Losses at EasyJet narrow as budget airline reaps benefits from one of its best winters
Losses at EasyJet narrowed in the first half of the year after the budget airline enjoyed one of its best winters.
The low-cost carrier reported a £68m pre-tax loss in the six months to March 31, which compares with an £236m loss in the same period last year.
Headline profit before tax, excluding costs associated with its new operations in Berlin Tegel, came in at £8m against a £212m loss last year.
Revenue rose 19.5pc to £2.18bn in the period.
Passenger numbers increased by three million, or 8.8pc, to 36.8 million in the period, including 700,000 from Tegel.
The early Easter and "capacity reductions by other airlines" - including the collapse of Monarch and Air Berlin and the winter withdrawal of Ryanair from the UK domestic market - also helped boost the firm's sales performance.
Boss Johan Lundgren said: "EasyJet has delivered an excellent performance reporting a profit of £8m, one of our best results ever in the winter trading period (excluding the one-off impact of the start-up of our Tegel operation).
"Total revenue was above £2bn for the first time, up almost 20pc year on year. This was driven by a record number of passengers."
Mr Lundgren also revealed plans to introduce a new loyalty programme at the airline.
The figures show that EasyJet booked a £19m charge for the sale and leaseback of 10 A319 aircraft in the period, a £1m charge associated with an organisational review and a £4m charge for "Brexit-related plans".
This was on top of a £24m charge for the integration of Berlin Tegel.
Last year, EasyJet snapped up part of Air Berlin's operation for €40m, which included a raft of landing slots as well as the rights to operate passenger transport at Tegel.