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EasyJet increases summer flights to meet demand

The company’s fleet was grounded from March 30 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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An easyJet plane

EasyJet has said it is operating more flights than previously planned due to demand exceeding expectations.

The airline is expanding its schedule to 40% of normal capacity between July and September, compared with the 30% it predicted in June.

In the three months to the end of June, the budget carrier made just £7 million in revenue after the company’s fleet was grounded from March 30 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It started flying again in the middle of June and carried 117,000 passengers in the 132,000 seats it had available in the last two weeks of the quarter, easyJet said.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “Returning to the skies again allows us to do what we do best and take our customers on much-needed holidays.

“I am extremely proud of all of our people whose care and commitment, along with the introduction of our industry-leading biosecurity measures, have resulted in customer satisfaction scores reaching a high of 80% since the re-start, an increase of 13 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

“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 circa 40% of capacity.

“This increased flying will allow us to connect even more customers to family or friends and to take the breaks they have worked hard for.”

EasyJet said it has seen strong demand from UK holidaymakers flying to Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

Mr Lundgren claimed the UK’s quarantine policy “is not specific enough” and called for it to be based on regions rather than countries.

He said: “We urged them to look at this from a regional basis, which I know that they are considering to do.

“But of course the damage and the uncertainty and the disruption for customers who had booked and needed to go home and quarantine for 14 days, that’s already been taking place.”

He went on: “You see parts of Spain – the Balearics and the Canary Islands – who have significantly lower rates of infections than other parts of Spain and also in the UK.”

Mr Lundgren said the Government’s decision to remove Spain from its quarantine exemption list has reduced the number of new bookings being made, but most customers with existing plans are going ahead with them.

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