EasyJet dropped the most since 2012 after Europe’s second-biggest discount carrier said strikes in France and the timing of the Easter holiday will weigh on third- quarter earnings.
Walk-outs by French air traffic controllers caused the cancellation of more than 600 flights in April, costing about £25 million, and will contribute to a decline in revenue per seat of about three per cent, EasyJet said.
The threat of strike action, originally scheduled in March and then delayed following the crash of the Germanwings plane in France that month, in addition to the walk-out, weighed on bookings through April, EasyJet Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall said in a telephone interview.
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The crash itself was also a contributing factor, though the incident’s precise effect on demand is harder to calculate, she said.
“April is very much a one-off,” the executive said. “The revenue-per-seat effect was all about disruption, it’s not a permanent state of affairs.”
Europe’s second-biggest discount airline has sought to win passengers from carriers such as Air France-KLM Group and Deutsche Lufthansa AG by expanding its presence at key airports such as London Gatwick and targeting corporate travelers with add-ons such as allocated seats and flexible-fares.
EasyJet lifted passenger numbers 4.4 per cent to 28.9 million in the first half, and capacity by 3.6 per cent.
News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM