Dart Group PLC – the owner of Leeds-based carrier Jet 2 – has released a trading update amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The group said its expects to report a pre-exceptional pre-tax profit for the financial year ending March 31, 2020 of between £265 million and £270 million.
But the grounding of its fleet means that it estimates it will also record a net exceptional charge of around £109 million “relating to ineffectiveness on a proportion of FY21 fuel and foreign currency hedges in the FY20 results”.
Earlier this month Jet 2 said it intends to restart its flight and holiday programme on June 17, dependent on guidance from governments and relevant authorities.
In its latest update the group said it would operate “a reduced flying programme” from this date, and as a result has cancelled all 12 of its summer-only third-party leased aircraft.
Around 80 per cent of UK staff have been furloughed under the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and all employees (including directors) have been asked to take a pay cut of up 30 per cent for the six-month period between April 1 and September 30.
The group has fully drawn down on its £100 million Revolving Credit Facility, and said it had “begun the process to confirm our eligibility and access to the Covid Corporate Financing Facility”.
In more positive news, the group said that “though very early, summer 2021 bookings to date are very promising”, adding that “encouraging number” of customers have chosen to rebook cancelled flights and holidays for late summer 2020 and winter 2020/21, rather than cancel altogether.
Jet 2 operates flights from UK bases including Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle, to European countries including France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.
The airline recently acquired a number of UK airport slots at Birmingham, Manchester and Stansted, which had been made available by the collapse of travel company Thomas Cook.