Belfast Telegraph

EasyJet bounces back as revenues increase

Easyjet reported a surge in winter revenues yesterday after it increased baggage charges and bounced back from the previous year's snow-hit performance.

The group, which operates more than 580 routes across 30 countries, including from Belfast International Airport, said total revenues were up 16.7% to £763m in the three months to December 31, as it raised its first-bag charge by 16.9% to £4.70 per seat. Total fees and charges increased by 26.7% to £5.88 per seat.

The figures were also flattered by a weak performance in the same period in 2010, when bad weather grounded flights, costing the group £18m.

The absence of snow disruption in the period meant easyJet was able to keep its costs down, reducing cost per seat excluding fuel by 1.6%.

Shares in easyJet increased more than 9% after the update.

The carrier said it now expects to recover most of the £100m increase in its first-half fuel bill, meaning interim losses will be contained between £140m and £160m. This compares to a loss of £153m a year earlier.

The Luton-based group, which has a 200-strong fleet of aircraft, said passenger numbers were up 8.1% to 12.9 million in the period, while total revenues per seat were up 9.2% to £51.83.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: "EasyJet has made a strong start to the year. This is due to firm control of costs, the strength of easyJet's network, tight capacity discipline and pricing actions taken in the second half of the last financial year."