Brits will continue to travel amidst the current cost-of-living crisis, according to Easyjet’s boss Johan Lundgren.
The chief executive said that, despite limited visibility, the carrier is already seeing a strong demand for next year.
“We have relatively low visibility overall, but we do see in general there is a strong demand and quite [a lot of] early bookings into the peak period,” Lundgren told journalists on Tuesday.
Ticket yields for the Christmas period are up around 18 per cent on last year’s levels while Easyjet expects to capitalise on the first restriction-free ski season.
“Consumers will protect their holidays but look for value, and across its primary airport network, Easyjet will be the beneficiary as customers vote with their wallets,” Lundgren added.
The chief executive’s comments came as the low-cost carrier shrunk its underlying losses for the year ended 30 September to £178m.
The loss – which was down on last year’s £1.1bn – included £78m disruption and compensation costs for this summer’s travel chaos.
Nevertheless, the carrier said it was better placed than competitors to navigate the months ahead, as it had a net debt of £700m – one of the lowest in aviation – and demand rebounded 240 per cent in the last year.
Total revenue also rose nearly 300 per cent to £5.7bn, from £1.4bn in the same period a year prior – with the revenue the airline generates per seat up a third to £67.33
“We go into this macroeconomic environment with strength and we are able to compete with all competitors thanks to our unique position in the market,” the chief executive added.
“Easyjet has the financial strength that many competitors would give their left arm to have,” he said.
The carrier also said it would not rule out M&A deals, as smaller airlines around Europe feel the cost pressure.
“We don’t rule anything out, if it delivers value to our shareholders then it’s doable, but we are focused and confident in our standalone plan,” Lundgren added.
Easyjet was however bracing for a 50 per cent rise in fuel costs.