• Strong Airline profit growth of £35 million despite higher disruption cost
• Increased capacity with revenues growth of 14% to £3.5bn (on a like for like basis)
• New airlines founded in Spain and Germany to support growth
Manchester/Frankfurt/Copenhagen - The Thomas Cook Group Airline (“Group Airline”) has increased its underlying profit by 37% to £129 million for the financial year ending 30 September 2018. With an increase of available seats of 8.8% and a fleet of 100 aircraft overall revenues have grown by 14% to £3.5bn (on a like for like basis) in the financial year 2017/18.
With the two brands Thomas Cook Airlines (in UK and Scandinavia) and Condor (in Germany), the Group Airline has carried over 20 million passengers to over 120 destinations worldwide.
As part of the airline strategy for profitable growth, two new airlines have been set up in 2018. Based in Mallorca and Oberursel the new platforms provide greater operational flexibility at competitive costs, while better ensuring the quality and customer experience compared to third-party lease arrangements.
Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive of Thomas Cook, said:
"Our Group Airline delivered strong growth in customers and profit, benefitting from increasing capacity in a turbulent European aviation sector."
The pan-European airline could realize £31 million by implementing cost reduction measures that address synergies across its markets. The integration of the airline is well advanced with a consistent product, customer experience and management approach.
The European Aviation market was marked by disruption in Summer 2018 caused by delays of the registration of new aircraft, shortage on spare parts and an air traffic control system that was not fully prepared for the strong growth. This resulted in a substantial increase of irregularity cost (which include EU261 compensation costs, welfare, sub-charter and denied boarding costs) of £101 million in Summer 2018 vs. £49 million in Summer 2017.
The Group Airline has put several measures in place to optimize its operational performance, such as additional reserve aircraft, a streamlined aircraft basing with an all Airbus fleet in UK and Scandinavia and all Boeing aircraft operated in Germany and a dedicated team for customer communication in the case of a delay.
Christoph Debus, Chief Airline Officer and CEO Thomas Cook Group Airline said:
"Our customers are at the heart of our airline. Our focus for 2019 is to consolidate the growth we achieved in 2018, strengthen our customer offer, improve our operational performance and further extend our reach."