The budget airline said its revenues plunged 88 percent at the end of last year, with turnover slumping to £165million. It flew just 18 percent of its normal schedule in the three months to the end of December, which saw the second lockdown and tighter rules on travel. The Luton-based carrier also confirmed that 1,400 UK jobs were cut as it slashed its workforce by up to 30 percent to reduce costs.
But the group said it is planning for a surge in “pent-up demand” for travel once restrictions begin to lift as more people are vaccinated.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “Our performance in the period was in line with management expectations, despite more stringent restrictions coming into place.
“We have taken the right actions to emerge leaner with a reduced cost base, and the retrenchment of legacy carriers at key airports will provide additional opportunities for EasyJet.
“Our core strengths remain unaffected by the pandemic. We have loyal customers who know and trust our brand. The key to unlocking travel is going to be the vaccination programmes combined with governments progressively removing restrictions when it is safe to.
“And, in the meantime, our flexible industry-leading policies mean that customers can book with confidence.”
EasyJet customers can obtain cash refunds if Government restrictions – such as a ban on leisure trips – mean they cannot travel, even if their flight goes ahead.
The airline did not provide guidance on its expectations for this summer, but said it conducted a survey of 5,000 European consumers earlier this month which indicated that 65 percent of people plan to make a travel booking this year.
Mr Lundgren said: “We’ve seen that whenever restrictions are lifted, we have spikes in bookings.”