EasyJet has acquired its own Atol licence for the first time, a move the airline told TTG necessitated by the new Package Travel Regulations.
Its licence, numbered 11446, was listed on the CAA website on Friday morning (July 6) and grants the airline capacity for just shy of 185,000 Atol protected seats from September 2018.
EasyJet already has an Atol-licensed tour operation subsidiary, easyJet Holidays (10915). This though is operated by Hotelopia, an extension of Hotelbeds, with capacity for 166,450 protected passengers.
The new Atol is for just short of 20,000 more Atol protected passengers than easyJet Holidays can currently carry.
It is unclear at this stage whether easyJet intends to merge the new Atol with that of easyJet Holidays to create a completely in-house operator with capacity for around 350,000 passengers, or whether the two Atol-licensed operatons will continue to function in isolation.
Following its H1 results, where easyJet reported a significant reduction in pre-tax losses, chief executive Johan Lundgren would look to build its holiday business’ market share.
He said while the airline had tens of millions of passengers every year, only a fraction were booking additional holiday services such as hotels with the airline.
Garry Wilson, Tui’s managing director group product and purchasing, will join easyJet Holidays later this year as chief executive. He will report to Lundgren, also formerly of Tui.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “easyJet is in favour of protection for customers and those booking package holidays with easyJet holidays are already fully protected through the Atol scheme. We’re fully compliant with the new regulations.”