EasyJet calls for level playing field on card charges

EasyJet calls for level playing field on card charges

EasyJet is calling for a Europe-wide policy to be adopted on debit and credit card fees after the Office of Fair Trading clamped down on the charges.

The budget carrier called for a “level playing field” across Europe following last month’s OFT ruling on a super complaint by consumer watchdog Which? on card charges.

“The only way to ensure consumers can make easier price comparisons is if a common treatment of card charges can be agreed across the whole of the transport sector in Europe including train operators and online travel agents,” the airline said.

“We want to make things easier for the consumer so we would like to see card charges incorporated into the headline fare.

“However, for consumers to benefit there needs to be a level playing field across Europe. UK legislation would be a step towards this but we encourage the government to push for a European-wide solution.”
EasyJet added that it has offered to work with the OFT in bringing such a change about.

The development emerged as the airline released its interim management report for the quarter ending June 30 which showed revenue up by 23.2% to £935 million on the back of a 17.3% growth in passengers carried to 14.4 million. Ancillary revenues grew strongly by 17% per seat to £11.65 to give a quarterly total of £194 million.

The airline expects to deliver a pre-tax profit of between £200 million-£230 million for the financial year ending September 30.

EasyJet took delivery of 11 Airbus A320s and returned seven aircraft to lessors in the quarter to give a total fleet of 203 aircraft.

Winter 2011-12 seat capacity is planned to be flat with growth in the number of seats flown for the whole of the next financial year of no more than 4%. 
“Given the high cost of fuel, uncertain consumer demand across Europe and the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme in January 2012, easyJet is taking a cautious approach to capacity deployment,” the carrier said.

Growth will be focused on the key markets “which we want to defend and invest in”.

It added: “Beyond this period there will continue to be opportunities to grow profitably in the mid-term and easyJet has the flexibility in its capacity plans to take advantage of such opportunities.”

The airline revealed that a “constructive dialogue” had started with pilots’ union Balpa “to try to deliver more flexibility in our crewing arrangements”.

“EasyJet continues its strong focus on cost with progress in ground-handling, maintenance and ownership costs,” it said.


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