EasyJet claims that the Omicron variant spread has hit passenger demand, but it revealed that they had experienced a surge in bookings since the scrapping of Covid travel tests

  • Omicron’s Decline in Passenger Numbers at EasyJet caused by the fall of EasyJet 
  • The removal of the travel test from 02/11 has led to a boost 
  • Airline hopes to return to pre-pandemic levels in July and September 

EasyJet said that Omicron’s spread has affected passenger demand, but has experienced an increase in bookings recently after Covid travel testing were stopped.

Omicron said that Omicron had seen its load factor, which measures how efficiently it fills its aircrafts with passengers, plummet to 67% in December following a recovery of 80% and 80% respectively in October, November, and November.

Despite the hit to demand, easyJet almost halved pre-tax losses in its first quarter to the end of December to £213 million, down from losses of £423 a year earlier.

According to the carrier, it also reported a “step change” in its bookings following January 5, when pre-departure Covid testing was scrapped for all fully vaccinated travelers entering England. Demand increased further with last week’s announcement of no restrictions starting February 11.

Omicron will continue to impact easyJet’s performance for the quarter ending March 31, but its flight program will “ramp up” from 50% of the 2019 levels in January, to pre-pandemic levels by July or September.

EasyJet (CEO Johan Lundgren pictured) has revealed that Omicron saw its load factor, a measure of how well it fills its planes, slump to 67% in December after recovering past 80% in October and November

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren (pictured) revealed that Omicron’s load factor, which measures how efficiently it fills its planes with passengers, fell to 67% in December, after rebounding past 80% in November and October.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of EasyJet said that despite Omicron’s short-term effect in December, EasyJet had made a substantial year-on-year increase in its first quarter.

He stated that booking volumes rose in the UK after the announcement of a welcome decrease in travel restrictions on January 5, which were sustained by the UK Government’s earlier this week decision to lift all testing requirements.

Coronavirus screenings are required for many European tourist destinations that UK tourists love, even though the traveller is fully vaccinated.

These include France, Greece and Morocco.

Lundgren however stated that testing for travel should’soon become the thing of the future’.

He continued: “We see a strong season ahead with pent up demand that will lead to easyJet returning near-2019 levels in capacity with UK beaches and leisure routes performing especially well.

Johan Lundgren (CEO of easyJet) stated: “EasyJet achieved a significant year on year improvement in the first three months, despite Omicron’s December short-term effects.”

While Omicron is expected to continue to have a short-term impact on easyJet performance in the quarter to the end of March, its flight programme will 'ramp up' from just 50% of 2019 levels in January to near pre-pandemic levels between July and September, it added

Omicron may continue to have an impact on easyJet’s performance during the quarter until the end March. But its flight programme will ramp up’ from only 50% of 2019 levels January to close to pre-pandemic level between July and September.

He said: “Bookings volumes rose in the UK after the reduction of travel restrictions on the 5th January. These have been sustained, and further supported by the UK Government’s earlier this week decision to eliminate all testing requirements.

“We think that testing for travel within our network should be a thing of past.

“We anticipate a strong season ahead with pent-up customer demand that will lead to easyJet returning near-2019 levels in capacity, with UK leisure and beach routes doing particularly well. In the third quarter, the airline’s flight program will “ramp up” from 50% in January 2019 to almost pre-pandemic levels at the end.