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BLOWN AWAY

Airlines, rejoice! The worse the weather, the more people get the hell out of Britain

An easyJet aircraft especially decorated in Dutch colors and sesign is presented at Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands.
EPA/Evert Elzinga
Happy days.
  • Jason Karaian
By Jason Karaian

Global finance and economics editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

At least someone is happy about Britain’s soggy summer. The rain and cold has convinced more Brits than ever to hop on planes and escape to sunnier, happier places.

That’s good news for EasyJet, which just reported a record number of passengers in August (pdf) and hiked up its full-year profit forecast as a result. Now, the low-cost carrier expects pre-tax profit in the year to September of up to £700 million ($1.1 billion), from previous guidance of £660 million at the higher end.

“Particular strength” was seen in beach destinations popular among Brits, the company said. And even after the airline added capacity, it filled more than 94% of its available seats in August, also a record for the group:

EasyJet has been playing catch-up with larger rival Ryanair in recent quarters. Things looked pretty bleak earlier this year when the airline took a hit to profit due to strikes in France, a fire in Rome, terror attacks in Tunisia, and Greece’s ongoing economic turmoil. But a perky economy in the UK, combined with even more miserable weather than usual, will propel the carrier through these headwinds.

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