easyJet announces six new routes and increases frequencies as competition heats up
easyJet has today announced six new routes for summer 2021 from London Luton, the location of its head office, its first airport, and its fourth-largest airport by seats last year.
These six routes – and a raft of frequency increases – are effectively its response to Wizz Air’s growing presence at Luton on routes that are, traditionally, easyJet’s bread-and-butter.
After all, no airline would otherwise reasonably start Zakynthos with a once-daily service, although a lot may change between now and S21.
Five routes will be served this current summer by Wizz Air, with three – Fuerteventura, Marrakesh, and Zakynthos – announced by Wizz Air in the past few weeks. Marrakesh will be operated by Wizz Air from October.
|Luton to…||S21 weekly frequencies*||Direct competition** (weekly frequencies)|
|Fuerteventura||3||Ryanair (2), Wizz Air (2)|
|Gran Canaria||3||Ryanair (2), Wizz Air (3)|
|Larnaca||3||Wizz Air (10)|
|Varna||3||Wizz Air (10)|
|Zakynthos||7||TUI (1), Wizz Air (2)|
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser, easyJet’s PR, and airline websites.* In S21. Start dates and schedules aren’t yet known. ** Based on the week commencing 13 August 2020 due to S21 schedules not yet being available. Clearly, things could change. *** Wizz Air begins Marrakesh in October on a four-weekly basis.|
49 additional weekly frequencies are coming
easyJet will also add a total of 49 weekly frequencies to 11 existing routes in S21 versus S20.
Milan Malpensa’s 52% increase in weekly frequency to 28 is because of Wizz Air’s new Malpensa – Luton service from the ULCC’s new base at Malpensa.
easyJet will more than double its weekly frequencies to the Greek destinations of Heraklion, Rhodes, and Thessaloniki. Alongside its new daily Zakynthos service, its obvious desire to protect such routes perhaps further indicates the significance of Greece for easyJet’s profitability.
|Luton to…||S20 weekly frequencies||S21 weekly frequencies||Direct competition*
|Corfu||6||7||TUI (1), Wizz Air (2)|
|Faro||18||20||Ryanair (3), Wizz Air (4)|
|Heraklion||3||7||Wizz Air (3)|
|Krakow||0**||7||Ryanair (3), Wizz Air (14)|
|Lisbon||20||21||Wizz Air (7)|
|Milan Malpensa||10||21||Wizz Air (14)|
|Palma||22||28||TUI (3), Wizz Air (5)|
|Porto||3||7||Wizz Air (3)|
|Rhodes||2||7||Wizz Air (2)|
|Tenerife South||3||7||Ryanair (2), TUI (1), Wizz Air (7)|
|Thessaloniki||3||7||Wizz Air (2)|
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser, easyJet’s PR, and airline website. * Based on the week commencing 13 August 2020 due to S21 schedules not yet being available. Clearly, things could change. ** easyJet is scheduled to operate Krakow four-weekly. The route is in its pull-down menu but all flights appear as sold out, i.e. they won’t be operating at this point in time. This may change.|
What will be cut?
Given Luton’s lack of capacity, which effectively means no meaningful growth until at least 2022/2023, it will be interesting to see what route cuts and/or frequency cuts take place to enable this development.