Founded in 1995, easyJet, along with other low-cost carriers such as Ryanair, is one of the airline industry's big success stories in recent years. While the sector as a whole, including established, traditionally-styled airlines such as BA has been suffering, airlines like easyJet have been expanding.
Their strategy is instead of providing extras such as in-flight meals and newspapers, and competing on luxury, they should compete on price. In Britain, easyJet operates out of small airports like Luton, which is only the fourth main airport in London, thereby saving airport costs. In addition, these less busy airports have a quicker turn-around time, meaning it is possible to operate more flights in a day. Again to cut costs, easyJet sells directly to customers, and about nine out of ten sales are through the internet. There is a discount of £2.50 per flight booked online, and bookings for more than a month in advance can only be made on the net. EasyJet calls itself the 'web's favourite airline', echoing the slogan of their arch rival British Airways. Upon purchasing a seat, instead of receiving a ticket, you will be given a reference number, which you simply quote upon check-in. Not only does this make things cheaper, but it is more convenient for the customer. The other thing to mention is that the airline exclusively uses Boeing 737s. The reason for this is flexibility – it means they can swap aeroplanes at will, whereas other airlines must use an appropriate plane for the route.
The pricing structure is fairly simple. Like its sister company easyEverything, easyJet varies ticket price according to demand, which means tickets are cheaper if you book them further in advance. There isn't however, a complicated policy with regard to return flights – one simply buys two single tickets, meaning you are not penalised for returning on the same day, or not knowing when you want to return.
EasyJet is headed by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who also has majority ownership of the airline. Somewhat comparable to celebrity businessman Richard Branson, Haji-Ioannou has a big personality and seems intent on carving out a well known and highly recognisable corporate image for the easyGroup. EasyJet's adverts frequently attack British Airways, who they believe started the subsidised Go airline to drive easyJet out of the market and then put prices up again. EasyJet isn't shy about attacking business practice in other organisations it sees as unfair. Its website makes a big statement about how the Advertising Standards Authority should be operated by the government, as they too easily give in to the airline's bigger competitors. In addition, if you buy a ticket online for a flight originating at Luton, you will see £10 added to the total with a bold label proclaiming 'Barclays Fatcat Charge' – in protest at airport charges there which were recently increased while Barclays was the major owner.
EasyJet currently operates routes between the following cities:
Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Liverpool, London (Luton and Gatwick) , Belfast, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Geneva, Madrid, Malaga, Nice, Palma, and Zurich.