Founded 1995 Operating bases Subsidiaries EasyJet Switzerland Fleet size 184 (+37 orders) Destinations 129 Company slogan "Come on, let's fly!"
"The web's favourite airline"
Parent company EasyJet plc Headquarters London Luton Airport
Luton, United Kingdom
Key people Carolyn McCall (CEO)
Warwick Brady (COO)
Chris Kennedy (CFO)
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Founder)
Revenue £2,973.1 m (2010) Operating income £154.0 m (2010) Net income £121.3 m (2010) 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. The parent company, EasyJet plc, is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: EZJ) and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. As of 30 September 2009[update], it employed 8,000 people, based throughout Europe but mainly in the UK.
EasyJet has seen rapid expansion since its establishment in 1995, having grown through a combination of acquisitions and base openings fuelled by consumer demand for low-cost air travel. The airline, along with subsidiary airline EasyJet Switzerland, now operates over 200 aircraft, mostly Airbus A319. It has 19 bases across Europe, the most important one being Gatwick. In 2010, EasyJet carried 42.4 million passengers and is the second-largest low-cost carrier in Europe, behind Ryanair.
EasyJet was featured in the television series Airline 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Strategy
- 3 Environment
- 4 Destinations
- 5 Fleet
- 6 Head office
- 7 Services
- 8 Criticism
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
The airline was established in 1995 as part of the EasyGroup conglomerate. It was launched by Greek-Cypriot businessman 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.
Business and financials
EasyJet was floated on the London Stock Exchange on 5 November 2000. In October 2004 the FL Group, owner of the airlines Icelandair and Sterling, purchased an 8.4% stake in EasyJet. Over the course of 2005, FL increased its share in the company periodically to 16.9%, fuelling speculation that it would mount a takeover bid for the UK carrier. 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. 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.
EasyJet financial performance Year ended Passengers flown[nb 1] Load factor Turnover (£m) Profit/loss before tax (£m) Net profit/loss (£m) Basic EPS (p) 30 September 2011 54,509,271 87.3% 3,452 248 225 52.5 30 September 2010 48,754,366 87.0% 2,973.1 154.0 121.3 28.4 30 September 2009 45,164,279 85.5% 2,666.8 54.7 71.2 16.9 30 September 2008 43,659,478 84.1% 2,362.8 110.2 83.2 19.8 30 September 2007 37,230,079 83.7% 1,797.2 201.9 152.3 36.62 30 September 2006 32,953,287 84.8% 1,619.7 129.2 94.1 23.18 30 September 2005 29,557,640 85.2% 1,314.4 67.9 42.6 10.68 30 September 2004 24,343,649 84.5% 1,091.0 62.2 41.1 10.34 30 September 2003 20,332,973 84.1% 931.8 51.5 32.4 8.24 30 September 2002 11,350,350 84.8% 551.8 71.6 49.0 14.61 30 September 2001 7,115,147 83.03% 356.9 40.1 37.9 15.2 30 September 2000 5,600,000 263.7 22.1 22.1 11.9
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.
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. EasyJet has used a number of slogans since its establishment. Its current slogan is "The Web's Favourite Airline", a reflection on the airline's cheeky and cheerful image.
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.
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. 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 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.
In 2001, EasyJet opened its base at Gatwick Airport, and between 2003 and 2007, EasyJet opened bases in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, establishing a sizeable presence in continental Europe. In 2007, EasyJet claimed to be operating more flights per day than any other European airline. 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 Gatwick Airport and also to establish a base at Manchester Airport.
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. 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 whereas EasyJet's fleet age is just 3.6 years.
Initially, EasyJet's employment strategy was to maintain control with minimal union involvement. However in recent years, the airline has adopted a more committed approach with a strategy in place to accommodate unions.
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 further 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.
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 fibre composite material. The date for the first flight was given to be in 2015.
In February 2011, EasyJet painted eight of its aircraft with a lightweight, thin "revolutionary nano technology coating" polymer. It works by reducing build-up of debris and reduces drag across the surface of the aircraft, thus reducing the fuel bill. It is estimated they could save 1–2% annually, equating to a £14 million reduction in fuel costs. The idea has already been used by US military aircraft and if successful EasyJet will apply the paint to its whole fleet.
EasyJet's five largest bases in order of size are Gatwick, Milan-Malpensa, London-Luton, London-Stansted and Bristol. Newcastle airport is currently the airline's smallest base with 3 aircraft but EasyJet still offers more flights and destinations from here than all the non-base airports it serves.
EasyJet flies in a point to point model rather than the more traditional airline hub and spoke model where the passengers have to change aircraft in transit at a major airport. EasyJet prefers to fly to larger or primary airports usually close to major cities. For example EasyJet flies to the main Düsseldorf airport, instead of Weeze, the secondary airport serving Düsseldorf. Primary airports are not always close to the city they serve and in fact can be further than the city's minor airport, this is the case at Belfast, Gothenburg and Rome and in these cases, EasyJet still prefer to serve the major airport. EasyJet does still serve some secondary airports including Belfast-City, London-Luton and Rome-Ciampino, but these cities have a major airport also served by EasyJet, so in no case does EasyJet fly to a secondary airport of a city without flying to a primary one.
EasyJet has 19 European 'bases'. Despite EasyJet being a British airline, and having a significant presence there, it has a significant presence in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and many other European countries. The United Kingdom is its biggest market, containing the airlines largest base and nine others as well as a total of six other non-base airports. Its three largest British bases in order of size are London's Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports.
EasyJet's largest competitor is Ryanair, which unlike EasyJet has a focus on smaller or secondary airports and in recent years, has started targeting holiday makers. EasyJet focuses heavily on business passengers but operates a greater varierty of holiday destinations than Ryanair. However, EasyJet has a very low presence at holiday destinations like Greece with limted frequencies and only a small number of airports to fly from. Ryanair's is much higher, especially at all of the Canary Islands and some Greek Islands, in particular Kos and Rhodes. Ryanair often refers to EasyJet as a high fares airline but EasyJet often criticises Ryanair for its choice of airports.
EasyJet fleet Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers Notes Airbus A319-100 152 0 156 Largest A319 operator Airbus A320-200 31 37 180 To be delivered in 2013 Boeing 737–700 1 0 149 No longer in operation being returned to lessor. Total 184 37
EasyJet is the largest operator of the Airbus A319. Subsidiary airline EasyJet Switzerland operates 15 Airbus A319 and 4 Airbus A320 aircraft under Swiss registrations, in addition to the above.
Fleet strategy and aircraft orders
In common with most other low-cost carriers, EasyJet has a philosophy of operating just one aircraft type. Initially it used Boeing 737 aircraft exclusively, but in October 2002 it ordered 120 Airbus A319 aircraft, plus 120 options, with CFM56-5B engines. Since then, the Boeings have been all but phased out, and all orders have been from the Airbus A320 family:
Airbus A320 family orders Date A319 A320 Options Purchase rights Notes 30 December 2002 120 120 21 December 2005 140 100 20 purchase rights converted 13 November 2006 192 123 52 purchase rights converted
75 new purchase rights
June 2007 227 24 64 35 purchase rights converted into orders
24 purchase rights converted into options
July 2008 202 25 24 64 25 A319 changed for A320 February 2010 192 35 24 64 10 A319 changed for A320 December 2010 172 70 42 31 15 A320 options converted
20 A319 changed for A320
33 purchase rights converted into options
EasyJet's Airbus A319 aircraft were first introduced to EasyJet's Geneva base in October 2003. 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. EasyJet has 33 outstanding options with Airbus valid until March 2013 and 40 outstanding options and purchase rights valid until 2015, which may be taken as any member of the Airbus A320 family.
EasyJet still operates the Boeing 737–700 from its London Luton base; however, beginning in December 2006, the airline started to return the Boeing 737–700 aircraft to their lessors. The Belfast base was converted to an A319 operation; the conversion finished in March 2010 with a total of 6 A319 aircraft. EasyJet plans to dispose of their entire Boeing 737 fleet by 2011.
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 and later remove the A321 aircraft from the fleet.
EasyJet has operated the following types of aircraft:
Fleet history Aircraft Introduced Retired Seating Notes Airbus A319-100 2004 — 156 In service Airbus A320-200 2008 — 180 In service Airbus A321-200 2008 2010 220 Inherited from GB Airways Boeing 737–300 1996 2007 149 Replaced by A319s Boeing 737–700 2000 2011 148
Easyjet's head office is Hangar 89 (H89), a building located on the grounds of London Luton Airport in Luton, Bedfordshire; the hangar, a former Britannia Airways/TUI facility, is located 150 metres (490 ft) from EasyLand, the previous headquarters of EasyJet. Hangar 89, built in 1974, has 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) 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 modernised the building and painted it orange.
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.
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.
In December 2001, easyJet switched from a third-party reservation system to an in-house system designed and developed for them by BulletProof Technologies, Inc. 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.
Cabin and onboard services
EasyJet's aircraft cabins are configured in a single class, high density layout.
The airline's main fleet, comprising Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, carry up to 156 and 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.
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. 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 have previously provided in-flight entertainment (IFE) on certain aircraft, using drop-down screens on some Airbus aircraft. During some of 2009 and 2010 they also provided passengers with the ability to rent portable Sony media players with movies and games on selected flights. Due to little demand and customers choosing to bring in their own entertainment on tablet computers and media devices, these services were withdrawn during 2010. EasyJet have headphones available to purchase, along with a travel pillow and eyeshades, subject to stock. EasyJet provides an in-flight magazine, published monthly, containing articles of interest to its customers and destination guides. As of May 2010, EasyJet has been selling copies of Hello, Top Gear, and The Sunday Times, all at cover price. The Times is also available onboard, at a price of £1, subject to stock.
EasyJet Hotels and EasyJet Holidays
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.
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.
On 6 November 2010, easyJet announced its venture with Low Cost Travel Group to offer EasyJet flights, dynamically packaged with Low Cost Travel Group's accommodation through the EasyJet Holidays website. As of March 2011, EasyJet Holidays have provided holidays and city breaks to all easyJet routes.
EasyJet has also come under criticism in Germany for not observing European Union law on compensation (and assistance to passengers) in cases of denied boarding, delays or cancellations (Regulation 261/2004). In the case of cancellation, passengers should 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.
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.
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