Easyjet passenger numbers are on the up despite tough year

Helen Cahill
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The travel industry is in for a tough ride this year (Source: Getty)

EasyJet had a rough ride in 2016, but has kicked off the new year with a bit of good news, reporting this morning that passenger numbers were up in December.

The budget airline transported 5,579,978 passengers around the globe in December, up 15 per cent on the year before.

That brought the company's passenger number for the whole year up 6.6 per cent as compared to 2015, rising to 74,452,487 from 69,828,383.

Read more: Easyjet cuts dividend as profits nosedive following Brexit vote

Despite the good news on passenger numbers, it has not been an easy year for the cut-price airline. In November, it was forced to cut its dividend when profits nosedived 27 per cent due to the Brexit vote. EasyJet blamed "unprecedented external events" for its difficulties.

And the year ahead doesn't look particularly positive for the travel industry in general, as figures revealed by City A.M. today show how thousands of travel firms are at risk of insolvency. Not only do companies have to battle a growing trend for staycations following the EU referendum, the sector is also being weighed down by terrorism concerns.

According to data from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, 2,679 businesses in the travel industry are currently experiencing significant distress, a 10 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter and a four per cent year-on-year increase.

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