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!

New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.


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