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EasyJet inaugurates new Birmingham base

EasyJet has today inaugurated its newest UK base, at Birmingham Airport, the airline’s ninth UK base and first new base in the UK in more than a decade, creating 140 direct jobs for pilots and crew in the UK and in total supporting around 1,200 jobs.

Above: EasyJet aircraft, Tom Screen – Aviation Director at BHX, Andy Street Mayor of West Midlands, Councillor Courts Leader of the Solihull Council, Johan Lundgren CEO of easyJet, Ali Gayword Country Manager of easyJet and Nick Barton CEO of Birmingham Airport.
Courtesy easyJet / BHX

 
EasyJet has today inaugurated its newest UK base, at Birmingham Airport, the airline’s ninth UK base and first new base in the UK in more than a decade, creating 140 direct jobs for pilots and crew in the UK and supporting around 1,200 jobs in total.*

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The opening of the base ushers in a new era for expansion for the airline in the UK – the fastest growing airline in the UK this summer - as well as easyJet holidays which is the fastest growing holidays company in the UK.  
 
UK touching flying now makes up 56% of easyJet’s total operation and the airline is operating its biggest ever UK programme this year with four additional aircraft joining the UK-based fleet. There will be more than 57 million seats on sale to and from the UK which is up around 10% compared to last year. The airline’s growth is set to continue with more aircraft joining the fleet next year.  
 
With an economy bigger than Hungary’s and the largest economy in the UK outside London and the South East, Birmingham provides easyJet with significant growth opportunities in the Midlands – a key part of easyJet’s strategy. Not only will the aircraft help support vital UK domestic connectivity outside of London, each UK-based aircraft directly supports 400 jobs and £27 million UK gross value added (GVA) considering direct, indirect and induced impacts.
 
Eighty-three per cent of people in England and Wales live within a two-hour drive of Birmingham Airport and the significant majority (89%) of Birmingham Airport traffic is leisure. The new base will therefore enable easyJet to unlock the opportunity to capture the strong demand for leisure travel and the package holiday market. EasyJet is the largest leisure airline in the UK and the base opening has already more than tripled the airline’s share of the leisure market at Birmingham this summer compared to last year.
 
With direct connections between Birmingham and primary European city airports including Amsterdam, Geneva, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Berlin Brandenburg, the new base will also serve millions of business travellers the airline carries to and from the UK each year. EasyJet’s passenger numbers at Birmingham are expected to be up nearly 60% this year versus last year and this summer season is also expected to be the biggest ever for easyJet holidays. Flights to and from Birmingham are set to carry one of the highest proportions of easyJet holidays’ customers on the network, with destinations like Majorca, Dalaman, Antalya, Sharm el Sheikh and Tunisia looking most popular for this summer.
 
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “We are excited to open our newest base at Birmingham today, providing more choice, competition and connectivity as well as supporting over 1,200 jobs for the region.
 
“This base is enabling us to unlock the opportunity of the strong demand which exists for both leisure and business travel, as well as further grow our share of the package holiday market.
 
“We see much untapped potential at the airport providing the opportunity to grow further in future years.”
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Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport (BHX), 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.
 
“We are looking forward to working with easyJet to further grow its destination list for our customers.”
 
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “EasyJet’s decision to set up this new base at BHX 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’s decision is also a vote of confidence in Birmingham Airport and the people working in our aviation industry. The new base will support hundreds of jobs and help the airport to grow and thrive in the years ahead.”
 
EasyJet already serves key domestic connections and international routes from Birmingham to popular beach and city destinations Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan, Naples, Lisbon, Faro and Palma de Mallorca. The addition of more aircraft at the airport is enabling the airline to further expand its network from Birmingham with new routes that will prove popular with customers flying from the UK’s second largest city, for holiday makers and business travellers alike.
 
Of the 30 unserved or underserved routes to Europe from Birmingham, easyJet offers direct flights on more than one third of these routes and with existing operations serving all but two of those destinations, there is clear and significant opportunity for the airline to capture and the airline already plans to launch more routes for winter from Birmingham and elsewhere in the UK in the coming months.

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