EasyJet sees revenue lift from allocated seating

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UK low-cost carrier EasyJet will wait until after the summer season before it reviews any further development of its allocated seating strategy it introduced last year.

EasyJet began a trial of allocated seating last Spring, expanding it across its network last November. While in part designed to "de-stress" boarding for passengers, the carrier has also had a revenue benefit for the airline.

"The introduction of allocated seating made a positive contribution in the first half," says EasyJet chief financial officer Chris Kennedy during a first half results conference call. "Allocated seating has delivered higher revenues than speedy boarding," he says, pointing to a £0.27 ($0.41) uplift on unit revenues. This contributed to an overall near £3 rise in revenues per seat to £53.

"It has encouraged people to re-appraise it and try us," says EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall. "We are pleased with the progress. All our operational KPIs are running at or ahead of our internal targets. Customer feedback has been very positive.

"This will be the first full summer season and we will review after the season has finished," she adds. "We want to gather the data from a full year from allocated, given that the summer where patterns are quite different. We will do that at the end of the financial year, that will give us much more data to know what we can yield manage."