EasyJet will base an additional four aircraft at Gatwick aircraft next summer, allowing it to launch a range of new routes – and boost frequencies on popular existing links.
The four extra aircraft will expand easyJet’s Gatwick fleet to 71, allowing it to add new Aberdeen, Bilbao and Cagliari routes, and up capacity to Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
It is hopeful of a return to growth at its largest base as early as summer 2021 following the Covid downturn, banking on the UK’s emergence from the crisis through increased testing and vaccination.
EasyJet said on Thursday (17 December) it had recently secured additional slots at Gatwick, allowing it to – provisionally – offer 107 destinations across 28 countries from Gatwick next summer.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “In anticipation that demand for travel will return, and having recently seen signs of growing confidence by our customers in making plans for travel next spring and summer, we have decided to continue investing at our largest base.
“Returning customer momentum has been supported by the welcome news of the vaccination rollout, which will enable normal life to resume including travelling again for work, to visit friends and family, or for a much-needed holiday."
EasyJet’s three new routes are on sale now, while frequencies are set to be increased on several of its domestic and international services from Gatwick.
These include Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Isle of Man, as well as Athens, Naples, Bari, Lisbon, Faro, Funchal, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Bodrum and Dalaman.
EasyJet new Aberdeen will operate year-round on a daily schedule starting 2 May 2021.
Its Bilbao route will also operate year-round on a four times-weekly schedule, also starting 2 May next year.
Cagliari will be served twice-a-week in the summer, starting 4 May 2021.
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate added: “With the roll-out of testing, and also the vaccine, we are starting to see an increased demand for air travel as passenger confidence grows.
“We are delighted easyJet has decided to build on this momentum by adding new routes and basing additional aircraft at Gatwick.
“Not only does this demonstrate the importance of easyJet’s base at Gatwick, it is also excellent news for passengers across London and the south east, who will benefit from more choice of destinations and increased competition.
“This good news will also help kick start the recovery of the local area, which has been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.”