A MAJOR budget airline has warned that it is seeing weakened demand from customers both in the UK and Europe and blames “unanswered questions surrounding Brexit”.
easyJet shares fell 8 per cent after the company unveiled their forecasts for the key summer season – despite the airline assuring customers “Book with confidence – we’ve been busy planning for Brexit and whatever happens we’ll be flying as usual.”
Shares in other carriers fell on the news with rival Ryanair shares down 5 per cent and the International Airlines Group – owner of British Airways and Iberia – which fell 2 per cent.
easyJet said it was likely to record a loss of £275m for the traditional tough six months to the end of March when travel operators struggle to turn a profit.
Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said: “easyJet has performed in line with expectations in the first half. We have flown around 42 million customers with a significantly reduced number of cancellations and continued high levels of customer satisfaction.
“We are operationally well prepared for Brexit. Now that the EU Parliament has passed its air connectivity legislation and together with the UK’s confirmation that it will reciprocate, means that whatever happens, we’ll be flying as usual. I am pleased that we have also made progress on our European ownership position which is now above 49 per cent.
“For the second half we are seeing softness in both the UK and Europe, which we believe comes from macroeconomic uncertainty and many unanswered questions surrounding Brexit which are together driving weaker customer demand. We are rolling out further initiatives to support our trading and are making significant progress in our Operational Resilience Programme, which is designed to make the easyJet flying experience better for our customers over the summer.
“As a highly profitable airline with one of the strongest balance sheets in aviation easyJet is well positioned to seamlessly connect Europe with the warmest welcome in the sky.”
The airline has also issued a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions if you’re wondering if Brexit will affect your plans – whether you’ve already booked your flights or you’re planning your next trip.
Will easyJet still be able to fly to Europe?
Yes, regardless of the outcome of Brexit you will still be able to fly between the UK and the EU. Even if there is no-deal the European Commission and the UK government have said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU.
Will my passport still be valid?
For all UK passport holders travelling with us, we recommend that you check the updated government advice regarding passport validity requirements. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-nationals-travelling-to-eu-essential-information
Don’t forget it is your responsibility to ensure you have valid documentation.
What if I need to renew my passport?
If your passport is not valid for travel you will need to renew it before you can travel. If you’ve already added your Advance Passenger Information details (API) but have not checked in you can simply amend your API details in Manage bookings on easyJet.com or via the easyJet app. If you’ve already checked in you can only update your API details on the easyJet app which can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play.
If you’re unable to download the easyJet app to change your API you can contact our Customer Service Team.
Will my European Health Insurance Card still be valid?
We always recommend taking out independent travel insurance before you travel. In the event of a no-deal Brexit UK registered European Health Insurance Cards will not be valid and you will need to pay for any medical assistance you need, so it’s a good idea to take out full travel insurance before you go.
Will my driving licence still be valid?
In the event of a no-deal Brexit you may need to have an International Driving Permit. Different permits are needed depending on which countries you are visiting so we recommend you check the UK government website for further information. https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit