EasyJet cut winter half year losses by 45% to £61 million as revenue per seat rose by 8.6% with the help of more business travellers.

Losses for the six months to March 31 were cut by £51 million over the same period a year earlier.

The airline’s total revenue grew by 9.3% to £1.6 billion as passenger carryings rose by 5.3% to 26.6 million.

The number of business passengers grew by 4.1% year on year, providing higher yields.

The leading GDS providers have invested in technology to standardise the way in which easyJet seats are presented within their systems to allow users to more easily access fares.

Amadeus and Galileo solutions will be in place in the third quarter of the financial year, the airline disclosed.

The low fares carrier said it was “disappointed” that  government in the March budget “chose to ignore independent economic evidence that Airline Passenger Duty is damaging to growth and instead retained the passenger tax at current levels”.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “EasyJet delivered a strong first half performance, demonstrating the company’s structural advantage in the European short-haul market against both legacy and low cost competition, and a continuing resilience against a challenging European macro-economic environment.

“Our performance reflects measurable progress against easyJet’s four key strategic objectives that have been amply demonstrated by a significant reduction in the loss for the first half and significant improvement in return on capital employed over the same period.”

She added: “Whilst there is always the potential for unexpected events to impact short term financial performance, the outlook for the second half of the financial year combined with the strong reduction in first half losses means that easyJet expects to deliver improved returns and profitability for the year ending September 30.”