Winter storms fail to dampen enthusiasm for EasyJet

Winter storms and power outages at Gatwick airport over Christmas have failed to dampen passengers enthusiasm for low cost airline EasyJet. Seats flown grew by 4.1 per cent to 16.1m, with passengers carried increasing by 4.2 per cent to 14.3m.

EasyJet's system of seating allocation introduced in 2012 helped grow revenue per seat by 3.4 per cent on a reported basis to £55.71 per seat, or by 1.4 per cent on a constant currency basis.

The system gives passengers the option to pay to choose their seats or have them allocated automatically, free of charge.

Commenting on the results, Carolyn McCall, EasyJet chief executive said:

The performance in the quarter demonstrates our continued focus on cost, progress against our strategic priorities and easyJet's structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both the legacy and low-cost competition.

There have been no significant changes to capacity plans for the year with around 3.5 per cent capacity growth planned for the first half of the financial year and five per cent capacity growth for the full year.

Last year the airline enjoyed a 51 per cent rise in annual profits to £478m, beating market forecasts.

The FTSE 100 company’s bumper results prompted a £175m shareholder payout in the form of a special dividend of 44.1p per share, announced in November.