Airline easyJet is currently seeing the demand for airline tickets slump due to the emergence of the new variant of the corona virus. “People are waiting to book until more is clear about the Omikron variant,” says William Vet, responsible for easyJet in the Netherlands.
The British budget airline saw a “promising start” to the new fiscal year in the past quarter, it reported on Tuesday in the presentation of the annual figures. EasyJet has a broken fiscal year that runs until October 1. The company experienced a “significant increase in demand for the winter holidays and an increasing demand for the summer”.
Like many airlines, easyJet was still affected by the pandemic and travel restrictions in Europe. The company had a turnover of 1.5 billion pounds (1.7 billion euros) in its fiscal year 2021. That is half of the previous financial year, which still had five ‘Covid-free’ months. The British company suffered a net loss of £858 million. The previous period was even greater, almost 1.1 billion pounds. EasyJet had a net debt of 900 million pounds at the end of September. A year earlier, it was more than 1.1 billion pounds. In a new investment round, easyJet raised £1.2 billion from its shareholders this fall.
EasyJet has survived the crisis, among other things, by moving more capacity to more lucrative destinations. “We flew more to Greece and Croatia last summer,” says Vet. “And much less at destinations in the United Kingdom, which was very disappointing due to the travel restrictions.”
EasyJet also cut costs significantly in the past year. The company laid off nearly a third of its 15,000 employees. The three hundred employees in the Netherlands were all able to stay, says Vet. He made an agreement with the unions. EasyJet employees in the Netherlands agreed that they would not receive a higher wage for the next two years. “Due to natural attrition, we now have room for new employees,” says Vet. “We received 1,600 responses to 40 cabin crew vacancies.”
Complaint to ACM
Together with the Dutch holiday pilots TUI Fly and Corendon, easyJet has filed a complaint with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) about the higher airport charges that Schiphol plans to charge over the next three years. The airport wants to charge the airlines a total of 318 million euros more for the use of the facilities in Amsterdam. That is an increase of 37 percent over three years. KLM also previously filed a complaint with the ACM.
“At this time, we do not think it is correct that Schiphol wants to recover its corona losses from the airlines,” says Vet. According to him, the rate increase will mean that passengers departing from Schiphol will have to pay 50 euros in taxes per ticket from 2024. Now that is still more than 28 euros. Arriving passengers do not pay airport fees, and transfer passengers pay about half. Vet thinks that difference is unjustified. “For example, the Dutch passenger subsidizes the transfer passenger,” he says. “Moreover, it does not pay a ticket tax and causes pollution twice, on arrival and departure.” Where a company like KLM has to rely more on transfer passengers, easyJet mainly relies on direct connections.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of December 1, 2021
Economizing EasyJet reduces loss – NRC
Source link Economizing EasyJet reduces loss – NRC