Easyjet raises profits forecasts as demand takes off

Full-year profits at easyJet are likely to exceed current market forecasts of £260m as summer bookings surge. Tony McDonough reports

Profit expectations are raised at easyJet plane after a surge in summer bookings


Summer flight and holiday bookings at low-cost airline easyJet are exceeding expectations leading the carrier to raise its full year profit forecasts.

During the Easter weekend easyJet, which operates around 26 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, saw passenger numbers hit 2019 levels as it operated an average of 1,600 flights a day. This was despite French air traffic control strikes.

In a trading update on Tuesday, easyJet said it flew 15.6m passengers between January and March. This was up from 11.5m a year earlier. Its load factor, which measures percentage of seats filled, improved to 88% from 78%.

In its holidays division easyJet is seeing strong demand. It has further upgraded its growth expectations to 60% year on year (previously 50%). easyJet holidays is currently 80% sold for this summer.

Between January and March the airline increased capacity by 40% and it expects to return to pre-pandemic levels during the summer season. It is likely to exceed current market expectations of £260m in pre-tax profit for the full year. Last year it lost £198m.

And a major crew recruitment campaign has been undertaken which easyJet hopes will help it avoid the chaos of delayed and cancelled flights in 2022.

This summer easyJet upped its capacity out of Liverpool Airport by almost 20%. It is increasing frequencies to popular destinations including Alicante, Antalya, Belfast, Bodrum, Dalaman, Izmir, Heraklion, Jersey, Kos, Larnaca, Malaga, Nice and Tenerife.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said: “Demand for easyJet’s flights and holidays has continued to grow in the half, resulting in more than a £120m pound improvement in our performance as well as a billion pound revenue improvement year on year. 

“This is further enhanced by our transformed network of popular destinations and improved revenue capability.

“We see continued strong booking momentum into summer as customers prioritise spending on travel… all of this means easyJet expects to outperform FY23 market expectations.”

For the six months to March 31 easyJet expects revenues to come in at £2.7bn. This will result in a half-year loss before tax of between £405m and £425m. Easyjet typically makes a loss during the winter period.

At the end of March Liverpool Airport said summer bookings were up by 14%. It is gearing up for its busiest peak season since before the pandemic.

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