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The boss of EasyJet said that even though people are spending less on vacations because of the cost of living crisis, they are still saving money.
Johan Lundgren told the BBC that even though households were “under pressure,” there was still a lot of demand for flights during half term, Christmas, and New Year’s.
But he said that demand outside of peak times stayed below normal.
It happened at the same time that the low-cost airline reported a big jump in sales and a minor loss for the year up to September 30.
The company said that during the period, it had to deal with “multiple headwinds,” such as Covid restrictions. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused gas prices to go up.
But Mr. Lundgren said that there was “a lot of pent-up demand” this summer, even though the state of the economy was not clear.
“At the same time, demand is high during the busiest times,” he said. In bad times, budget airlines did well because “people gravitate toward value.”
EasyJet polled 2,000 people and found that 64% plan to fly abroad in 2023. In contrast, 70% said a vacation would be more critical than other expenses in their annual budget.
Many people said they would cut back on something else to ensure they could go abroad.
But Mr. Lungren said that the airline needed to do more to “stimulate” demand outside of peak times and that the industry was facing “big cost increases.”
In the UK, inflation, the rate at which prices go up, is at its highest level in 41 years as fuel and food prices have gone up.
Cost pressure on EasyJet
EasyJet said that, like all airlines, it was facing cost pressures, such as higher fuel prices, a stronger US dollar, and demands for higher wages.
Mr. Lundgren would say something other than how much ticket prices could go up next summer.
Ryanair, a rival low-cost airline, has said that its prices are going up. And its CEO, Michael O’Leary, has said that the days of a €10 ticket are over.
The average fare for the airline would go up from about €40 last year to about €50 in the next five years.
A recent BBC poll of more than 4,000 adults found that 85% worried about the rising cost of living. This is up from 69% in January when a similar poll was done.
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So, nine out of ten people try to save money by putting off turning on the heat.
Heathrow says there is no person limit
Heathrow Airport said it would not limit or cap the number of passengers this Christmas. This is good news for travelers.
The biggest UK airport said it was getting ready for the busiest holiday travel season in three years.
Heathrow also said that staffing would be back to how it was before the flu outbreak before the summer break.
It also said that it helped Border Force and other groups plan what to do if a strike happened.
After Covid’s travel restrictions were lifted earlier this year. As travel got more popular again, some businesses in the aviation industry needed help finding enough people to work there.