European budget airline easyJet is continuing to see “strong levels” of demand and “booking momentum” for its flights during the crucial summer season.
EasyJet said it reduced its losses during the winter season by more than £120 million compared to this time last year, as the company issued a trading update for the six months up to 31 March.
UK-based EasyJet, which said in January it was set to return to profit in 2023 for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased revenue by more than £1 billion to reach £2.7 billion for the half-year. EasyJet’s loss for this winter period is expected to be between £405 million and £425 million, compared with a loss of £545 million last year.
“Pricing remained strong during the first half for both ticket and ancillary revenue, demonstrating the continued success of easyJet’s network optimisation and ancillary products,” said the airline in its update.
“Whilst we remain mindful of the uncertain macroeconomic outlook across the globe, based on current high levels of demand and strong bookings, EasyJet anticipates exceeding current market profit expectations of £260 million for full-year 2023.”
EasyJet added it had “ramped up” capacity during the last quarter - growing by 40 per cent from January to March. This growth will continue into the peak summer season with the airline getting back to pre-Covid capacity levels between July and September.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO, said: “We see continued strong booking momentum into summer as customers prioritise spending on travel and choose airlines like easyJet offering the best value and destination mix. All of this means easyJet expects to outperform 2023 market expectations.”
EasyJet increased total revenue per seat in the half-year to £66.46, which was up by 40 per cent on the same period in 2022, with ancillary revenue rising by 34 per cent to £20.22 per seat year-on-year. Load factor also crept up during the past three months – rising from 85 per cent in January to 90 per cent in March.