EasyJet will operate just 15% of normal flight schedule as summer travel resumes

May 20, 2021

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EasyJet is scaling back expectations for a robust summer travel rebound, saying it will take a bit longer than expected to resume its full flight schedule.

The budget airline announced Thursday it expects to fly just 15% of its normal, pre-pandemic flight schedule between April and June, the start of the all-important summer travel season.

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EasyJet, which recently changed its policies to allow travellers to change flights as late as two hours before departure, added that it expects to increase its number of flights dramatically as the summer rolls on.

In a statement detailing the airline’s earning results, Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said, “We have the ability to flex up quickly to operate 90% of our current fleet over the peak summer period to match demand.”

The carrier blamed continued uncertainty over travel restrictions for the limited routes, saying it has made it difficult for the travel industry to properly anticipate demand. Mixed messages from the U.K. government over the travel rules, such as whether or not travellers can visit countries on the amber list, have only added to the confusion.

For example, the U.K.’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people should avoid all but essential travel to amber list countries, despite the fact that other government officials say it is okay for Brits to go on holiday to visit friends. Some of the countries on the traffic light system’s amber list include popular summer destinations like Spain, France, Greece and Italy.

Like just about all of its rivals in the travel space, EasyJet looked to the resumption of summer travel to recoup some of the massive losses it’s incurred due to the pandemic. The airline lost £701 million during the winter, and given the current uncertainty, it’s declined to share how many routes it intends to operate from July to September.

Featured photo by Pool/Getty Images.

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