Easyjet is accelerating its move into business travel after signing more than 100 corporate deals with companies in the last six months.
The no-frills airline said that it had signed contracts with 69 TMCs and 124 companies across Europe, with 112 of these corporate deals having been agreed since October. In the UK, Easyjet has secured deals with 50 corporates and TMCs.
Capturing a bigger share of the corporate travel market has been a key strategy for Easyjet in the last few years. The number of business travellers using the airline rose by 4.1 per cent year-on-year between October 2012 and March 2013 – Easyjet currently carries around 10 million corporate passengers a year.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall said that Easyjet would also benefit from new technology developed by GDSs Amadeus and Travelport-owned Galileo which is designed to make it easier to sell the airline’s seats through their systems. These initiatives, which are being funded by the two technology firms, are due to be launched in the next few weeks.
The airline also announced yesterday (May 15) that it would be including fast track security access at 27 airports as part of its flexible fares package.
“In the last two years, Easyjet has seen continued improvements in GDS penetration, take up of Flexi-Fare and TMC contracts which have led to a growth in business passenger volumes,” said Easyjet in its financial update to investors.
“Easyjet continues to make steady progress in the business to business arena in the UK, with 50 deals now signed across UK corporate clients and leading TMCs.
“Business travellers are attractive to Easyjet as they book closer to departure driving higher yields. They also fly all year-round helping to reduce seasonality.”
Investors responded positively to Easyjet’s financial results yesterday (May 15) with the company’s share price rising by around 8 per cent to £12.24 per share.
Easyjet cut its winter losses by 45 per cent to £61 million for the six months to the end of March 2013 while revenue rose 9.3 per cent to £1.6 billion.