easyJet raises profit outlook as bookings rise

Budget airline easyJet has improved its first quarter performance by £80m after a 47% jump in passenger numbers at the end of 2022.

In a trading update for the three months to the end of December, easyJet said that it carried 17.5 million passengers compared with 11.9 million in the same period a year earlier, when travel was hit by pandemic restrictions.

The airline also reported strong demand for new year holiday bookings.

“We have seen strong and sustained demand for travel over the first quarter, carrying almost 50% more customers compared with last year,” said easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren. “Many returned to make bookings during the traditional turn of year sale where we filled five aircraft every minute in the peak hours, which culminated in three record-breaking weekends for sales revenue this month.”

easyJet reduced its first quarter pre-tax loss to £133m, against a loss of £213m in September-December 2021.

It now expects its seasonal first-half loss to be “significantly” better than last year and anticipates beating the current market expectation for full-year profit of £126m.