Britain's easyJet said it had outperformed its expectations in its first half despite the challenges of COVID-19 and rising fuel prices, with capacity ramping up to reach 80% of pre-pandemic levels in March and a recovery in demand.

The low-cost carrier, which has recently been hit by staff shortages, said it had flown 94% of its planned schedule in the last seven days.

It said on Tuesday it expected to report a group headline loss before tax in range of between 535 million pounds ($696 million) and 565 million pounds for the six months the end of March 2022. ($1 = 0.7685 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)