easyJet to open a permanent aircraft base in Lisbon
Tuesday 19, October 2010
The leading low-fares airline in Portugal expects to grow passenger numbers from 1.5 million to up to 2.5 million per year and add up to 10 new destinations.
easyJet, Europe's leading low fares airline, today announces another step in its expansion across Europe.
Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet, announced in the presence of the Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Sócrates, Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications António Mendonça and other members of Government and official representatives, the opening of a new permanent aircraft base in Portugal. Following the opening of the new base easyJet expects to carry an additional 1 million passengers to and from Lisbon each year. Already the second largest airline in Portugal, easyJet will add to its 15 existing routes to connect the country's capital city to up to 10 new European leisure and business destinations at low-fares.
The base at Lisbon Airport will be the airline's 20th in Europe and enables further expansion, the development of new routes, and the provision of improved service to customers. easyJet has selected Lisbon over a number of other European cities because of its market potential. Representing an investment of up to €300m, the base will open during the 2011 winter season with a capacity of up to seven Airbus 319 aircraft. As a result of this investment, a potential of 2,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created in the region.
Carolyn McCall said:
"We are making it easier to visit this beautiful country. As one of Europe's most attractive capital cities, Lisbon already attracts 3.6 million tourists and 4 million business travellers a year. The increase in easyJet aircraft based in Lisbon will stimulate demand and contribute to visitor numbers by over 1 million passengers a year, with clear benefits to the Portuguese economy.
We also look forward to giving the people of Portugal the opportunity to fly to new beach and city destinations at low-fares. Portugal has identified the need to improve aviation links with other European hubs and easyJet provides a service suitable for all travel needs. We already carry 20% of business travellers across Europe and look forward to contributing to further economic growth."
Paulo Campos Secretary of State of Public Works and Communications said:
"The opening of the easyJet aircraft base is a focus on development of air transportation sector, contributing positively to the Portuguese economy."
easyJet has been operating in the country since 1999 and currently flies from four Portuguese airports – Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal – and already carries more than 3.4 million passengers a year to Portugal.
At a ceremony at Lisbon airport, Carolyn McCall and Jose Socrates christened a brand new easyJet A-319 aircraft "Pride of Lisbon", as a symbol of easyJet's commitment to the market. Attending the ceremony were members of the Government and officials including Paulo Campos, Secretary of State for Public Works; Bernardo Trindade, Secretary of State for Tourism; Antonio Costa, Mayor of Lisbon and President of The Lisbon Tourism Board and Antonio Guilhermino Rodrigues, President of ANA Aeroportos de Portugal. The aircraft will now promote the destination across easyJet's network, the No. 1 in Europe, with more than 500 routes between 123 airports in 29 countries.
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