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EasyJet is a British low-cost airline carrier based at London Gatwick Airport.
Owing to its all-economy class fleet, it is the largest airline of the United Kingdom by number of passengers carried.
The airline operates domestic and international scheduled services on over 700 routes in 32 countries.
14th September 2017
EasyJet to connect with other airlines' long-haul flights for first time
Scheme allows budget carrier’s passengers to book long-haul flights with other airlines to North and South America and far east
EasyJet will provide feeder traffic to long-haul carriers for the first time, the budget airline has said.
Passengers taking connecting flights through London Gatwick, such as those travelling from Aberdeen to New York, will be able to book the entire trip on easyJet’s website.
The airline has formed a partnership with Norwegian and WestJet, offering flights to North and South America and the far east. Under the Worldwide scheme, passengers will also be able to connect with other easyJet flights.
About 200,000 passengers a year connect from one easyJet flight to another at Gatwick, but they have previously needed to book each flight separately and transfer their own luggage.
The announcement represents one of the most significant strategic changes made by the airline since it introduced allocated seating in 2012. Bookings will include the GatwickConnects service, meaning passengers’ checked luggage will be transferred to their second flight, and if they miss their connection they will be given a seat on the next available flight free of charge.
EasyJet said it would sign up other airlines to the new system and discussions were “already far advanced” with Middle Eastern and far eastern carriers, among others.
It plans to expand to other key airports in Europe such as Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Barcelona.
The increased connectivity is due to an “innovative platform” created by flight search engine firm Dohop.
EasyJet insisted the scheme would not adversely affect its punctuality or operating model.
It will not hold flights for connecting passengers, who will be subject to a minimum connection time of two and a half hours between flights. The airline will also begin selling standalone tickets on behalf of Loganair from next month, allowing easyJet customers to book onward flights from destinations such as Glasgow and Edinburgh to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands.
This would give smaller airlines access to a larger market as easyJet’s website attracted about 360m visits in the past 12 months.
EasyJet’s outgoing chief executive, Carolyn McCall, said: “Around 70 million passengers flying through an easyJet airport each year are connecting on to other flights, mainly long-haul, and it is this market segment that Worldwide by easyJet will open up for us.”
Among destinations that can now be booked on easyJet.com are New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Toronto and Singapore.
Ryanair began offering customers the opportunity to connect from one of its flights to another in Rome in May. It said at the time that it was continuing discussions with Aer Lingus, Norwegian and other airlines to sell connecting flights.
Aviation consultant John Strickland said: “This is primarily about customer convenience, making it easier to book multi-airline itineraries via the easyJet website but still using individual airline pricing rather than through fares.
He added: “They will also not break the low-cost carrier model as, though connections will be made easier, there will be no obligation on the airline in the event these are missed.”
London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is 2.7 nautical miles north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and 29.5 miles south of Central London. Also known as London Gatwick, it is London's second-largest international airport and the second-busiest in the United Kingdom. Gatwick is Europe's leading airport for point-to-point flights] and has the world's busiest single-use runway, with a maximum of 55 aircraft movements per hourIts two terminals (North and South) cover an area of 98,000.
Airlines that fly from and London Gatwick Airport include Virgin, British Airways, Emirates, Aegean, Aer Lingus and many more.
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