British airline easyJet expressed optimism on Thursday about the months ahead, after announcing a smaller-than-expected loss for the first half of the year, which bolstered its share price.

The low-cost carrier's taxable loss for the six months to the end of March is expected to be between 360 and 340 million pounds, compared with analysts' forecasts of around 400 million pounds.

Half-year sales are expected to have risen by 22% to £3.27 billion, again exceeding market expectations of £3.20 billion.

The British carrier, which says it is benefiting from solid demand, reports that its revenue per seat rose by 8% in the second quarter.

In a reaction note, however, analysts at RBC point out that these figures were boosted by the timing of the Easter weekend, which fell in March this year, meaning that this strong performance will come at the expense of the third quarter.

In its press release, easyJet acknowledged that it was anticipating only "slight growth" in revenue per seat in the current quarter, but also noted that its summer offer (fourth quarter) was "well ahead of schedule", with already 30% of capacity booked.

The low-cost airline's share price climbed 3.7% on Thursday morning on the London Stock Exchange, marking the second biggest drop on the FTSE 100 index, which it rejoined last month.

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