easyJet has outlined the latest step in its expansion in France with the opening of two new permanent bases in Nice and Toulouse - its 21st and 22nd network bases - to be operational by summer season 2012.
The airline was recently voted Europe’s Leading Low-cost Airline by the prestigious World Travel Awards.
easyJet, a long-term player in France, demonstrates with this investment its intention to grow in the French regions and in the country as a whole.
The bases in Nice and Toulouse will open during the 2012 summer season with two Airbus 319 aircraft in each base and will bring to five the number of easyJet bases in France (in addition to Orly, Charles de Gaulle and Lyon) with a total fleet of 24 aircraft.
Following the opening of the two new bases, easyJet expects to increase by ten its regional and European routes (from 27 to 37) on top of its existing operations.
Already the second largest airline by market share in France, and the second biggest at both Nice and Toulouse, easyJet flew 12 million passengers to and from France in 2011.
With the capacity increase in Nice, the largest airport outside of Paris, easyJet will add to its existing portfolio of 16 routes:
Departures will include five new business and leisure, domestic and European destinations, including Toulouse, Nantes and Bordeaux.
In total easyJet will offer local consumers a wide choice of 21 destinations on up to 215 flights per week.
In Toulouse, where easyJet has significantly grown its operations in a very short time, the airline will offer on the top of its current portfolio of 11 routes
easyJet will here give local business and leisure passengers 16 routes and up to 140 flights per week.
Catherine Lynn, easyJet’s customer and revenue director, explained: “France is a strategic market for easyJet, where the airline - already the country’s second largest - clearly has room to grow.
“Low cost penetration is only 24 per cent - half the European average.
“This strategic investment will allow us to strengthen our position in one of Europe’s key markets.
“By making travel easy and affordable for French passengers we’ve firmly established the easyJet brand in France.”
Take a closer look at what easyJet has been up to in 2011 here.