easyJet and Gatwick Airport sign new seven year deal

UK airline easyJet has announced a new seven year agreement with Gatwick Airport (GAL) starting April 2014, which will facilitate the airline’s growth as well as provide the framework for easyJet and GAL to further improve customer experience for the airline’s passengers.

As part of its planned expansion at Gatwick, easyJet will increase its slots and deploy larger aircraft, replacing 156- seat A319s with 180- seat A320s and, from 2017, A320Neos. By March 2015, the airline is looking to increase capacity and passenger numbers by around 10 per cent compared to the previous year.

Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO, commented on the deal: ‘Gatwick is our largest base so it is of strategic importance to secure this new agreement with Gatwick Airport. easyJet shares the CAA’s view that Gatwick has market power but also supports the move towards a more commercial arrangement with the airport within a regulatory framework.

‘This agreement gives easyJet certainty on passenger charges over the next seven years and a clear incentive to continue to grow. More importantly, it will create a framework for easyJet and Gatwick to plan and deliver an improved experience for our passengers.

‘Our shared ambition is for Gatwick to be both our biggest and best airport.’

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: ‘This partnership with easyJet is a landmark deal in London Gatwick’s history. Four years after the end of the BAA monopoly at the airport, this partnership highlights how far we have come to be able to operate within a new framework of commitments and contracts.

For passengers travelling with easyJet, they will have more choice, competitive fares and an even better experience. It is positive news for both business and leisure passengers travelling with easyJet from Gatwick.’

easyJet, which started flying from London Gatwick Airport in 1999, now has 57 aircraft based there, operating on 108 routes. The airline has around 1400 cabin crew and 700 pilots operating from the airport.