EasyJet to snap up more planes as profits surge
Easyjet has outlined plans to buy more planes and bring back its dividend after raking in record profits over the summer.
The budget airline said that it will snap up 157 short-haul aircrafts for delivery from 2029.
EasyJet now has 336 planes in the sky and a further 315 on order for the next decade as well as the rights to buy a further 100.
Company chief executive Johan Lundgren said: ‘This will enable fleet modernisation and growth to continue… while providing substantial benefits including cost efficiencies and sustainability improvement.’
With more planes, the British company can sell more seats on routes from European hotspots like London Gatwick and Amsterdam, where there are few slots available to add more flights.
Flying high: EasyJet said that it will snap up 157 short-haul aircrafts for delivery from 2029
The expansion came as EasyJet said that its profits were between £650m and £670m in the three months to September, which is a record fourth quarter for the budget airline.
This was driven by an 8 per cent increase in passengers – it flew 26m people during this time – and a 9 per cent rise in fares compared with the same period last year.
Revenue for the fourth quarter hit £3.1bn as the airline revealed it had earned £790m from passenger extras alone, up from £641m during the same period last year.
It expects this extra revenue, which comes from payments for things such as seat selections, extra baggage or food, to come in at £2.2bn for the year, up from around £1.6bn in 2022.
After the bumper summer, EasyJet said that it is to bring back dividends, having halted the payouts during the pandemic. For the full year, profits are expected to hit as much as £460m thanks to a stronger than expected boost from its holidays arm.
Lundgren laid out new targets for the business, including reaching profits of £1billion in the ‘medium term’.
Richard Hunter, an analyst at Interactive Investor, said: ‘EasyJet is in fine fettle at the moment.’
But he added: ‘Investing in airline shares has always been a challenge, and the events of the last week have underscored how external factors can undermine progress.’
Despite the cheery outlook from bosses, investors in the airline remained spooked, with EasyJet shares falling 7 per cent, or 30.5p, to 406.3p
Shares remain down 56 per cent over the past five years.
The company forecast a 15 per cent year-on-year rise in flight capacity for the final three months of this calendar year, at higher prices.