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Fuel costs threaten easyJet's profits and rivals

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Fuel costs threaten easyJet's profits and rivals

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British budget carrier easyJet says rising fuel costs tripled its first-half losses and could put many of its rivals out of business. The company, which is Europe’s fourth biggest airline, repeated a warning that record fuel costs will erode full-year profit if they continued to rise. But Chief Executive Andy Harrison said ticket demand remains strong and summer bookings are ahead of last year. He added “Maybe people are choosing airlines more selectively, but we are seeing no fall off in weekend breaks, no change in bookings.”

The summer period is traditionally when the airline makes its profit. It lost almost 73 million euros in the first half.

Harrison predicted that if fuel prices continue to rise at the same rate as recently, then many of its rivals will not survive, but he refused to say which airlines were most vulnerable.