Budget carrier EasyJet has posted a return to profit after reversing a £53m loss last year to return a profit of £7m in the six months to 31 March, helped in no small measure by a recent drop in fuel costs.
Markets brushed off this apparent good news however with shares in the business sliding six per cent following a warning that profits will be hit in the current quarter as a result of April’s air traffic control strike in France.
Disruption arising from that action led to the cancellation of 600 flights, delivering a £25m financial hit.
Easyjet chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “The profit in the half reflects the delivery of our customer focused revenue initiatives and a strong finish to the ski season as well as the benefit we received from the lower fuel price and favourable foreign exchange movements.
"As we enter the important summer season forward bookings are in line with last year and as we predicted passengers are benefiting as fares fall to reflect a more competitive operating environment and lower fuel costs."
Revenues for the six months rose by 3.8 per cent to £1,767bn.