easyJet Adds Aircraft at Amsterdam Base

Low-fare carrier, easyJet, is to introduce a further aircraft at its Amsterdam Schiphol Airport base this winter and boost its network with the addition of seven new destinations served with a total of 24 weekly flights. The growth follows less than six months after the carrier officially opened its new base in the Netherlands capital in late March, boosting its route map to 29 destinations.

Alongside an already announced six times weekly link to Milan Linate, easyJet will introduce a four times weekly service to Tel Aviv from the last week of October. This will be its tenth route from Tel Aviv since it started flying to Israel in November 2009.

These routes will be supplemented by a four times weekly rotation to Lyon, a three times weekly route to Salzburg, a twice weekly operation to Tenerife South and a weekly flight to Grenoble from the middle of December 2015. A four times weekly link to Vienna will complete its einter schedule from the Dutch capital.

Schiphol was actually easyJet's first destination outside of the UK back in 1996 but it has taken almost 20 years for the carrier to decide to establish a base operation having served the airport from its other European bases.

“Opening a base at Schiphol is an important strategic move for easyJet. easyJet is already the second largest airline at Amsterdam - one of Europe's leading airports serving a large and growing aviation market with strong passenger demand both to and from the Dutch capital,” said Carolyn McCall, chief executive officer, easyJet.

Our analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data highlights the rapid growth of easyJet at Amsterdam Schiphol between 2009 and 2012. Although the airline’s capacity at the Netherlands gateway declined by 1.2 per cent in 2013, it was still its second highest level on record.

This small decline followed three years of double-digit growth with capacity up 33.4 per cent in 2010, 21.8 per cent in 2011 and 10.1 per cent in 2012. It was followed by a 3.5 per cent growth in 2014 and departure capacity is set to grow by at least 20 per cent through this year following the base opening.

Elsewhere in Europe, easyJet has confirmed it will expand its operations at Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport in France, where alongside the new link to Amsterdam it will introduce flights to Belfast International, London Southend and Naples.

Meanwhile, the carrier has reinforced its commitment to launch operations at London’s Heathrow Airport if the Government backs this week’s recommendation by the Airports Commission that expansion in the south east of England should be at Heathrow Airport. The airline believes additional runway capacity at the hub airport will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition.

The airline’s chief executive officer, Carolyn McCall, has confirmed that easyJet intends to actually establish a base at Heathrow in the future in addition to its existing London bases at Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend.

“easyJet would open a base at Heathrow enabling easyJet to provide new routes and increase competition on dozens more UK and European routes,” she explained. This would include new services to Inverness, Isle of Man and Jersey and increased services and more competition for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast as well as new and increased services for many other key cities including Amsterdam, Geneva and Zurich.

"easyJet's costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines so even allowing for an increase in charges at an expanded Heathrow, easyJet's fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today,” added McCall.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…