easyJet to introduce 36 routes in 2010; ACCC authorizes proposed Virgin Blue/Delta trans-Pacific JV

easyJet unveiled further details of its expansion plans for 2010, with the introduction of 36 new routes across Europe. The LCC’s shares were down 2.8% yesterday.

The expansion plans include the introduction of a fifth aircraft to be based at Manchester, which will operate a further three new routes from the European Spring to Mahon (Menorca), Sharm el Sheik and Zurich.

easyJet will also introduce new routes to its regional bases across the UK and will add Doncaster Sheffield Airport to the airline’s network with introduction of five new routes to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Faro, Palma (Majorca) and Prague.

This move means that easyJet, which is currently the largest airline operating across the UK, will also become the largest airline in the North of England. With 20 aircraft based at its Northern bases, easyJet expects to carry over six million passengers to/from the North of England in the coming year. 18% of the airline’s UK capacity will operate from the North of England, with 40% of its total UK network operating outside of London serving the regions.

Also in Europe, shares in Jet2.com’s parent, Dart Group, fell 4.0%, while Ryanair’s shares were also weaker, down 0.8%.

ACCC authorises proposed Virgin Blue/Delta trans-Pacific JV

In Australia, Virgin Blue’s shares were down 1.0% yesterday, despite the carrier and Delta Air Lines receiving Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) authorisation for a proposed JV on trans-Pacific routes for five and a half years. US approval is still required.

For more analysis of the LCC sector, please see The Centre’s landmark Global LCC Outlook Report.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 10-Dec-09