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    EZJ   GB00B7KR2P84

EASYJET PLC

(EZJ)
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Delayed Quote. Delayed London Stock Exchange - 01/19 11:35:37 am
626.4 GBX   -1.20%
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Airlines bosses worry about impact of Omicron variant

11/30/2021 | 05:55am EST
FILE PHOTO: Emirates airline President Tim Clark talks to reporters at the Dubai Airshow, in Dubai

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Airline bosses voiced concern on Tuesday that travel restrictions linked to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus risked blowing an industry recovery off course.

The strongest warning came from Emirates airline President Tim Clark who said a major hit to the peak December travel season would cause "significant traumas" in the global aviation business.

British budget airline easyJet also spoke of a softening in demand in recent weeks as the resurgence of the virus in parts of continental Europe prompted customers to rethink city break plans.

The discovery of the Omicron variant, first reported in southern African last week, dealt a blow to the industry just as it had recovery in its sights, especially following the easing of U.S.-bound travel https://www.reuters.com/world/us/international-travellers-head-united-states-flights-reopen-2021-11-08 earlier in November.

Multiple countries including Japan, the United States, Britain and Israel have imposed travel curbs in order to slow the spread of the new variant which it is feared could prove more resistant to vaccines.

Clark said the next few weeks, the run-up to the Christmas and New Year holiday season, would prove critical for the airline industry as scientists assess the risks.

"I would say probably by the end of December, we'll have a much clearer position," Clark said in an interview for the Reuters Next https://reutersevents.com/events/next conference.

"But in that time, December is a very important month for the air travel business," he added. "If that is lost, or the winter is lost to a lot of carriers, there will be significant traumas in the business, certainly the aviation business and the periphery."

LOSING MONEY

The impact of travel restrictions was evident in financial results published on Tuesday by easyJet and Scandinavian operator SAS.

EasyJet reported a headline loss before tax of 1.14 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) for the year to the end of September, at the higher end of forecasts, while SAS remained in the red in the August to October quarter.

EasyJet said it was difficult to gauge the effect of the new variant but that broader concerns over the coronavirus were still influencing travellers.

"We do see that there has been an impact, particularly on the short-term departures, but it's not to the same level of impact and drop-off we've seen in previous times when restrictions have been introduced," easyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren told reporters.

Both easyJet and SAS noted that there was strong appetite for travel when curbs were removed.

"We remain cautious due to prevailing uncertainties, but see that underlying demand is healthy once restrictions are lifted, both for business and leisure travel," SAS said.

(Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai, Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm and Kate Holton in London; Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Jan Harvey)

By Aziz El Yaakoubi and Kate Holton


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EASYJET PLC -1.20% 626.4 Delayed Quote.14.03%
SAS AB (PUBL) 3.99% 1.4325 Delayed Quote.8.00%
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Analyst Recommendations on EASYJET PLC
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Financials
Sales 2022 5 246 M 7 141 M 7 141 M
Net income 2022 85,9 M 117 M 117 M
Net Debt 2022 954 M 1 298 M 1 298 M
P/E ratio 2022 81,3x
Yield 2022 0,44%
Capitalization 4 726 M 6 442 M 6 434 M
EV / Sales 2022 1,08x
EV / Sales 2023 0,78x
Nbr of Employees 13 000
Free-Float -
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Number of Analysts 22
Last Close Price 6,25 GBX
Average target price 751,05 GBX
Spread / Average Target 11 913%
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Managers and Directors
Johan Peter Lundgren Chief Executive Officer & Director
Kenton Jarvis Chief Financial Officer
Stephen Alan Michael Hester Chairman
Stuart Birrell Chief Data & Information Officer
Peter Brendan Bellew Chief Operating Officer
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