Ticker EZJ

Today's data summary

Market closed
% change
Price Pence
As of 18:53 16 Nov 2018
Market cap. Pound sterling
4,592.32 million
As of 18:53 16 Nov 2018

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easyJet reaches female pilot target

Easyjet pilots

Some good news from easyJet.

The airline reports that it has hit a "key milestone" in its aim to ensure that 20% of new pilots joining the firm by 2020 will be women.

easyJet says it has "achieved a new high of 15% of new entrants to the airline being female, over the past financial year".

Chief executive Johan Lundgren says: "As well as encouraging applications from women now, we also recognise we need to start young so that we can be simultaneously changing perceptions of the career and so improving the gender balance of the profession for years to come.

"That is why our pilots have completed more than 100 school visits last year and we signed up to sponsor the Girlguiding Aviation badge for Brownies to get girls interested in flight at an early age."

FTSE dragged lower

Airlines weighed heavily on the FTSE 100, with Easyjet closing down 5% and British Airways-owner IAG down 2%.

They were casualties of a profit warning from smaller rival Flybe, whose shares sank 13% after the airline said a higher pound and rising costs were starting to bite.

It also hit tour operator TUI, down 3.2%, while mid-cap peer Thomas Cook tumbled 7.7%.

The FTSE 100 had been in positive territory earlier in the day, but gradually erased the gains. The index ended almost 0.1% lower at 7,054.6 points.

Airline shares not flying

Ryanair protesters

Investors across the aviation sector have been spooked by Ryanair's profit warning.

Easyjet is down 5.7%, while British Airways-owner IAG is down more than 3%. Wizzair fell 4.8%, Air France 3.5% and Lufthansa 2.2%.

Ryanair has blamed strikes for lowering its profit guidance and outlook for future trading.

But it seems investors fear there could be more than industrial action behind Ryanair's weaker forecasts, possibly indicating a drop in business across the sector.

Easyjet costs up

Easyjet's shares have fallen despite the airline's trading statement saying performance was strong.

Unfortunately non-fuel costs are heading up again, and while Easyjet has blamed exceptional circumstances like adverse weather and industrial action, we can't help but notice they aren't expected to fall back next year.

George Salmonequity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown

Easyjet 'strong performance'

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Easyjet's chief executive Johan Lundgren says the airline expects to a deliver a "strong performance" in the fourth quarter, and for its full financial year, driven by better than expected growth in passenger revenues and reduced losses at its German operation Tegel.

"We now expect our headline profits for the year to be between £570m and £580m, at the top half our guidance range. This has been achieved despite higher costs caused by disruption due to third party industrial action and severe weather," he said.

The trading update comes on the same day as Ryanair passengers face disruption caused by strikes.

EasyJet still in talks about Alitalia

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EasyJet reported a 5.6% rise in passengers in August compared to the same month last year.

The chief executive of the airline also said that it is still in talks with the Alitalia's short-haul operations but said a deal needs to make commercial sense.

"Those are the things we are looking for and those are the discussions we are having," said Johan Lundgren. "And sometimes the discussions are progressing faster and sometimes they are progressing a little bit slower."