20 MAY 2019
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The “negative impact” of Brexit on the value of the pound and the closure of Gatwick following a drone incident were blamed by easyJet last week for a loss before tax of £272m for the first half of financial 2019.
The airline said the Gatwick drone shutdown over three days before Christmas, which led to the suspension of flights for 36hr, had cost it £10m.
The half-year figure compares to a loss of £68m for the same period last year and was in line with expectations. Passenger numbers for the six months to 31 March increased by 4.9m (13.3%) to a total of 41.6m when compared to 2018.
CEO Johan Lundgren, however, said the airline was well equipped to succeed in “this more difficult market” through various short-term customer and trading initiatives for the summer.
There were also measures to improve the airline’s operational resilience and a continuing focus on “what is most important to customers – value for money, punctuality and great customer service”, all underpinned by a market-leading balance sheet.
Shares in easyJet rose 4% following Lundgren’s remarks, which also noted a 14.5% capacity increase over the period and an increase in total revenue of 7.3% to £2,343m, although total revenue per seat decreased by 6.3%, to £50.71.
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