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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

UK carrier easyJet lifts profit forecast as it fills more seats

Keeping a tight rein on costs also pays dividends

The UK budget airline easyJet has raised its profit outlook. Regis Duvignau / Reuters
The UK budget airline easyJet has raised its profit outlook. Regis Duvignau / Reuters

British budget airline easyJet raised its profit outlook on Thursday after it filled more seats on its planes while keeping a tight grip on costs during the third quarter.

The airline, which is looking for a replacement for the chief execurtive Carolyn McCall who is set to join broadcaster ITV next year, said profit before tax would be in the range of £380 million (Dh1.81 billion) to £420m.

A company-supplied analyst consensus had estimated profit before tax to come in at £380m.

Ms McCall said competition in the sector would mean prices remain under pressure, but the airline kept its cost per seat guidance for the year.

"Although we expect capacity to continue to put pressure on yields, our progress this year has enabled us to upgrade this year's PBT (profit before tax) forecast and demonstrates that after a difficult 18 months of external challenges easyJet once again has positive momentum," she said.

The airline also said that its European subsidiary would fly its first flight on Thursday, as it had been awarded an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in Austria.

The approval comes less than a week after it said it would establish a new airline headquartered in Vienna to protect its flying rights in the European Union once Britain leaves the bloc.