easyJet Announces New Summer Route for 2013

Easyjet, a UK-based budget airline, is expanding its operations to new routes for the 2013 summer season, Marrakech (Morocco) and Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt).

The airline will be flying to Marrakech from London Stansted airport three times a week, from February 15, 2013, and twice weekly to Sharm el Sheikh from Stansted, commencing from February 17, 2013.

The airline is also offering a new route to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, as part of its extended services from Stansted. The twice-weekly flights to Sofia commence on February 16, 2013.

Hugh Aitken, the airline’s commercial manager for the UK, said, ‘easyJet is committed to making travel easy and affordable for all and each season we decide where to add new flights based on the places our customers tell us they most want to visit, so I’m sure these three new summer sun destinations are going to be a huge hit with holidaymakers.

Currently, easyJet operates two mid-haul routes from Stansted to Bodrum and Dalaman so today’s announcement shows a real commitment to offering more varied destinations further afield, and the best value for our passengers.’

The airline’s 2013 summer schedule, which is running until September 8, 2013, is offering a total 10,900 flights on 27 routes across Europe and North Africa.

The airline has previously added a new online feature, called ‘Inspire Me’, to help customers find places to go on a holiday. The tool, displayed on a map of Europe, customises holiday travel-based destinations and budgets. Each destination includes a link to the airline’s reservation procedures and customised travel guides.

Peter Duffy, the airline’s director of marketing, said, ‘Our aim with easyJet.com is always to make it as easy as possible for our 400m annual visitors to the site, to find what they are looking for.

We know that around 40 percent of customers coming to easyJet.com know that they want to travel, but are unsure exactly where to. This simple, yet innovative feature means they can search our 600 destinations more easily to find fantastic places to explore – many of which they might never have thought about.’

US website launched by easyJet

EasyJet, the budget airline with its headquarters at Luton Airport in the UK, has launched a new website specifically aimed at users in the USA.

The website has been launched to cater to the growing demand for the airline’s services from US-based travellers. In addition to a US-dedicated home page, American users that visit the site will find that they can now make advance bookings with the airline in US dollars.

The marketing director for easyJet, Peter Duffy, is reported as saying, ‘More than 90,000 US customers visit easyJet.com every week and this number continues to grow. The USA now has the ninth most visitors with more than 360,000 visits in September alone. More than half of the Americans visiting easyJet.com come to the site directly which shows that easyJet holds a truly global appeal and has a strong brand presence in countries thousands of miles from the nearest easyJet airport. This is not just about hits to the website. We take hundreds of thousands of bookings from the US (and beyond) each month. Just like our European passengers they are a mix of people doing business or holidaying in Europe.’

Since being founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 1995, easyJet has seen rapid growth in its operations, and as of September this year it was reported to employ over 8,000 people. These are located throughout Europe, but the majority are based in the UK. With over 200 aircraft in operation from 19 bases across Europe, easyJet is claimed to be the second largest low-cost carrier in Europe, after Ryanair.

Easyjet Offers New Routes to Iceland

Easyjet, one of the UK’s major airlines, is offering two new routes from Manchester and Edinburgh, in the UK, to Reykjavik, Iceland.

The airline will be flying a new service from Manchester Airport in England, to Reykjavik, twice weekly, on Thursdays and Saturdays, and from Edinburgh Airport in Scotland, to Reykjavik, on Mondays and Thursdays. Both of the routes commence from March 2013.

Paul Simmons, the airline’s director in the UK, said, ‘We’re delighted to be expanding our flights from the UK to Reykjavik in response to the route’s growing popularity. The destination is proving popular for leisure and business travellers alike with easyJet fares available from as little as £24.99 (one way including taxes).

easyJet has carried almost 30,000 passengers between London and Reykjavik since its London Luton service to the city launched in March and we anticipate over 75,000 more passengers will take advantage of the easy and affordable flights from Manchester and Edinburgh next Summer.

We’re confident that uptake from passengers in both Manchester and Scotland will help the UK’s connections with Iceland to go from strength to strength.’

The airline commenced its new service to Reykjavik from London Luton Airport at the beginning of the year, and the popularity of the route with passengers in both countries will have influenced the opening of the new routes, as well as the recently increased frequency of the Luton service, from three to four flights per week.

Iceland is growing in popularity as a holiday destination, thanks mainly to its volcanic terrain.

Easyjet Announces Successful Financial Year

Easyjet, one of the largest airlines in the UK, is expected to make a profit for its quarter closing September 30 2012, according to the airline.

The airline is also reporting a 5 percent to 5.5 percent increase in revenues per seat for the six months ended September 30, 2012, against an earlier guideline that predicted a lower rate of increase compared to the same period last year. The airline has further reported a capacity growth of 7 percent for the first six months of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.

Although business in Europe remains uncertain from an economic viewpoint, the airline, unlike many of its counterparts, has managed to steer away from disruption in 2012. It expects to make pre-tax profits of £280 million, to £300 million, for its financial year, which ends on September 30, 2012.

Carolyn McCall, the airline’s chief executive officer, said, ‘easyJet has had a strong summer performance, which has enabled us to deliver another good year of returns and growth for our shareholders. Strong post Olympics trading and a benign operating environment along with the continued strict allocation of capital and aircraft across our leading network, improvements in revenue management and marketing, and a tight control of costs has meant that easyJet will deliver higher returns and its highest ever pre-tax profit for the financial year ending 30 September 2012, despite absorbing an additional £230 million in fuel costs this year.

We also continue to deliver for our customers with the best on-time performance in Europe this summer, low fares to convenient airports across Europe and our recently announced launch of allocated seating across the easyJet network.’

Earlier, the company announced allocated seating on all routes of its network from November 2012. The allocated seating includes a priority boarding system against a payment of a minimum of £3 per person, and passengers that purchase Speedy Boarding will board the aircraft first, followed by passengers requiring special assistance and families, and finally all other passengers.

easyJet reconfirms service to Northern Ireland

easyjet has announced that the airline has appeared before the House of Commons Northern Ireland affairs committee to highlight its commitment to serve the region, and clarify its stand on the Airport Passenger Duty tax.

The airline’s UK director, Paul Simmons, at the session with the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, said, ‘easyJet started its Belfast operation on 18 Sept 1998; we have a local base located at Belfast International Airport and we directly employ over 230 local people.

Northern Ireland has seen several airlines come and go from Belfast, but easyJet’s consistence in the Northern Ireland market and experience of carrying over 34 million passengers since its launch in the region makes it well placed to give evidence on matters affecting local people and the local economy in terms of air transport.

Airport Passenger Duty (APD) however, remains one of the most significant barriers to growth in Northern Ireland, with local people being disadvantaged when they fly to UK destinations such as London, Manchester and Scotland as they are hit twice with tax.

This is an unfair tax overall, but it’s especially unfair for the people of Northern Ireland. And if this tax is increased, it will have a serious impact on tourism.

easyjet currently has a 46% market share in Northern Ireland, with Aer Lingus holding 8% and British Airways 7%. The company flies to 23 international destinations from Belfast International Airport. On Monday the carrier struck a deal with parliamentarians to provide budget travel for MPs and peers, and hence cut expenditures that would go against the taxpayer.

Simmons added, ‘Like British Airways, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic, we continue to call on the Government to publish an independent study of the economic effects of APD.’

Easyjet to Launch Allocated Seating across Network

Easyjet, a UK-based budget airline, is ready to launch its allocated seating on all routes of its network from November 2012, having completed a successful trial of the seating arrangement on chosen routes.

The allocated seating includes a priority boarding system against a payment of a minimum of £3 per person, enabling passengers that purchase Speedy Boarding to board the aircraft first, followed by passengers requiring special assistance and families. All other passengers will board the aircraft after these groups.

The allocated seating is available for three price ranges, £12 for extra leg room in front row and exit seats, £8 for seats at the front of the aircraft, and £3 for any other seat.

70 percent of the 800,000 passengers that have flown since the launch of the seating allocation in April 2012 have reported being in favour of the new arrangement.

Carolyn McCall, the airline chief executive officer, said, ‘This is an example of easyJet trying to do all it can to make travel easy and affordable for our passengers. Our customers asked us to trial allocated seating and we are really pleased with the positive passenger feedback during the trial. As importantly, we have shown that we can do so while delivering strong on time performance – the most important driver of passenger satisfaction.

Allocated seating gives all our passengers a better boarding experience and offers the choice of selecting a seat to those who want to. On trial flights the majority of passengers were simply allocated seats when they checked in. Some passengers chose particular seats with best-selling seats usually those near the front, for those who wish to get off the aircraft quickly at their destinations, and exit row seats with their extra legroom.

We are confident this move will make our current passengers happier when flying with easyJet and will attract new passengers to fly with us in future.’

EasyJet to Expand Services from Edinburgh Airport

Easyjet, a budget airline based at Luton in the UK, is implementing a major expansion plan for its hub at Edinburgh Airport, in Scotland.

The airline’s expansion project includes the addition of two more aircraft to the airport hub, increasing the number of planes based there to seven.

Hugh Aitken, the airline head for Scotland, said, ‘The decision to base a further two aircraft in Edinburgh is testament to the importance of Scotland to easyJet’s operation. The new management team at Edinburgh Airport fully understands the importance of growth and connectivity for the airport and Scotland as a whole.

The arrival of the two new aircraft from December will deliver over 180,000 new seats. We are asking key partners to work with us to determine which new destinations to launch and look forward to working with Edinburgh Airport and others over the coming month to finalise our plans.’

The initial Airbus A319 is arriving on December 2, 2012, while the second plane will be operating from March 2013. With the two new aircraft, the airline will be able to offer more routes and around 180,000 new seats for travellers annually. The new aircraft will also add around 100 new jobs to the local economy.

Gordon Dewar, the chief executive officer, Edinburgh Airport, said, ‘Today’s announcement from easyJet is hugely significant for Edinburgh Airport. It demonstrates that we are willing to do business with airlines that are ambitious for growth and delivering great service for their passengers. Our partnership with easyJet is based on these central values and we’re looking forward to working with them in bringing planes and new routes to Scotland.’

Rival airlines unite for report on APD

Four major airlines in the UK have set aside their business rivalry and have jointly commissioned a survey into Air Passenger Duty and its impact on the country’s economy.

The four companies, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and Easyjet first came together under the ‘Axe the Tax’ slogan last year, but have now stepped up their campaign by appointing Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a UK accountancy firm, to investigate the economic effects of the increased duty on the British economy.

The airline industry in the UK is unanimous in its condemnation of the tax, which increased by 8 percent at the beginning of the 2012 financial year in April, and is scheduled for a further increase in 2013. Via its ‘Fair Tax on Flying’ initiative, the industry is urging people to use its website to contact their MP’s and register their disapproval of the increases. The initial target is for 100,000 respondents to the petition, with over 90,000 having already taken a few seconds to complete the on-line e-mail template.

Responding to the numbers of new supporters that the fight against Air Passenger Duty has been gaining, including many trade associations and business groups, the chief executive of the British Air Transport Association, Simon Buck, commented: ‘It is great news to see more supporters joining the campaign. It is now clear that we are drawing support from businesses across all regions of the UK as well as the tourism industry. It is time for the chancellor to listen to what we are saying.’

Easyjet Flights Threatened With Strike Disruption

Easyjet passengers could face delays and disruption to their plans this week, due to threatened strike action by pilots.

The UK-based budget airline company is asking its passengers to check that industrial action in France and Portugal has not affected their flights before they journey to the airport.

Strike threats by French pilots are in force for tomorrow, Wednesday August 15, and for this coming Friday and Sunday, August 17 and 19. The strikes, backed by the French pilot’s union, the SNPL, are the latest development in an ongoing dispute over pay. While the dispute only involves French pilots, some disruption to easyjet flights in and out of the country is also very likely. The action is also expected to cause more disruption than usual as the strikes are to occur over the period of a religious holiday in France.

A spokesman for the airline was quoted by the Daily Mail, saying, ‘The company regrets that some of its pilots have chosen to move ahead with an industrial action rather than coming back to the negotiations table, particularly in this busy period for holidaymakers. The management remains open to discussion and calls the SNPL union representatives to resume negotiations.’

Meanwhile, it is reported that staff at two of Portugal’s main airports, Oporto and Faro, are also planning industrial action on August 15 and 17, with the threat of further disruption to travellers there at this busy holiday time. Resorts in both of the countries affected by the planned strikes are among some of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.


Easyjet Reports Low Traffic during Olympics 2012

Easyjet  is reporting a slowdown in demand during the 2012 Olympics for its flights to airports in and around London.

The airline has reported a slowdown, not only of its corporate traffic during the 2012 Olympics Games period, but also for leisure customers. However, the airline’s bookings are reported to look much healthier after the Games end on August 12, 2012. The decrease in business travel is likely to be due to a perception that London will be too busy a place to comfortably do business while the Games are on.

A report on the company website has stated, ‘The London Olympic games will present operational challenges to our London bases. Consequently, easyJet has taken steps to protect its operational performance during the course of the games e.g. crew and operational control centre (OCC) staffing levels have been strengthened and daily Olympics meetings have been introduced.

easyJet has seen a fall in demand for flights touching London during the Olympic period, both from inbound business travellers and outbound leisure travellers, but forward bookings show a recovery once the games have concluded.’

The company chief executive officer, Carolyn McCall, said in a statement, ‘Forward booking falls in line with last year. The Olympics will have, or has had an effect in July/early August. We will be roughly flat across the network. We will be slightly down in London. We are confident we will recover that in late August and September; September is already looking stronger than it would have normally done as a result of people shifting things round. This is a London effect, nothing else.’