U.K.-based low-cost carrier has concluded an agreement with Airport’s new owner, the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), to more than double its operations at Stansted.
EasyJet currently deploys eight aircraft on up to 27 routes from Stansted and the new deal will give the airline “the ability to grow” at the airport, says the company’s U.K. Director, Paul Simmons. MAG’s chief executive Charlie Cornish describes the agreement as a “positive first step” in the airport operator’s strategy to work with existing and new airlines to drive passenger growth.
No details of the agreement were released, but EasyJet says the terms and conditions will allow it to boost its yearly passenger numbers from 2.8 million to six million at Stansted during the next five years.
MAG bought the airport for £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) fromHoldings—formerly known as BAA—in February as a result of a ruling by the U.K. Competition Commission, which concluded years ago that BAA had a monopoly position in the region south of London and in Scotland. BAA was also forced to sell as part of the ruling.
Stansted is currently dominated by, which accounts for approximately 75% of seat capacity. MAG is seeking to lessen its dependence on Ryanair to increase overall traffic at the airport by encouraging other carriers to expand there, while also diversifying the range of services offered to attract more business travelers.
By increasing its presence at Stansted, EasyJet is further expanding is footprint at different London airports. It is already the largest operator at Gatwick and at Luton Airport. EasyJet is also the largest airline at the new regional airport of London Southend.
London Stansted Airport, which handled 17 million passengers last year, has gained permission from regional authorities to increase its yearly passenger capacity from 25 million to 35 million.