TEA Basle AG, formerly a charter airline, will henceforth be operating as an easyJet franchise. This will result in many more easyJet flights from London Luton Airport to both Geneva and Zurich, starting in November 1998. Additionally, this franchise agreement should result in easyJet flights between Geneva Airport and other destinations in the easyJet network, as well as flights between Geneva and Zurich, described by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet chairman, as “Europe`s last monopoly.”
Since May 1998 one TEA aircraft has been flying routes on behalf of easyJet. As an easyJet franchise, the airline will remain Swiss registered with the same Swiss management and staff. From April 1st 1999, the easyJet franchise will be based in Geneva, having relocated from the previous TEA headquarters in Basle. All aircraft in the easyJet franchise will continue to be painted in easyJet colours, although the Swiss flag - the emblem of all Swiss registered airlines - will be present on these aircraft.
At present, there is a daily easyJet service between London Luton Airport and Geneva. From November 5th 1998, there will be two flights a day between London Luton and both Zurich and Geneva, and from early January 1999 there will be three daily flights between London Luton and Zurich as well as four daily flights between London Luton and Geneva.
For the first two weeks of travel on the Zurich route, fares will start at £39 one way including tax. Thereafter, for passengers travelling before the end of 1998, fares on both the Zurich and Geneva routes will start at £49 one way including tax. Fares for passengers travelling in 1999 will start at £59 one way including tax on both routes.
Announcing the franchise agreement to the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce, gathered in Geneva on Friday September 25th, Stelios said, “It will be a pleasure for easyJet to be able to offer affordable air travel between London and Zurich as well as on our established Geneva route. The travelling public now has an alternative to being ripped off by British Airways or being ripped off by Swissair.”