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Wed, Jan 23, 2019

easyJet Reports Nearly $20 Million Impact From Gatwick Drone 'Chaos'

But Fourth Quarter Financial Performance Was 'Good' Despite The Incident

easyJet reported that the drone incident at Gatwick cost them £15 million (approx. $20 million), but overall, the carrier has seen a "good start to the year."

Buying Business Travel reports that the carrier said it incurred about $6.5 million in losses due to flight groundings, and an additional $13 million in "customer welfare costs". The incident affected around 82,000 customers and led to over 400 flights being cancelled, according to a company news release.

“easyJet has made a good start to the 2019 financial year with robust customer demand and ancillary sales, driving solid revenue generation. This was underpinned by good operating and on-time performance across the network, with the exception of the disruption caused by the Gatwick closures due to drone sightings. There has been be a one-off cost impact from this incident, but underlying cost progress is in line with expectations. I am proud of the way our teams worked around the clock to mitigate the impact of the incident and looked after affected customers," said Johan Lundgren, easyJet Chief Executive.

“Recognition of the easyJet brand continues to grow. We made good progress on our strategic initiatives; holidays, business, loyalty and data during the quarter.

“For the first half of 2019, booking levels currently remain encouraging despite the lack of certainty around Brexit for our customers. Second half bookings continue to be ahead of last year and our expectations for the full year headline profit before tax are broadly in line with current market expectations.”

easyJet adds that it feels it is well prepared for Brexit. It now has 130 aircraft registered in Austria and has made good progress in ensuring it has a spare parts pool in the EU27 and in transferring crew licences, both of which will be completed by 29 March. Both the EU and the UK have committed to ensure that flights between the UK and EU will continue in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In order to remain owned and controlled by EEA qualifying nationals, as required by EU regulations, easyJet has a number of options, including the use of the provisions contained in its Articles of Association which would permit it to suspend rights to attend and vote at meetings of shareholders and/or forcing the sale of shares owned by non-qualifying nationals as well as other potential actions. easyJet has increased its ownership by qualifying EEA (excluding UK) nationals to around 49%.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report, easyJet news release

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