EasyJet Holidays will launch “before Christmas” in more than 100 beach and city destinations offering in excess of 5,000 hotels and “unrivalled” flexibility, easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren has said.
The airline’s fully-fledged tour operation has been “built from the ground up” said Lundgren and will leverage the carrier’s extensive flight network, while placing technology at the heart of its offering.
In its full-year trading update (12 months to 30 September) on Tuesday (19 November), easyJet said it expected its holidays division “to be at least breakeven” for for full-year 2020. Bookings will open for winter 2019/20 and summer 2020 by the end of the year.
Lundgren said easyJet Holidays would bring “flexibility and excellent value” to the holiday market. “We are now able to offer our customers more than 100 amazing beach and city holiday destinations, pairing Europe’s best short-haul flight network with more than 5,000 of Europe’s best hotels,” he said.
“We believe there is a gap in the market for a modern, relevant and flexible business for today’s consumer.”
EasyJet said the venture would be built around a “simple-to-use and inspiring” website and app featuring a “streamlined search and booking process with inspiring content”. EasyJet says its entire holidays operation was “focused on technology, digital and data”.
Holidays replaces easyJet’s previously outsourced commission-based model and present a strong direct-sell proposition. However, both Lundgren and easyJet Holidays chief executive Garry Wilson – former Tui colleagues – have vowed to extend easyJet Holidays’ offering to the trade.
While easyJet is yet to formally outline the proposed size and scale of easyJet Holidays, the carrier has repeatedly stressed its new holidays division would be a “major player” in the holidays market.
EasyJet says only around 500,000 of its 20 million passengers flying annually to Europe’s “largest leisure destinations” are currently booking accommodation through the airline, leaving a target market of some 19.5 potential leisure customers for easyJet Holidays.
“The way that customers are taking holidays is changing, and we know customers want holidays with various durations and not the traditional seven and 14 nights,” the carrier added.
“Our research tells us easyJet customers will value easyJet Holidays’ unrivalled flight flexibility, curated portfolio of hand-picked hotels and compelling pricing.
“EasyJet Holidays is well placed to provide customers with this level of flexibility and the tailored holidays they want, and our business is built to respond to this.”