easyJet launches flights between London and Moscow
Thursday 21, March 2013
easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, has this morning launched its flights between London Gatwick and Moscow – the airline’s 100th route operating from Gatwick Airport.
This is the first time Moscow has been served from London Gatwick airport with the airline expecting to fly more than a quarter of a million passengers between London and Moscow annually. easyJet celebrated the first flight with a unique Moscow aircraft livery and traditional Russian Cossack dancers.
Carolyn McCall, easyJet's CEO, commented:
"This is a historic day for easyJet, not only are we launching flights between London Gatwick and Moscow but it is also the first day our shares are traded on the FTSE 100. Moscow is a landmark route and one we are delighted to be able to serve. Russia is the world’s largest country with a growing economy. Offering frequent and affordable flights enables easyJet to play a key role to aid trade links between the two countries.
"I am pleased to have around a dozen UK companies travelling with us today aiming to start to build relationships in Russia. These companies are spread across Britain and represent many sectors including food, technology and manufacturing.
"Bookings for both of our Russian routes have surpassed our expectations and we look forward to flying hundreds of thousands of passengers in the coming months and years."
Rt. Hon Simon Burns MP – Minister of State for Transport, said:
"I welcome the launch of these new services between London Gatwick and Moscow. This is a brand new route for easyJet and for Gatwick, and I am certain it will help to deliver tremendous benefits to business and leisure passengers. It also demonstrates the ongoing capability of London's airport network to attract new, direct services with the world's largest markets. We also look forward to easyJet starting their services to Moscow from Manchester later this month."
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick's Chief Executive Officer, commented:
"We welcome the launch of easyJet’s service to Moscow today, which provides an essential new link to a key emerging market. The decision to award the route to easyJet and Gatwick is particularly significant because it offers passengers greater choice in terms of price, flight times and which airport they fly from.
"This new link to Russia will also enable businesses in both countries to make the most of the vast opportunities available for bilateral trade and we look forward to working closely with easyJet to ensure the success of the route."
A group of leading independent, British businesses selected by the British Chamber of Commerce, will accompany easyJet’s inaugural flight as part of a trade mission. They will showcase the quality and range of British exports ranging from confectioners and whisky manufacturers to IT and insurance who have been selected by the British Chamber of Commerce to attend the two day trade mission departing today.
The introduction of easyJet flights to Moscow from London and Manchester are expected to boost trading opportunities between the UK and Russia, with low fares opening the market for small and medium enterprises for the first time.
Lord Green Trade and Investment Minister said:
"The launch of flights between London Gatwick and Moscow by easyJet is another sign of the strengthening relationship between the UK and Russia. Russia is currently our fastest growing major export market and its recent accession to the World Trade Organisation is making it easier for UK businesses to trade and invest there.
"Improved air links are vital for British exporters looking to expand into Russia. Events such as the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2018 football World Cup present excellent opportunities for UK businesses. I wish easyJet every success with their new air route."
From 18 March the daily flights will depart at 07:00 and arrive at Moscow Domededovo Airport at 13:50 with the return flight departing Moscow Domededovo Airport at 14:30 and arriving into London Gatwick at 15:40. From 15 April a second daily flight will operate departing London Gatwick at 14:10 arriving into Moscow Domededovo at 21:00, returning at 21:40 and arriving into London Gatwick at 22:50.
easyJet will be launching services between Manchester and Moscow on 28 March expecting a further 60,000 passengers a year to take advantage of the first-ever direct scheduled link between the two cities.
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