EasyJet CEO Says Path To Travel Recovery Will Be Bumpy
The chief executive of British airline easyJet has said that he expects "bumps along the way" to a travel recovery and denied that a third wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe puts the carrier at risk.
"I never thought that this was going to be a straight line," easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren told an aviation conference this week.
Lundgren said that that he expects "bumps along the way" but that what is important is that vaccines are being rolled out, providing light at the end of the tunnel.
"The more you can successfully roll this out, the easier and the faster you can remove the [travel] restrictions because it will be safe to do so," he said.
Data provided by conference host Eurocontrol showed that easyJet flew 92% fewer flights last week than it did during the same week in 2019.
In the UK, foreign holidays are currently banned. The government has said that they could be allowed again from May 17 at the earliest.
EasyJet, which has raised new debt, cut costs and axed staff to survive the crisis, is well-placed for a recovery, Lundgren said, adding that there is underlying demand for travel.
Britain is due to announce on April 12 how and when overseas travel can restart.
Lundgren said that he expects the UK government to introduce a "risk-based framework" with countries ranked on COVID-19 risk levels.
Vaccine certificates to allow those who have been inoculated to travel freely will also be "part of the mix", he added.
Lundgren also urged governments in Europe to resist taking a zero-coronavirus approach that would keep borders shut.
"A Place Where We Can Travel Safely"
"We need to get back to a place where we can travel safely and fly again with no restrictions in place," he said.