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UK’s easyJet says recovery underway after $1.3 bln pandemic losses

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British airline easyJet said travel was back and it would to fly 70 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity in the Oct-Dec period, higher than it planned last month, after COVID-19 restrictions drove losses above 1 billion pound ($1.3billion) in 2021.

Demand for holidays to winter sun destinations such as Egypt, Turkey and the Canary Islands showed customer appetite had returned, said easyJet, adding that business travelers were also booking flights.

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“We are encouraged to see positive booking momentum into full-year 2022 which has led us to increase our capacity plans,” easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said on Tuesday.

That outlook represents a turnaround from last year where pandemic uncertainty and travel bans will have pushed easyJet to an expected loss of between 1.135 billion pounds ($1.54 billion)and 1.175 billion pounds for the 12 months ended Sept, it said.

Consensus sits at the top of that range, with a forecast for a loss of 1.175 billion pounds. The results will be on Nov.30.

Seeking to boost its recovery from the pandemic, easyJet in September launched a surprise 1.2 billion pound rights issue and also revealed it had rejected an “opportunistic” bid from a suitor, believed to be Wizz Air.

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