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EasyJet puts figure on Gatwick drone disruption cost

UK budget carrier EasyJet has put the cost of the London Gatwick drone disruption at around £10 million ($13 million), although overall flight cancellations for the airline fell in the first quarter.

London Gatwick was closed for more than a day during December following the sighting of drones in the vicinity, with a substantial impact on EasyJet, which has its largest base at the airport.

EasyJet says the incident affected around 82,000 passengers and over 400 cancelled flights.

In its first-quarter figures, for the three months ending 31 December, it puts the revenue impact at £5 million.

But EasyJet adds that the cost of the drone situation, which includes customer welfare expenses, amounted to £10 million.

“There has been a one-off cost impact from this incident but underlying cost progress is in line with expectations,” says chief executive Johan Lundgren.

EasyJet experienced 764 cancellations during the first quarter, with the Gatwick drone incident accounting for the largest number.

But this overall cancellation figure was still significantly lower than the 1,051 recorded in the previous first quarter.

Lundgren says that, outside of the Gatwick disruption, the airline has made a “good start” to the year, in terms of operating performance and punctuality across its network.

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