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Published on Tuesday, November 20, 2018

EasyJet spells out holiday aspirations as it reveals £60m rise in profits

EasyJet made a pre-tax profit of £445 million this year, £60 million more than last year, despite flight disruption due to air traffic control strikes, rising fuel prices, and the €40 million cost of acquiring of part of Air Berlin's services at Tegel Airport.

Helped by the collapse of Monarch earlier this year, the airline saw a 10% increase in its passenger numbers, which reached a record 88.5 million for the year to the end of September. More than 92% of its seats were sold.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: "EasyJet has delivered a great performance during the year, growing headline profit before tax by 41%, once again flying a record number of passengers at our highest ever annual load factor.

'The integration of new operations at Tegel has also progressed well and our brand consideration in Berlin has grown strongly.

"Our financial success and increasing customer loyalty demonstrate the resilience of our operations, the underlying strength of our business and our unrivalled customer experience."

In the UK, capacity for the year was up 4%, which was less than increases in most of its other major European markets, including France (up 5%), Italy (up 10%) and Switzerland, up 7%. In Germany, capacity was up 48% as a result of the Air Berlin acquisition.

For the future, easyJet said it saw a big opportunity to expand holiday sales as currently only half a million of the 20 million passengers who fly to its top 29 destinations book a hotel through the airline.

"This is an opportunity for easyJet to extend its reach in the wider travel value chain through the offer of accommodation and other services, with investment taking place in 2019 and 2020," it said.

The group appointed its first chief executive of easyJet Holidays, Garry Wilson, on November 12, and it said it was planning to increase its profit by moving to a contribution rather than commission model with its hoteliers.

It said: "EasyJet has already spoken to a large number of hotel partners in Europe and is progressing well to develop deeper and stronger direct relationships with them. These relationships will inevitably help easyJet deliver a better value offer and experience for its customers.

"EasyJet's core focus will remain on airline services, but the holidays offering incorporates other aspects of the customer journey which can be sold to a customer base that is well aligned and that has high capacity and frequencies on beach, city and ski destinations."

The airline also announced today that Emirates will become a new partner to its Worldwide by easyJet service, making it easier for passengers to connect between flights at Gatwick.

The partnership will initially apply to Emirates' flights between Gatwick and Dubai, but easyJet said there were plans to extend it to more gateways and destinations.

Other airlines taking part in easyJet by Worldwide are Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian, WestJet and Singapore Airlines and its low cost subsidiary Scoot which joined in September.

EasyJet said it plans to expand the service to other key airports in Europe.

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