EasyJet today reported some of its results for the Q4 of 2018.
Now, whilst this sort of thing is as interesting as watching paint dry, there’s some interesting content regarding the drone incident that grounded Gatwick Airport for over 36 hours.
So – the numbers:
- £10 million was lost in customer welfare costs.
- £5 million in lost revenue due to flights not departing
- Over 400 EasyJet flights were cancelled by the drone incident,
- 82,000 passengers affected.
As the fall-out of the drone incident continues (including the time to legislate for new drone rules that would prevent flying of devices near airports in a range of 3 miles), and disappointment at the speed that Gatwick Airport was re-opened.
The airline maintained a 89.7% load factor overall during the quarter.
Whilst Easyjet continue on the path they’ve set themselves (with 130 aircraft now carrying an Austrian AOC, and also a tie-up with Cathy Pacific), it seems to be a reasonable path to continued success
But wait. Drones.
The thorny issue of Drones remains a big problem – not just for Easyjet – but for all airlines and airports. And whilst there is a duty of care that drone owners have to accept when flying these devices and government legislation – the fact remains that when a drone enters restricted airspace, it has to close down for safety purposes.
The thought of a drone being ingested by an engine does NOT even bear thinking about – let alone damage to a nose, fuselage or any other part of the plane – especially at a safety critical part of the flight.
And that may mean airports might have to step up to the mark to develop new anti-drone technologies or lean on governments to assist in the deployment of technologies.
However, for Easyjet – it’s a £15 million lesson so far.
And I dread to think how other carriers are hit.
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