UK low-fare carrier, easyJet, has announced the introduction of four new routes from its largest base at London Gatwick Airport for summer 2014, including long-awaited confirmation that it will continue to operate Flybe’s domestic routes to Jersey and Newcastle when it acquires all of its rivals slots at the London airport at the end of the winter schedule in late March 2014. Additional growth will also see easyJet add two routes from Edinburgh, two further links from Glasgow alongside the previously announced services from Belfast International to Bordeaux and Jersey.
At London Gatwick the four new destinations include Jersey, Paris, and Newcastle, which will strengthen easyJet's business network from the airport. The important new connections between London and Newcastle will be provided six days per week and will mark the carrier’s return to the London – Newcastle city pair having served it previously via Stansted Airport. These business routes will be complement by flights to Brittany, France a popular region with British holidaymakers, also adding to the airline's comprehensive range of leisure destinations.
"These new routes add even further choice for passengers from easyJet's largest base - always at affordable prices,” said Hugh Aitken, commercial manager for London, easyJet. “Crucially the introduction of these new routes enables us to strengthen our already comprehensive range of destinations so choosing easyJet makes even more business sense for the millions of corporate travellers who choose easyJet from London Gatwick every year."
easyJet will introduce three of the four new London Gatwick routes from March 30, 2014. Newcastle will have two rotations per day, except Saturdays; Jersey will be served up to three times daily, while Paris CDG will see two daily flights. The Brest link, which will commence from July 12, 2014 will be operated on a three times weekly schedule.
Away from London, elsewhere in the UK further choice is being offered from Belfast International Airport with weekly and twice weekly respective links to Bordeaux and Jersey being introduced from June 28, 2014. There are also four new routes launching in Scotland which will provide sun seekers with even more choice for travel further afield to both Heraklion (weekly from April 1, 2014 and twice weekly from April 26, 2014) and Bodrum (twice weekly from March 31, 2014) from Edinburgh Airport or the option to fly to Split (twice weekly from June 22, 2014) and Kos (twice weekly from April 5, 2014) from Glasgow International Airport.
“Adding even further choice for passengers throughout the UK at affordable prices is always our aim at easyJet. The new additions to the 2014 schedule will provide 36.6 million seats network wide on a greater choice of destinations spanning the UK, Europe and beyond,” said Cath Lynn, group commercial director, easyJet. When looking at the UK alone, easyJet will be offering 21.6 million seats during the 2014 schedule, an increase of almost one million available seats compared to last year’s summer schedule.
There will also be further growth from the French market with new links from Bordeaux. In its latest summer 2014 schedule update easyJet reveals it will introduce four times weekly flights from the French city to Amsterdam and Brussels and three times weekly flights to Marrakech.
The low-fare carrier is showing continued growth and summer 2014 will also see the opening of two new operational bases: Hamburg in Germany (see ‘easyJet Confirms Hamburg as Second German Base’) and Naples in Italy. The latter, revealed earlier this month, will see the carrier launch eighteen new weekly flights to Brussels, Catania, Corfu, Hamburg and Mykonos, bringing its total network to 20 destinations.
easyJet will base two aircraft in Southern Italy’s largest city from spring 2014 and expects to carry up to two million passengers in the first year of operation of the base. Having first started operations in Naples in 2000, easyJet now carries more passengers than any other airline into and out of the city’s International Airport, located in its Capodichino district. In the last twelve months the airline has flown 1.6 million passengers.
"Italy is a key market for easyJet where it has regularly invested and we are delighted to announce that Naples becomes our 3rd Italian base and in Italy’s third largest city,” Mike Campbell, Europe director, easyJet. "Naples is a top European destination both for tourism - the city being listed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - and for business with a wide network of more than 260,000 companies and 2.6 million business passengers travelling to and from Naples every year."
easyJet is the third largest airline in Italy with a 12 per cent market share based on full calendar year 2013 flight schedules. It operates a portfolio of 140 routes in Italy (14 domestic and 126 international in 19 countries), serving 17 Italian Airports (Alghero , Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Pisa, Lamezia, Turin, Venice and Verona).
Latest statistics show the airline carried 13 million passengers in the last 12 months (September 2012 - August 2013), representing a seven per cent increase year-over-year. It operates three bases in Italy with a fleet of 25 stationed aircraft: 17 in Milan Malpensa where easyJet is the largest airline, 6 in Rome Fiumicino where it is the second largest airline and now in Naples. According to the carrier, around half of its passengers in Naples are local and 18 per cent of its passengers fly to/ from Naples travel for business. That will represent around 360,000 business travellers in the first year of the base operation.