Summer 2021 will be far better for the industry than last year’s, easyJet’s boss has predicted.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said progress made since 2020 meant he was optimistic.
Speaking at World Aviation Festival Virtual, he said: “We are not at all looking at a summer like last year.”
Lundgren said the vaccine roll-out in the UK and other countries would facilitate travel. “That gives us a completely different stability.”
He said governments and the industry now had data and statistics “that were not there before”, which would flag up areas of concern and give the industry early warning of possible border closures.
“The UK is looking at producing a watch list to see where countries are headed so we don’t get a surprise,” he said.
“That’s down to the stats and facts that are there, so there’s no evidence we are heading for a summer like last.”
He predicted UK travellers would have access to most of Europe. “I have high hopes for a strong summer. I can’t see right now, with the developments taking place as we speak, with the roll-out of the vaccine, that there should be really any large number of countries not being in the green category.”
Lundgren said he was “suspicious” of digital passports but added: “We are not against it as such if it is there to exempt you from other restrictions.”
EasyJet was prepared even if this summer turned out to be difficult, he said, with £5.5 billion having been raised, £2.9 billion of which was readily available. Costs had also been cut and aircraft deliveries postponed.
Post-pandemic, Lundgren said easyJet would look for growth opportunities.
“We have taken new positions at Gatwick and have 71 aircraft there. Our strategy is to have better positions at core airports and we are keeping our eyes open for that.”