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EasyJet CEO Sees Strategy Intact as Brexit Shock Blows Over

By Publications Checkout

EasyJet Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall said financial markets "overreacted" to Britain’s decision to exit the European Union, as a feared drop in travel demand hasn’t been as severe as investors expected.

There was a "short-term" impact from the collapse of the pound in the aftermath of the referendum, McCall said Thursday in London. While that discouraged last-minute UK holiday planners, in the longer term "nothing has changed."

"It was a seismic political decision for this country to take, and no one can underestimate that," the CEO said, speaking at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress. “But actually everything we’re doing today is the same."

EasyJet is more exposed to the fallout from the UK.s decision than most rivals because the move could threaten agreements allowing the carrier to fly to continental Europe. The airline helped stoke concern over the impact by shying away from full-year profit forecast when the company reported fiscal third-quarter figures in July.

The carrier, which suffered a 23 percent plunge in its stock since the vote, has said it had a contingency plan to relocate its legal headquarters to a another EU country if the UK fails to renegotiate its place in the Open Skies agreement. McCall said talks are “quite advanced” but shrugged off the impact of such a move.

“Every airline will have to” consider their corporate structure if free access between the EU and U.K. is lost, she said, though that in effect would be only a “technical and legal change.”

News Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland

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