ALBAWABA — Low-cost airline easyJet raised its annual profit guidance on Wednesday after record January demand and falling quarterly losses, coupled with strong ongoing bookings and decent first-quarter sales.
The carrier expects overall passenger numbers to increase by 25 percent in comparison to the previous year and for capacity to return to pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter, forecasting a return to annual profit after three years of losses following higher and sustainable passenger demand as the travel industry weathers the economic slowdown.
"While we remain mindful of the uncertain macroeconomic outlook around the world, based on current levels of demand and high bookings easyJet expects to outperform current market expectations for the 2023 financial year," easyJet said in a statement.
The airline plans to expand its flight schedules progressively into the summer, returning to pre-pandemic flying levels by the peak summer months between July and September.
The forecast for a strong summer comes as easyJet reported a pre-tax loss of £133 million for the final three months of the financial year, down from the £213 million loss in FY2021.
Traffic rebounded 47 percent to 17.5 million passengers in the reporting period.
EasyJet shares closed 10.33 percent higher to 516.34 pence on Wednesday in London following the forecast as the low-cost airline said customers appeared to be “prioritizing spending on holidays for the year ahead”.
"This will set us firmly on the path to delivering a full-year profit," easyJet Chief Executive Officer Johan Lundgren said.
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