EasyJet halves its losses as Britons flee the big freeze

 

Britons escaping our cold weather to seek last-minute sunshine abroad helped easyJet almost halve its first-half losses in its first update as a FTSE 100 company today.

The UK and Europe’s particularly cold winter and sub-zero temperatures at the start of spring wasn’t all good news for the budget carrier: snow meant it cancelled more flights than usual, holding capacity growth to3.3% rather than the expected 3.5% for the six months to April.

But easyJet also cashed in on the big freeze, as a rash of late bookings for Easter to winter sunspots including Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh and Madeira in Portugal raised sales. The airline’s prices are also higher when passengers book closer to take-off time. “Poor weather across the UK and northern Europe stimulated strong bookings in the last few weeks of the first half of the financial year,” chief executive Carolyn McCall  said.

EasyJet’s pre-tax loss for the six months to April will be between £60 million and £65 million, sharply down from its £112 million dive into the red this time last year.

The early Easter also boosted the carrier’s results, and it said that good snow across Europe’s ski resorts for the last two months had also meant stronger than usual sales on its Geneva route, a gateway to the French Alps.

The current cold snap has even seen more passengers than usual booking flights for sunny destinations for October and November this year, an airline spokesman said, plus “very healthy bookings” for the February school half-term in 2014.

But easyJet shares faced a descent from their recent record highs — they were hovering at just under £4 when McCall took over in July 2010 before exceeding £11 this year — falling 3.9% or 42p to 1055p today.

“Technical signals are beginning to suggest traders losing interest, questioning whether this flight has gone too far and the shares are running out of fuel,” Mike van Dulken at Accendo said. But McCall focused on the airline’s performance and  “our disciplined approach to capacity deployment and a focus on cost management.”

The chief executive also today exercised existing options to place an order for three new Airbus A320  jets, whilst the airline is still mulling a another large plane order which easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has vehemently opposed.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders