EasyJet has teamed up with Norwegian and WestJet to launch a long-haul connector flights service from Gatwick.
The low-cost carrier’s new ’Worldwide by easyJet’ platform, allows passengers to connect Norwegian and WestJet long-haul flights with its short-haul routes in a single booking.
Available to book from today on easyJet’s website, ’Worldwide by easyJet’ will initially focus on routes at Gatwick making use of the airport’s ‘Gatwick Connects’ product.
EasyJet then expect the service to expand to other key airports in Europe in future and said it was in “far advanced” talks carriers from the Middle East and Asia to expand the flight connections concept.
Flights are subject to a two and-a-half-hour “minimum connection time” allowing customers to transfer between flights or terminals.
Should a passenger miss a connecting flight they will be transferred to the next available flight.
Technology partner Dohop will be providing the platform for Worldwide by easyJet.
EasyJet is also starting to sell stand-alone tickets on behalf of partner airlines alongside the connectivity option via its website.
Loganair has signed up as a further launch partner with its tickets to be available from next month.
The benefit to the partner airlines is access to "one of the biggest travel websites in Europe" with around 360 million visits in the past 12 months, easyJet said.
Peter Duffy, chief commercial office at easyJet, said: "The way we have designed ’Worldwide by easyJet’ means that we can profitably access a major new pool of customers without undermining easyJet’s operating model and industry leading punctuality.
“We know there is a real customer demand for making flight connections on easyJet easier. Almost 200,000 easyJet passengers a year already self-connect their easyJet flights through Gatwick.
"That’s c.1% of our passengers at the airport and that doesn’t include those connecting between easyJet and long-haul flights.
“We are delighted with the partners who have signed up for our launch today. We are confident it will be popular with customers and look forward to announcing more partners in the near future.
“Whilst ’Worldwide by easyJet’ is launching with our largest base Gatwick we will broaden our focus to include our other biggest airports - such as Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Barcelona. Between them they have tens of millions of connecting passengers each year whose journeys start or end in Europe."
Norwegian’s chief commercial officer Thomas Ramdahl said: "Travel should be affordable for all so we are delighted to partner with another quality low-cost airline like easyJet to offer passengers even more choice.
“We already see a large number of passengers making connections between Norwegian’s own long-haul and short-haul networks and we welcome initiatives like ’Worldwide by easyJet’ that give customers even more opportunities for affordable transfers between flights."
Guy Stephenson, Gatwick’s chief commercial officer, added: “Gatwick Connects lets passengers seamlessly self-connect between different airlines at Gatwick at the touch of the button.
"EasyJet is our biggest airline and by partnering with Gatwick Connects, easyJet passengers can easily and quickly self-connect with other flights in Gatwick’s diverse network of flights including our 60 long-haul routes.”