Jet2 swings to loss as Covid takes its toll
Jet2 said on Thursday that it swung to a pre-tax loss in the first half as it took a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the six months to the end of September, the airline swung to a pre-tax loss of £119.3m from a profit of £337m in the first half of last year, with revenue down 88% to £299.9m.
The airline grounded its aircraft fleet in mid-March due to the pandemic but resumed operations on 15 July.
Jet2 said that since then, its summer flying programme has concentrated on routes where it can achieve a positive financial contribution. Following the reimposition of quarantine restrictions for mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearics in late July, it re-focused its programme to Eastern Mediterranean destinations.
The company’s leisure airline, Jet2.com, flew 0.99m passenger in the half year, down from 10.1m in the same period a ago, with Jet2holidays package holiday customers representing 57% of the overall mix of flown passengers, versus 53% last year.
The company said it expects winter 20/21 seat capacity to be approximately 50% less than winter 19/20. "And, with travel advice remaining uncertain, we expect forward bookings to continue to display a pronounced shorter lead time than in previous years," it added.
"Whilst the recent positive news about a potential vaccine was welcome, we continue our cautious approach to summer 2021," it said, noting that current seat capacity is close to summer 2019 levels.