Low-cost airline easyJet has continues to deliver on its strategy, reporting a solid first quarter, in line with expectations.
A purposeful investment in capacity across core markets from the Luton-based airline supported an 8.2 per cent increase in passengers, while revenue per seat was better than previously guided on broadly flat load factors.
Number of passengers carried increased to 17.4 million, driven by a growth in capacity of 8.6 per cent to 19.3 million seats and load factor decreasing by 0.3 percentage points to 90 per cent.
Total revenue in the quarter increased by 7.2 per cent to £997 million reflecting the increase in passengers carried through the period.
At the same time, revenue per seat decreased by 8.2 per cent at constant currency, or by 1.2 per cent on a reported basis, to £51.64 per seat.
Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive, said: “easyJet has delivered a solid first quarter with revenue, cost and passenger numbers in line with expectations.
“This is despite a tough pricing and operating environment.
“easyJet continues to grow with purpose in our core markets with capacity growth of up to 9% across our network.
“Our focus has been to invest to deliver long term sustainable, profitable growth by strengthening our leading positions at Europe’s biggest and most popular airports.
“The underlying year-on-year revenue per seat trend continues to improve, supported by resilient demand across all our European markets. Forward bookings are ahead of last year.”
Following the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union easyJet also confirmed plans to establish an Air Operator Certificate in another EU member state.
This will secure the flying rights of the 30 per cent of the carrier’s network that remains wholly within and between EU states, excluding the UK.
This one-off cost is expected to total around £10 million over two years with up to £5 million incurred in the 2017 financial year.
The primary driver of the cost is the re-registering of aircraft in an EU AOC jurisdiction.