EasyJet cashes in as summer holiday bookings boom
EasyJet cashes in as families shrug off the cost of living crisis to spark a summer holiday bookings boom
Families are racing to book summer holidays despite the cost of living crisis, EasyJet said.
The budget airline said that a sharp rise in demand and full-year profits would top expectations of £260million.
EasyJet’s optimism in its trading update yesterday was fuelled by signs that families are prepared to splash out on summer holidays regardless of higher fares.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said the ‘usual suspects’ of Majorca, Malaga, Alicante and Amsterdam are among its most popular destinations.
Bookings boom: Budget airline Easyjet said that a sharp rise in demand and full-year profits would top expectations of £260m
EasyJet’s average fare for the summer is around £90, significantly higher than the £61 seen in the six months to the end of March.
Lundgren said rampant fuel inflation – up 71 per cent year-on-year – was driving the increase in ticket prices.
He stressed the more expensive fares are ‘still within reach for a lot of people’, adding: ‘Despite the increase in the cost of living, holiday budgets remain unchanged with travel being the only discretionary spend that people are prepared to maintain or increase.
‘This underlines the importance of travel to consumers.’
The prospect of a bumper summer comes after a strong Easter for EasyJet when capacity returned to pre-pandemic levels thanks to an average of 1,600 flights per day.
However, despite an 80 per cent jump in first half revenues to £2.7billion, the airline still made a loss of £415million – though this was better than the £545million loss in the same period a year earlier.
And EasyJet said it ‘anticipates exceeding current market profit expectations of £260million’ for the full year.
Passenger numbers between January and March were more than 35 per cent ahead of the same period last year as more than 15m travellers flew with the firm during the period.
Lundgren said capacity will be around 8 per cent above pre-pandemic levels by the summer.
EasyJet has recently embarked on its largest-ever recruitment drive to meet growing demand, with around 3,000 hired in the last year.
This latest batch of optimism will provide much-needed relief for the travel sector after last summer saw huge numbers of queues and cancellations across airports.
Shares added 1.6 per cent, or 8.2p, to 519.2p.