easyJet passenger numbers up by almost 10 per cent
Budget airline easyJet carried almost 10 per cent more travellers in 2017 than in the previous year, with more than 81 million people using the popular European carrier.
The airline also reported an increase in passenger numbers for December 2017, despite adverse weather conditions and industrial action that led to 580 flights being cancelled.
Almost 5.9 million passengers flew on easyJet services in December, an increase of 5.5 per cent on the same month in 2016.
The carrier’s rolling 12-month passenger figure rose to around 81.6 million, an increase of 9.6 per cent on the 74.5 million who travelled in 2016.
The company also has big plans for 2018, forecasting that it will reach a number of key milestones in expansion and environmental initiatives over the next 12 months, launching with the first flights from its newly-established, former Air Berlin base, Tegel, on 5 January.
Record passenger numbers
Passenger numbers are expected to hit records, to around 90 million by the end of the calendar year, a 10 million increase on easyJet’s 80 million passenger record set in 2017. Following the launch of flights from Tegel, the airline will open its sixth French base in Bordeaux in March, creating 110 direct jobs.
In January half of easyJet’s fleet will be A320 aircraft following a programme of upgrades from 150-seat A319 to the larger aircraft, which can seat up to 186, as well as a number of aircraft acquired from Air Berlin coming into operation. By spring, the airline’s entire fleet will surpass 300 aircraft.
As part of easyJet’s initiative to decarbonise and quieten aviation, the airline will take delivery of its first A321neo in July. Further deliveries will bring the number of Neo aircraft in the fleet to 28 by the end of 2018.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive officer, said: “My ambition is to help easyJet go from strength to strength. I’m incredibly pleased to see that the hard work, energy and momentum that our people have delivered in 2017 will continue, enabling easyJet to achieve a number of significant milestones.
“Reaching these milestones will be a result of the successful delivery of our strategy of purposeful and disciplined growth. This continues to strengthen our market positions and to allow us to give passengers more choice, low fares and great service.”