LONDON – British airline EasyJet was looking confident ahead of its full-profit summer season, expected to benefit from strong booking levels, rising ticket prices and growth in its leisure business.
Major European airlines including Ryanair, Lufthansa and IAG, which owns British Airways, have pointed to strong summer bookings, indicating consumers are prioritizing travel spending even as revenue is eroded by inflation.
EasyJet is gradually adding more flights as it recovers from the COVID-19 lows in 2020, saying on Thursday that its capacity will return to pre-pandemic levels by July-September this year.
“Demand is strong, and easyJet, like other airlines, is poised for a profitable summer,” said Bernstein analyst Alex Irving.
EasyJet shares are up 60% since the start of the year, but at their current price of 520 pence they are still 60% below their pre-pandemic levels.
Holiday demand has skyrocketed this year and for the April-June period, EasyJet has confirmed that revenue per seat, a proxy for ticket prices, will be 20% higher than last year.
For the full year, analysts currently expect EasyJet to post pre-tax profit of 345 million pounds ($435 million), according to Refinitiv data.
In its statement, the airline highlighted its expansion into the Greek islands and additional flights to Lisbon, Portugal, and said that their leisure business, launched in 2019, was growing well and would soon offer travel from Switzerland.