Jet2 to post FY loss as Covid-19 continues to weigh on travel sector
Leisure travel group Jet2 said on Friday that it expects to report a full-year loss before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation of £378m-383m as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the travel sector yet again.
Jet2 said passenger sectors flown and average load factors increased markedly in October and November following the dropping of the UK Government traffic light system. However, the firm also cautioned that those improving conditions were then later adversely affected in December and January as a result of the new Omicron variant and the reimposition of international travel restrictions.
The AIM-listed added that progressive relaxation of UK travel restrictions in early 2022, with the removal of pre-departure tests for vaccinated people travelling to the UK and the scraping of post-arrival lateral flow tests, resulted in bookings increasing "materially", with average load factors for February and March approaching seasonal norms as customer confidence in travelling internationally rallied.
As far as the new year was concerned, Jet2 said on sale seat capacity for Summer 2022 was approximately 14% higher than Summer 2019 and noted that bookings were "encouraging". Average load factors for the Summer 2022 season were currently 2.5% behind Summer 2019 at the same point, with booking momentum accelerating, customer confidence continuing to grow and pricing robust.
"Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are well-recognised national brands with a loyal leisure travel customer following and we confidently believe that opportunities for financially strong, resilient and trusted operators will only increase. With our strong 'Own Cash' balance as at 31 March 2022 of £1.08bn, we are well placed to respond now that the leisure travel market has fully re-opened," said the group.
As of 0825 BST, Jet2 shares were up 3.76% at 1,201.50p.