Atlantic City

Published on Tuesday, January 21, 2020

EasyJet first quarter boosted by Thomas Cook collapse

EasyJet has got off to a good start this year with almost a 10% increase in revenue for the first quarter.

It said it had benefitted from Thomas Cook's collapse last September, lower capacity from rival airlines, robust demand, a strong performance in Berlin, and further increases in ancillary sales as well as the introduction of a new car rental offering from Car Trawler.

Group revenue reached £1,425 million for the three months up to the end of December, £1,124 million of which was from passenger revenue. Ancillary revenue rose 10.8% to £301 million.

As a result, easyJet expects its first half losses to be lower than the £275 million it lost in the first six months of 2019.

EasyJet holidays, which was launched on November 28, is expected to 'at least break even' by the end of September, it said. 

Passenger numbers in the quarter increased by 2.8% to 22.2 million, while capacity was up only 1% to 24.3 million seats, so the airline's load factor rose 1.6 percentage points to 91.3%.

"I'm pleased that we have made a strong start to the year with continued positive momentum.  The improvement in our revenue per seat has been driven by our self-help revenue initiatives combined with robust customer demand and a lower capacity growth market," said easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren.

"Cost per seat is in line with expectations, helped by our Operational Resilience programme which has not only improved overall customer satisfaction in the quarter but also enabled us to manage our costs.  

"easyJet holidays launched successfully with customers looking to benefit from our unrivalled flexibility, great value and handpicked hotels."

EasyJet began offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all its flights last November, which it said had been 'received very positively by customers, staff and other stakeholders'.

"We, of course, recognise offsetting is only an interim measure and we continue to work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including hybrid and electric planes, to reinvent aviation for the long-term," added Lundgren.

EasyJet confirmed that Ryanair's chief operations officer has joined as COO. Ryanair had attempted to delay the move until 2021, citing a non-compete clause in his contract, but a court ruled that he was free to join its rival airline last December. 

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