Easyjet narrows half-year loss

Easyjet narrows half-year loss

Low-cost airline easyJet posted smaller winter losses today as the benefit of benign weather offset a further jump in fuel costs.

The Luton-based operator, which is Europe’s fourth-biggest short-haul carrier with a share of around 8%, said losses during the six months to March 31 were £112m (€140m), an improvement of £41m (€50m) on a year ago.

While trading conditions remain “extremely difficult”, easyJet said a mild winter and minimal external industrial action meant the number of cancellations and overnight delays were down 90% on a year earlier, saving £15m (€18.6m).

The number of passengers flown by the airline rose 5.4% to 25.2 million in the half year as it benefited from rivals cutting capacity and some such as Spanair and Malev going out of business.

The price of jet fuel was 21% higher in the half year, adding £87m (€108m) to costs, and is expected to show a further sharp rise over the second half.

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