Thursday 8 September 2016 12:07 pm

Easyjet boss says Brexit vote had impact on demand

The boss of budget airline Easyjet said today that Britain's vote to leave the EU in June had a short-term impact on UK consumer demand for holidays after sterling fell against the euro – but appetite for holidays had since normalised.

"We took a consumer hit because people think 'oh my God Europe's more expensive', that normalises," Carolyn McCall said today.

Easyjet also said that its plan to gain an air operator certificate elsewhere in Europe was "quite advanced".

Air fares for European consumers are also likely to remain at the levels they have done this year over the next 12 months, McCall said.

"There's no question in our minds that pricing will remain low, brilliant for consumers. For the next year, we see 2016/17 being very similar to this year," she added.

The airline's chief exec, and its founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, were supporters of the Remain campaign. Ahead of the vote, Haji-Ioannou said: "It is very possible that in a post-Brexit Europe a more restrictive aviation environment would mean fewer flights from the UK to Europe and hence less competition between airlines. That in turn would mean higher air fares so that the price of a family holiday to the Med will go back up again to levels last seen in the 1980s."

Shares in Easyjet dropped off a cliff following the referendum, after the airline warned that the UK's vote to leave the EU would hit the company hard.

However, McCall's comments today don't seem to have hurt the firm too much – shares were up 3.6 per cent at pixel time.