Pandemic sees profits and revenues nosedive at Jet2

X The Business Desk

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Leeds-headquartered leisure travel group Jet2 says it is grappling with “unprecedented operational and financial challenges” as it releases its unaudited interim results for the half year ended 30 September 2020.

The listed company has seen its revenues plummet 88% to £299.9m down from £2.5bn in 2019, while it has also made a pre-tax loss of £68.7m, down from a pre-tax profit of £278.6m the previous year.

Group operating loss was £111.2m (2019: operating profit £361.5m) with Group loss before foreign exchange revaluation and taxation of £130.9m.

After grounding its aircraft fleet in mid-March, Jet2 resumed operations on 15 July after the UK Government lifted quarantine restrictions for an approved list of countries.

Approximately 80% of the Group’s UK staff were initially furloughed, while full use was made of the grants available under the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Group’s flying programme has concentrated on those routes where it can achieve a positive financial contribution.

Following the reimposition of quarantine restrictions for Mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearics in late July, Jet2 says it successfully re-focused its programme to Eastern Mediterranean destinations.

However, Jet2 says further losses are to be expected in the second half of the financial year, as it prepares operationally for the proposed summer 2021 flying programme.

Philip Meeson, executive chairman, said: “At this stage, we anticipate winter 20/21 seat capacity will be approximately 50% less than winter 19/20.

“And, with travel advice remaining uncertain, we expect forward bookings to continue to display a pronounced shorter lead time than in previous years. 

“Whilst the recent positive news about a potential vaccine was welcome, we continue our cautious approach to summer 2021.

“Current seat capacity is close to summer 2019 levels and we are on sale to all our popular Real Package Holidays™ leisure destinations.

“We have taken many actions to improve our available liquidity over the period and will continue to do so, to ensure we are best placed to respond swiftly as travel restrictions are modified and customer confidence recovers.”