EasyJet PLC’s bookings jumped by 50 percent on the day there was positive news about a COVID-19 vaccine, a brief respite during a pandemic that pushed the British airline to a ￡1.27 billion (US$1.68 billion) annual loss, the first in its history.
European travel has been at very low levels for more than eight months and EasyJet’s loss for the 12 months to September showed the extent of the pandemic’s impact on the airline — the first annual loss in its 25-year history.
However, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren yesterday said that underlying demand for travel was strong
“We know that down the line people want to travel. Just by the news of the vaccine, you know, last Monday bookings were up close to 50 percent,” he told BBC Radio.
The pandemic has crushed EasyJet’s finances, forcing it to take on more debt, tap shareholders for money and sell dozens of its aircraft, but Lundgren sought to reassure investors.
“No, we think we’re in a good position ... at this moment in time,” Lundgren said, when asked if EasyJet would need to raise more money.
“But we also said that we’re going to continue to review all the options that are out there to make sure that we can cope with the circumstances and you know there’s still a lot of uncertainty about when the recovery is going to take place,” he added.
EasyJet has repeatedly said it is keeping its liquidity position under review as the outlook for travel has worsened.
It said that after talks with the Bank of England and the UK Ministry of Finance, it would extend its borrowing under a COVID Corporate Finance Facility, staggering repayments and relieving pressure on its balance sheet.
Quarterly cash burn, a key metric watched by investors keen to see costs reduced, improved to ￡651 million from ￡774 million in the previous period.
With lockdowns in England, France and Germany, EasyJet is currently flying at about 20 percent of planned capacity and said short-term uncertainty was such that it could not provide any financial guidance.
UNWANTED ATTENTION: In the past two months, the automaker has made headlines, with a Chinese military ban of its vehicles and a protest at an expo Electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, facing scrutiny in China over safety and customer service complaints, is boosting its engagement with regulators and beefing up its government relations team, industry sources said. Tesla’s change of strategy leading to more behind-the-scenes interaction with policymakers in Beijing compared with relatively little previously shows the seriousness with which the US automaker views the setbacks in its second-biggest market. TALKING SHOP It also comes at a time when China is trying to regulate large and powerful private companies, especially in the technology sector, on concerns about their market dominance. As they do elsewhere, regulators in China, the world’s biggest
Chinese electric vehicle (EV) start-up Nio Inc (蔚來) reported a narrower first-quarter loss, while warning that a global chip shortage would keep a lid on deliveries. The Shanghai-based company posted a net loss of 451 million yuan (US$68.8 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with 1.69 billion yuan a year earlier, it said in a statement. It also marked an improvement on the 1.39 billion yuan net loss it posted in the fourth quarter of last year. Revenue rose to 7.98 billion yuan, beating estimates of 7.16 billion yuan. Nio delivered 20,060 vehicles in the quarter, a 423 percent increase from
Dell Technologies Inc has agreed to sell its Boomi cloud business to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG in a cash deal valued at US$4 billion, as part of efforts by chief executive officer Michael Dell to trim down the PC maker. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year, the companies said in a statement on Sunday without providing additional details of the terms. Dow Jones had earlier reported that the companies were near a deal. Boomi specializes in integrating different cloud platforms for companies and has more than 15,000 customers. Dell agreed to acquire the company for
Intel Corp wants 8 billion euros (US$9.7 billion) in public subsidies toward building a semiconductor factory in Europe, chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger was cited as saying on Friday, as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on imports amid a shortage of supplies. The pitch is the first time that Gelsinger has publicly put a figure on how much state aid he would want, as Intel campaigns to take on Asian rivals in contract manufacturing. “What we’re asking from both the US and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here, compared to in Asia,”