Sanctions and conflicts are causing problems for the airline industry - and with some areas off limits, investors were watching to see how EasyJet's latest passenger figures would stand up. Very nicely indeed, it turns out.
In a statement posted this morning, the airline said passenger numbers rose 510,731 on the same month last year, and 177,791 on last month. The figures represent an increase of 8.4 per cent on August last year, the third highest year-on-year rise in 2014.
At the end of July EasyJet advised shareholders to brace themselves for lower than expected pre-tax profits (somewhere in the £545m-£570m range). The main concerns have been sanctions biting Russia, turmoil in Israel and declines in the Egyptian tourism industry.
In July's statement, chief executive Carolyn McCall identified the geopolitical elements that could affect performance:
With 77% of second half seats now booked, EasyJet expects to grow profit before tax from £478 million for the year to 30 September 2013 to a range of £545 million to £570 million for the year to 30 September 2014 assuming no further significant disruption. This range includes the impact from the situations in Israel, Egypt and Moscow.