Easyjet is to reduce its planned schedules for the fourth quarter of 2020, blaming “constantly evolving government restrictions across Europe and quarantine measures in the UK”.
The low-cost carrier highlighted this week’s decision to remove seven Greek islands from the quarantine exemption list, and said that “customer confidence to make travel plans has been negatively affected”.
Easyjet had been gradually rebuilding its network, reaching 1,000 flights per day and serving 75 per cent of destinations (albeit with reduced frequencies).
But the airline said that it now expects to fly “slightly less than the 40 per cent of planned capacity for Q4 2020 which was highlighted at our Q3 trading update”.
It said that “continued schedule thinning” would see it focus on profitable flying, while the carrier continues to minimise cash burn and review its liquidity position “on a regular basis to assess any further funding opportunities”.
Eastjet’s CEO Johan Lundgren said that “”We know our customers are as frustrated as we are with the unpredictable travel and quarantine restrictions”, and highlighted the carrier’s calls for government “ to opt for a targeted, regionalised and more predictable and structured system of quarantine”.
“It is difficult to overstate the impact that the pandemic and associated government policies has had on the whole industry,” said Lundgren.
“We again call on the Government to provide sector specific support for aviation which needs to take the form of a broad package of measures including the removal of APD for at least 12 months, the alleviation of ATC charges along with continuation of the slot rule waiver.
“These steps will support the retention of skills in the sector – all of which would support jobs and promote connectivity.”