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EasyJet
IATA
U2
ICAO
EZY
Callsign
EASY
Founded 1995
Bases
Fleet size 175 (+58 orders)
Destinations 118
Company slogan "Come on, let's fly!" and "The web's favourite airline"
Parent company EasyJet plc
Headquarters Luton, United Kingdom
Key people Andrew Harrison (CEO)
Cor Vrieswijk (COO)
Jeff Carr (CFO)
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Founder)
Website www.easyjet.com

EasyJet Airline Company Limited (styled as easyJet) is a British airline headquartered at London Luton Airport. It carries more passengers than any other United Kingdom-based airline, operating domestic and international scheduled services on 500 routes between 118 European, North African, and West Asian airports.[1] The parent company, EasyJet plc, is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: EZJ) and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.[2] As at 30 September 2009, it employed 6,666 people, based throughout Europe but mainly in the UK.[3]

EasyJet has seen rapid expansion since its establishment in 1995, having grown through a combination of acquisitions[4][5] and base openings fuelled by consumer demand for low-cost air travel. The airline, along with franchise airline EasyJet Switzerland, now operates over 180 aircraft,[6] mostly Airbus A319.[6] It has 20 bases across Europe, the most important one being London-Gatwick.[7] In 2009, EasyJet carried 45.2 million passengers[8] and is second-largest low-cost carrier in Europe, behind Ryanair.[9]

EasyJet was featured in Airline series broadcast on ITV which followed the airline's operations at London Luton and later at other bases. EasyJet's founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, was featured heavily in the series.[10]

Contents

History

The airline was established in 1995. It was launched by Stelios Haji-Ioannou with two wet leased Boeing 737-200 aircraft, initially operating two routes: London Luton to Glasgow and Edinburgh. In April 1996, the first wholly-owned aircraft was delivered to Easyjet, enabling its first international route, to Amsterdam. Until October 1997, the aircraft were operated by GB Airways, and subsequently by Air Foyle as EasyJet had not yet received its Air Operator's Certificate.[11]

Business and financials

EasyJet was floated on the London Stock Exchange on the 5th November 2000.[11] In October 2004 the FL Group, owner of the airlines Icelandair and Sterling, purchased an 8.4% stake in EasyJet.[12] Over the course of 2005, FL increased its share in the company periodically to 16.9%,[12] fuelling speculation that it would mount a takeover bid for the UK carrier.[13] However, in April 2006 the threat of takeover receded as FL sold its stake for €325 million, securing a profit of €140m on its investment.[14] In November 2005, Ray Webster stood down after 10 years as EasyJet's chief executive officer (CEO) and was replaced by former RAC plc CEO, Andrew Harrison.[15]


EasyJet financial performance
Year ended Passengers flown Turnover (£m) Profit/loss before tax (£m) Net profit/loss (£m) Basic EPS (p)
30 September 2009 45,164,279 2,666.8 54.7 71.2 16.9
30 September 2008 43,659,478 2,362.8 110.2 83.2 19.8
30 September 2007 37,230,079 1,797.2 201.9 152.3 36.62
30 September 2006 32,953,287 1,619.7 129.2 94.1 23.18
30 September 2005 29,557,640 1,314.4 67.9 42.6 10.68
30 September 2004 24,343,649 1,091.0 62.2 41.1 10.34
30 September 2003 20,332,973 931.8 51.5 32.4 8.24
30 September 2002 11,400,000 551.8 71.6 49.0 14.61
30 September 2001 7,100,000 356.9 40.1 37.9 15.2
30 September 2000 5,600,000 263.7 22.1 22.1 11.9

Marketing

A Boeing 737-200 showing the phone-number livery at London Luton Airport in 1996

EasyJet's early marketing strategy was based on "making flying as affordable as a pair of jeans" and urged travellers to "cut out the travel agent". Its early advertising consisted of little more than the airline's telephone booking number painted in bright orange on the side of its aircraft.[11]

The Airline TV series created by LWT and filmed between 1999 and 2007 made EasyJet a household name in the United Kingdom. The series, while not always portraying EasyJet in a positive light, did much to promote the airline during this time.[10] EasyJet has used a number of slogans since its establishment. Its current slogan is "Come on, let's fly!", a reflection on the airline's cheeky and cheerful image. EasyJet has previously styled itself as "the web's favourite airline", a play on the British Airways slogan "the world's favourite airline".[citation needed]

Expansion and acquisitions

EasyJet has expanded rapidly since its establishment in 1995, driven by base openings both in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, and by a number of acquisitions. Its expansion has also been fuelled by a rise in consumer demand for low cost travel.[citation needed]

Go Fly Boeing 737-300 in 2004

In March 1998, EasyJet purchased a 40% stake in Swiss charter airline TEA Basle for a consideration of three million Swiss francs. The airline was renamed EasyJet Switzerland and commenced franchise services on 1 April 1999, having relocated its headquarters to Geneva International Airport. This was EasyJet's first new base outside the United Kingdom.[11] On 16 May 2002, EasyJet announced its intention to purchase rival airline, London Stansted-based Go for £374 million. EasyJet inherited three new bases from Go, at Bristol International Airport, East Midlands Airport and London Stansted Airport. The acquisition of Go almost doubled the number of Boeing 737-300 aircraft in the EasyJet fleet.[4][16]

In 2001, EasyJet opened its base at London Gatwick Airport, and between 2003 and 2007, EasyJet opened bases in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, establishing a sizeable presence in continental Europe.[11] On 25 October 2007 EasyJet announced that it had agreed to purchase the entire share capital of GB Airways from the Bland Group. The deal was worth £103.5 million and was used to expand EasyJet operations at London Gatwick Airport[17] and also to establish a base at Manchester Airport.[5][18][19][20][21]

Strategy

EasyJet, like Ryanair, borrows its business model from United States carrier Southwest Airlines. Both airlines have adapted this model for the European market through further cost-cutting measures such as not selling connecting flights or providing complimentary snacks on board. The key points of this business model are high aircraft utilisation, quick turnaround times, charging for extras (such as priority boarding, hold baggage and food) and keeping operating costs low.[22] One main difference EasyJet and Ryanair have from Southwest is they both fly a young fleet of aircraft. Southwest have a fleet age of 14.1 years where as easyjet's fleet age is just 3.4 years.

While the two airlines share a common business idea, EasyJet's strategy differs from Ryanair's in a number of areas. EasyJet flies mainly to primary airports in the cities that it serves, while Ryanair often chooses secondary airports to reduce costs. For example, EasyJet flies to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Orly, the primary airports in Paris, while Ryanair flies to the smaller Beauvais-Tillé Airport, a 75 minute bus journey from Paris. EasyJet also focuses on attracting business passengers by offering convenient services such as the option to transfer on to an earlier flight without charge.[22][23]

Environment

In June 2007, EasyJet announced plans for construction of its own airliner, dubbed EcoJet. Featuring propfan engines, the EcoJet would feature an increase in fuel efficiency. It would be constructed with extensive use of carbon fiber composite material. The date for the first flight was given to be in 2015.[24]

Since then, no news on the advances of the EcoJet project have been released. Therefore, it is unclear whether EasyJet still pursues its construction, or whether the original purpose of project was to put aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus under pressure to construct an airliner that serves the need of EasyJet.[citation needed]

EasyJet is offering the possibility to carbon offset the CO2 to their customers' trips for a surcharge via a calculator which calculates a passenger's carbon footprint.[25]

Destinations

European and North African destinations; focus cities indicated in grey

EasyJet serves 500 routes between 117 destinations in 27 countries throughout Europe and the north of Africa.[1] Its home base is at London Luton, however its largest base is at London-Gatwick, from which it offers 63 destinations.[1][11] EasyJet maintains other bases throughout Europe, at Basel, Belfast, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bristol, Edinburgh, Geneva, Glasgow, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Lyons, Madrid-Barajas, Milan-Malpensa, Manchester, Newcastle, Paris-Charles de Gaulle,Paris-Orly and Rome-Fiumicino.[citation needed]

On 17 December 2007, EasyJet announced that it would be significantly expanding its operations in North West England, by opening a base at Manchester Airport. This base was inherited from GB Airways on 30 March 2008[5][20] and over the next few years EasyJet plan to base more aircraft at the airport for route expansion. EasyJet briefly operated routes to the Republic of Ireland, Ryanair's home ground, one of the top destinations from the UK in terms of passenger numbers each year, but dropped them after stiff competition with Ryanair.[citation needed]

EasyJet was prevented from launching its route from Milan-Malpensa to Olbia in April 2006 by the Italian aviation authorities.[26] The route had been assigned to Meridiana as a public service obligation route. The Italian authorities had granted exclusivity in return for fixed low fares for Sardinian residents on routes from Milan and Rome to the Sardinian airports of Alghero, Cagliari and Olbia. This was however overturned and EasyJet commenced flights from Milan Malpensa to Olbia on 21 October 2007, and also to the Sardinian capital Cagliari on 29 October 2007.[27]

At the base at Dortmund, half of the offered destinations were cancelled on 26 October 2008 due to inefficiencies and poor levels of revenue. Activities at Rome-Fiumicino have been expanded in November 2009 with the opening of a further European base.[citation needed]

On 5 January 2010, EasyJet discontinued flights from East Midlands airport.[28] In a statement CEO Andy Harrison said the airline could not see a growing long term future at the airport and will therefore focus on higher priority markets.[29]

At one time in 1997, EasyJet had proposals to fly from London Luton to Oslo Sandefjord Airport, but the proposals never got forward due to Ryanair's successful bid to fly there as well, but from London Stansted. Even after this proposal, EasyJet still have not got any plans to fly to Oslo.[30]

Fleet

An EasyJet Airbus A320 parked at Innsbruck Airport in 2008. This aircraft was acquired in the takeover of GB Airways.
EasyJet Airbus A319 takes off in 2006
Airbus A319 in special livery, the hundredth Airbus to be delivered to easyJet, lands at Bristol International Airport, England in 2008

The EasyJet fleet consists of the following aircraft (at March 2010):[6][31][32]

EasyJet fleet
Manufacturer Aircraft Operating Orders Passengers
Airbus A319-100 136 53 156
Airbus A320-200 24 5 180
Airbus A321-200 4 0 210
Boeing 737-700 11 0 149
Total 175 58

EasyJet is the largest operator of the Airbus A319.[citation needed]

The average age of the EasyJet fleet, at March 2010, is 3.5 years.[33][34]

Fleet strategy and aircraft orders

EasyJet initially operated Boeing 737 aircraft exclusively. In October 2002, it broke with its previous philosophy of operating just one aircraft type by ordering 120 Airbus A319 aircraft, plus 120 options, with CFM56-5B engines.[11][35]

Airbus A319 Orders
Date Orders Options Notes
October 2002 120[35] 120
December 2005 140[36] 100 20 options converted
November 2006 192[37] 123 52 options converted
75 new options
June 2007 227[38] 88 35 options converted
July 2008 202[39] 88 25 A319 changed for A320

EasyJet's Airbus A319 aircraft were first introduced to EasyJet's Geneva base in October 2003.[40] Due to toilet and galley configuration allowing the installation of more seats than a standard Airbus A319, EasyJet's Airbus A319 aircraft have two pairs of overwing exits, instead of the standard one pair configuration found on most Airbus A319 aircraft, to satisfy safety requirements.[32][41][42] EasyJet has 88 outstanding options with Airbus which may be taken as any member of the Airbus A320 family.[43]

EasyJet still operates the Boeing 737-700 from its bases at London Luton and Belfast , however from December 2006 the airline started to return the Boeing 737-700 aircraft to their lessors. The Belfast base is currently in the process of being converted to an Airbus A319 operation, 5 Airbus A319 are being phased in over the winter months and a sixth will be based at Belfast at the end of March 2010, and as of February 2009 two A319 aircraft are stationed there, six Airbus A319 and two Airbus A320 aircraft are now based at Luton. EasyJet plan to have disposed of its entire Boeing 737 fleet by 2011.[44]

Through the acquisition of GB Airways, EasyJet inherited nine Airbus A320 and six Airbus A321 aircraft. This gave the airline some time to evaluate the feasibility of operating these larger gauge aircraft. Based on this evaluation, EasyJet decided to swap 25 A319 orders for A320 in July 2008.[5][18][20][21]

13 A319 and 1 A320 are used by its subsidiary EasyJet Switzerland with a Swiss registration.[citation needed]

Aircraft operated

EasyJet has operated the following types of aircraft:[45]

Fleet history
Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A319 2004
Airbus A320 2008
Airbus A321 2008 To leave by September 2010[citation needed]
Boeing 737-300 1996 2007
Boeing 737-700 2000 To leave by end 2011, 5 aircraft to be retired in March 2010 from Belfast Intl.[citation needed]

Head office

Hangar 89 at London Luton Airport, EasyJet headquarters

Easyjet's head office is Hangar 89 (H89), a building located on the grounds of London Luton Airport; the hangar, a former Britannia Airways/TUI facility, is located 150 metres from EasyLand, the previous headquarters of EasyJet. Hangar 89, built in 1974, has 30,000 square feet of office space and can house three aircraft the size of an Airbus A319 or Boeing 737 at one time. When EasyJet received H89, it had a 1970s style office setup. EasyJet modernized the building and painted it orange.[46]

Services

Booking

Initially booking was by telephone only, with all EasyJet aircraft painted with the booking telephone number. There is no incentive for travel agents to sell EasyJet bookings because there is no commission, a standard practice for the low cost carriers.[11]

In December 1997, Russell Sheffield of Tableau, one of EasyJet's design and adverting agencies, suggested to Stelios Haji-Ioannou that he should consider trialling a website for direct bookings. Haji-Ioannou's reply was "The Internet is for nerds, it will never make money for my business!". However Tony Anderson, EasyJet's marketing director, and Michael Coltman, EasyJet's business manager, saw the potential and approved a website trial involving putting a different telephone reservations number on the website, to track success. Once Haji-Ioannou saw the results he changed his mind, and EasyJet commissioned Tableau as partners to develop an e-commerce website capable of offering real-time online booking from April 1998—the first low cost carrier to do so in Europe.[11][47][48]

Internet bookings were priced cheaper than booking over the phone, to reflect the reduced call centre costs and the aircraft were repainted with the web address. Within a year over 50% of bookings were made using the web site; by April 2004 the figure had jumped to 98%. Now, flights can only be booked over the Internet except during the 3 months immediately before the flight when telephone booking is also available.[11]

Cabin and onboard services

EasyJet Airbus A319 cabin

EasyJet's aircraft cabins are configured in a single class, high density layout.[49]

The airline's main fleet, comprising the Boeing 737-700, Airbus A319 and Airbus A320-200, carry 149, 156 and up to 180 passengers respectively, depending on layout. A typical Airbus A319 carries approximately 140 passengers in a single class configuration, but as EasyJet do not serve meals on their shorter flights, the airline opted for smaller galleys and had a lavatory installed in unused space at the rear of the aircraft. The space saved by having smaller galleys allowed for the installation of 156 seats. Due to this seating arrangement, EasyJet's Airbus A319 aircraft have two pairs of overwing exits, instead of the standard one pair configuration found on most Airbus A319 aircraft, to satisfy safety requirements.[32][41][42]

EasyJet does not provide complimentary meals or beverages on board its flights (apart for some occasional charter flights operated by the airline). Passengers may purchase items on board from the "EasyJet Bistro" buy on board programme.[50] Products include sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, hot meals, chocolate, snacks, hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. Onboard sales are an important part of the airline's ancillary revenue. EasyJet also sells gifts such as fragrances, cosmetics and EasyJet branded items onboard, as well as tickets for airport transfer services or train tickets.

EasyJet provides in-flight entertainment on some flights operated by Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft. On shorter flights, silent comedy programmes are shown and on certain longer flights a movie is shown. EasyJet offers headsets for purchase on board. EasyJet provides an in-flight magazine, published monthly, containing articles of interest to its customers and destination guides.[51]

EasyJetHotels and EasyJetHolidays

On 14 December 2004, EasyJet and Hotelopia, a subsidiary of First Choice Holidays, launched the co-branded EasyJetHotels accommodation booking service. EasyJetHotels offers accommodation products throughout the EasyJet network. Customers booking flights through the EasyJet website are provided with quotes for a number of hotels at their destination. Alternatively, customers can book accommodation separately at the EasyJetHotels website.[52][53]

On 28 June 2007, EasyJet announced it would expand its relationship with Hotelopia by launching EasyJetHolidays, which offers Travel Trust Association protected package holidays made up of EasyJet flights and Hotelopia accommodation products.[54][55]

Controversy

Boarding an EasyJet Airbus A319

EasyJet has also come under criticism in Germany for not observing EU-law 261/2004. In the case of cancellation, passengers had the right to be reimbursed within one week. In 2006, EasyJet did not always refund tickets in a timely fashion. Passengers occasionally had to wait longer for reimbursement of their expenses.[56][57]

EasyJet is a major supporter of the plans to replace the air passenger duty (APD) tax in the UK with a new tax that varies depending on distance travelled and aircraft type.[58]

In July 2008, the Advertising Standards Authority criticised a press campaign by EasyJet for a misleading environmental claim that its aircraft made 22% less emissions than rival airlines. The figures used were not based on emissions produced by an EasyJet aircraft or emissions produced by EasyJet airline overall as the ad implied, and ASA declared that airline had broken advertising rules. The judgement follows the airline being reprimanded in April 2007 after it made comments that its aircraft created 30% less pollution per passenger than some of its rivals.[59]

See also


References

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Bibliography

  • Jones, Lois (2007). Easyjet: the Story of Britain's Biggest Low-Cost Airline. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 1845132475. 

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Simple English


[[File:|thumb|Hangar 89, the headquarters of EasyJet]] EasyJet Airline Company Limited, styled as easyJet, is a low cost airline based at London Luton Airport. It is one of the largest low-fare airlines in Europe, operating domestic and international scheduled services on 387 routes between 104 European and north African airports.[1][2][3]

References

  1. "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: pp. 75-76. 2007-04-03. 
  2. "EasyJet airline details". theAirDB. http://www.theairdb.com/airline/easyjet.html. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  3. Sager, Eckart (1998-07-08). "EasyJet: Europe's no-frills airline". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/1998/07/08/travelcenter/easyjet/. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 







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