As easyJet approaches its 25th anniversary, the airline continues to mature to broaden its appeal to business and leisure passengers.
In keeping with its disciplined approach to cost and lean operations, this is largely through changing its offer on its website rather than physical changes to aircraft. Here’s a quick run through of what to expect at Gatwick in 2019.
New Frequent Flyer Programme
One of the biggest changes next year is the relaunch of easyJet’s frequent flyer programmes.
Currently, easyJet has two parallel schemes:
easyJet Plus is paid for membership scheme which offers free seat selection and fast track ground facilities.
Flight Club is an invitation only scheme for frequent flyers who book more than 20 flights a year with easyJet and are offered benefits such as free flight changes.
easyJet plans to relaunch its frequent flyer programmes next year with a new points based currency.
It will be behaviour led, to encourage activity that contribute to easyJet’s own bottom line. It will be possible to earn points in a variety of ways. This includes using certain online services or buying easyJet branded travel insurance. Third parties will also be invited to participate in the programme.
Points can then be redeemed on “exclusive rewards to enhance the trip” and reward flights for points and a cash payment. easyJet also suggests that the programme will have tiers which will provide additional benefits.
Separately, easyJet also plans to launch a corporate version of Flight Club for business customers. easyJet will also aim to improve its schedule for business travellers, most likely through the timing of “first wave” departures on key business routes from Gatwick.
In terms of other developments, easyJet has long offered packaged holidays through its website.
However, only a relatively small number of passengers (500,000) book hotel packages. easyJet promises a new website with a much better user experience and better targeted hotel offers in 2019.
Like the new frequent flyer programme, it’s hard not to see easyJet targeting BA which has had a very successful BA Holidays business with dynamic packaging of flight / hotel packages on ba.com
New Gatwick Routes
New easyJet routes at Gatwick in 2019 include:
Dusseldorf, twice daily from Saturday 9 February 2019.
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, three times weekly from Tuesday 2 April 2019.
Zadar, Croatia, twice weekly from Tuesday 30 April 2019.
easyJet has a very focused fleet strategy, operating exclusively the Airbus A320 series aircraft.
It is already operating the 186 seat Airbus A320 Neo and 235 seat Airbus A321 Neo aircraft at Gatwick. The latter operates on longer range routes such as Agadir, Athens, and Tenerife. easyJet will continue to take delivery of further aircraft, having ordered 17 more Airbus A320 Neo in late 2018. Network wide, there will be 87 Airbus A320 Neo by August 2022 and 28 Airbus A321 Neo by October 2020.