Terrorists and pound to cost easyJet £200m
Low-cost airline easyJet has revealed it will take a hit of more than £200m from the plunging pound and a series of "extraordinary events" after terrorist attacks and air traffic control strikes take their toll.
The carrier, which flies on 10 international routes and 10 domestic routes from Belfast International, warned it will be left nursing at least £125m in lost profit after a combination of terror attacks across Europe, Egypt and Tunisia, as well as air traffic control strikes in France and political turmoil in Turkey.
EasyJet added that the tumbling value of the pound since the Brexit vote - hitting fresh 31-year lows against the US dollar this week - would cost it £90m.The group said it was expecting profits for the year to September 30 to nosedive by nearly a third, to between £490m and £495m.
It has slashed fares by around 9% year-on-year to boost demand as it has also battled a price war with Ryanair.
EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall said: "We have been disproportionately affected by extraordinary events this year.
"The current environment is tough for all airlines, but history shows that at times like this the strongest airlines become stronger.
"That is why we will continue to invest for the long-term success of the business."
EasyJet insisted it had "performed strongly in a difficult operating environment for all European airlines".
The travel industry has been knocked hard by a string of terrorist attacks in Belgium and France as well as Tunisia, while airlines are still not flying to Egyptian resort Sharm el Sheikh after a Russian aircraft crashed soon after take-off.
Tour operators and airlines have also had to switch away from once popular sun-seeker destination Turkey after an attempted coup earlier this year.
There have been fears over the future of UK airline Monarch as it rushes to secure investment.