EasyJet, the second-largest airline in Europe (based on passenger numbers), has reported a 28% fall in annual profits following a challenging year which has seen a slump in the pound and increased competition in the aviation industry. The airline has calculated that the fall in the pound to euro rate (1.30 at the date of the referendum on 23 June 2016 to 1.15 at the time of writing) has cost the airline £88 million, amongst growing concern that fewer British people are opting to holiday in the Eurozone, where many of EasyJet’s European destinations are located.
The airline has previously announced that it is prepared to leave the UK to protect its rights to fly in the European Union. Over 3,000 EasyJet staff are currently working in mainland Europe and the airline has held informal discussions with a number of European aviation regulators about the establishment of an air operator certificate in an EU country to enable the airline to continue to fly across Europe. Despite these financial figures, the airline reported a record 73.1 million passengers opted to travel with them this year and the CEO of EasyJet, Carolyn McCall confirmed this morning that London Luton and London Gatwick airports would continue to be crucial centres for the airline after the UK has left the European Union.