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- Hangar 89, London Luton Airport,
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- London Gatwick Airport
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- Low Cost Carrier
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Based at London Luton Airport, with its busiest base at London Gatwick Airport, easyJet was founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The carrier has experienced rapid growth since its establishment in 1995, having expanded due to a combination of acquisitions and base openings triggered by consumer demand for low-cost air travel. Using a fleet of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body aircraft, easyJet operates an extensive network throughout Europe as well as to northern Africa and Israel supported by over 15 hubs spread throughout Europe.
Location of easyJet main hub (London Gatwick Airport)
easyJet share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider easyJet fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
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easyJet has recently concluded long term deals with Gatwick and Luton airports, its two largest London bases. The Gatwick deal follows a change in economic regulation that encourages a more tailored approach and the Luton agreement follows a change of concession ownership and a commitment to capacity expansion.
Last year, easyJet reached a similar agreement with Stansted, which is no longer subject to economic regulation. easyJet also operates from Southend, the smallest London airport, albeit not under a long term contract.
easyJet's London airport deals give it both a high level of visibility over airport charges and real flexibility about where to deploy its capacity. It has thrown an effective lasso around the UK's capital, and now appears to have tightened its grip on the rope.
Israel’s air travel market seems to be attracting attention. In recent weeks, there have been headlines about new routes from Vueling, TAROM, Arkia, Transavia, Jetairfly, Wizz Air, Yan Air, Med-View Airline, easyJet, Meridiana, Air Serbia and Air Onix; and increased frequencies by TAROM, Norwegian, easyJet, El Al, Alitalia, Lufthansa and airberlin.
Following the signing of an EU-Israel open skies agreement in 2012, a factor in increased services from the EU, countries including Russia, the Philippines and Kenya are also considering developing new air services agreements with Israel. In addition, a security-related restriction on Israeli carriers operating to Turkey (one of the few major aviation markets outside Western Europe and the US that has links to Israel) looks set to be lifted.
For a country of above average levels of wealth, as defined by GDP per capita, air travel penetration is also high, but lower than for other similarly wealthy nations. The Israeli market has generally seen healthy growth in recent years, but this has been uneven. Israel has significant potential for the airline industry, but its realisation will continue to be subject to politically-driven developments on traffic rights.
Rome Fiumicino, the larger of the two airports serving the Italian capital, is emerging as a key battleground for European LCCs, in addition to being the last stronghold of struggling Alitalia. Ryanair and Vueling will increase their competition in the Italian domestic market, while easyJet and Vueling will encounter each other more in international markets from Rome. All three will pose a growing threat to Alitalia.
On 24-Jan-2014, easyJet announced the launch of five further international routes from Fiumicino this summer, after launching routes to Prague and Nantes in Dec-2013. Its expansion plans will see its capacity in Rome Fiumicino grow by one third in 2014. This follows the establishment at Fiumicino of a Ryanair base in late 2013 and expansion plans announced by Vueling at the airport.
Is there room for all the LCCs? – Norwegian Air Shuttle, Monarch, Wizz Air, Pegasus, NIKI and Germanwings are also present at Fiumicino. Will Alitalia be able to withstand the ever growing competitive pressure? Recalling Roman gladiatorial combat of ancient times, this could be a fight to the death.
After growing its revenues by 11% in FY2013, easyJet managed further revenue growth in 1QFY2014 (Oct to Dec-2013), albeit at the slightly slower rate of 7.7%. Revenue per seat growth dropped from 7% in FY2013 to around 3% in 1QFY2014. The shift in the timing of Easter has prompted it to forecast a wider 1H loss, but this should not detract from an underlying solid performance. This is a seasonal business, but easyJet has managed to contain winter losses in recent years.
Nevertheless, the outlook for revenue per seat remains cautious. With load factors at consistently high levels, the scope for further growth will depend mainly on capacity. EasyJet and competitors look set to step up capacity growth in the summer schedule, although most of the legacy carriers are still cutting capacity or keeping growth low. This may increase downward pressure on easyJet's yields and unit revenues, increasing the need to continue to manage yields upwards by attracting business passengers, and developments such as allocated seating and improved website distribution.
The regular quinquennial review of airport charges at London’s three biggest airports has finally come to its conclusion. As always, this has been an exercise in attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable. Nevertheless, with the publication of its final decisions on 10-Jan-2014 (not to be confused with its ‘final proposals’, published in Oct-2013), the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has ruled a line between the wishes of the airlines and airports.
After very substantial price increases in the previous regulatory period, the clamour from airlines for the CAA to place more aggressive caps on airport charges for the period 2014 to 2019 appears to have been heard. At Heathrow and Gatwick, the CAA’s price caps are below inflation. Not low enough, say the airlines, but their comments do not have the same vehemence as in the past, while these two airports sound genuinely dismayed by the decisions and by the changes since Oct-2013.
At Stansted, price regulation is to be abandoned altogether as the CAA now judges that the airport no longer has substantial market power after long term agreements, incorporating price discounts, were struck directly with the main airlines there.
This end-of-year wrap reviews 15 of the most read reports from CAPA analysts in 2013. The most popular report from CAPA’s analysts this year looked at the impending impact of the big three Middle East airlines on the US market, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, once they establish there more widely. In particular it looked at the direction of Emirates, shortly after commencing a remarkable joint venture agreement with Qantas which commenced on 1-Apr-2013.
In Asia, much of the attention is towards the rise and rise of LCCs and their various international joint venture operations, all accelerating the process of change away from the old bilateral restrictions. For Europe too, most of the action has derived from the main LCCs, as the established airlines struggle to reduce costs and find new models to help them adapt to the new environment – including partnerships with the former enemies from the Gulf.
Latin America too has seen several key cross border mergers, including the LATAM consolidation to create the largest airline group in the region. Africa, with one or two exceptions, sadly still struggles to overcome inefficiencies and government meddling, while gradually opening up to private, more efficient models. And Russia looks forward to a new 2014 with renewed vigour.