Surge in demand sees profits return at easyJet

Low cost airline easyJet reports pre-tax profits of £455m, its first surplus since before the pandemic, but warns Middle East conflict may hit revenues. Tony McDonough reports

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Low cost airline easyJet has returned to profit. Picture by David Parry/PA Wire


Low cost airline easyJet has returned to full-year profit for the first time since before the COVID pandemic with passenger numbers up by almost a fifth.

However, the carrier, which operates more than 25 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, is taking a hit due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East. It is not currently flying to Israel or Jordan, representing 4% of its flying capacity.

In the 12 months to September 30, easyJet flew 82.8m passengers, a 19% rise on the 69.7m flown in the previous year. Seat capacity was up 14% to 92.6m.

Consequently revenues for the 12-month period were up 42% to more than £8.1bn. Pre-tax profits came in at £455m. This is a massive improvement on the £178m loss reported a year ago.

Ancillary revenue, which is the money easyJet raises through seat selection, extra baggage and food and drink, increased by 51% to almost £3bn.

On its forward outlook, easyJet said: “Early winter results for FY24 will see an impact from the conflict in the Middle East, which started on October 7.

“In our planned winter schedule, flights to Israel, Jordan (both temporarily paused) and Egypt represented 4% of capacity.

“Additionally there was a broader impact on near term flight searches and bookings across the industry, though this seems to be coming back with a recent improvement in trading. 

“The present booking strength for summer 2024, coupled with supply constraints in Europe, provide a positive outlook for the year as a whole.”

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Chief executive Johan Lundgren added: “Our record summer performance demonstrates the success of our strategy and that demand for easyJet remains strong as customers choose us for our network and value.

“We see a positive outlook for this year with airline and holidays bookings both ahead year-on-year.

“Recent consumer research highlights that around three quarters of Britons plan to spend more on their holidays versus last year with travel continuing to be the top priority for household discretionary spending.”

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