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easyJet targets growth and green milestones in 2018

The first flights from its new base at Berlin Tegel since acquiring part of the former Air Berlin operation for €40 million are due to take off tomorrow (Friday).

Passenger numbers are expected to hit records, to around 90 million by the end of the calendar year, a ten million increase on easyJet’s 80 million passenger record set in 2017. 

A new easyJet base in Bordeaux will open in March as the airline’s sixth French base, creating 110 direct jobs, with three A320 aircraft to be based there and more than five new routes to be launched. 

In Italy, the airline’s third largest market, a record 20 million seats will go sale for 2018.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren pictured, who has succeeded Carolyn MacCall following her departure to ITV plc, said: “My ambition is to help easyJet go from strength to strength next year.  I’m incredibly pleased to see that the hard work, energy and momentum that our people have delivered in 2017 will continue next year enabling easyJet to achieve a number of significant milestones.”

easyJet expects half of itss 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 in 2018 will bring the number of Neo aircraft in the fleet to 28 by the end of the year which provide 15% savings in carbon dioxide emissions and a 50% reduction in noise compared to the aircraft they replace.

The airline also expects to link around half of its network to long haul services through its connections product ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ in 2018. A third of flights and over 24 million passengers are already able to connect through London Gatwick and Milan Malpensa to long haul flights to Africa, Asia, the USA and the Caribbean, as well as to other easyJet flights.

easyJet will also continue to work alongside US-based start-up and electric aircraft pioneer Wright Electric on their development of the all-electric commercial aircraft and is expected to launch the first flight of a hybrid nine seat aircraft within the next 12 months.

Mr Lundgren said: "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.”

Mr Lundgren joined the easyJet plc board as a director and chief executive on December 1.  He has over 30 years’ experience in the travel sector, the last 12 of which were with TUI Group where he was group deputy chief executive officer and chief executive officer, mainstream markets. 

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