Budget airline easyJet’s shares dropped drastically after the carrier reported half-yearly losses in the millions, blaming weather and rising petrol costs.
Shares for the discount group fell 16.2 per cent after it emerged that the airline would post losses of £31m amidst freezing temperatures and union strikes. Sir Stelios Haji-Joannou, who owns a majority sharehold in the firm, said that he believed easyJet was just blaming its woes on the weather.
As easyJet’s biggest investor, Haji-Joannou said that the carrier is too quick to pin the blame on rising fuel prices and the mid-December freeze. The airline warned last week that profits were going to fall after weak demand at the holidays, add-on charges and weather.
Additionally, the carrier has been battling with union walkouts in Spain and France.
However, many say that European airlines are generally more likely to suffer during winter, when weather causes flight delays and cancellations. Analysts have said the easyJet’s troubles could be more than just external.
Yet, easyJet chief executive, Carolyn McCall said that the airline’s performance continues to stay solid. Industry analysts are adamant, however, that earnings statements for the group will remain unpredictable.