EasyJet losses narrowing as costs reduced

EASYJET, Europe’s second-largest low-cost carrier, said yesterday it expected its first-half loss to be narrower than previously thought as cost controls and better marketing help it through tough times.

EasyJet said it now expects a first-half loss of £110m to £120m – down from previous estimates of £140m to £160m.

European airlines have struggled to overcome a toxic mix of high oil prices and sluggish demand in recent months, with low-cost airlines expected to pick up more business as struggling consumers trade down.

“In a difficult environment for all airlines, improvements in revenue management combined with marketing and website initiatives have enabled EasyJet to take advantage as weaker competitors have left the market over the last couple of months,” the company said.

Two months ago EasyJet posted strong growth in quarterly revenue, helped by an uplift in the number of business travellers flying with the airline and milder winter weather.

Since the start of the year, some airlines, including loss-making Spanair and Hungarian flag-carrier Malev have ceased operations, leaving gaps in the market.