Jet2 PLC (LON:JET2) has said it is continuing to be “encouraged” by the volume of customer bookings for its flights in the winter 2021 and summer 2022 seasons despite ongoing disruption to airline business caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the prediction of heavy losses for its 2021 financial year.
In a trading update, the carrier said that as a result of the pandemic, it expects to report a pre-tax loss for the year to March 31, 2021, of between £375-385mln, swinging from a £264.2mln profit in the prior year, although it added that it had raised almost £1bn in liquidity during the year to mitigate the pandemic’s impacts alongside measures to reduce cash burn.
As a result, the firm said it had ended the year with £1.38bn in cash, a 104% increase year-on-year.
For its current year, Jet2 said the rollout of vaccines in the UK and Europe was “encouraging”, although it added that due to a lack of clarity on international travel restrictions the impact and duration of the pandemic on the summer 2021 season “remain difficult to determine”, and as a result, it had decided to extend the suspension of its flights to June 23 from May 17.
Despite this, the company noted the higher volumes for the winter season and summer 2022, adding that package holiday bookings for next year were “displaying a materially higher mix of the total”.
“Based on this limited visibility, we are confident that once normality returns, our customers will be determined to enjoy the wonderful experience of a well-deserved Jet2 holiday”, the company said.
The upbeat outlook helped drive Jet2 shares 2.7% higher to 1,453.5p in early deals on Tuesday.