easyJet is a critical part of Edinburgh’s transport infrastructure – delivering a massive range of choice and destination both for business and leisure travellers.
With a fleet of 220 Airbus aircraft, the airline is the UK’s largest, and Europe’s four largest, so it should be little surprise to know that easyJet has operated to almost 30 destinations from the Capital over the summer.
New routes to Heraklion and Bodrum contributed to a busy summer at Edinburgh Airport, but existing destinations including Paris, Hamburg, Munich, Geneva and, of course, London and Bristol have proven popular with business and leisure travellers.
And the 12 million business travellers aremaking up an increasing proportion – around 1 in 5 – of the millions who use easyJet every year. The airline’s UK Commercial Manager, Ali Gayward, explained:
“The increase in business travellers flying with easyJet shows that we are delivering on the strategy we launched in 2010 to increase our appeal to the business travel sector. Enhancements like allocated seating, Inclusive Fares and Fast Track security have all played a part in enabling easyJet to attract more high yielding business passengers and to win a larger slice of the corporate market.
“Recession and austerity has also encouraged business passengers across Europe to sample easyJet and when they do so they like the experience and the great value and they tend to stay with us. 95 per cent of passengers travelling on business say they will fly with us again which shows that this focus by businesses on value is here to stay.
“The increase in business travellers could also be seen as an encouraging sign of the increasing confidence of businesses across Europe as a number of countries, including the UK, start to edge back into economic
With a growing population of a little under half a million, with a wider city-region population of more than 1.6 million, there is no doubt that Edinburgh benefits from a number of key factors which ensure the city remains an important part of easyJet’s plans.
The strength of the city’s economy – in particular in financial services, tourism, science and technology and creative industries –ensures strong performance in terms of business travellers, while the city’s status as a leading city break destination is also vital.
Ali said: “Edinburgh has a lot going for it, both in terms of demand from business travellers and also for leisure travellers coming to the city and, of course, making use of our network to travel throughout Europe.
“We remain committed to Edinburgh, and see the city as a key component in our plans to continue to expand our network.”
“We are currently evaluating new routes to add to our network from Edinburgh, which would enable us to both offer passengers in the City new holiday destination, but also include markets for both business travel and indeed inbound tourism. We hope to be able to announce these in coming weeks, once our final analysis is complete.”
Ali is keenly aware that air travel does not operate in isolation, and is encouraged that the new tram link to the airport provides a more integrated transport hub to benefit passengers.
“We are very excited at the benefits to travellers that this development in infrastructure will be bringing, both in terms of the ease with which people from Edinburgh and its surrounding areas can now access the airport, but also given the ease of accessibility this provides for visitors to the region, which can only bring added benefits for all airport users..”
As featured in Business Comment magazine. To read the full magazine follow the link to our website: http://www.edinburghchamber.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/BC29_.pdf
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Ali Gayward is speaking at our Inspiring Women in Business lunch on Thursday 10th July. If you would like to book onto this event please follow the link http://www.edinburghchamber.co.uk/event/women-in-business-networking-lunch-2/.