30 Second Interview: easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall shares a Moscow traffic jam with anna.aero

easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall endures talking to anna.aero publisher Paul Hogan while stuck on a bus in the Moscow traffic.

Coach class seat. An unbelievably patient easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall endures talking to anna.aero publisher Paul Hogan while stuck on a bus in the Moscow traffic.

The Moscow traffic of the booming Russian capital meant the easyJet’s CEO, Carolyn McCall, had to give a little bit longer than the standard 30-second interview.

Hogan: “So, with only eight weeks to sell these flights, how are sales?”

McCall: “We normally say that they have exceeded expectations – and they have – so I’ll say that.”

Hogan: “This is a regulated route; you can’t link Moscow to your other bases like you do when developing a presence in a promising destination. So what will you do next?”

McCall: “Yes it’s true we can’t do everything we normally would, but this route is a self-contained business opportunity, a kind of franchise. London-Moscow does not have much capacity and it serves a lot of commuting traffic – around 45% business – so it should be very profitable.”

Hogan: “Was it frustrating for a free marketer to be working with prescriptive rules?”

McCall: “It’s true that we are used to working in a deregulated environment, this is not our bread and butter, but we’ll succeed by playing at their rules on the regulations, but by our own rules on the business model: affordable prices and much lower costs than our competitors.”

Hogan: “Is it true that the regulation governing this route requires you to code share and connect with other Russian carriers at Moscow Domodedovo?”

McCall: “We have a commercial agreement with Transaero, but it’s not a code share – we don’t do codeshares or interline agreements and we didn’t have to here. I’m not going to tell you the details about the commercial agreement.”

Hogan: “So what about the big picture – are you optimistic about future Russian liberalisation and much bigger opportunities?”

McCall: “Yes we are – expansion in Russia is not a near-term goal, but we think that liberalisation will come, and it won’t seem like long when it happens – and when it does, our brand would have been long established in Russia through these profitable experiences.”

Hogan: “In the meantime – as this is your 100th route from Gatwick – can there be many more route opportunities from London?”

McCall: “Well of course there are – but you don’t expect me to tell you what they are, do you?”

anna.aero’s comprehensive coverage of this historic launch includes a full analysis of the London to Moscow market and an estimate of the route’s yield potential for the airline, topped up with a full photo spectacular with all images from the event and, of course, the anna-aero-baked Cake of the Week!


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