Airlines

Published on May 6th, 2015 | by Jim Lee

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easyJet takes delivery of its 250th Airbus aircraft as it expands routes and services

On 22nd April, easyJet (U2/EZY), took delivery of what it described as its 250th Airbus aircraft at a ceremony in Hamburg attended by Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO, Jean-Paul Ebanga, CFM International President and CEO, Didier Evrard, Airbus EVP and Head of Programmes, and Christopher Buckley, Airbus EVP Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The aircraft G-EZOL, an Airbus A320-214, was unveiled with a unique livery featuring 250 miniature aircraft and based on the latest livery unveiled in February. As with other recent deliveries to easyJet, the A320 is equipped with the latest technology and fuel-saving Sharklets. This brings to 31 the number of aircraft so equipped.

easyJet operates Europe’s largest and the world’s fourth largest Airbus single aisle fleet. Since easyJet took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft (an A319) in September 2003, Airbus has delivered an aircraft on average every 16 days, since the first delivery. The airline had 234 aircraft in service prior to the delivery of G-EZOL and these are operated on more than 750 routes to over 130 airports across 33 countries. easyJet has 138 A319s (156 seats) and 75 A320s (180 seats), while there are further 12 A319s (following the transfer of HB-JZT to Allegiant as N306NV) and 10 A320s in service with easyJet Swiss (DS/EZS).

easyJet G-EZUI (JH)

G-EZUI was the 200th Airbus to be delivered to easyJet and wears the unique reverse colour scheme with overall orange and white titles. Joe Heeney

Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet, commented: “It was only four years ago that we celebrated our 200th aircraft delivery. With the 250th aircraft delivery easyJet is the world’s youngest airline to reach a fleet of 250 Airbus aircraft also achieving it in the fastest time. easyJet is proud to count Airbus and CFM as such reliable partners.” This aircraft, G-EZUI was delivered on 26th May 2011 and wears the unique reverse colour scheme with overall orange and white titles. “Taking delivery of our 250th Airbus helps us to continue to make travel easy and affordable and on our journey to become Europe’s leading airline. This milestone symbolizes the long term and successful partnership between Airbus and easyJet” she added.

According to the easyJet statement, it has 158 aircraft currently on order, and in terms of total aircraft orders it is Airbus’ third biggest airline customer. However, according to Jethro’s fleet list easyJet has 123 on order of which 85 are said to be fleet replacements and 23 are the newer A320neo models. A further 100 A320neo models are reported to be on option. With over 11,550 aircraft ordered, and almost 6,500 aircraft delivered to over 315 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is today the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family.

Modified livery introduced

easyJet G-EZDE GVA 280215 (Michael Steffen)

Airbus A319-111 G-EZDE was the first aircraft to wear the new livery. Michael Steffen

As noted above, easyJet unveiled a new livery on 3rd February to mark the approach to its 20th birthday in November. It marked the first change to the look of the airline’s iconic white and orange fleet since easyJet.com replaced the call centre number on the fuselage in 1998. There are two main design changes. easyJet’s trademark orange has been extended from the tail fin on to the fuselage to create a larger space for the easyJet logo which is 15% bigger than before. Secondly, an orange stripe reflecting the design language of easyJet’s advertising has been introduced on to the fuselage. This enables the easyJet logo to be reversed out of that colour – in accordance with brand guidelines – and to give the aircraft a sleek, more modern look. Finally, the ‘.com’ has been dropped. The final design was selected by nearly 4000 staff and customers and was developed by Alex Wood at Holmes Wood design agency who worked with easyJet’s in house engineering team on the new livery. The new livery was initially applied to Airbus A319-111, G-EZDE, delivered to the airline on 6th March 2008, and will feature on all new easyJet aircraft deliveries from April 2015. The remainder of the existing fleet will have the new livery applied as they are scheduled to be repainted, typically every six years and a specialist team is needed to repaint an aircraft which takes around seven days on average. Taken new and repaints together, 29 aircraft will be flying with the new look by the end of 2015 and 50% of the fleet will sport the new livery by the end of 2017.

During easyJet’s 19 year history there have been only two aircraft styles. The first, seen in 1995 on easyJet’s first aircraft, was different to anything else flying as it advertised the booking number along the fuselage in giant lettering. The second, which entered service in 1998, displayed easyJet.com across the fuselage which reflected the important move the airline made to online booking.

In a final comment on the new livery, Mr. Andreas Ossenkopf, Head of Aviation at Mankiewicz one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality coating systems for the general Industry, aviation and automotive markets worldwide and who provided the coatings for the aircraft commented “Mankiewicz is very proud to be the chosen coatings supplier to easyJet. We take great pride in the manufacture and supply of the most high quality and innovative Aerospace Coatings. easyJet and Mankiewicz have the same philosophy to combine quality with efficiency and we are delighted to support the high quality image of easyJet.”

New refreshed livery complements recent changes

easyJet’s Mobile Host (LGW)easyJet’s believes that the new refreshed livery supports the new high quality image of easyJet. It also complements the many changes already made to easyJet including allocated seating, transparent prices, flexible tickets, an extension for easyJet Plus annual card holders (who now benefit from access to Fast Track security at 35 airports across Europe) and easyJet’s award winning mobile app. The latest new and innovative update to the app was launched on 14th April and is designed to provide helpful and timely guidance, directions and essential travel updates to passengers travelling from Gatwick Airport. easyJet’s Mobile Host is a joint initiative with Gatwick and combines live data from the airports information systems, using Google indoor maps, together with a passenger’s booking details, location and flight time. The result is personalised instructions and updates for passengers during their journey.

In addition easyJet’s special assistance advisory group (ESAAG) officially launched its Pan-European Charter on Meeting the Needs of Disabled Air Travellers at an event in the European Parliament on 21st April. Each day easyJet flies around 1,000 passengers requiring special assistance – more than 350,000 passengers every year across its network. The charter contains concrete recommendations for airlines, airports, and policymakers on how to make travelling for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) easier and more consistent between countries and airports.

easyJet has also selected AJW Group (‘AJW’) to be the primary provider of the airline’s requirements for component maintenance and the provision, storage and distribution of spare parts. The new multi-year contract, which will start in October 2015, will support the airline’s growing fleet of Airbus aircraft expected to number 241 by the start of the contract. During the course of the contract easyJet plans to take delivery of over 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft including 51 Airbus A320neos taking the fleet to 304 aircraft by 2020.

The AJW Group leads the world not only in the supply and repair of Airbus and Boeing spare parts, under the contract it will be responsible for:

  • Component repair and overhaul;
  • Supply of consumable parts such as filters and lubricants; and
  • Management of the airline’s spares inventory including the storage and distribution of easyJet’s own extensive component inventory throughout its European network of 30 line stations.

Record number of easyJet flights and routes for winter 2015

On 1st April, easyJet put on sale its winter schedule for 2015 with a record number of flights and routes. Over 78,000 flights are set to take place to and from Belfast International and ten other UK airports between 25th October 2015 and 28th February 2016 providing 13,045,080 million seats. easyJet serves over 750 routes to destinations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia – 370 of which touch the UK. easyJet had already announced its winter schedule at Belfast International Airport which sees the airline increasing the number of seats for sale on Gatwick, London Luton and Stansted by more than 125,000, bringing the total number of seats to over 500,000 up to the end of February, 2016. In addition, easyJet will add seat capacity to Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, bringing the total to 160,000 seats. The airport said that this expansion could lead to creation of over 100 new aviation-related jobs in Northern Ireland.

easyJet currently flies from Belfast to Alicante, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Bristol, Edinburgh, Faro, Geneva, Glasgow, Ibiza, Jersey, Krakow, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Malaga, Malta, Manchester, Newcastle, Nice, Palma Majorca, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Reykjavik using four based A319s and a A320 supported by aircraft from other bases.

easyJet G-EZDJ ZRH (Michael Steffen)

easyJet G-EZDJ pictured a Zurich. Michael Steffen

easyJet updates its guidance for the six months to 31st March 2015

With the many changes and improvements to its product and the movement of exchange rates in the second quarter, easyJet expects to deliver a first half performance ahead of the guidance given in the 27th January 2015 trading statement. It now expects revenue per seat growth to be around 2.5% while cost per seat at constant currency is now expected to increase by up to 3% due to higher levels of de-icing and disruption costs in the second quarter. As a result cost per seat at constant currency for the full year is now expected to increase by up to 2.5%. In addition based on a Euro/Sterling exchange rate of 1.3574 and a US Dollar/Sterling exchange rate of 1.4917 it is now expected that exchange rate movements are likely to have around a £20 million (€27.13 million) favourable impact in the six months to 31st March 2015 primarily due to the recent weakening of the Euro against Sterling. Using the same exchange rates, the first half favourable impact will reverse in the second half and it is expected that exchange rate movements are likely to have around a £40 million (€54.25 million) adverse impact in the second half. This will result in a £20 million (€27.13 million) adverse impact for the 12 months to 30th September 2015. It is expected that easyJet’s unit fuel bill for the period will be around £35 million (€47.47 million) favourable and for the 12 months to 30th September 2015 it is estimated that easyJet’s unit fuel bill is likely to be between £90 million (€122.06 million) and £120 million (€162.75 million) favourable.

The Board’s expectation is now for a pre-tax result for the six months ended 31st March 2015 of between a loss of £5 million (€6.78 million) and profit of £10 million (€13.56 million) compared with the previous guidance of a pre-tax loss of £10 million to £30 million (€13.56 – €40.69 million) and a prior year pre-tax loss of £53 million (€71.89 million). easyJet has had a good first half of the year and second half bookings are in line with last year. However, further volatility around currency rates and the oil price is likely to continue into the second half. easyJet will provide further details on its performance in the six months to 31 March 2015 when it publishes its half year results on 12th May 2015.

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About the Author

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Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.



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