LONDON — British no-frills airline EasyJet announced on Friday that it carried a record 81.6 million passengers in 2017, despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The number of passengers increased by 9.6 per cent last year compared with 2016, EasyJet said in a trading update.
Low-cost Irish rival Ryanair had revealed on Wednesday that it carried a record-high 129 million passengers last year.
On Thursday, British Airways owner IAG stated that it had transported a total of 105 million people.
EasyJet has meanwhile activated its Brexit contingency plans.
Back in July 2017, EasyJet applied for a new air operator’s certificate in Austria to continue flying across Europe regardless of the final Brexit deal between Brussels and London.
In November, however, the carrier revealed that its annual net profit slumped by almost one third on strong competition and a Brexit-fuelled slump in the pound.
Over the last two decades, Britain’s airline industry has soared under the Single European Sky system, which lifted trade restrictions on EU airlines.
Unless British negotiators manage to secure preferential conditions, British airlines could lose this status once the country leaves the European Union in 2019.