The airline industry is counting the cost of the volcanic ash flight ban.
Easy jet aims to deliver a remarkable performance this year, despite of the volcanic ash cloud that cost Easy Jet and Thomson Holidays owner Tui Travel a combined £160million.
"In spite of the impact of the disruption, I expect positive momentum in the second half of the year as strong underlying demand improves trading and merger synergies continue to be delivered. Excluding the impact from the volcanic ash disruption, I remain confident that we can meet the board's original expectations for 2010," Chief Executive, Peter Long said.
Meanwhile, Aer Lingus criticized the closure of European airspace over the ash as 'unjustified'.
The world has witnessed the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights, as airlines, airports and travel companies, got hit by the ash cloud. The volcano is still erupting and causing sporadic airspace shutdowns in the U. K. and Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula as prevailing winds blow the ash southeast.
Tui Travel, the biggest tour operator in Europe, was forced to cancel 175,000 holidays and repatriate 180,000 customers in April, costing it around £90million in profits.
The booking volumes strengthened in May and the company's performance in its fiscal first half to end-March was in line with its expectations as demand continued to improve.
Signaling its confidence, TUI Travel proposed an interim dividend of 3.2 pence, 7% higher than the 3 pence it paid shareholders last year. 'Easy Jet will deliver substantial profit growth in 2010 through the worst recession in 70 years,' said chief executive Andy Harrison.
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