4-Sep-2009 11:45 AM

easyJet to reduce capacity at London Luton Airport and close East Midlands base

easyJet announced (03-Sep-09) plans to reduce capacity at London Luton Airport by 20% and to close its East Midlands Airport base. The LCC stated it will move this capacity to more profitable airports and expects most aircraft will be redeployed to continental European bases. [more]

  • Luton: Plans to cut capacity are due to the airport’s "failure to recognise the commercial realities of the recession and that easyJet has opportunities to move capacity to more attractive locations amid the global financial downturn". easyJet claims charges at the airport have risen 25% over the past three years;
  • East Midlands: easyJet’s base has remained stagnant with three aircraft for many years, and as it does not see any further growth from the airport in the long term, the LCC "plans to focus its assets on higher priority markets";
  • APD: The carrier added situation at both airports has been exacerbated because operations from the UK have been "undermined" by the rise in Airport Passenger Duty (APD).
  • easyJet also plans to reduce its number of cabin crew at Belfast, Bristol, Newcastle and London Stansted airports, to "ensure the right crewing levels for future flying". The number of aircraft based at these airports is expected to remain stable.
  • Ryanair announced (03-Sep-09) the launch of GBP35 'rescue fares' for easyJet passengers who have had their travel plans disrupted by the carrier's exit from East Midlands Airport. The fare applies to East Midlands Airport services to Alicante, Barcelona (Girona), Faro and Malaga from 10-Jan-2010. [more]
  • bmibaby announced (03-Sep-09) it remains "fully committed" to East Midlands Airport and the wider region and plans to increase its capacity from the airport and is "exploring other opportunities to fill the gap left by easyJet". [more]
  • Unite announced (03-Sep-09) easyJet's plans to were "extremely worrying news" for the carrier's staff, but the LCC has no excuses for compulsory redundancies. The union stated it has scheduled meetings with easyJet to discuss the matter. [more]

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