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easyJet has seen total revenue rise by 13.7 per cent, to £1,296 million, in the first quarter.
Passenger revenue increased by 12.2 per cent, to £1,025 million, in the three months to December 31st, while ancillary revenue increased by 19.9 per cent to £271 million.
Passenger numbers in the quarter increased by 15.1 per cent to 21.6 million, driven by an increase in capacity of 18.2 per cent to 24.1 million seats.
Increases in capacity were, however, slightly lower than originally planned due in part to the drone issues at London Gatwick and to late A321 deliveries from Airbus.
easyJet said the closure of Gatwick cost it £15 million – some £10 million in “customer welfare costs” and £5 million of revenues due to flight cancellations.
Commenting on the first quarter results, Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “easyJet has made a good start to the 2019 financial year with robust customer demand and ancillary sales, driving solid revenue generation.
“This was underpinned by good operating and on-time performance across the network, with the exception of the disruption caused by the Gatwick closures due to drone sightings.
“There has been be a one-off cost impact from this incident, but underlying cost progress is in line with expectations.
“I am proud of the way our teams worked around the clock to mitigate the impact of the incident and looked after affected customers.”
easyJet said load factors decreased by two percentage points in the first quarter, to 89.7 per cent.
“For the first half of 2019, booking levels currently remain encouraging despite the lack of certainty around Brexit for our customers.
“Second half bookings continue to be ahead of last year and our expectations for the full year headline profit before tax are broadly in line with current market expectations,” concluded Lundgren.