easyJet (LON:EZJ) reported that reservations for the upcoming months were proceeding well, as travel demand for this winter and next summer remained strong despite the squeeze on consumer spending caused by economic headwinds.
Last Monday, tickets for travel next summer went on sale, and easyJet reported “continuing interest.” Ticket sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels during Britain’s October school vacation and Christmas week.
During the three months leading up to the end of December, EasyJet expects to fly 83% of its capacity, compared to 88% in the summer. This is a little decrease from the same period in 2018, before the pandemic.
However, the airline said that load factors and pricing for winter bookings were healthy, alleviating some concerns that the growing cost of living could impede the aviation industry’s recovery from COVID-19.
CEO Johan Lundgren stated in a statement, “We tackle the uncertain macroeconomic situation with a number of strengths.”
easyJet shares were unchanged at 284 pence in early trading on Thursday. In the past six months, the company has lost 49% of its value, while larger rival Ryanair has dropped 30%.
EasyJet’s recovery lags behind that of Ryanair. In September, the Irish airline’s passenger numbers surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
Ryanair was significantly less impacted by the labor shortages that plagued easyJet and the airports it utilizes from April to June, resulting in thousands of flight cancellations before easyJet resumed normal operations in July.
For its last summer quarter, when it typically generates the majority of its profit, easyJet announced on Thursday that it would post adjusted earnings excluding certain costs of up to 685 million pounds. However, this was not enough to offset the cancelled flights and COVID-19 restrictions that had hampered the company earlier in the year.
For the 12 months ending at the end of September, easyJet projected a loss of between 170 million and 190 million pounds ($188-$211 million), in line with the consensus estimate of a loss of approximately 180 million pounds. It is scheduled to release findings on November 29.