easyJet has announced a massive expansion
in France that reinforces its position as France’s second largest carrier. The airline will open its 18th and 19th bases at Paris Charles de Gaulle and at Lyon
airports in spring 2008, a decision that reflects easyJet’s strategy of flying
from major airports in the major European markets.
easyJet will initially base five additional aircraft in France - three in Paris
and two in Lyon - operating a total of 13 routes and creating hundreds of jobs for
pilots, cabin crew and associated support services. The airline anticipates that it
will carry over 6 million passengers through French airports in 2007 and a further 2
million in 2008 due to the opening of the new bases.
Today’s announcement is part of clear long-term growth strategy for France, which
includes a €600m investment over a four-year-period. By 2011, the airline plans to
have 20 based aircraft and to carry 12 million passengers. By that time, easyJet
will operate over 80 routes in and out of France and will directly employ almost
Three brand-new A319, manufactured by Toulouse-based Airbus, will be based in
Paris-Charles de Gaulle from February 2008 to complement easyJet’s existing six
aircraft at Paris Orly. The opening of the Charles de Gaulle base will enable
easyJet to initially launch six additional domestic and international routes
(Biarritz, Oporto, Venice, Marrakech, Hamburg and Krakow) at France’s main airport
and to strengthen easyJet’s position in the French capital.
easyJet’s second new base in France will be launched at Lyon’s Saint-Exupéry
Airport. Initially two Airbus A319 will arrive in France’s second largest city from
April 2008 to operate seven domestic and international routes (Bordeaux, Toulouse,
Casablanca, Marrakech, Venice, Porto and Lisbon).
Thanks to the new Lyon base, easyJet will become the first low-fares airline to
offer French domestic routes out of regional airports which are vital for economic
growth in these regions.
Over the past few years, France has become an increasingly important market for
easyJet. The airline already offers 50 routes in France and as much as 40 daily
flights to and from Paris. However, with a lost cost penetration of 17% at half the
European average (33%), France’s air transport market still suffers from a lack of
affordable, direct air links and therefore offers huge opportunities for easyJet.
Speaking at a press conference in Lyon today, Andy Harrison, Chief Executive of
“Today’s announcement is just the first step in our major investment that will
see us double our presence in France by 2011 as we seek to bring the benefits of
easyJet to France’s air travellers and its wider society. We will be employing
French people and flying French passengers from France’s major airports on
aircraft from Toulouse-based Airbus. No wonder we consider ourselves as France’s
own low-cost airline.”
easyJet already operates eleven routes from Charles de Gaulle to the UK,
Switzerland, Spain and Portugal as well as Nice. From Lyon, five routes to London,
Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and Rome will be served this winter.