EasyJet is a low cost airline which is based at Luton Airport in London,UK. It runs both domestic and international services and is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange. It was established in 1995 and launched by Stelios Haji-loannou, a Greek Cypriot businessman with two leased Boeings travelling on two routes; London Luton Airport to Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 1996 they bought their first plane and starting a route to Amsterdam but as the airline did not have its operator’s licence the aircraft were operated firstly by GB airways and then Air Foyle. The licence was soon granted.
It was in November 2000 that the company was floated on the Stock Exchange. In 2004 the FL Group owner of Icelandair and Sterline bought an 8.4% share and continued to increase this to 16.9% during 2005 which led to speculation of a takeover. However, this did not happen and they sold their stake in April 2006 at a profit of 140m Euros. After ten years as CEO, Ray Webster stood down in 2005 and was succeeded by Andrew Harrison who was previously CEO of RAC plc.
The company has expended since it started as there has been an increase in demand for flights. In March 1998 they purchased a 40% stake in TEA Basle, a Swiss charter airline and it was renamed EasyJet Switzerland and relocated its base to Geneva International Airport, making this easyJet’s first base outside of the UK. In 2002 it bought Go Fly which was a rival airline and inherited three new bases and doubled the amount of Boeing 737-300 crafts in their fleet. The new bases were at Bristol Airport, East Midlands Airport and London Stanstead Airport.
In 2002 they opened a base at Gatwick Airport and between 2003 and 2007 they also opened bases across continental Europe in Spain, Italy, Germany and France. In 2007 they also bought the entire share capital of GB Airways which they used to offer more services at Gatwick and start a new base at Manchester airport. Then in 2011 they opened a base at Southend Airport in London.
Their business model is similar to that of other budget airlines where they do not provide complimentary snacks on board, they charge for baggage and do not sell connecting flights. This allows flights to turn around quickly and means aircraft are highly utilised but also extras can be charged for such as food, baggage and priority boarding. The seats are close together and there is only one class. With complimentary meals not being served, there is more room to fit in more seats as the galley area does not need to be so big. There are a few charter flights that do have meals included but most customers will have the option of being able to order food using their buy on board program. As well as food, they also sell gifts, cosmetics, fragrances, gadgets and items branded with EasyJet to increase revenue. They even sell tickets for airport transfer services or train tickets on the flights. Unlike some other budget airlines, it does fly to major city airports to be more convenient to passengers compared to some that fly to cheaper, secondary airports.
Concerns about the UK leaving the EU lead EasyJet to successfully apply for an Air Operator Certificate in Austria where they now have established EasyJet Europe and an operating permit there. This means that their EU operations should not be effected when the UK leave Europe so they should be able to continue to operate as usual.
EasyJet has been criticised in the past for not observing the European Law on compensation with regards to delays, cancellation or denied boarding. This was because refunds should have been paid within a week as well as expenses and this was not always done on time. This has led to court cases in the past. It is important to understand what compensation you may be able to claim under the EU law. Any EU based airline, such as this one has to follow the EU regulation and pay out where necessary. The circumstances do vary depending on whether you were delayed, the flight was cancelled or the flight was overbooked and you did not fly.
If the flight is delayed and arrives at its destination more than three hours late then it is possible to claim compensation as long as the delay was the fault of the airline. The cancellation is similar, where the airline has to refund your ticket or sell you an alternative and may also need to pay out compensation depending on how long you have to wait for an alternative flight. If a plane is overbooked and you leave voluntarily then it is up to you to negotiate with the airline on what you will get with regards to compensation. If they force you to leave, which they may do if there are no volunteers, then they have to compensate you in accordance with the law.
As EasyJet has got into problems for not paying compensation correctly, then it is best to find out where you stand. Make sure that you have an understanding of the law and know how much compensation you should be given. Remember that you can claim it up to five years after the flight and that you could be due up to 600 Euros depending on the specific circumstance. It is wise to find out more information of you think that you could be due compensation or apply for it anyway as you never know. You can get up to 600 euros in compensation for some delays and so it is worth checking whether you are entitled to anything and if you are, how much.