Strong demand boosts Easyjet’s first-half outlook

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
An Easyjet plane takes off from Manchester Airport in Manchester, Britain January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

No-frills carrier Easyjet (EZJ.L) raised its first-half revenue guidance on Tuesday, saying that robust passenger demand would boost its winter performance from the same period last year.

Easyjet shares rose over 2.5% in early trading on the news that the British airline now expected revenue per-seat to increase by mid-to-high single digits.

The winter half-year, from October to March, tends to be less busy, but Easyjet said a slight drop in competition in the European short-haul flight sector would also help its bottom line.

"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," Easyjet chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a statement

Easyjet’s total revenue for the last quarter was up almost 10% to £1.43bn, from 1.3bn in the same quarter of 2018, thanks in part to increased ticket prices. Passenger numbers rose nearly 3% to 22.2 million and revenue-per-seat rose nearly 9%. It expects its pretax loss in this winter half to shrink from last year, when it made a £275m loss.

The last year was a bumpy one for airlines, from Boeing being forced to pull its 737 Max planes out of service, to Thomas Cook going bankrupt.

Easyjet launched a new package holiday business in November last year, which it hopes will break even in its first year. It also said today that it was aiming to become the world’s first major airline to offset all the carbon emissions created by its flights.

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