At the time of Brexit, easyJet continues its conquest of the French market in the face of Air France

Despite a record increase in its turnover and the number of passengers carried, the low-cost airline british records in 2017, a sharp decline of its profit. The backlash of the effects of Brexit on the book and the price war among the airlines in Europe. The annual net income (fiscal year ended the September 30, 2017), released this Tuesday, November 21, is down by 30% (343 million euros), while its aircraft have transported a record number of 80.2 million passengers (+10%).

Yet to Luton (Great Britain), the seat of the low-cost airline, it does not really care: “The model of easyJet is resilient and sustainable and we have a positive momentum that will allow the company to continue building on the momentum of profitable growth”, said this morning the unyielding ceo, Carolyn McCall, who expects a rebound in the current fiscal year 2017-2018. In particular, thanks to the purchase of 25 jumbo jets of the airline Air Berlin, in bankruptcy. The objectives of the low-cost are the same: “get the place of n°1 or n°2 in the main european airports.”

This task is now incumbent upon the Swedish Johan Lundgren, ex-deputy DG of the giant tourism TUI, who will replace McCall, on the departure, effective 1 December. Easyjet will thus continue its conquest of the French market, second behind the United Kingdom. In 2017-2018, it intends to increase its capacity by 7% (after +10% in the previous year). Thanks to the arrival of a fifth A320 for next summer on its base, Nice, but also by creating a new base in Bordeaux, where three new planes are expected next year.

Five new lines before Christmas

“We are already number 1 in Nice, in front of Air France and number 2 in Paris,” said François Bacchetta, managing director of France and Benelux. In total, we opened 23 lines in all regions and we should announce five new before Christmas at the start of Bordeaux, where with 26% of market share we have gained the position of number two,” he recalls.

An ambition that does not suit the business of Air France, in full effort to straighten its lines, medium-haul and domestic. These last are, moreover, heavily covered by the british company, which displays a thirty domestic routes, some of which, like Lyon and Bordeaux, are filled 50% by a business clientele is very popular with the carriers. The jumbo extra based in Nice will also enable us to open four new lines, and to exceed next year the threshold of 4 million passengers transported on the platform of the south of France.

But this is an other project which may, if it is put in place to thwart even more Air France: the creation of a platform of connection to Paris. Easyjet dream indeed to be able to duplicate at paris airports the system of correspondences developed in London-Gatwick in partnership with the airport and the airlines long-haul Norwegian (Norwegian) and Westjet (Canada). This system allows him to offer its passengers flying long-haul in the match. To do this, he would have to convince ADP, manager of the paris airports, to diversify in the ground handling and to ensure the logistics of the transfer of baggage between flights. A complicated case from a regulatory point of view but also very political, especially vis-à-vis its first customer, Air France.

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