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Easyjet lose 18 mln due to snow

Source: Reuters - Thu 20th Jan 2011

Easyjet took an 18 million pounds hit from last month's big freeze, though the pain was eased by rising first-quarter revenues as more travellers opted to fly with the low-cost carrier.

The budget airline said on Tuesday that revenues for the final three months of 2010 rose 7.5 % to 654 million pounds as passenger numbers rose 8.8 % to 11.9 million in the quarter year-on-year.

EasyJet was hit as runways around Europe closed for several days in the run up to Christmas as northern Europe's big freeze hit the travel plans of thousands.

It was also impacted by an air traffic controllers (ATC) strike in Spain.

"In the quarter disruption from ATC strike action and severe weather cost 6 million pounds and 18 million pounds respectively and in addition led to lost contribution of 7 million pounds," easyJet Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said.

The airline was hit by 98 million pounds of costs related to various disruptions last year.

The low-cost carrier, which earlier this month confirmed an order for 15 Airbus A320 aircraft, said it made market share gains at London's Gatwick, Paris Orly and Charles de Gaulle and Geneva airports.

The carrier was hit by 98 million pounds of costs related to various disruptions last year.

British Airways expects to take a 50 million pound hit from the disruption, while Ferrovial-owned UK airport operator BAA lost 24 million pounds.

Shares in easyJet, which have risen a fifth in the last year, closed at 454 pence on Wednesday, valuing the business at around 1.92 billion pounds.

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