It’s a good start to the year at EasyJet, as numbers for the first quarter are taking off, sending shares up by more than three per cent on the open.
Passenger numbers were up 4.1 per cent to 14.9m, seats flown grew 2.6 per cent to 16.6m and load factor increased one per cent to 89.7 per cent.
Revenue per seat came in at £56.16, up 0.8 per cent, or 3.7 per cent on a constant currency basis.
That took total revenue to £931m, up by £34m.
The budget airline expects to narrow its losses in the first half of the year as a result, to between £10m and £30m compared to the £53m losses in the first half of last year.
WHY IT’S INTERESTING
EasyJet continues to perform strongly in a competitive environment, remaining on its toes against rivals such as Ryanair. A strong autumn, a traditionally quieter season, has set it on course to reduce losses for the first half.
A large part of that - estimated to be between £30m and £35m in the first six months - is down to saving from a cheaper fuel bill. For the year, that's expected to come in at savings of between £90m and £130m for the year compared to last.
WHAT EASYJET SAID
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “EasyJet has made a good start to the year by continuing to deliver its strategy of making travel easy and affordable for passengers. We enjoyed a strong October across the network - particularly on UK leisure flights to beach destinations and on French domestic routes where we continued to build passenger numbers after a busy September.
“We further strengthened our network in the quarter adding around 500,000 seats, the majority of which are from airports where easyJet has a number one or number two position. This combined with our new TV ads aimed at business travellers enabled easyJet to sell record numbers of seats to business travellers in the first quarter.
"EasyJet is well positioned to continue to deliver returns and growth to shareholders."
With a solid start, fuel savings are likely to help keep EasyJet on course.