easyJet has reported a first-half pre-tax loss of £701 million as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the aviation sector.
This compares to a profit of £193 million year-on-year.
Passenger numbers for the six months ending March 31st slumped by 89 per cent to 4.1 million, while total revenue sank by 90 per cent to £240 million.
The airline expects to fly just 15 per cent of 2019 capacity levels in the third quarter of its financial year.
However, the low-cost carrier forecasts capacity levels will start to increase from June onwards.
The airline said the results are in line with expectations and it is “encouraged by the reopening of travel across much of Europe”.
easyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “With leisure travel taking off in the UK again earlier this week where we are the largest operator to green list countries and with so many European governments easing restrictions to open up travel again, we are ready to significantly ramp up our flying for the summer with a view to maximising the opportunities we see in Europe.
“We have the ability to flex up quickly to operate 90 per cent of our current fleet over the peak summer period to match demand.
“We know there is pent-up demand – we saw this again when green list countries were released and added more than 105,000 seats – and so we look forward to being able to help many more people to travel this summer.”