Julian Bray Aviation Expert writes: Is this really a false dawn or has easyJet's new chief executive, Johan Lundgren, fallen on his feet as the airline presents his recent arrival with an impressive trading statement? At a time when aviation stories suggest it's a turbulent time for airlines, easyJet posted an impressive 14.4 per cent advance to £1.1bn three months to 31 December.
Johan Lundgren, appointed in November, and clearly has been busy. Out is chief commercial officer Peter Duffy.
Clearly the airline has cashed in on corporate turbulence elsewhere in the industry. A few months ago, Monarch collapsed, Ryanair cancelled flights on a epic scale due to a scheduling meltdown, and to a lesser extent, a pilot shortage. To complete the carnage Alitalia and Air Berlin - with easyJet picking up parts of the failed Air Berlin - filed for administration.
Recognising his good fortune Mr Lundgren commented:"Clearly there has been less competitive pressure on certain routes."
Sadly failing airlines, create problems for some but opportunities for others who remain, such as easyJet as it fuels the industry wide vacuum created by the reduced number of flights being offered. As airlines chiefly deal in US $, the stronger UK £ has helped.
Once off costs associated with any brexit issues have already been factored in, as airlines are not content to wait for the political process to pan out - if ever! Commercial realities demand forward planning as much as two/four years ahead A stronger pound has also helped lift the numbers at easyJet. Some 50 per cent of sales originate within the UK.
Mr Lundgren commented in a statement that easyJet would "continue to focus on cost" after generating approximately £28m of savings in the quarter.
He added: "Our customer proposition will continue to drive both passenger growth and loyalty.....we have great revenue growth, strong cost control, a robust operation and a strong balance sheet."
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