Shares in easyJet flew up 10 per cent yesterday after its revenues soared thanks to more business travellers splashing out on meals and other on-board extras.

A mixture of higher bag fees, more spending by passengers mid-air plus speedy boarding and booking fees helped the budget airline raise the average spend on each seat by 9 per cent to nearly £52 in the last three months of 2011.

EasyJet showed evidence of some success in its push into the business market, with the number of executives on the airline rising by 200,000 to 2.3 million in the period, despite a general decline in business aviation during the three months.

It also posted strong revenue growth in the quarter, up 16.7 per cent to £763m, albeit because of snow disruption during the previous year.

The airline flew 8 per cent more passengers, a total of 12.9 million, during the three months, even though its ticket prices rose by an average of 6.5 per cent on the same time in 2010.

EasyJet said higher revenues would help it recover most of the £100m increase in its first-half fuel bill and cap interim losses at £140m -£160m. Last year saw a £153m, first-half loss.