Snow aids EasyJet as Britons chase sun

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BUDGET airline EasyJet is tipped to become the latest company to benefit from the heavy snow in the UK when its trading update lands on Friday.

Analysts think the snow and ice will have sent more Britons abroad in search of sunshine, while wintry conditions on the continent have boosted demand for ski holidays over the winter.

Last week, Thomson Holidays owner Tui Travel reported a 9 per cent rise in bookings for summer holidays thanks to the cold weather at home.

EasyJet’s load factor – a measure of how full its planes are – improved to 88.2 per cent in the 12 months to 28 February from 87.8 per cent in the previous year. Passenger numbers were up 7 per cent to almost 60 million.

Numis Securities analyst Wyn Ellis said: “We believe that the ski season was strong and the very poor weather in the UK has provided a significant boost to recent bookings.

“Consequently, we expect a positive update on recent trading, an encouraging outlook statement and consider that there is a strong possibility that full-year guidance will be upgraded.”

The carrier has guided the City to expect a loss of £50 million to £75m for the six months to 31 March, compared with the £112m loss reported a year earlier.

Airlines traditionally report losses over the weaker winter period.

EasyJet was promoted to the FTSE 100 index last month after a strong run for its shares, which are up about 40 per cent so far this year.

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