EasyJet driven towards Ryanair

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore June 6, 2016 10:14

EasyJet driven towards Ryanair

easyJet carried 6.9 million people last month, a 5.7% rise from a year earlier. Despite this growth, the airline’s load factor dipped by 0.1 percentage points year on year to 91.5%. These figures are very impressive indeed given that easyJet was forced to make 173 flight cancellations in May due to strike action in Europe and was impacted by residual terrorist worries following attacks on aircraft and cities.

Even so, easyJet shares are trading down today as investors compared the airline to Ryanair, which has reported an increase in load factor during the period. EasyJet is tracking Ryanair with a statement today that it will “offer its customers lower value fares this summer – with fares down around 7% in the period April to June”.

Over the 12 months to May, passenger numbers are up 7.3% to 71.5 million and its load factor is up by 0.2 percentage points to 91.4%.

But, it has to be stated that easyJet was far more exposed to North Africa than any other European low cost airline. All of its North African destinations were hit hard over the past 12 months with bookings collapsing for all destinations across the region, then it was impacted by major city destinations being hit by terrorist action. The short-term hit is one thing, but it is the long-term impact that one must start to consider, and one cannot help but think that easyjet is being slowly driven into the path of Ryanair as the route map shrinks and aircraft are redeployed, just as Ryanair sorts its act out and captures more business passengers. On many routes it could be argued that easyJet should have the edge with its reconfigured A319s with the rear galley gone, but the Ryanair team made sure that all those 737-800s were both purchased on the cheap and financed so very keenly that there is little doubt Ryanair has a significant advantage in any price war.

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore June 6, 2016 10:14