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UK's easyJet signals it may need more government support - Sky News

·1-min read
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Luton
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Luton

(Reuters) - British airline easyJet Plc <EZJ.L> has signalled to the government that it may need further financial support if the coronavirus pandemic continues to hinder its schedule, Sky News reported on Wednesday.

In recent talks with the UK government, the company said its balance sheet could require a state loan or other form of financing from the government, the report added.

In April, the airline took a 600 million pound ($775 million) loan under a UK government scheme.

"easyJet continues to review its liquidity position on a regular basis and will continue to assess further funding opportunities, should the need arise," the airline's spokeswoman said in a statement, without giving any details on the Sky News report.

EasyJet is scheduled to publish a trading update on Thursday, Sky News said.

The report comes after British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Wednesday he was setting up a Global Travel Taskforce to open up international travel.

The government is looking at ways to reduce the 14-day quarantine period which applies to some arriving passengers. Airline body IATA has said that 80% of travellers said they would not fly at all if any quarantine were in place.

Like other airlines, easyJet has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept travellers at home and brought airport operations to a near standstill. The company is cutting 4,500 jobs across Europe and is closing its bases at London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle airports.

(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla and Rebekah Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)