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EasyJet boss to step down as airline reveals it raked in £1bn from extras like seat selection this year

EasyJet boss to step down as airline reveals it raked in £1bn from extras like seat selection this year

The chief executive of EasyJet, Johan Lundgren, is stepping down from the airline early next year. Lundgren will be replaced by the airline's chief 

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The chief executive of EasyJet, Johan Lundgren, is stepping down from the airline early next year.

Lundgren will be replaced by the airline’s chief  financial officer, Kenton Jarvis, EasyJet told investors on Thursday.

It came as EasyJet unveiled a bigger than expected first-half loss, ahead of the crucial summer season.

However, ancillary revenue, from things like seat selections or food orders, continued to soar.

The airline’s inflight retail options delivered a 40 per cent increase in profit per seat in the period.

The airline’s ancillary revenue per seat also increased by 6 per cent to £21.53. Group ancillary revenue increased by 30 per cent to over £1billion.

The group reported a headline pre-tax loss of £350million for the six months ending 30 March, against an expected loss of £340million. By the same point a year ago, the airline’s losses stood at £392million.

EasyJet shares fell 6.8 per cent or 36.03p to 493.38p on Thursday, down over 40 per cent on five years ago.

Revenue for the first half came in at £3.27billion by the end of the period, which was slightly ahead of forecasts.

The EasyJet Holidays business is expected to deliver profit growth of at least 40 per cent to more than £170million, the airline said.

Lundgren, said: ‘We are now absolutely focused on another record summer which is expected to deliver strong FY24 earnings growth and are on track to achieve our medium term targets.’

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the airline said: ‘Bookings continue to progress in line with expectations, with Q3’24 currently c.77 per cent of the program sold, +1 ppt year-on-year and Q4’24 is c.39 per cent sold, +1 ppt year-on-year. easyJet holidays has currently sold 77 per cent of the plan for this summer.’

The group said its two newest bases, Alicante and Birmingham, were ‘achieving passenger numbers well above the network average’.

The airline will have a tenth UK base at London Southend from next March. Lundgren, a former tour guide who wanted to be a professional trombonist and joined in 2017 from European tour operator TUI, is targeting profit per seat of between £7 to £10 by 2028, almost double 2019 levels.

Lundgren helped lead the airline out of its pandemic debt and has grown the group’s holiday business.

Kenton joined easyJet in February 2021, serving as a board member and chief financial officer since then.

In a statement, Lundgren, said: ‘I congratulate Kenton on being nominated my successor, it is fully deserved, and I will work closely with him and the whole executive team to achieve this year’s goals and hand over responsibilities smoothly at the end of the year.

‘There are important things still to accomplish over the balance of the year, but when the time comes I will leave easyJet with a great sense of loyalty and of pride at the progress made and the potential the Company has for the future.’

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