Posted on: 13 September 2017
easyJet has launched its ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ connections product along with initial partners Norwegian and WestJet, enabling customers to buy flights with the other airlines via the low-fare carrier’s website and better facilitate the connection of its flights to long-haul routes.
The company says the booking platform opens up a new 70-million passenger market segment for the carrier, which has also brought Gatwick Airport in as a launch partner offering flights to North and South America, and the Far East. More partners and additional connections are expected to be rolled out at other European airports, it adds.
Tickets are also now being offered on behalf of partner airlines such as Loganair, says easyJet, with tickets for the latter to be available on easyJet’s website next month.
“With seats available from today, ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ enables customers to seamlessly connect their easyJet flight with partner airline flights with launch partners WestJet and Norwegian using the GatwickConnects product,” states the airline.
The company adds that it is already in advanced talks with Middle East and Far East carriers, amongst others. It specifically also plans to expand to other key easyJet airports in Europe including Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Barcelona.
The appeal to the partner airlines, says easyJet, is access to what it describes as one of the biggest travel websites in Europe with around 360 million visits in the past year.
Currently around 200,000 customers ‘self-connect’ via easyJet, booking separate easyJet flights and the GatwickConnects product themselves in three different transactions. The new connectivity has been enabled by technology partner Dohop, which has created the platform allowing easyJet’s customers to book connections and forward flights via the website.
The airline says there is a large untapped opportunity to “connect the dots” within its network, as well as strengthen the brand and network reach by aligning with high-quality international carriers. It is the first step, it adds, on the journey to providing more seamless connectivity with partners, and accelerating the shift away from traditional airline interline partnerships.
Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s CEO (pictured), said that with around 70 million passengers flying through an easyJet airport each year connecting to other mainly long-haul flights, “It is this market segment that ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ will open up for us. Because of easyJet’s strong positions at Europe’s leading airports and our customer focus, long-haul carriers have been asking to work with easyJet for some time and the new technology platform has now allowed us to do so”.
Peter Duffy, chief commercial officer (CCO) at the airline, added that the platform would enable it to profitably access a major new pool of customers without undermining the carrier’s operating model and punctuality.
Guy Stephenson, CCO at Gatwick Airport, commented: “easyJet is our biggest airline and by partnering with GatwickConnects, easyJet passengers can easily and quickly self-connect with other flights in Gatwick’s diverse network of flights including our 60 long-haul routes.”
Norwegian’s CCO, Thomas Ramdahl, said the airline was delighted to “partner with another quality low-cost airline like easyJet to offer passengers even more choice”. With Norwegian’s growing long-haul networks and easyJet’s European routes, millions more passengers would have the chance to travel to top destinations, he said.
Canadian airline WestJet’s vice-president, commercial, Ed Sims described the new booking platform as a “great fit” with its London Gatwick service, and would make it easier for its Canadian travellers to connect to Europe.