Easyjet seals Stansted expansion

Easyjet, a low-cost airline based in Luton, UK, has completed a deal with Stansted airport in Essex that will see the airline double its present capacity at the facility.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), Stansted’s new owners, announced the framework deal today. It will mean that Easyjet’s present throughput of 2.8 million passengers per annum at the airport can be more than doubled to a proposed six million in a gradual process over the next five years. MAG has stated that it hopes the deal will also increase the number of business passengers that use the airport.

Easyjet’s present Stansted operation involves eight aircraft that provide a service to 27 destinations.

Paul Simmons, Easyjet’s UK director, commented, ‘We are pleased to have reached a new deal with the new owners of Stansted which gives us the ability to grow at the London airport.’

Charlie Cornish, chief executive at MAG, said, ‘We are delighted that Easyjet has chosen Stansted. We’re working hard with existing and prospective airlines to drive passenger growth at Stansted so today’s announcement by Easyjet on the new framework for growth is a positive first step.’

The deal between Stansted and Easyjet has been struck at a time when Ryanair, an Ireland-based competitor to Easyjet in the no-frills aviation market, has reduced its own capacity at the airport. Ryanair’s partial withdrawal from the airport – where it has long been the biggest operator – has been precipitated by friction with the airport’s previous management over the level of fees that it charged. Ryanair will be hoping to negotiate a deal with the new owners to enable it to rebuild its capacity.