EasyJet expects first-half pre-tax loss of £140-160 million

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UK budget carrier EasyJet is expecting a first-half pre-tax loss of £140-160 million ($224-256 million), compared with a pre-tax loss of £78.7 million in the same period last year.

In a trading update today the airline states that its first-quarter revenues rose by 7.5% to £654 million. Total revenue per seat was flat at £47.5.

"In the quarter disruption from ATC strike action and severe weather cost £6 million and £18 million respectively and in addition led to lost contribution of £7 million," says EasyJet.

Fuel costs are anticipated to be around £1.17 per seat higher than in the first half of last year, resulting in the first half loss.

EasyJet's first-quarter passenger numbers rose by 8.8% to 11.9 million, and load factor increased by 0.9 points to 86.7%.