EasyJet to expand holiday business after strong first half

Angelo Anderson
May 15, 2018

British low-priced airline EasyJet slashed its first-half losses as a collapse of rivals boosted passenger numbers, but the performance was weighed down by integration costs from Air Berlin assets.

Easyjet reports a loss of £18 million for the six months to the end of March.

The carrier has announced a number of new joiners to its board, with Garry Wilson joining as head of Easyjet Holidays, Luca Zuccoli joining as chief data officer and Flic Howard-Allen becoming group communications director.

Europe's airline market has seen significant consolidation over the a year ago.

Passenger numbers leapt three million to 36.8 million, helped by extra customers from the purchase of Berlin's Tegel Airport from bankrupt German carrier Air Berlin.

Headline cost per seat excluding fuel rose by 2.2 per cent to £43.11, and increased by 1.6 per cent at constant currency, which Easyjet said was due to increased loads, inflationary costs and the hit from severe weather.

The company said that would help to drive annual profits up to 530-580 million pounds ($718-$786 million), at least 30 percent higher than last year's headline result and around 5-15 percent above analysts' current forecasts.

This was on top of a £24 million charge for the integration of Berlin Tegel.

EasyJet, Europe's second-biggest low-priced airline behind Ryanair (RYA.I), swung to a profit for the six months ended March 31, helped by the timing of Easter and the collapse of British rival Monarch past year and Italy's Alitalia going into administration, pushing more customers to easyJet.

Last year, EasyJet snapped up part of Air Berlin's operation for 40 million euro (£35.2 million), which included a raft of landing slots as well as the rights to operate passenger transport at Tegel. The airline's new chief executive Johan Lundgren further updated investors on the group's strategy.

Losses at EasyJet narrowed in the first half of the year after the budget airline enjoyed one of its best winters.

"Total revenue was above £2 billion for the first time, up nearly 20% year on year".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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