Easyjet opens first new UK base in 12 years

Easyjet opens first new UK base in 12 years

EasyJet has said its first new UK base in more than a decade will give passengers additional flight options and could reduce fares.

The airline’s new operation at Birmingham Airport will also create 140 direct jobs for pilots and crew, and support a further 1,200 indirect jobs, according to the carrier.

It is easyJet’s first new UK base since it launched at Southend Airport in 2012.

EasyJet has previously operated flights to and from Birmingham Airport using planes based elsewhere.

Basing three planes at the West Midlands airport will allow the airline to launch 16 new routes this summer to destinations such as Antalya in Turkey, the Greek island of Kos, and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

It will also increase frequencies on its existing network, equating to more than 50% additional flights each week.

Speaking at a press conference at the airport, easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “This is going to provide a huge amount of additional connectivity, which not only will serve the holidays community, but also a very critical part of the business community as well.”

He went on: “We are here to compete. Ultimately, the people who will take advantage of that is the consumers who will make sure they get great fares.”

Mr Lundgren expressed his belief that the airport has “much untapped potential” which will provide “the opportunity to grow further in future years”.

He said the airline industry “always has fares wars going on”, adding: “I think it’s great because it does give consumers a great opportunity to travel in a way that is not only for rich and privileged people.

“Our average fares across the network still sell for only £50.”

Birmingham Airport chief executive Nick Barton said: “Today sees our growing partnership with easyJet reach new heights as the airline bases three aircraft here at Birmingham Airport.

“Customers can now take advantage of the airline’s 16 new routes and have the flexibility of flight-only or a full package holiday.

“EasyJet has been a partner airline for 17 years. Its expansion here at Birmingham Airport is testament to the service, quality, price, reliability and choice of destination that its customers have come to expect.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “EasyJet’s decision to set up this new base at BHX (Birmingham Airport) will be warmly welcomed by thousands of holidaymakers across the West Midlands and beyond.

“The increase in destinations is not only great news for those heading off to the sun this summer but also for our business community, helping them forge new overseas trade links.

EasyJet marked the base opening by commissioning street artist Gent 48 to create a mural celebrating “the best of Birmingham” by representing its culture and traditions.

Musician Ozzy Osbourne, late poet Benjamin Zephaniah and 11-year-old fundraiser Ryan Hulance are among those honoured in the artwork.

Gent 48, aka Josh Billingham, said: “There is far more to Birmingham than meets the eye.

“I hope that my latest work inspires visitors to look more closely at the incredible people and culture the city has to offer.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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