easyJet upbeat despite fuel costs
[7th May 2008]
Low fares airline easyJet has announced its interim results for the six months to 31st March.
Passenger numbers for the period were up 15% to 18.9 million, reflecting the large number of new flights the budget airline has launched. Revenue was also up a healthy 24% to 892.2 million, but the airline recorded a loss before tax of £57.5 million. This included £9.1 million one-off costs for the integration of GB Airways.
GB Airways was smoothly integrated and is delivering larger than expected benefits and has made us number one at Gatwick, comments easyJet chief executive, Andy Harrison.
Not surprisingly the rising cost of oil has had the biggest impact on easyJet. Fuel costs for the period were up 23.8% compared to last year. Oil remains the biggest challenge and uncertainty. The price of jet fuel has risen 35% over the last three months and is now 80% higher than last year, Harrison says.
easyJet is confident it can continue to thrive despite difficult market conditions. The airline says its underlying business remains strong with forward bookings for the summer slightly ahead of last year.
What is certain is that if these fuel increases are maintained many of our weaker competitors will disappear or downsize and easyJet will emerge even stronger reflecting the combination of our business model, our cost advantage, our new fuel efficient fleet and the strength of our network, says Harrison.
Passenger numbers just released for April show an increase of 15% compared to April 2007, but load factors were down 0.8% to 83.2%.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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