EasyJet gets inspirational, raises profit forecast

Budget carrier easyJet has added an Inspire Me function to its website to help its customers decide where they want to go.

The Bing Maps-based application allows users to filter their searches according to price, departure airport and reason for travelling.

Pre-selected choices on offer include winter sports, family, culture, romance and city breaks.

Once selected the map shows routes that fit the criteria and the lead-in price for the flight including a link to the booking engine or new destination guides.

Peter Duffy, director of marketing for easyJet, said: “Our aim with easyJet.com is always to make it as easy as possible for our 400 million annual visitors to the site, to find what they are looking for.

“We know that around 40% of customers coming to easyJet.com know that they want to travel, but are unsure exactly where to.

“This simple, yet innovative feature means they can search our 600 destinations more easily to find fantastic places to explore – many of which they might never have thought about.”

Meanwhile easyJet has announced it is to raise its full year profit forecast to a record of as much as £320 million after strong summer trading. In an update this morning, the budget carrier said pre-tax earnings for the year to the end of September were now expected at £310 million-£320 million against £280 million-£300 million previously forecast.

The budget carrier said it had faced “very low” levels of disruption despite the London Olympics and the threat of industrial action across Europe.

But easyJet warned that unit airport costs are expected to increase by around £80 million for the financial year 2013 due to “significantly above inflation rises” in charges at regulated airports in Spain and Italy.

Despite these headwinds, easyJet’s focus on the customer, robust operational performance, the strength of the easyJet network combined with tight control of costs and capital discipline means that easyJet is well placed to continue to succeed, the statement said.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “EasyJet has had a strong summer performance, which has enabled us to deliver another good year of returns and growth for our shareholders.

“Strong post-Olympics trading and a benign operating environment along with the continued strict allocation of capital and aircraft across our leading network, improvements in revenue management and marketing, and a tight control of costs has meant that easyJet will deliver higher returns and its highest ever pre-tax profit for the financial year ending 30 September 2012, despite absorbing an additional £230 million in fuel costs this year.

“We also continue to deliver for our customers with the best on-time performance in Europe this summer, low fares to convenient airports across Europe and our recently announced launch of allocated seating across the easyJet network.”

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