EasyJet – the British no frills carrier today revealed that bad weather had cost it £18 million in lost revenues and strikes by the air-traffic controllers in different parts of Europe an additional £6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The second largest budget airliner of Europe by passenger traffic expects pre-tax losses of £140 million to £160 million in the first half of 2011 compared to £78.7 million recorded in 2010. Spanish air traffic controllers staged walk outs while French controllers struck work several times during the quarter prompting the CEO of EasyJet to call for better regulation of airports and air-traffic controllers.
EasyJet recorded a passenger traffic growth of 8.8 percent in fourth quarter while revenue was up by 7.5 percent to £654 million. Losses suffered by EasyJet due to snow, however, are smaller compared to its flag-carrier rival British Airways – which has already pegged losses at £50 million due to disruptions. EasyJet operates in smaller airports like London Luton whereas BA uses larger airports like Heathrow.
EasyJet has delivered “solid trading performance” with improved traffic volume despite snow disruptions and air traffic control strikes – said Carolyn McCall, CEO of EasyJet.
“We call on governments to provide sensible legislation for airport regulation and air traffic control. The severe snow disruption of the past two years also highlights the need for airports to invest in the appropriate infrastructure to keep passengers moving”, she said adding that the carrier will always stand by its fliers whenever external events affect their journey.
The revenue per passenger has fallen by 1.1 percent to £54.78 over fourth quarter of 2009. However, since the carrier has more A320 models in its fleet – which carries greater number of passengers; cost savings has more than compensated for the fall in revenue. Costs have actually fallen by 2.9 percent – excluding price of fuel and weather and strike related costs.
The company expects fuel costs to rise by £1.17 per seat in the first half of 2011, compared to 2010. Its earnings expectations for the full year remain unchanged, excluding the rising fuel price factor and other eventualities.