easyJet picks Portugal for 20th base; in 2011 Lisbon will become first new base since Lyon and Paris CDG in 2008
easyJet’s new CEO Carolyn McCall this week revealed that Lisbon would become the airline’s next base, but not until winter 2011, by which time it will have been three and a half years since easyJet opened its last bases, at Lyon and Paris CDG in spring 2008. Last year, easyJet handled 1,265,900 passengers at Lisbon, an increase of 14.2% on 2008, and representing 9.5% of the airport’s total traffic. In the first nine months of 2010, the airline has seen passenger numbers at Lisbon grow by 10.4% to just over one million. These passengers account for 9.9% of the airport’s total so far this year.
easyJet has indicated that it could base up to seven aircraft at the airport and hopes to start at least 10 new routes. The airline first started serving Lisbon in October 2005 from its Geneva base, and has since grown its network to 15 routes which are summarised below.
|Start date||Destination||WF||Competition (WF)|
|30 October 2005||Geneva (GVA)||20||TAP Portugal (21)|
|1 March 2006||London Luton (LTN)||14||–|
|1 March 2006||Paris CDG (CDG)||14||Air France (35)|
|10 March 2006||Basel (BSL)||4||–|
|21 April 2006||Milan Malpensa (MXP)||7||Lufthansa Italia (8), TAP Portugal (14)|
|11 May 2007||Berlin Schönefeld (SXF)||2||–|
|1 October 2007||London Gatwick (LGW)||7||TAP Portugal (5)|
|31 October 2007||Bristol (BRS)||3||–|
|1 November 2007||Madrid (MAD)||14||Air Europa (20), Iberia (27), TAP Portugal (41), Vueling (7)|
|2 November 2007||Liverpool (LPL)||4||–|
|4 April 2008||Lyon (LYS)||4||TAP Portugal (21)|
|27 October 2008||Funchal/Madeira (FNC)||21||SATA (14), TAP Portugal (61)|
|2 November 2009||Rome Fiumicino (FCO)||7||TAP Portugal (21)|
|4 May 2010||Edinburgh (EDI)||3||–|
|10 September 2010||Toulouse (TLS)||4*||TAP Portugal (14)|
|Source: anna.aero new route database, OAG Max Online for w/c 2 August 2010
WF: Weekly Frequency in August 2010
* Weekly frequency when route started in September 2010
In the airline’s press release, it is claimed that easyJet has been operating to Portugal since 1999. This is not strictly true as easyJet’s first flights to Faro were not until 2003. However, Go (which it acquired in 2002) started Faro flights from London Stansted in March 1999, which easyJet now appear to be claiming as their own. For completeness, it should be noted that Go actually operated flights from London Stansted to Lisbon from 20 July 1998 until 21 May 2001.