EasyJet halves interim losses but yet to detail fleet plan

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EasyJet expects improved full-year profitability after the UK low-cost carrier nearly halved pre-tax losses to £61 million ($93 million) over the first six months.

The carrier has yet to reach a decision, however, on its fleet-renewal programme.

EasyJet's first-half revenues were up 9% to £1.6 billion. It says it benefited from "revenue initiatives" as well as capacity reductions by competitors and the first-half timing of the Easter holiday period.

The carrier says activity for the second half of the year is progressing "in line with management's expectations".

It adds that its unit fuel bill for the second half will be up to £10 million in its favour, compared with last year.

EasyJet says that, with the reduction in first-half losses and the outlook for the second half, it expects to deliver "improved returns and profitability" for the full year ending 30 September 2013.

The airline has yet to reach a decision on renewing its fleet, which comprised 210 aircraft at the end of March.

Over the second half EasyJet will take delivery of eight more Airbus A320s and return a single A319, giving it a fleet of 217 jets - made up of 153 A319s and 64 A320s - by the close of the financial year.

The carrier has another nine A320s scheduled for delivery during the 2013-14 financial year including three recently-firmed options. Another 39 A320-family options remain open.

EasyJet has been looking to renew its fleet and says it is in the "final stages" of evaluating short-haul engine technology. If it finds that an order is in the interests of shareholders, the carrier will put forward a proposal for new deliveries after 2017 and a bridging strategy for 2015-17.