EasyJet has said it is “encouraged” by its return to flying and has added more capacity over the summer peak.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “I am really encouraged that we have seen higher than expected levels of demand with load factor of 84% in July, with destinations like Faro and Nice remaining popular with customers.
“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 c.40% of capacity.”
The airline re-started flying on 15 June, which has affected its results for the three months to the end of June. During the two weeks of June it operated, the airline carried 117,000 passengers with a total capacity of 132,000 seats on 10 aircraft, mainly within the UK and to France and Italy.
In July, the airline flew just over two million passengers with a load factor of 84%.
EasyJet vowed “to undertake only profitable flying” and is cutting staff numbers by 30%.
It added: “Demand is being assessed on a daily basis with updated schedules being reviewed every two weeks based on our forecasts of demand and contribution.
“Following expected improvements in demand and a further relaxing of government travel restrictions, the July schedule was increased to 147 lines of flying. August flying is now expected to increase further to c.210 lines of flying.”
The carrier said it now expected to fly 40% of capacity in July, August and September, peaking this month, compared to a previous forecast of 30%.
The figures were revealed in the airline’s third quarter financial report. Revenue in the three months to 30 June amounted to only £7 million, compared to £1.76 billion year on year.
The headline pre-tax loss was £324.5 million, compared to a profit of £174.2 million in the same period in 2019.