Budget airline cools its jets in tough climate

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Budget airline Easyjet has seen its annual profits fall because of higher fuel costs, despite managing to increase passenger numbers.

The airline, which operates a number of services from Edinburgh, carried 17.3 per cent more passengers over the year to the end of September.

But rising costs led to pre-tax profits falling 45 per cent to £110 million.

The firm said future economic conditions would be “difficult” and it would concentrate on offering passenger value, cutting costs, and saving cash.

Last week, founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou raised his stake in the firm to 26.9 per cent, and called for a caution.

Andy Harrison, Easyjet chief executive, said: “We recognise that economic conditions will be very difficult and Easyjet is planning accordingly.”