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Bookings are down 10% this summer, says easyJet

By Holly Williams

EasyJet said it was facing the most difficult summer holiday season for years, as it revealed bookings have fallen after the Brexit vote, and passenger confidence has been knocked by political turmoil in Turkey and recent terrorist attacks.

The low-cost carrier said bookings were down around 10% since the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Boss Carolyn McCall said the group was battling against the toughest period in her tenure at the helm, following two months of turbulence, and the EU referendum.

She said the pound's plunge after the Brexit vote had seen a £40m currency swing against the group, while holidaymaker confidence has also been impacted by sterling's weakness, as well as last week's massacre in Nice and the attempted coup in popular sun-seeker destination Turkey.

The group said revenues dropped 2.6% to £1.2bn in its third quarter, after being knocked by traffic control strikes, runway closures at Gatwick Airport and severe weather.

Shares dropped 6% after the gloomy update. EasyJet has seen its stock tumble after warning last month that it would take a £28m hit to profits following two months of turbulence, and cautioning that Brexit would have a negative impact on the airline.

The group is also drawing up plans to potentially move its legal headquarters out of the UK and into Europe if the Government cannot negotiate to retain the status quo in the aviation market, which allows operators to fly across the continent in a deregulated environment.

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