Up, up and away for easyJet's profits
By Simon Hacker | 20th July 2023
Families and solo travellers might be feeling the pinch for holiday budgets, but UK flyers escaping post-Pandemic blues have forked out an extra £23.75 on the average easyJet seat price.
And in the process, the airline's ancillary revenue, which includes such elements as seat choice and options on food and baggage, grew by £622m in the three months to the end of June.
The figure puts the airline on track for record profits this summer, while easyJet Holiday demand is set to boost profits by £80m this year.
Average spend on that seat for the sun was, in total, up 22 per cent year-on-year, with the result that the Luton-based airline, which employs 13,000 people and operates major business from Bristol Airport, was able to report a pre-tax profit of £204m - a stark contrast to its £114million loss at the same point a year ago.
Despite forecasting "another record" profit this quarter though, easyJet says turbulence could lie ahead from "unprecedented" air traffic control disruption.
Johan Lundgren, CEO, said: "Our Q3 performance has been underpinned by strong passenger demand for easyJet's network and services. We continue to provide great value to customers with around half of easyJet's fares currently on sale still under £50.
"We are absolutely focused on mitigating the impact of the challenging external environment on our customers and flying them on their well-earned holidays."
He added: "We continue to see good momentum as we move into Q4 where we will be operating over 160,000 flights and expect to deliver another record PBT performance. This winter we are adding more than 15 per cent capacity and we see bookings ahead of the same period last year."
easyJet's profit update - which has come despite a 26% price rise on tickets in the past year - puts the airline on track become one of the biggest holiday operators in Europe. easyJet Holidays serves only UK customers and competes against Jet2 and TUI but has an imminent launch in Switzerland as well as ambitions on France and Germany.
With an eye on its stock of planes, the airline currently has 163 aircraft on order for delivery through to 2028 and adds that it is "running a process to secure additional firm order positions for our longer term fleet plan", the move allowing replacement of older aircraft.
● In other airline news, an anticipated strike by workers at Gatwick Airport over pay has been suspended, with action scheduled from 28 July to 1 August now averted. Some 9,000 easyJet passengers whose itineraries were grounded by the action are now able to resume their holiday plans.
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