The British airline EasyJet on Tuesday reported huge annual losses of £1.27 billion (€1.41 billion).
`It marked the first time the company had logged an annual loss in its 25-year history, showing the toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on the aviation industry.
The low-cost carrier said the total loss before tax figure for 2020 to the end of September compared to profits of £430 million (€479 million) in 2019.
The COVID-19 crisis saw planes grounded across the world and EasyJet saw passenger numbers halve.
Much of its fleet ground to a halt and Britain’s biggest budget airline was running a skeleton service on many routes.
EasyJet usually makes the lion’s share of its profits in the summer holiday months from June to September but the UK government this year introduced quarantine measures for incoming travellers from several countries, including the popular destinations of Spain, France and Croatia.
With a 50% drop in passenger numbers for the year ending 30 September 2020, EasyJet reported a drop of 52.9% in revenue for the full 2020 fiscal year.
And as the second wave of coronavirus hit Europe, rates of travel were still at very low levels, with the low-cost carrier saying it expected to fly at around 20% of planned capacity for the next few months.
Despite this, EasyJet said it saw bookings shoot up 50% after Pfizer revealed last week that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was 90% effective.