Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
easyJet is a low cost airline officially known as easyJet Airline Company PLC. It is partly owned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou through his ownership of the easyGroup. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (code EZJ) and Icelandic national airline Icelandair holds a 10.1% stake in the firm. The airline's headquarters are at London Luton Airport. The airline began operations in 1995 between Luton and Glasgow
Most of easyJet's routes are domestic UK routes or between the UK and other European airports. In 2002 easyJet purchased its low cost rival Go Fly. In the late 1990s, a Swiss easyJet subsidiary was established in Geneva in fierce competition with Swissair, but the latter went bankrupt in 2001. EasyJet's main low-cost competitors in Europe are Ryanair, Air Berlin, Germanwings, Hapag Lloyd Express and BasiqAir . EasyJet is claimed to be a more business-orientated airline than Ryanair, since it flies to major airports (as opposed to secondary airports) and has recently removed limits on hand luggage weight (within reason).
Like most low cost carriers easyJet initially operated exclusively Boeing 737 aircraft. In September 2003 it decided to exclusively operate Airbus A319 aircraft. These were first introduced to easyJet's Geneva base and are being introduced to UK bases from 2004.
easyJet's largest hub airports include London Luton Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Geneva Cointrin International Airport. London Gatwick Airport has also become a hub since British Airways reduced its number of flights from there and slots became available for easyJet. Its newest hubs are in Newcastle and Paris. In December 2003 easyJet announced it would open a new hub in Berlin, at Schönefeld Airport, from which it started flying on 11 routes from May 2004.
As of October 26, 2004, easyJet flies to Aberdeen, Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Basel, Belfast International, Berlin, Bilbao, Bologna, Bratislava, Bristol, Budapest, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Edinburgh, Faro, Geneva, Glasgow, Grenoble, Ibiza, Inverness, Krakow, Liverpool, Ljubljana, London Gatwick Airport, London Luton Airport, London Stansted, Lyon, Madrid, Malaga, Marseille, Milan, Munich, Naples, Newcastle, Nice, Nottingham East Midlands Airport, Palma, Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Paris (Orly), Prague, Riga, Rome, Tallinn, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Venice, Warsaw and Zurich.
Initially booking was by telephone only, all the planes were 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. When asked about the possibility of Internet sales, Stelios had replied that the Internet was "just for geeks". Later he changed his mind, and easyJet became the first UK airline to offer online booking in April 1998. Internet bookings were priced cheaper than booking over the phone, to reflect the reduced call centre costs. The planes were repainted with the web address. Within a year 15% 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 2 weeks immediately before the flight when telephone booking is also available.
easyjet has published the following passenger numbers:
- Year ended 30 September 2004 24,343,649
- Year ended 30 September 2003 20,332,973
- Year ended 30 September 2002 11,400,000
- Year ended 30 September 2001 7,100,000
- Year ended 30 September 2000 5,600,000
- Year ended 30 September 1999 3,100,000
These are "earned seat" numbers. Earned seats is a method of counting passenger numbers which includes all seats sold whether the passenger turns up or not, and also seats used for promotional purposes and staff business travel.
easyjet said it carried 2.08m people in January 2005 (up 23.8% on same month the previous year) and 6.7m in the three month period to December 2004 (up 26%) (ref: Guardian 8 February 2005)
Other facts of interest
- easyJet is consistently a popular search query  in the airline category on Google UK.
- On 14th December 2004, easyJet and Hotelopia, a subsidiary of First Choice Holidays, launched a co-branded easyJetHotels accommodation booking service.
- Due to higher density passenger seating and the enforced extra safety requirement, easyJet's Airbus A319 aircraft have two pairs of overwing exits instead of standard one-pair exits found on all other Airbus A319.
- easyjet's "earned seats" total for the year to 30 November 2004 was 25,249,936. This was an increase of 21% over the year earlier period.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details