Vaccine news brings passengers back as Easyjet’s profits slump
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Positive news surrounding a potential coronavirus vaccine has seen low-cost airline Easyjet’s passenger numbers jump after a disastrous year for the entire aviation industry.
The British airline announced on Tuesday that it had fallen into the red for the first time in 25 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a loss of more than a billion pounds over its entire delayed exercise.
In fiscal year 2019, it had recorded an after-tax profit of £349 million. Its revenues were more than halved to £3 billion over the period, blaming the containment introduced in the spring to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a statement Tuesday.
The company, however, also explained that it has already seen a resurge in bookings amid talk of a vaccine. EasyJet saw a 50% jump in bookings after Pfizer announced the 90% effectiveness of its candidate in stage three trials.
“We know that people want to travel. On the news of the vaccine last Monday, bookings were up close to 50%, so it just gives evidence to the fact that any good news that comes out of here makes people more confident making bookings going forward,” Chief executive Johan Lundgren told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
A vaccine is “certainly is good news, because we know that is going to be a very critical part of the recovery,” said Lundgren. “But I don’t think it’s only about the vaccine, I think it’s also about the fact that we need to have testing in place, we need to have also refined development of the quarantine system,” he added.