BUDGET airline EasyJet expects to operate no more than 10 per cent of its flight programme between January and March this year due to a third national lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue took a nosedive last year taking a 88 per cent hit with turnover slumping to £165 million in a tough year for the aviation industry.

It flew just 18 per cent of its normal schedule in the three months to the end of December, which saw tighter curbs on travel.

The Luton-based carrier also confirmed that 1,400 UK jobs were cut as it slashed its workforce by up to 30 per cent to reduce costs to weather the crisis.


But the company is planning for “pent-up demand” for air travel once restrictions begin to lift and the UK vaccine rollout gathers pace.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “Our performance in the period was in line with management expectations, despite more stringent restrictions coming into place.

“We have taken the right actions to emerge leaner with a reduced cost base, and the retrenchment of legacy carriers at key airports will provide additional opportunities for easyJet.

“Our core strengths remain unaffected by the pandemic. We have loyal customers who know and trust our brand, an unmatched network, offer value for money and a leading position on sustainability with high customer satisfaction.

“The key to unlocking travel is going to be the vaccination programmes combined with governments progressively removing restrictions when it is safe to.

“And, in the meantime, our flexible industry-leading policies mean that customers can make plans and book with confidence.”