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McCall says outlook strong

EasyJet says Paris attack will have brief impact on growth

Carolyn McCallBudget airline Easyjet said it expects the Paris attacks to have a minimal impact as it forecasts further strong growth.

The company has ordered 36 Airbus A320 aircraft on the back of growing demand for summer holiday travel.

Communications director Paul Moore said any disruption would be brief, adding that the airline had not changed its growth forecasts for 2016.

He said: “Obviously our thoughts are with those affected. But we have dealt with such events before and it is typically a short-term impact.

“At the weekend we saw some passengers not wanting to fly, which is perfectly understandable, but longer term we do not see any material effect. People are resilient.

“Both in and out of Paris, people will continue to want to fly.”

After unveiling an 18% rise in annual pre-tax profits to £686 million – the company’s fifth successive rise – chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “Our outlook for the longer term is positive. We expect demand in our markets to be sustained and for Easyjet to continue to be a winner in its markets.

“We will see passenger growth of 7% a year, sustaining margins through rigorous cost control and the benefit of fleet up-gauging, resulting in positive profit momentum.”

Revenues rose 3.5% to £4.68 billion and passenger numbers were up 6% to 68.6m in the year to end-September.

The figures do not include the impact of recent atrocities involving a Russian plane over Egypt and the attack in Paris, both of which are expected to hit the travel sector.

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