easyJet Pledges To Bring Low-Cost Domestic Flights To Paris

15th Jun 2001

easyJet has today approached Swissair and the French Government to express an interest in acquiring some of the assets of the troubled French airline AOM/Air Liberté. This is part of the airline`s strategy to establish Orly as a major European operating base which will bring domestic and intra-European low-cost airline travel to French consumers.

AOM/Air Liberté forms part of Swissair Group`s debt-ridden group of domestic French airlines, which have experienced serious financial difficulty in the last few months.

easyJet, the fast-growing low-cost point-to-point airline, is interested in acquiring some of the assets of the French airline to establish the Paris airport as a major operating base. easyJet already has base airports at Amsterdam (second-biggest user), Geneva, Liverpool and London Luton and believes that French consumers should not be denied access to the airline`s low-cost flights for domestic and intra-European services.

easyJet is a name already recognised within France - during summer 2001 it will operate up to 13 flights each day into Nice. Within the UK, easyJet operates high-frequency services from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast and believes the same approach can be replicated between Orly and a number of major French cities - such as Nice.

An operation of this nature would need experienced airline workers at Orly, which could safeguard hundreds of jobs in Paris, as well as representing France`s first low-cost airline. For easyJet to maximise the opportunity at Orly, slots would need to be made available to provide a meaningful degree of competition to the incumbent airlines.


As a result, easyJet has today written to Dr Mario Corti, Chief Executive of Swissair; Jean-Claude Gayssot, the French Transport Minister; AOM/Air Liberté; Marine Wendel (which owns 51% of AOM/Air Liberté) and the CGT trade union to explain the proposal.

easyJet currently operates a fleet of 22 Boeing 737 aircraft operating on 35 routes from four main bases across Europe. The airline`s fleet will double in size to 44 Boeing 737 aircraft by mid-2004 and has a current market capitalisation of the same size as Swissair.

Ray Webster, easyJet Chief Executive, said:

“The French population have been denied access to domestic low-cost airline services for too long. The success of other “easy” companies in Paris - easyRentacar and easyEverything - has proved that French consumers are as attracted by the idea of value-for-money services as anywhere else in Europe”.

“We have identified a number of domestic and intra-European routes from Paris, which could support easyJet`s high-frequency strategy - and would need large numbers of skilled workers to get the Paris Orly base up and running”.

“In time, there is no reason why Paris Orly couldn`t have the same number of easyJet flights as our principal base at London Luton - about 100 per day. Slots are currently a problem, but we`re sure we`ll be able to come to an agreement which will enable us to bring the benefits to French travellers, the current employees of AOM/Air Liberté and easyJet.”




Recommended for you

Follow Breaking Travel News

Travel Events Calendar

Media Partnerships

Global Restaurant Investment ForumThe Hospitality & Tourism SummitCATHIC
ITB AsiaChina Outbound Travel & Tourism MarketThe Travel Marketing Store
Serviced Apartment SummitWorld Travel MarketIMEX
AHICWTTCRoutes Online
UBM Aviation