Consumer Edge’s recently launched UK dataset has already proven to be very predictive for several company earnings reports. One such company is easyJet, where a strong correlation provides confidence in Consumer Edge airline data overall. In today’s Insight Flash, we take a deep dive into UK travel trends, digging into how low-cost players like easyJet are holding up.
The UK Travel industry lost almost all of its sales in April and May 2020, with sales down -90% y/y. As trends recovered into the fall, Lodging was a standout for outperformance with spend down by only about half of the year before rate. Cruises have been the worst performer, remaining depressed at a -90% y/y decline in spend through December. Airlines have fared somewhere in between, with sales down by about three-quarters y/y in the fall, and a slight uptick to declines of only about two-thirds during holiday travel in December.
UK Travel Industry
easyJet has been less susceptible to COVID-19 woes than the rest of the Airlines subindustry. Its declines in y/y transaction volume weren’t as sharp as the industry overall in April and May. And, during the summer travel season, transactions were only down -30% in July (half the decline of the industry overall) and -37% in August (two-thirds the rate of the industry overall).
easyJet Transaction Growth
Pricing strategy may have been a tailwind for the airline. Both British Airways and Ryanair had soaring average spend per transaction at the beginning of the pandemic in April – up 45% for British Airways and 40% for Ryanair. Meanwhile, eayJet’s average spend per transaction was down -42%. These lowered rates remained consistent in the subsequent months, although Ryanair did eventually change course to match the cuts.