AFTER the results of Britain’s EU referendum were announced, European airlines’ shares plummeted. Some, such as Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget carrier, talked about shifting their focus away from Britain. However, the continent's second biggest, easyJet, which is headquartered in Luton, insisted it was going nowhere.

The success of that strategy will depend on the terms of the aviation deal that Britain and the EU finally agree upon. But half of easyJet’s passengers do not fly either to or from the United Kingdom, so the airline will in any case need to retain a license to fly routes within the EU. It must therefore hope the European negotiators play ball.

Even before it deals with that problem, easyJet has another headache brought on by Brexit. On 21st July the carrier announced disappointing quarterly results. Although the number of passengers it flew increased by 900,000 to 20.2m in the third quarter of this year, compared with the same period 12 months earlier, growth has come at a cost. Between April and June, easyJet’s average revenue per seat fell to just £54 ($71), down 8.3% on the year before. Its costs also rose...Continue reading