spain overnight. He said the government had not consulted the travel industry before applying its “blanket approach”, which took effect last month. In lieu of the country-by-country approach, Lundgren suggested the U.K. take a regional approach on its guidance.

Related: BA owner reports £3.8 billion first-half loss amid slower-than-expected return to service, cancels BA1

Featured photo by Horacio Villalobos/Getty Images.

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