UK's easyJet upbeat despite £15m hit from drone disruptions

23 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

LONDON: UK budget carrier easyJet lost £15 million (Dh70.8m) in the 36 hours of travel chaos sparked by drones flying into London's Gatwick Airport in December, it said on Tuesday.

The company, the largest operator at Britain's second biggest airport, said the disruption affected 82,000 customers and forced the cancellation of more than 400 of its flights in the run up to Christmas, report agencies.

That knocked around £5m off its revenue and cost the airline £10m to help its customers.

However the group gave an otherwise upbeat trading update and said 2019 bookings were encouraging despite uncertainty around Brexit, according to Reuters, striking a more positive tone than rival Ryanair, which issued a profit warning last week.

Despite the drone affair, easyJet said it expected full-year headline profit before tax broadly in line with current market expectations.

Total revenue rose by 13.7 per cent to £1.3 billion in its fiscal first quarter to December 31, after passenger numbers rose by 15.1 per cent to 21.6 million.