easyJet has said that non-UK holidaymakers taking advantage of the strong Euro have left it “resilient” in the global downturn, and expects to be one of the few airlines to turn in a profit this year.
The Luton-based airline reported a 12% rise in revenues for its third financial quarter, ending 30 June.
It said that passenger numbers were up 3%, with the revenue per seat up 10.9% to £51.41. Over half of passengers now originate from outside the UK, according to easyJet, with strong gains from Paris, Madrid and Milan – where the number of passengers grew 86%.
Ancillary revenues, including in-flight food and checked-in baggage, soared 34% per seat to £10.00.
The low-cost carrier said it was planning to have nearly 200 aircraft by September 2011, up from 177 at end of June this year, in line with growth plans that it set out in May.
Stock markets reacted warmly to upbeat forecasts for full-year profits, predicted at between £25m and £50m. However, this is a significant drop on last year’s £123m profits.
easyJet’s chief executive Andy Harrison said: “This has been a resilient third quarter and our position has continued to strengthen as we made market share gains across Europe.”
He added: “easyJet’s fundamental competitive strengths continue to prevail; particularly the strength of our network and focus on cost reduction.