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Published on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

EasyJet aims to be 'first major net-zero carbon airline'



EasyJet has announced plans to become the first major carrier to have net-zero carbon emissions from all flights.


The plans were revealed as the carrier reported a 26% drop in full-year profit, despite record passenger numbers.


EasyJet made a pre-tax profit of £427 million in the year to September 30. It described the results as 'a resilient performance'.


The airline also said its tour operation, easyJet Holidays, will relaunch before Christmas.


Seat revenues for the year were 'negatively impacted by uncertainty around the original March 2019 Brexit date, although have since recovered well', the airline said.


Total revenue for the year was up 8.3% to £6.4 billion, due to capacity increases. Per-seat revenue decreased by 1.8%, to £60.81.


Passenger revenue grew by 6.9%, partly due to strength in the UK regions and France, as well a 'positive impact from strikes at British Airways and Ryanair'.


However, drone sightings at Gatwick airport and economic uncertainty offset the per-seat revenue. EasyJet said the Gatwick incident affected around 82,000 customers and led to over 400 flights being cancelled


Ancillary revenue grew 13.7% to £1.4 billion.


The airline has also announced it aims to become the world's first major carrier to have net-zero carbon emissions from all flights.


"From today easyJet will offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights on behalf of customers," it said in a statement.


"EasyJet will offset carbon emissions from the fuel used for every flight across its whole network."


This action on easyJet's carbon emissions is an interim measure, and will be in place until new carbon-reducing technologies become available and commercially viable.


The airline will also continue its long-term work to support the development of new technology, including electric aircraft.


Chief executive Johan Lundgren told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is not a long-term solution, offsetting is not perfect."


He said the company would take on the £25m cost and added: "That's not something we're adding on to ticket prices, which makes us one of the largest carbon emissions offsetting companies in the world."


EasyJet's full-year results are 'no surprise' following a trading statement from the airline last month, according to Steve Miley, senior market analyst at asktraders.com.


He said: "EasyJet reported full-year results towards the top end of guidance down 26% from the previous year owing to rising fuel prices and tough trading conditions. Capacity has grown an impressive 10%.


"Bookings for the first half are, encouragingly, slightly ahead of last as EasyJet continues to benefit from rival's weakness.


"EasyJet also highlighted how it will capitalise further on the collapse of Thomas Cook by flying new routes acquired post the collapse and by announcing package holidays, showing the extent that the firm is going to, to pick up ex-Thomas Cook clients in difficult trading times.  


"Boosting EasyJet's image, the firm has pledged to go net carbon zero. The share price jumped 1% on the open."

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