UK’s easyJet confident as summer demand ramps up – ET TravelWorld

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An easyJet Airbus A320-251N. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

British airline easyJet said it was confident ahead of the summer season, when it makes all its profit, helped by strong booking levels, higher ticket prices and the growth of its holidays business.Europe’s major airlines including its biggest, Ryanair, Lufthansa and British Airways-owner IAG, have all pointed to robust summer bookings, showing consumers prioritising travel spend despite incomes being squeezed by inflation.

EasyJet has been gradually adding more flights as it recovers from Covid-19 lows in 2020, and said on May 18 that by July-September this year its capacity would be back to pre-pandemic levels.

“Demand is strong, and easyJet, like other airlines, is set for a profitable summer,” said Bernstein analyst Alex Irving.

Shares in easyJet have climbed 60% since the start of the year, but at their current price of 520 pence they are still down about 60% from their level before the pandemic.

Demand for holidays has soared this year and for the April to June period, easyJet confirmed guidance for revenue per seat, a proxy for ticket prices, to be 20% higher than last year. For the full year, analysts currently expect easyJet to post a pretax profit of 345 million pounds (USD 435 million), according to Refinitiv data.

The airline highlighted its expansion in the Greek islands and extra flights in Lisbon, Portugal, in its statement, and said its holiday business, launched in 2019, was growing well and would soon offer trips from Switzerland.

For the six months to the end of March, easyJet reported a pretax loss of 411 million pounds, in line with guidance provided in April. The outcome was a 25% improvement on last year.

Ahead of the key summer season, easyJet noted its operational resilience, suggesting it was ready for the pick-up in travel, unlike last year when the industry struggled to cope with a surge in demand.

Many European carriers remain wary of potential strikes particularly by air traffic controllers in France, however.

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