easyjet Europe launches inaugural flight

easyjet Europe, budget carrier easyjet’s new Austrian-based operation, made its inaugural flight yesterday after receiving the necessary authorisations.

The new business has been created by easyjet to help overcome operational fears post-Brexit. Austria has provided the company with an Air Operator Certificate and airline operating licence, making its European future more predictable.

Speaking yesterday, the company’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, said, ‘Our European AOC has now been awarded and the first flight by an easyJet Europe aircraft takes place today. That means our flying rights in Europe will be secure after the UK leaves the EU.’

The company has just reported a 10.8 percent rise in year-on-year carryings to 22.3 million passengers for the three months to June 30.

The quarterly revenue increased by 16 percent to GBP1.387 million, for which easyjet described the moving of Easter from March to April as a ‘significant benefit’, along with higher load factors and an improving underlying trend in the trading environment.

The company has also negotiated a new ground handling agreement with DHL to allow for more than nine million passengers a year at Gatwick, commencing November, contributing to the GBP380 million to GBP420 million full year pre-tax profit that the airline expects to deliver.

McCall said: ‘EasyJet has delivered a strong performance in the quarter right across the business. Our purposeful and disciplined growth continues to strengthen our market positions and we are seeing an underlying improving revenue trend. Our continuing product and digital innovation is generating revenue growth. Our underlying cost control is strong, while our investment in resilience is delivering results in our operational performance.’