Budget airline Easyjet has reported a loss for the first half of its financial year after discounted fares wiped out its profits.
The carrier said it made a pre-tax loss before one-off items and goodwill of £24m for the six months to the end of March, compared with a profit of £8.3m for the same period last year.
Luton-based Easyjet said passenger numbers were up 40% on last year to 9.3 million, but the average fare paid by passengers fell 10.7% to £37.45.
The airline also said it was cutting 50 head office jobs in order remove duplicated positions following the acquisition of budget rival Go last year.
After one-off items are taken into account, Easyjet's pre-tax losses were £48m, against a profit of £1m in 2002.
The carrier had warned last month that its half-year results would also be hit by the later timing of Easter - which pushes the busy period into the second half of its financial year - and weaker fares.
Both Easyjet and low-cost rival Ryanair have launched discounted fare promotions in order to sustain passenger numbers.
Chief executive Ray Webster said it was too early for the carrier to have "visibility regarding the financial outcome for the full year, as the strength of fares over our crucial summer period is not likely to be clear for a couple of months".
"The trading environment is challenging, but the propensity for travel within Europe remains strong and the number of passengers flying with Easyjet continues to grow," he added.
Easyjet also released passenger figures for April which showed passenger numbers were 33.6% higher than a year ago.
The load factor - which looks at how many of the seats available were actually filled - also rose to 85.1% from 79.2%.
However, Easyjet said the fare yield was down about 3%.
Mr Webster said the month had benefited from the Easter holiday and an increase in demand since the ending of the war in Iraq.