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EasyJet flies into pandemic headwinds

As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic intensify, EasyJet has declared a pre-tax loss of £324.5 million for its third quarter to June. 

With many of its planes grounded, the loss for the budget airline was expected, and fell well below the profit of the three months to June, its third-quarter of £174 million a year earlier. 

With a limited number of flights now back on, however, the airline is optimistic that the future should be much brighter. 

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said on Tuesday “our bookings for the remainder of the summer are performing better than expected and as a result we have decided to expand our schedule over the fourth quarter to fly about 40 percent of capacity.”    

The capacity is better than the previously anticipated level of 30 percent. 

Shares for the company bounced eight percent after the news on Tuesday morning trading, after losing about 60 per cent since the beginning of the year. 

The airline said “We have now completed more than one month of restart operations and are seeing encouraging performance across the network with a continued focus to undertake only profitable flying.” the airline said Tuesday, adding that “in July, EasyJet flew just over two million passengers.” 

In June the airline began operating flights for the first time since it was grounded at the end of March as a result of Covid-19. The airline increased its summer destinations on August 1, with routes including across Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, the Balearics and the Canary Islands.   

In addition to resuming flying on more than100 routes to and from the UK in August, the airline also launched flights on several new summer routes including from London Gatwick to the Albanian capital of Tirana, according to its site. 

Back in May the company announced that it would be shedding 45,000 jobs as a part of its effort to overcome the effects of the pandemic. 

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