EasyJet cuts capacity – and blames government

In light of recent changes to the government’s quarantine rules, the low-cost carrier expects to operate less than 40% of planned capacity in the fourth quarter 

UK low-cost airline easyJet has said it will reduce its number of flights after the UK government announced more quarantine measures, which it says have “negatively affected” customer confidence. 

The carrier says that in response to reduced demand, it now expects to operate “slightly less than 40% of planned capacity for Q4 2020.”

Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory
Luton-based EasyJet operates a fleet comprising 325 Airbus examples. Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory

In a statement to investors, the firm said: “easyJet will continue to focus on delivering a flying schedule that drives a positive contribution while maintaining focus on minimising cash burn through our cost out programme that will drive down costs in all areas of the business.” 

Johan Lundgren, the company’s CEO hit out at the government saying he and his customers were “frustrated” about the “unpredictable travel and quarantine restrictions.”

Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory
Like all airlines, the low-cost carrier has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and its affect on air travel. Aviation Image Network/Simon Gregory

He added: “We are closely monitoring customer behaviour and amending flying to ensure our schedule is aligned with demand. Following the imposition of additional quarantine restrictions to seven Greek Islands and the continued uncertainty this brings for customers, demand is now likely to be further impacted and therefore lower than previously anticipated.” 

The capacity cut comes after the airline announced it would be closing three of its UK bases. In August, the carrier revealed it would be withdrawing completely from London/Southend and removing its based aircraft from Newcastle and Stansted.