Spotting green shoots

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

This morning easyJet gave a badly needed fillip to the travel industry by announcing that it flew in July with 85% of seats filled. In all it carried about two million passengers, well down on the pre-coronavirus days as it is only flying 30% of its flights but, nonetheless, given the times that was a pretty good effort.

people are flying again – not in huge numbers – but enough to brighten the stock market

So good was it that the airline announced that it would operate 40% of its flights in August.

Except when you look at it, Ryanair had planned all the way through that it would operate at 40% in August so isn’t easyJet just catching up?

But considering that EasyJet had just ten airlines in the skies in June and over 140 in July this is a big improvement. It shows that passengers are returning and – providing the second wave that everybody is expecting can be minimised – then maybe it won’t take another two or three years to get back to pre-coronavirus levels.

In the trading update that was given today there is no reference to how passengers from individual countries are responding. For all we know, it could be flights from Germany and France that are full and those from the UK are empty. That seems unlikely or it would have been mentioned but all that was said was that APD should be reduced to help the airlines through ( how many times have we heard that) and that the British government should lift its travel advice and allow passengers to travel to the Balearics and the Canaries as opposed to the blanket travel advice on not travelling to Spain.

Ryanair carried twice as many passengers in July but it was operating at 40% of its capacity just like EasyJet will achieve this month. Even then it filled only 72% of available seats. But during their first quarter trading they only managed to carry half-a-million passengers in three months. Carrying 4.4 million passengers in July – way down on the same month last year – gives more good news to an industry searching high and low for good news.

Will August continue the hunt for green shoots?

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