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  • EasyJet vows to expand in France as demand flies high

EasyJet vows to expand in France as demand flies high

EasyJet vows to expand in France as demand flies high

UK budget airline EasyJet will continue to expand its services in France next year thanks to the resilience of demand even in spite of the terror attacks and the prospect of Brexit.

But Director General of easyJet France François Bacchetta declined to state on what routes the new planes would be operate.

The British company currently has five bases around France: Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris (15 planes), Lyon (7 planes), Nice (three planes) and Toulouse (3 planes).

In all the company can count some 1,000 workers on its books in France.

One out of every five easyJet passengers takes off or lands in France and more than 10 percent of the company’s fleet are based in France, the company said.

Whereas Air France reported dramatic losses due to the terror attacks in Paris and Nice, Bacchetta said demand for seats on easyJet flights remains steady.

“Fundamentally the market in France is resilient,” she said.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall told Les Echos newspaper: "The Paris and Nice attacks sent demand sharply lower at first, but when you stimulate that demand by cutting prices, which is what we have done, that (demand) recovers quickly.”

Easyjet’s capacity increased by 9% in France this year, compared to 5% in 2015. But Bacchetta said low-cost companies were lagging behind when it came to penetrating the short and medium haul market in France compared to other European countries.

EasyJet warned earlier this summer that it would seek to obtain an air operator’s certificate for another EU country as part of the contingency planning in the event of Brexit.

That would mean it could keep its headquarters in the UK and continue to fly in Europe.

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