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easyJet On Heathrow Expansion: The Rise of the Low-Cost Fare

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easyJet On Heathrow Expansion: The Rise of the Low-Cost Fare

easyJet On Heathrow Expansion: The Rise of the Low-Cost Fare
June 13
08:00 2018

LONDON — easyJet has today announced to the public that passengers would benefit from the increased competition to legacy carriers and would enjoy fares around 30% lower on routes to the existing UK and European Destinations if the Heathrow expansion is approved by the government. The new entrants would also be able to launch flights to the UK and European airports that are not served by Heathrow providing economic connections that are needed in a post-BREXIT world.

READ MORE: Updated: EasySky Airlines Boeing 737-200 Crashes in Havana

The new entrants would also be able to launch flights to the UK and European airports that are not served by Heathrow providing economic connections that are needed in a post-BREXIT world.

easyJet has always in the past encouraged UK airports and the local, regional and national governments within it to make compelling cases for their airports to be linked with Heathrow. Over the years, there has been a decline in the UK and European flights from Heathrow. From 2000 to 2017, total passengers grew by 21% and flights across Europe as a whole grew by 91%. During that same period, there has been up to a 40% decrease in the number of domestic flight seats, a 13% decrease in European flight seats and UK destinations served has been reduced from 14 to 8 respectively, resulting in 200,000 fewer short haul seats per week today compared to the year 2000.

From 2000 to 2017, total passengers grew by 21% and flights across Europe as a whole grew by 91%. During that same period, there has been up to a 40% decrease in the number of domestic flight seats, a 13% decrease in European flight seats and UK destinations served has been reduced from 14 to 8 respectively, resulting in 200,000 fewer short haul seats per week today compared to the year 2000.

READ MORE: easyJet to Launch Venice Flights This Summer

easyJet believes that due to the constraints in capacity, this has sectioned out the regional and domestic routes a lot more than it should have done, as they made way for the more international carriers operating out of the airport. Their case is that the Heathrow expansion should allocate some room for the regional market boom that regional carriers such as Flybe have been waiting for for a long time, especially with easyJet having a significant few regional routes already between Gatwick.

Their case is that the Heathrow expansion should allocate some room for the regional market boom that regional carriers such as Flybe have been waiting for for a long time, especially with easyJet having a significant few regional routes already between Gatwick.

READ MORE: easyJet Launches Three New Services from Liverpool Airport

Robert Carey, easyJet’s Chief Commercial, and Strategy Officer spoke at the Heathrow Connectivity Conference in London about the carrier’s views on expansion. He said the following:

“easyJet supported the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition. Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant benefits to all parts of the UK and is in the best interests of all passengers – both business and leisure, long and short haul.

This expansion would enable low-cost airlines like easyJet to operate from Heathrow (in addition to existing London bases) allowing them to provide new routes and increased competition on dozens more UK and European routes. easyJet’s costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines so easyJet’s fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today.

READ MORE: EasyJet Purchases Air Berlin’s Tegel Operations for €40 million

We look forward to engaging with the UK’s regional airports and their Governments and other local organisations to work out which regions will enjoy the largest growth in passenger demand and economic benefits from new connections to Heathrow and the rest of the world. Expansion at Heathrow must be delivered sustainably.

Local noise and environmental impacts need to be addressed and easyJet supports the Commission’s recommendations on these issues. easyJet will bring our long-term environmental strategy, a key element of which is the next generation Airbus A320 neo aircraft. These aircraft produce 15% fewer carbon emissions and are 50% quieter than current generation aircraft.

READ MORE: EasyJet Opens New Bordeaux Base. What about Ryanair’s French Progress?

We are taking delivery of 130 of these aircraft and all will be flying with easyJet before the new runway opens at Heathrow. Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant economic benefits to all of the UK and that’s why we urge MPs to support the Government’s National Planning Statement so that work can start to increase the aviation capacity for the UK. ”

Will we see easyJet at LHR?


As easyJet is talking very pro-Heathrow, there is probably a low level of doubt that there are deals being planned as the expansion progresses. It could be the case that we may see the carrier operating out of LHR over the next few years. We have had other regional carriers such as Flybe recently launch their presence out of Heathrow, meaning that it definitely is all to play for.

PHOTO: Airbus

easyJet could ultimately launch more significant European services from Heathrow as well, offering great capacity levels with their A321neos that they have on the way, on top of the A320neos that they are receiving already. If they are to operate out of Heathrow, it could shake the battle between Low-Cost Carriers and more legacy carriers.

easyJet’s quest for Heathrow doesn’t seem to be to thrive, but more to fill the gap in routes that we have seen a reduction in from the likes of Heathrow. With an already well-covered regional network to destinations such as Bristol, Cardiff, Aberdeen and beyond, they will ultimately be wanting to centralize their operations from Heathrow rather than boost their takings. And with having such an experience, there is evidently a significant level of confidence that it can come to fruition.

READ MORE: EasyJet Chooses Austria for AOC Amid Brexit

With an already well-covered regional network to destinations such as Bristol, Cardiff, Aberdeen and beyond, they will ultimately be wanting to centralize their operations from Heathrow rather than boost their takings. And with having such an experience, there is evidently a significant level of confidence that it can come to fruition.

The Rise of the Low-Cost Fare at LHR?


PHOTO: Airbus.

As mentioned previously, the emergence of easyJet can be dangerous to the market that the airport serves. Currently, it more caters to legacy carriers such as BA, Air France, and KLM to name a few. For the European carriers, there is the great danger that competition intensity would ultimately make Heathrow more of a loss leader rather than a cash cow.

For the international carriers, it may not make much of a difference as they will be flying further than easyJet is intending to reach at this present time. With the European LCC market already being intense as it is with the collapse of carriers and more, it will be interesting to see what effect this will have on BA’s domestic network in particular, especially as its hub is Heathrow.

READ MORE: EasyJet Partners With Wright Electric On Electric Airliner

And this sheer interest of Low-Cost operations out of LHR could itself bring even more competition with it. This is where the international carriers could be more affected. With the likes of Ryanair gaining a UK AOC for the purposes of BREXIT, it could be conveyed that Ryanair may venture into the LHR market as well.

With the carrier operating out of more mainstream airports such as Amsterdam in Europe, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Ryanair were to take on KLM on the Amsterdam flight, alongside with easyJet. It is ultimately dangerous to other carriers across Europe and internationally because fliers may want to sacrifice certain countries of tourism for the cheaper deals, which is the way it is currently going already.

READ MORE: EasyJet Takes Delivery of First A320neo

The rise of the l0w-cost fare can, therefore, be more of a reality out of Heathrow, especially with easyJet firing the starting pistol around this movement. It can open up a lot more positive options for the airport itself but could cause the decrease in revenues for others involved in the process, such as BA on their domestic network. Furthermore, people in the Heathrow catchment area wouldn’t have to travel elsewhere, like to Gatwick or Stansted for such flights, which would be an additional plus.

In Conclusion


It can be established that if easyJet was to gain the space and slots needed at LHR for low-cost operations, then it could definitely change the demographic that Heathrow aims to. With it providing that potential increase in domestic and regional flights that the airports and surrounding areas could do with, it is only a matter of time before this process starts.

READ MORE: EasyJet to Swap Airbus A320neo order for A321neos

And it is not to say that this process could start whilst the expansion is being implemented. It could happen now, and even more so that Heathrow and easyJet are going on the publicity stage regarding this. All we need to wait for now is the parliamentary approval and then we can start to see everything come together, more known as the Future of Heathrow.

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About Author

James Field

James Field

James is a passionate AvGeek based in Manchester, U.K who has been actively spotting for years. James has been an Aviation Enthusiast for 8 years and has a fond likening to Concorde! James hopes to grow in the aviation industry with journalism being his primary focus.

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