EasyJet holidays is targeting passenger growth of more than 35% for the 2024 financial year, as the operator aims to increase its market share from 5% to 7%.
It also expects its average selling price to be up by ‘high single digits’ – with 30% of holidays already sold for summer 2024.
Meanwhile, the capacity of parent airline easyJet for the 2023-2024 financial year will increase by 9% year on year.
Details of the expansion plans came as easyJet announced a profit of £455 million for the 12 months to September 30, on the back of a record summer, against a loss of £178 million in the previous 12 months. EasyJet holidays’ annual pre-tax profits grew 221% year on year to £122 million in the 12-month period.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “There are positive early signs with early bookings for holidays.
“Early demand looks strong…and we expect to grow quicker than competitors.
“The near-term impact of the Middle East [conflict] did not have any effect on peak period for 2024. There was no impact into next year’s half term, Easter and summer [holidays].
“People will gravitate towards value; that benefits companies such as ourselves as a low-cost airline, it will have a positive impact on 2024.
“We see very strong early bookings for airline and holidays. It remains to be seen how well balanced it will be.
“It is difficult to predict what fares will be going forward. We are looking forward to a good summer.”
Average fares in the year to September 30 increased by £9 to £72 and Lundgren about 60% of easyJet’s fares are available for less than £50.
He said popular destinations for summer 2024 were traditional beach resorts in Antalya, Dalaman, the Balearics and Greek islands.
Lundgren told Travel Weekly: “Travel agents have played important part of the growth of easyJet holidays and we look forward to bringing them on the next phase of our journey.
“We had a phenomenal year for easyJet holidays due in part to travel agents and they will remain important going forward.”
He commented that supply constraints meant other airlines in Europe were struggling to get planes or engine parts.
“We are confident about getting aircraft from Airbus,” he added.
Its fleet comprised 336 aircraft at year-end, an increase of 16 year on year, with another 16 are due to be delivered in 2024.
The operator has already launched in Switzerland, with departures from early 2024. The business will also launch in French and German source markets as the holidays business continues to expand its presence as a pan-European holiday company.