Two-thirds of easyJet Holidays customers whose breaks were cancelled because of the coronavirus lockdown have rebooked.
EasyJet, which resumed a limited number of scheduled flights earlier this month, said around 65% of EasyJet Holidays’ customers with “disrupted bookings” had rebooked due to it offering “a range of flexible options”.
The Luton-based airline added that booking numbers for the recently relaunched tour operation were “encouraging”. EasyJet Holidays put its winter 2020 and summer 2021 seasons on sale in March to give customers “more choice when amending their holidays”.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: "After grounding our fleet in March, we successfully resumed operations on 15 June, incorporating new enhanced bio security measures to ensure our staff and customers can fly safely.
“We will gradually ramp up our flying to around 75% of our routes in August, albeit with lower frequencies, so our customers can go on summer holidays.”
EasyJet has also strengthened its financial position by raising £419 million in cash through the issuing of 59.5 new shares to investors.
The airline has already announced details of plans to “build” capacity through the summer months. But it is only set to operate around 30% of originally planned seats between July and September.
EasyJet said bookings for resumed flights had been “encouraging” with demand improving for summer 2020 “albeit from a low base”.
“Bookings for winter are well ahead of the equivalent point last year, which includes customers who are rebooking Covid-19-disrupted flights for later dates,” added the airline.
EasyJet Holidays also expects to benefit from the current “brand-building work”, including the ’Europe with confidence pledge’ designed to reassure consumers about travelling.
The airline said it recorded “strong first-half results in light of Covid-19” up to 31 March with a loss of £353 million for the six-month period, which compares to a loss of £272 million the previous year. Despite the Covid-19 shutdown, easyJet’s revenue still rose by 1.6% to £2.4 billion.