easyJet adds four non-EU routes from Stansted; now serves 28 destinations; same size as London Luton base

New easyJet routes from London Stansted

Last week’s four new easyJet routes from London Stansted have helped the base reach the same size as the airline’s ‘home’ base London Luton. easyJet will operate just over 350 departures per week from each of the two airports this summer, while the London Gatwick base still dominates with almost 900 weekly departures.

When easyJet acquired Go (the independent low-cost airline which had, prior to a venture capital aided management buy out, been part of British Airways) in May 2002, it acquired three new bases; at Bristol, East Midlands and London Stansted. Of these, London Stansted was by far the biggest. However, the Stansted base was, and still is, home to arch-rival Ryanair’s biggest base. While easyJet’s pan-European network has grown considerably since the summer of 2003, its London Stansted base has remained relatively unchanged in terms of flights. This summer, the airline will operate around 50 daily departures from London’s third busiest airport, about the same as last summer, but down from the peak in summer 2007 when there were over 60 daily flights.

Chart: easyJet at London Stansted - Daily departures and destinations served

Source: anna.aero LCC route history database

What is clear is how the airline has cut back the number of daily flights operated in winter while keeping the number of destinations served relatively unchanged.

Four new routes this week to non-EU destinations

In easyJet’s biggest development at the airport for several years, this week saw the launch of four new routes; two to Croatia (Dubrovnik and Split) and two to Turkey (Bodrum and Dalaman). This follows the introduction at the start of the summer season of daily flights to Cagliari, bringing the number of destinations served by the airline from Stansted to a new record of 28.

Year Routes added Routes dropped
2003 Amsterdam (AMS)
2004 Almeria (LEI), Basel (BSL), Ljubljana (LJU), Tallinn (TLL), Valencia (VLC) Milan Linate (LIN), Rome Ciampino (CIA), Venice (VCE)
2005 Asturias (OVD), Geneva (GVA), Grenoble (2005) Bologna (BLQ), Grenoble (GNB)
2007 Funchal (FNC)
2008 Almeria (LEI), Basel (BSL), Valencia (VLC)
2009 Fuerteventura (FUE)
2010 Bodrum (BJV), Cagliari (CAG), Dalaman (DLM), Dubrovnik (DBV), Split (SPU)
Source: anna.aero LCC route history database

Since the summer of 2003, a total of 16 new routes have been started, while eight have been dropped (some moved to other airports), leaving a net gain of eight. However, since Geneva is currently only served in winter, the net gain in routes between summer 2003 and summer 2010 is seven.

Frequency Destination (WF)
>21 per week Belfast International (26), Glasgow (25), Edinburgh (23), Alicante (22), Malaga (21), Faro (21), Ibiza (21)
14-20 per week Amsterdam (20), Copenhagen (20), Naples (19), Barcelona (14), Munich (14), Palma (14)
7-13 per week Newcastle (12), Bilbao (11), Asturias (8), Cagliari (7), Ljubljana (7), Lyon (7), Nice (7)
5-6 per week Prague (6), Funchal (5), Tallinn (5)
3-4 per week Dalaman (4), Split (4), Bodrum (3), Dubrovnik (3)
2 per week Fuerteventura (2)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 16 August 2010

Domestic routes to Northern Ireland and Scotland have the highest frequency, although no route is served more than four times daily. In the past, Edinburgh was served as often as six times daily, while Belfast, Glasgow and even Newcastle were served up to five times per day. Direct competition on easyJet’s current Stansted network is provided by Ryanair on six routes; Alicante, Faro, Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma. The airline’s new services to Turkey are also keenly contested with four competitors on the Bodrum route (Kibris Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Thomas Cook and Thomson) and three on the Dalaman route.

London Gatwick base bigger than Luton and Stansted combined

A comparison of the number of weekly flights and destinations served by easyJet from its three London bases, between this coming August and last August reveals that Luton has lost flights, but not destinations, while Stansted has gained destinations at the same time as the number of flights has remained virtually unchanged. Meanwhile, Gatwick continues to grow both flights and destinations.

Base Weekly departures (August 2009) Destinations (August 2009) Weekly departures(August 2010) Destinations (August 2010)
London Gatwick 822 72 888 80
London Luton 411 32 352 32
London Stansted 350 22 351 28
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 3 August 2009 and w/c 16 August 2010

Even combining the flights and number of destinations served from the two smaller London bases at Luton and Stansted, the figures fall well short of what easyJet is now achieving at London Gatwick, where it is now the biggest carrier, having overtaken British Airways some time ago.


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