easyJet has revealed it expects to report a group headline loss before tax in the range of £815 to £845 million for financial 2020.
The figure could fall to around £440 when non-headline items – including hedging, a restructuring programme, impairment of short-term lease contracts and gains from sale and lease back transactions – are considered.
Final results will be issued in mid-November, with no dividend expected.
Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said: “At the beginning of this year, no one could have imagined the impact the pandemic has had on the industry.
“easyJet has adapted and risen to the challenges presented by the pandemic by taking decisive actions to minimise losses, bolster liquidity and reduce cash burn while launching a major restructuring programme, having completed the UK consultation and commenced consultations in a number of key countries.
“Throughout we have taken a very prudent and conservative approach to capacity and this disciplined approach has seen us deliver a better than expected cash burn outcome in quarter four and will see us continue to focus on profitable flying over the winter season in order to minimise losses and cash burn during the first half of 2021.”
He added: “Based on current travel restrictions we expect to fly around 25 per cent of planned capacity for quarter one of 2021 but we retain the flexibility to ramp up capacity quickly when we see demand return and early booking levels for summer 2021 are in line with previous years.”
Passenger numbers for the full year at the low-cost carrier decreased by half, to 48 million, in line with a decrease in capacity of 48 per cent to 55 million seats.
Load factor for the full year will decrease by 4.3 percentage points to 87 per cent.
Capacity in the fourth quarter was 38 per cent of previously planned levels, with easyJet flying nine million passengers during the period with a load factor of 76 per cent.
Lundgren added “Aviation continues to face the most severe threat in its history and the UK government urgently needs to step up with a bespoke package of measures to ensure airlines are able to support economic recovery when it comes.
“easyJet came into this crisis in a very strong position thanks to its strong balance sheet and consistent profitability.
“This year will be the first time in its history that easyJet has ever made a full year loss.”