"Government urgently needs to step up": easyJet calls for support amid £815m loss
A UK airline has said that the industry “urgently” needs help as it reports a full loss for the first time in its history.
easyJet reported this morning that it expects to report a group headline loss before tax of between £815m to £845m for 2020.
An additional £440m loss is predicted for non-headline items, including the company’s restructuring programme - which sees it cut 30 per cent of its workforce.
The group’s revenue for the final quarter of the year was £620m, down by 73 per cent from 2019’s £2,280m.
It also reported that it has seen a 50 per cent reduction in passenger numbers for the entire year, driven by the impact of coronavirus.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “At the beginning of this year, no one could have imagined the impact the pandemic has had on the industry.
“easyJet has adapted and risen to the challenges presented by the pandemic by taking decisive actions to minimise losses, bolster liquidity and reduce cash burn while launching a major restructuring programme, having completed the UK consultation and commenced consultations in a number of key countries.
“Throughout we have taken a very prudent and conservative approach to capacity and this disciplined approach has seen us deliver a better than expected cash burn outcome in Q4 and will see us continue to focus on profitable flying over the winter season in order to minimise losses and cash burn during the first half of 2021.
“Based on current travel restrictions we expect to fly c.25 per cent of planned capacity for Q1 2021 but we retain the flexibility to ramp up capacity quickly when we see demand return and early booking levels for summer ’21 are in line with previous years.
“Aviation continues to face the most severe threat in its history and the UK Government urgently needs to step up with a bespoke package of measures to ensure airlines are able to support economic recovery when it comes.
“easyJet came into this crisis in a very strong position thanks to its strong balance sheet and consistent profitability. This year will be the first time in its history that easyJet has ever made a full year loss.
“I would like to thank everyone at easyJet who has worked tirelessly to manage through this period. I believe that, as a result, and due to our decisive response to the pandemic, we are well positioned for the recovery”.
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