Easyjet has reported strong first quarter numbers with total revenue up by 14.4% to £1,140m reflecting an increase of 1.4 million passengers carried through the period.
This also represents a 6.6% increase in revenue per seat at constant currency, a strong increase in ancillary revenue as well as a benefit from foreign exchange.
The number of passengers carried increased by 8% to 18.8 million, driven by a growth in capacity of 5.5% to 20.4 million seats and load factor increasing by 2.1% to 92.1%.
According to easyJet it has seen a positive trading environment based on the strength of its network and customer proposition, capacity reductions and lower growth in easyJet markets.
In particular, the bankruptcies of Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia as well as the impact from Ryanair's flight cancellations, have all helped strengthen easyJet’s position.
Ancillary revenue continues to perform well, increasing by 20% to £226.3mn (2017: £188.0 million). The company said momentum from last year's product and pricing initiatives, particularly for Bags and Allocated Seating, was continuing into this year and benefitting from both higher loads as well as further product offerings brought to market.
While the numbers at easyJet may be encouraging, the musical chairs in the boardroom is less so.
According to news reports coming from within the organisation, chief commercial officer Peter Duffy has resigned just two months after losing out on the budget airline's top job.
Duffy, who has been at the company since 20111, was believed to be one of the front runners for the vacant CEO job when Carolyn McCall quit easyJet last summer for ITV.
Instead the CEO position went to an external candidate, Johan Lundgren from Tui, who today commented on the company’s Q1 performance.
"easyJet delivered a strong start to the financial year with a significant growth in revenue in part driven by an increase in passengers flown and strong growth in inflight and ancillary sales as we offer more and better-quality options for our passengers.”
He added: “We continue to focus on cost, generating approximately £28 million in lean savings in the quarter, and we completed our acquisition of part of Air Berlin's operations at Berlin Tegel.”
The market responded positively to easyJet's lates numbers, in mid-morning trading the company share price was up over 5.5% to 1652.