30-second interview: easyJet Head of Sales UK, Ruth Spratt has a slice of route launch cake with anna.aero
Starting on 27 March, easyJet launched four weekly A320 flights to Moscow Domodedovo from Manchester, the first time the two cities have been linked with regular scheduled flights since Aeroflot flew to Moscow Sheremetyevo with Tu-154s and Il-62s decades ago. The inauguration of services gave anna.aero the opportunity to catch-up with the airline’s Head of Sales UK, Ruth Spratt, in the check-in hall.
Watkins: What do you think of the cake?
Spratt: It’s brilliant! At least half of Manchester is happy with how it looks anyway. I just hope it tastes as good as the one I had last week on the inaugural flight from Gatwick.
Watkins: I see you have brought the special logojet aircraft up for the occasion too.
Spratt: Of course. It cost a lot of money to have that logo applied and we’re a low-cost airline remember (she laughs). We want to get the most out of it. We have the same Russian dancers here as well – they’re fab!
Watkins: What’s the load on the first flight like?
Spratt: We have around 150 on board this flight, which is great. Forward bookings are promising too, but what we are most pleased with is the amount of traffic coming from the Russian end of the route – we have 30% of passengers coming from Moscow which is well above our expectations and goes to show the strength of the easyJet brand. That gives us a lot of confidence for any future plans we have in Russia.
Watkins: And they are?
Spratt: I couldn’t possibly tell you that, but it’s a very interesting market for us!
Watkins: Oh, ok. Tell me about you plans here at Manchester then instead.
Spratt: Well we are the number five carrier here now in terms of volume – with around 1.8 million passengers per year. Since last summer we have added two more aircraft in Manchester – so we are continuing to invest scarce capacity in the north-west of England. We launched services to Prague and Antalya earlier this week, Thessaloniki begins on 29 March, and we still think there are other opportunities to explore here and we are working with Ken (O’Toole) and his team to understand them.
Watkins: A little bird tells me that the yields from here to Moscow are better than those being achieved in London?
Spratt: Are they? I couldn’t possibly comment on actual figures, but it does makes sense, as London to Moscow is a far more competitive market than what we face up here, where we are the only airline serving the route direct.
anna.aero brings you all the route launches at the start of Summer 2013 season, including Manchester to Moscow Domodedovo, as well as the chance to vote for Cake of the Week. However, the fact that the wife of anna.aero’s Publisher baked this particular cake should by no means sway your vote!