The UK?s Brexit vote and recent events in Turkey and Nice have contributed to a ?difficult and uncertain? operating environment, low-cost airline easyJet said today.
In a trading statement for the quarter ended 30 June 2016, the airline reported a 5.8% increase in passenger numbers to 20.2 million, driven by an increase in capacity of 5.5% to 21.9 million seats. But its revenue fell 2.6% to ?1.196bn as increased seat capacity was offset by the impact on yield of overall market capacity and cancellations as a result of ?significant external events?.
Total revenue per seat decreased by 8.3% at constant currency or by 7.7% on a reported basis to ?54.54 per seat.
Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive, explained:
?The economic and operating environment has been difficult in the third quarter due to a number of factors including air traffic control strikes and other industrial action, runway closures at London Gatwick and severe weather. These factors combined with industry capacity growth in short haul continue to have an impact on industry yields at a peak time of year. More recently currency volatility as a result of the UK?s referendum decision to leave the EU as well as the recent events in Turkey and Nice continue to impact consumer confidence.?
With trading prospects so uncertain, easyJet decided against providing a profit forecast.
Shares in the company tumbled this morning in response to the news.
In an interview with the BBC, McCall said that the drop in sterling after the referendum has made fuel more expensive and increased the airline?s costs by ?40m in just four weeks.
The chief executive also confirmed, however, that the airline would not be scaling back its operations in the UK market as a result of Brexit.
?We will continue to grow in the UK,? she said.