Easyjet’s profit soars

UK no-frills air­line places $3.6 bil­lion Air­bus or­der

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

LON­DON: Bri­tish no-frills air­line Easyjet yes­ter­day or­dered 36 Air­bus A320 jets worth $3.8 bil­lion (3.5 bil­lion eu­ros) at cat­a­logue prices, af­ter post­ing record an­nual prof­its on keen de­mand. Easyjet said in a re­sults state­ment it will pur­chase 30 nextgen­er­a­tion fuel-ef­fi­cient A320­neo air­craft, con­vert­ing op­tions that had been an­nounced back in 2013, and has added an­other six firm or­ders for cur­rent-gen­er­a­tion A320s. The 36 pop­u­lar sin­gle-aisle Air­bus air­planes, which have 186 seats, are for de­liv­ery be­tween 2018 and 2021. Easyjet, which is based in Lu­ton north of Lon­don, added that it would take more op­tions for 30 A320­neo air­craft, tak­ing its to­tal num­ber of op­tions to 100.

“Due to our con­tin­ued ro­bust trad­ing, high de­mand for easyJet flights and the num­ber of prof­itable op­por­tu­ni­ties we see in our mar­kets, we are pleased to have se­cured an agree­ment with Air­bus to take de­liv­ery of an ad­di­tional 36 A320 air­craft,” the air­line said in the state­ment. “Th­ese air­craft will of­fer in­creased flex­i­bil­ity in fleet plan­ning, in­clud­ing the faster re­place­ment of some of our A319 air­craft, lower over­all unit costs and en­sure Easyjet can con­tinue to grow past 2019 to sup­port in­creas­ing to­tal share­holder re­turns.” Easyjet’s vast Air­bus or­der was un­veiled along­side news of soaring an­nual prof­its.

Pre-tax profit leapt 18 per­cent to a record £686 mil­lion, buoyed by keen de­mand for city break hol­i­days and busi­ness travel, and lower fuel costs. Pre-tax earn­ings, which rose for the fifth year in a row, were in the mid­dle of the group’s forecast range. “Our out­look for the longer term is pos­i­tive,” said chief ex­ec­u­tive Carolyn McCall. “We ex­pect de­mand in our mar­kets to be sus­tained and for Easyjet to con­tinue to be a win­ner in its mar­kets.” She added: “We con­tinue to in­vest in prof­itable growth, en­sur­ing our dig­i­tal ad­van­tage and giv­ing our cus­tomer good value fares.”Net prof­its mean­while ral­lied 22 per­cent to £548 mil­lion in the year to the end of Septem­ber, com­pared with 2013/2014.

Pas­sen­ger num­bers rose six per­cent to 68.6 mil­lion peo­ple, and rev­enues swelled 3.5 per­cent to £4.686 bil­lion. “Our mar­kets are strong, with fa­vor­able eco­nomic and con­sumer trends,” the air­line said in the state­ment. “Our core leisure cus­tomer is part of a mar­ket that is grow­ing strongly ev­ery year as peo­ple take more hol­i­days and city breaks, com­ple­mented by a busi­ness travel mar­ket that prizes both flex­i­bil­ity and value.” The sin­gle aisle A320­neo is de­signed to pro­duce fuel sav­ings of some 20 per­cent per seat com­pared with cur­rent gen­er­a­tion jet­lin­ers and they have greater range. — AFP

NORD: A plane of the low cost air­line car­rier EasyJet takes off at Lille-Lesquin air­port in France. Bri­tish no-frills air­line Easyjet said yes­ter­day that an­nual net earn­ings jumped more than a fifth, buoyed by keen de­mand for city break hol­i­days and busi­ness travel, along­side lower fuel costs. — AFP

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