EasyJet UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has announced two new routes from its London Gatwick and Stansted bases for the summer of 2015.
A new twice-weekly route between Stansted and Monastir, Tunisia will begin on June 2 on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The new twice-weekly routes from London Gatwick are to Preveza, Greece, beginning on May 17, and Pula, Croatia, beginning on June 23.
Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK director, told Telegraph Travel that the increased connections were because “Greece in particular continues to prove a popular destination” and that easyJet is to be the only airline offering direct scheduled flights from the UK to Preveza, a relatively unvisited area of northwestern Greece.
In other news, easyJet on February 26 launched its Vision for European Aviation calling on the EU, Governments and regulators to improve competitiveness in European aviation.
The airline continued;
The European Commission is currently working on a new Aviation Package and easyJet believes that this is the time to address some long-standing issues such as the reform of airport charges and Single European Skies.
Passengers have hugely benefited from the liberalisation of the airline sector which led to increased competition. Airlines have reduced their fares by 1-2% per year on average over the last 20 years but these reductions have not been mirrored across other aviation sectors in Europe such as airports and air space management.
There is no effective control of charges and services at many monopoly airports across Europe, with consumers paying more than they should. For those specific airports, easyJet believe that tougher regulation and a revised Airport Charges Directive is needed.
New research by Frontier Economics published today shows that tougher regulation of charges at 15 of Europe’s largest monopoly airports would save passengers €1.48 billion, increasing total one-way passenger trips by 12.2 million, which in turn would increase consumer and tourism spending, and boost trade. In total, the overall impact of better airports regulation would be an increase of GDP in the EEA area of €37bn (+0.23%) or around 470,000 jobs.
Just four key changes would provide these benefits:
• the move from dual till to single till regulation – when all revenues, both aeronautical and commercial, are taken into account when setting charges
• the reduction of airports’ return on capital by just 0.5%
• an increase in airports’ operating efficiency by 10% – reflecting the higher efficiency gains made by airlines, and
• the removal of the subsidy of transfer passengers – the charges for whom are often half that of origin and destination passengers.
easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall outlined easyJet’s views in meetings with new European Transport Commissioner, Violeta Bulc, a range of MEPs with an interest in transport and in a speech to the European Aviation Club.
In the speech Carolyn McCall called on Europe to put passengers at the heart of decision making;
“The EU plays a crucial role in supporting European aviation and easyJet is a shining example of that – without the liberalisation of European skies we would not exist in our current form.
“Europe is currently debating which policy framework to put in place, at a national and EU level, to promote the competitiveness of EU aviation.
“In order to get the best outcome for consumers, we believe that this framework should be based on fair competition, freedom of choice, and with passengers at the heart of policy making. We are calling on EU policy makers to revise the Airport Charges Directive and to rethink how we deliver Single European Skies.
“If we just tackled these two issues, they would improve the efficiency of our industry, drive down fares for consumers and create billions of Euros of GDP, equivalent to hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
EasyJet’s Vision for Europe
EasyJet’s Vision for Europe outlines the passenger journey, from booking, to the airport, to in-flight and arrival which explains at each step of the way our views on the right policy framework that can make travel easier and more affordable for all of our passengers. In addition to airport charges the document highlights four other key issues which if properly addressed would bring benefits to airlines and their passengers.
Single European Sky
EasyJet proposes a rethink based on three principles:
1) A pragmatic approach to address the deep rooted underlying concerns of key stakeholders. For example, there will be no compulsory redundancies amongst air traffic controllers. Airspace sovereignty is guaranteed and Member States can ensure they have control over their airspace
2) Governance is shared, so airspace users have an equal seat at the table.
3) SES should be on an opt-in basis, but with EU funding only available for those who opt in.
At easyJet we aim to be a good corporate citizen and to operate a model of responsible profitability – that means that we employ people on local contracts and in line with local conditions and legislation, according to where they are based. We also work with trade unions right across Europe.
The current framework enables easyJet to do the right thing but this should be enforced equally and fairly across countries.
Ground handling services
There is not enough competition on ground handling services which means passengers still pay too much and do not receive the right level of service.
It is critical that airlines are allowed to trade slots to ensure they are used as efficiently as possible.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 G-EZDK (msn 3555) arrives in Hamburg dressed in the “new look” 2015 livery.
EasyJet (UK) aircraft slide show: