easyJet’s most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

easyJet's most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

We explore easyJet’s top-10 most profitable airports, following on from our recent look at Ryanair’s.

easyJet’s top-10 most profitable airports achieved estimated profitability of €627 million in the year to March 2020, RDC’s Apex’s shows.

Gatwick is easyJet’s most profitable airport, with an approximate €185 million. It is also by far its largest airport by seats; we explore it below.

In contrast, Stansted – Ryanair’s largest – was recently shown to be only its fifth most profitable.

The UK and France are easyJet’s most profitable countries, RDC shows, reflected in the table that follows.

Bristol stands out.  Of all of easyJet’s airports, it is its ninth-largest – but its third most profitable, with almost €69 million. 

Bristol had the highest profit margin, with the LCC responsible for nearly 60% of the airport’s seats in this time period. Its network of routes there is similar to Gatwick: a wide mixture of domestic, leisure, sun, and business destinations.

easyJet’s most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

easyJet’s top-10 most profitable airports in the year to March 2020. Note: this includes blended discounts at UK airports using each airport’s financial accounts information, but published tariffs elsewhere. Source: RDC Aviation.

Five of easyJet’s largest airports not in top-10 for profits

Berlin Tegel, Milan Malpensa, London Luton, Amsterdam, and Belfast International – all within easyJet’s top-10 list by seats, OAG data shows – were not in its top-10 for profitability.

Tegel, at which the LCC expanded rapidly following the end of airberlin, is easyJet’s second-largest airport.  The airport is the main reason for Germany being the carrier’s biggest loss-making country.

easyJet had 68 routes from Tegel in the year to March 2020, but expect meaningful changes as part of a major rationalisation programme.

Malpensa, meanwhile, is easyJet’s fourth-largest airport.  The carrier’s performance at Malpensa clearly won’t be helped by Wizz Air creating a base there and strongly expanding into easyJet territory, mainly to Greece and Spain. In full-year 2020, the pair competes directly, or will, on 15 routes.

However, five airports that do not lead by size – Edinburgh, Manchester, Nice, Palma, Paris Orly – all performed stronger by estimated profitability.

Palma had the lowest capacity of those in the list, but it benefited enormously from peak summer performance when its network nearly doubles with its summer-seasonal base, which was opened in 2017.

No doubt easyJet would like more summer Palma flights if slots were available.  However, many have been taken by Ryanair following its aggressive expansion from the airport over the past few years. 

easyJet’s most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

easyJet’s Palma network in the year to March 2020. Since then, Southend, Stansted, Newcastle, and Stuttgart have all ceased, the first three because of base closures. Sources: OAG Mapper.

easyJet number-one at six of its top-10 most profitable airports

Leading positions at primary airports (or otherwise significant airports) is of strategic importance for easyJet, as its investor relations documents show

It was number-one at six of its top-10 most profitable – Gatwick, Geneva, Bristol, Basel, Edinburgh, and Nice – which includes its top-three.

It ranked second at Paris CDG and Manchester, third at Paris Orly, and fourth at Palma.

At these top-10 airports, the LCC had an average 27.9% share of capacity. This varied wildly from 61.5% at Basel to just 7% at Paris CDG.

easyJet’s most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Geneva easyJet’s second most profitable airport and third largest

Geneva was easyJet’s second most profitable airport with an estimated €81.47 million. It was also its third-largest.

easyJet had a 40% share of Geneva’s seats in the year to March, unchanged since 2016 despite adding 1.1 million seats at the airport since then.

It had 78 routes from the Swiss airport, up from 40 back in 2010, with Gatwick, Barcelona, Porto, Nice, and Luton its top-five.  

At the other end, Aberdeen was its least-served route, with just a four-month and once-weekly offering between December and March obviously for skiing. 

The UK was easyJet’s top market from Geneva, with a 27% share of seats, rising to almost half when France is included.  

easyJet will begin a new route from Geneva – to Valencia – from March 2021, for a total of 14 Spanish destinations.

easyJet’s most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Gatwick has one-fifth of easyJet’s seats

Gatwick represented one-fifth of easyJet’s total seats in this period across 120 routes. Amsterdam, Geneva, Milan Malpensa, Belfast International, and Barcelona were top.   

Only five of its routes involved the Middle East or North Africa: Agadir, Aqaba, Hurghada, Marrakesh, and Tel Aviv.  However, Sharm El Sheikh is returning on 17 October on a three-weekly basis after a five-year absence, while twice-weekly Enfidha will start from 1 May.

Before the ban, all airlines on Gatwick – Sharm had over 364,000 passengers.

easyJet’s most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Fare performance for easyJet at Gatwick

The following fare-per-km figure looks estimated online fares using RDC data for each easyJet destination from Gatwick. 

Destinations well above the trend line tend to be Greek islands, Turkish resorts, and summer-seasonal places like Split, Corsica, and southern Italy, together with thin winter destinations.

Such places tend to do very well for easyJet, with RDC indicating strong profit per seat and high margins. However, passenger volume can – for some routes – be very low. 

Indeed, for easyJet as a whole and despite longer sector lengths, Greece is its fifth most profitable country, Croatia eighth, and Turkey tenth.

Aarhus (AAR) and La Palma (SPC), meanwhile, were both cut from easyJet’s Gatwick network in March 2020.

Other routes that have a similar level of underperformance include Tel Aviv (TLV) and Aqaba (AQJ).  These routes are vulnerable unless there are attractive incentive schemes in place or if they are strategically important.

Tel Aviv’s performance is probably not helped by being winter-only.

easyJet's most profitable airports revealed using RDC’s Apex platform

Source: RDC Aviation.


Comments

  1. Stephan says:

    Very insightful analysis! Definitely surprising to see Easyjet’s margins by base varying far less compared to Ryanair.

    @anna.aero: Will a similar analysis be posted for rapidly expanding WizzAir? I would guess Bucharest andLuton to be their top performers with Budapest being a distant third.

  2. Joan says:

    Morning! Very interesting indeed. Any chance to see the results for the rest of the specific bases? Much appreciated!

    • James Pearson says:

      Hi Joan! Many thanks for your kind comment. As much as I’d like to provide that, I cannot under our agreement. I’d recommend contacting RDC if you’re interested in more data from them. All the best, James.

  3. Philip says:

    It be good to see where Newcastle and Southend ranked on base profitability if Stansted was 5th and was one of the three UK bases to be closed.

    • James Pearson says:

      Hi Philip. Stansted wasn’t easyJet’s fifth most profitable and in fact wasn’t in its top-10. Stansted was #5 for Ryanair, however. James.

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