Jet2 plc expects to report a pre-tax loss of between £375m and £385m for the 2020-21 financial year.
The figure, to 31 March 2021, compares to a pre-tax profit of £264m for the previous year for the owner of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
But, in a trading update, the company said its airline and tour operator would ‘continue to have a thriving future once normality returns’.
Despite ‘promptly returning’ over £1.3bn of customers’ deposits in the past year, Jet2 described its liquidity position as ‘strong’, saying it ‘undertook many actions internally to reduce cash burn and preserve cash’.
Jet2 said it was encouraged by the successful rollout of vaccines in the UK and increasing momentum in Europe, however the company repeated its disappointment at the ‘lack of clarity’ in the Global Travel Task Force report.
As a result, Jet2 said: “This means the impact and duration of the proposed COVID-19 travel restrictions for summer 21 remain difficult to determine and due to this continued uncertainty, in fairness to all our stakeholders and especially our customers, we took the difficult decision to extend the suspension of our flights and holidays from 17 May up to and including 23 June, by which time we are expecting more clarity.”
The update added the airline, Jet2.com, ‘has demonstrated a high level of operational flexibility by responding rapidly to evolving market conditions generating cash in doing so, and we retain that flexibility to react quickly as travel restrictions change’.
“Unsurprisingly given the short-term uncertainty, customers are booking significantly closer to departure for summer 21.
“However, we continue to be encouraged by the volume of customer bookings for both winter 21/22 and for summer 22, for which package holiday bookings are displaying a materially higher mix of the total.
“Once normality returns, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays will continue to have a thriving future, taking millions of UK holidaymakers annually,” the trading update concluded.