LONDON – Low-cost-carrier easyjet released its 2018 financial data, noting that the dronegate incident at London-Gatwick back in December causedthe carrier to lose around £15 million in revenue.

According to the airline, the “dronegate” caused £10 million in “customer welfare costs” and had lost the other £5 million due to flight cancelations.

This £5 million flight cancellation loss of revenue had affected around 82,000 passengers over the course of more than 400 flights.

Chief Executive of the carrier Johan Lundgren stated how “proud” he was of the way staff worked to accommodate customers that were left either stranded at Gatwick or bussed to hotels.

This announcement of loss of revenue comes following the financial results announced by the carrier this week.

Revenues up to December 31, 2018 from the first quarter of last year increased by 13.7% to £1,296 million.

Load factors also decreased by around 2% to 89.7% due to the one-off increase in late demand, as well as the dilutive impact of Tegel flying, where operations are in its early stages of optimisation.

The carrier noted that the bankruptcies of Air Berlin and Monarch as well as winter schedule cancellations from Ryanair benefitted to the tune of £50 million in extra revenues.

Lundgren commented on these results, placing emphasis on the UK’s departure from the European Union.

“For the first half of 2019, booking levels currently remain encouraging despite the lack of certainty around Brexit for our customers,” he said.

“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.”


As for BREXIT, easyJet is confident that it is “well prepared” to deal with any potential turbulence from this withdrawal.

Up to 130 aircraft are now registered in Austria and is making “good progress” to make sure a sufficient spare parts pool in the EU27 and crew license transfers are fully implemented.

In terms of looking towards the rest of this year, the carrier has said “demand currently remains solid and forward bookings for the period after 29th March (After BREXIT) are robust”.

However, with the UK and EU agreeing to ensure that flights between the two actors will continue even in the event of a no-deal BREXIT will no doubt reduce a level of uncertainty in the industry.

Even with that reassurance however, easyJet has increased its ownership by qualifying nationals in the European Economic Area to around 49%.

Looking to the Year Ahead

It is understood that the overall growth of the carrier is going to see full-year capacity grow by 10% with a first-half growth forecast of 15%.

About 40% of forwarding bookings are secured up to the second quarter of the year.

easyJet also conceded that due to the competitiveness of the market in Berlin, a loss is expected in that area for the financial year 2019.

The fuel bill is likely to increase to £1.46 billion, which is something that like with the carrier, many others are preparing as the price of fuel does not seem to be decreasing anytime soon.

It remains clear that easyJet has had to strategize to minimize any potential loss in revenue that could be expected over the course of the year.

From a not so successful year in Berlin to intense BREXIT preparations, it will be interesting to see where the carrier will end up in terms of profitability and how far it will be reduced.

However, easyJet remains confident in the market, expanding on capacity where it can.

If IATA’s Alexandre de Juniac’s comments are true about capacity capping in a post-BREXIT aviation industry, then easyJet will have dodged a bullet through the utilisation of its Austrian Air Operator’s Certificate.