In line with what is the most disastrous half-year results in the company’s 25 year history easyJet came to the London Stock Exchange last week to raise up to £450m to boost its financial position.
Through the winter period, October-March, traditionally a bad time for holiday airlines, easyJet lost £353m, but this did include £160m in fuel hedging, buying in advance at a fixed price. It is gambling. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose.
EasyJet, whose current fleet stands at 344 Airbus A320 family, is flying a very limited programme at present. The airline said it was funded to £2.4bn before the placement, made up of cash, government-backed loans and credit. It is in the throes of cutting back 4,500 of its 15,000 staff and last year carried 96.1m passengers. An announcement regarding the reintroduction of its Luton programme is expected imminently with a rush of revised and new bookings.
Whether major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou will make a further investment remains to be seen. He is thought to be currently resident in St Barts (Caribbean). His “less than love” with the Board is well known.