The opening of Liverpool John Lennon airport`s new terminal building last Friday coincided with a 450% increase in passenger numbers at the airport in the five years since easyJet started flying from there.
In 1996, the year prior to the arrival of easyJet, the airport handled 500,000 passengers. Throughout 2001, the airport dealt with 2.25 million passengers, 75% of which flew with easyJet.
easyJet set up at Liverpool airport in October 1997 with one aircraft and two flights a day. Today, the low-cost airline has three Boeing 737 300s and two brand new Boeing 737 700`s based at the airport and operates up to 20 flights every day to eight destinations; Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Geneva, Madrid, Malaga, Palma and Nice.
“The new terminal is fantastic news for UK travellers”; commented Ray Webster, the airline`s CEO. “Not all of the UK aviation industry is suffering. Far from it, the easyJet growth of Liverpool airport shows that if the price is right, people will fly in large numbers. People are also showing that they are no longer prepared to pay hugely-inflated prices for short-haul business travel. We are seeing more and more business travellers trying easyJet as a way of saving costs and then using us regularly as their preferred airline. Also, rather than taking one trans-Atlantic holiday, people are instead taking a number of short-haul European breaks with us through out the year.”
The new terminal is part of a £35 million project which will include improved passenger facilities as well as an enhanced retail offer. To mark the opening of the new check-in hall, easyJet gave away free flights to the first two passengers to check-in for their flight on Friday morning.