16 October, etc.venues Monument
30 October, JW Marriott Grosvenor House
1st November 2023, etc.venues County Hall
Operations also cut at Luton
easyJet today (September 3) said it was ending its operations at the UK's East Midlands Airport and cutting its presence at Luton by 20%.
Europe's second largest low cost carrier said it was moving its flights to "more profitable" airports.
It said its base at Luton, from where easyJet launched its first flights in 1995, was "no longer competitive."
easyJet said its operation at East Midlands had remained "stagnant with three aircraft for many years."
The airline said it expected most of its aircraft from the two bases would be "redeployed to continental European bases."
easyJet blamed Luton's "failure to recognise the commercial realities of the recession."
It said airport costs at Luton had risen by 25% in the last three years which "makes the base no longer competitive."
It said it had been in "protracted negotiation" with Abertis, the Spanish operator of Luton and its owner Luton Borough Council.
"These negotiations have broken down leaving easyJet no alternative but to reallocate parts of its flying programme," the carrier said.
easyJet said it now had "opportunities to move capacity to more attractive locations elsewhere in its network as weaker competitors retrench in today's tough climate."
It did not name any of the airports to which it planned to move its operations but said it had started talks with its crew at both Luton and the East Midlands.
easyJet said operations at the two airports had been "exacerbated because all flying from the UK, especially from regional bases like East Midlands, has been undermined by the rise in Airport Passenger Duty (APD)."
It said the duty was "particularly damaging" to regional airports which do not benefit from transfer passengers who do not pay APD.
Andy Harrison, easyJet's ceo, said it was a pan-European airline and a "critical part of our success has been optimising the allocation of our aircraft across our 19 European bases."
He added: I am deeply disappointed that Abertis and Luton Borough Council have not taken a more far-sighted approach which would have protected jobs at Luton.
"At a time when jobs are under threat in the town the airport should be an engine for growing employment, not a source of further unemployment.
"This can only happen, however, if the owner and the operator make the right commercial decisions and deliver a competitive cost base.
"In regard to East Midlands we cannot see a growing long term future and we have decided to move our assets to markets with better long term potential."
easyJet's move comes three weeks after its rival Ryanair announced it was cutting 90% of its flights at Manchester Airport and moving them to the East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool Airports.
The Irish low cost carrier also blamed high airport charges for its decision which will see 44 weekly flights, affecting 600,000 passengers a year, ended at the airport.
www.easyjet.com www.london-luton.co.uk www.eastmidlandsairport.com www.ryanair.com www.manchesterairport.co.uk