Middle East conflict costs easyJet £40m

Low cost airline easyJet says Israel / Hamas conflict in the Middle East has cost it £40m in lost revenues so far. Tony McDonough reports

Passengers boarding an easyJet aircraft. Picture from easyJet


Conflict in the Middle East has cost easyJet £40m in lost revenues so far.

In a trading update for the three months up to December 31, 2023, the low cost airline is reporting a pre-tax loss of £126m. EasyJet typically runs at a loss during the winter period but this year it has worked due to the conflict.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas militants staged a large-scale terrorist attack, pouring into Israel from Gaza. Hundreds of people were slaughtered or taken hostage, including many young people at a music festival. 

Israel’s military response in the months since the attack has seen thousands of people killed in the Gaza Strip. In the early days of the conflict easyJet suspended flights to Israel and Jordan and they are yet to resume.

In its trading update easyJet, which operates more than 25 flights out of Liverpool, said: “The onset of conflict in the Middle East on October 7 had short-term impacts from a pause in flights to Israel and Jordan.”

It added there was a “temporary slowdown in flight bookings for the wider industry. Demand and bookings have recovered strongly from late November”. The company expects half-year losses to be lower than last year.

During the three-month period easyJet carried more than 19.8m passengers, up from 17.5m in the same period in 2022. Despite the airline losing money easyJet’s holidays division delivered a £30m profit, up from £13m in 2022.

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Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said: “We delivered an improved performance in the quarter which is testament to the strength of demand for our brand and network.

“The popularity of easyJet holidays also continues to grow, with 48% more customers in the period.

“We see positive booking momentum for summer 2024 with travel remaining a priority for consumers. Flight and holidays bookings took off strongly during the traditional busy turn of year sales period.”

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