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EasyJet and Wizz Air expand schedules amid new quarantine restrictions

Fellow budget airline Wizz Air said it flew at 74% of capacity for July, up from 25% in June

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EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) said it has decided to expand its schedule for the current quarter as it flew planes that were 84% full on average in July but with some markets being hit by new quarantine rules. 

Meanwhile, Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) reported that it flew 74% of its capacity for July and with planes 61% full, compared to 25% and 52% respectively in June.

Over in Dublin, Ryanair (LON:RYA) said it operated 40% of its normal schedule, planes 72% full.

READ: Travel shares sink after UK imposes quarantine on Spanish trips

EasyJet's update showed a cash burn of £774mln for the third quarter to June 30, which was better than its guidance of £1bn, but net debt still grew to £835mln at the end of June from £467mln in March.

Revenue of just £7mln was generated by EasyJet in the quarter, with its fleet of aeroplanes moving from fully grounded by the end of March due to coronavirus restrictions and not resuming flying until June 15.

In the second two weeks of June, the FTSE 250 group flew 10 lines and carried 117,000 passengers out of a total capacity of 132,000 seats, equating to a load factor of 88.9%.

In July, the first month of the current quarter, EasyJet flew just over 2mln passengers on 147 lines in July.

“I am really encouraged that we have seen higher than expected levels of demand with load factor of 84% in July with destinations like Faro and Nice remaining popular with customers,” said chief executive Johan Lundgren. 

“Our bookings for the remainder of the summer are performing better than expected and as a result we have decided to expand our schedule over the fourth quarter to fly circa 40% of capacity.”

This comes as many countries tighten up their coronavirus restrictions again after the initial easing of lockdown, with the UK bringing back quarantine restrictions on arrivals from Spain and reported to be pondering adding other destinations.

Since the end of the third quarter, EasyJet has received £137mln cash from the second tranche of the equity placing and £140mln of sale and leaseback proceeds, to bring the total to £405mln and with expectations that sale and leaseback proceeds will top the £500-650mln previously guided.

Over at Wizz, some 1.8mln passengers flew during July, which is down 53% from the same month last year but more than triple the 502,253 that flew in June.

Ryanair said it had operated roughly 40% of its normal July schedule as it carried 4.4mln passengers, up from 0.4mln in June.

 

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Price: 486.2 GBX

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