British airline easyJet plans to fly 60% of its pre-pandemic capacity in the July-September period, a big jump from the 17% in the previous quarter, as Covid restrictions ease and travel appetite builds across Europe.

The group said today it was confident on demand for summer and autumn travel, adding that it was gearing its schedule towards European routes, given that Europe had opened up faster than Britain.

EasyJet's boss has been one of the most vocal critics of Britain's approach to travel over the last two months, slamming last-minute changes which have resulted in booking surges and mass cancellations.

For now, easyJet said it had scheduled 60% of its flying on intra-European Union routes, whereas normally its business is split evenly between Britain and the EU.

But the company said it expected bookings from the UK to improve in the coming period as quarantine is scrapped for fully vaccinated arrivals from some European countries.

The airline's plan to fly more capacity in the July- September period, when it tends to make almost all of its profit, is being matched by rival low-cost airlines such Ryanair and Wizz Air which have also added more flights.

EasyJet's positive outlook comes after almost a year and a half of travel restrictions.

It has shed staff, cut the size of its fleet and taken on new debt to survive.

The company said that it had improved its cash burn rate during the period to 34 million pounds per week, better than the 40 million guidance it gave earlier in the year, and was well-placed financially with liquidity of 2.9 billion pounds.

But it said limited visibility meant it could not provide guidance for the rest of the year.

For the three months to June 30, when travel across most of Europe remained restricted and it flew just 17% of its pre-pandemic capacity, easyJet posted a pretax loss of 318 million pounds.