easyJet and the new owners of London Stansted, Manchester Airport Group have announced a new long-term growth framework deal to enable the airline to more than double its passenger numbers at the airport.
Both parties hope to see the number of passengers fly with easyJet from the airport increase from a current 2.8 million to six million a year over the next five years.
The conclusion of the growth framework agreement comes just three months after MAG completed its acquisition of London Stansted in late February 2013.
easyjet currently operates eight aircraft on up to 27 routes from London Stansted, including new services to Bulgaria, Morocco and Egypt.
“The airline is one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe and MAG is delighted to be supporting the airline’s plans from Stansted.
“As well as offering new destinations, easyJet’s continued focus and growing share of the corporate market means the agreement can also facilitate an increase in the number of business travellers using Stansted,” said Charlie Cornish, chief executive, MAG.
“We are delighted that easyJet has chosen Stansted.
“We’re working hard with existing and prospective airlines to drive passenger growth at Stansted so today’s announcement by easyJet on the new framework for growth is a positive first step,” he added.
“London Stansted will flourish under MAG’s ownership as we actively market the airport, the region and its strong connectivity, including direct rail access to both London and Cambridge, to airlines and introduce lots more airline competition into the London market.
“The quality of our offer is compelling and we strongly believe that London Stansted has a key role to play in any debate on South East capacity and today’s positive announcement by easyJet confirms that.”
Passenger numbers at Stansted reached a peak of 23.8 million in 2007 before the financial crisis but have since slumped to 17.5 million per year.
Ryanair, the main player at the airport, has cancelled routes, with MAG hoping easyJet will be able to pick up some of the slack.