Easyjet’s new flights

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 19:49 by Aviation Correspondent

EasyJet is eyeing primary airlines in Europe to increase the budget carrier’s share of business travel market. From its main bases in London, Paris and Geneva, EasyJet is increasing daily flights to Amman, Jordan.

The carrier is also launching flexible tickets, trialed in last November as part of the package, which offers to switch flights until two hours before departure.

The carrier said that business travel offerings are an entirely different realm to them and for the first time in its history there would be two product categories. Business passengers account for 18% of EasyJet’s guests and the airline is looking to raise that number to 21%.

The company has also assembled a 15 member sales team that will hook on to business and travel bookers in UK, its home turf and Europe.

The airline would be offering flexible fares through its website from this summer. The head of the company has also warned that there might be a few cuts in routes and possibly a rise in fares as the carrier along with its global community is battling rocketing fuel prices.

As much as 60% of EasyJet’s passengers are headed to continental European destinations, which encourages the low-cost carrier to compete against full-service carriers like Air France and rivals British Airways. The company feels that it’s not so concentrated on UK alone as shown by its competition with Air France in France and KLM in Amsterdam.

Some business passengers traveling with EasyJet pay almost 20% extra for late bookings and services such as priority boarding.

EasyJet, established in 1995 with just two planes providing flights between London and Scotland still needs to catch-up with large scale carriers offering same-day flights. EasyJet currently has five or more daily flights, only on 2% of its network compared to 53% for British Airways, the largest carrier in UK.

Meanwhile EasyJet slid 26% this year after they projected their loss in the fiscal year ending March 31 would double to £160 million with increased fuel prices and, snow and strikes caused flights to be canceled. The carrier was the worst performer on the Bloomberg EMEA Airlines Index, resulting in its market value dipping to 1.39 billion pounds ($1.39 billion).

Each wave of financial crisis or natural disasters cause economic meltdown and as such passengers shift from luxury class to economy and carriers from full service to budget airlines. Short-haul premium services have been of very less demand over the years.

EasyJet is headquartered at London Luton Airport and flies to 500 routes in 118 destinations across Europe, North Africa and West Asia.

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