EasyJet share price: Budget airline to strengthen its Italian strategy
EasyJet (LON:EZJ) has announced plans to strengthen its Italian strategy by expanding its presence at three airports and closing its beleaguered Rome base.
The FTSE 100-listed carrier said in a statement yesterday that it would expand its existing bases at Milan Malpensa and Naples and open a new base at Venice Marco Polo Airport from April next year. Away from Italy, easyJet will also open a new base in Barcelona from February 2016. The company revealed that it would support the move by redeploying aircraft and crew from its Rome Fiumicinobase.
The Italian capital’s principal airport, which served 39 million passengers in 2014, was hit last month by a fire that caused dozens of flights to be cancelled and badly damaged the main international terminal building. It is still operating at only 60 percent capacity. EasyJet noted that the “worsening performance” of its Rome Fiumicinobase base had also been driven by high airport passenger charges, which have more than doubled since 2012. The carrier added that Rome Fiumicino provides a “poor passenger experience” which has led to low levels of punctuality and customer satisfaction.
According to easyJet’s chief executive, Carlyn McCall, Milan, Naples and Venice provide more opportunities for long-term sustainable and profitable growth. She remarked: “Milan, Naples and Venice are all centres of important Italian economic regions. Each has high levels of passenger demand from leisure as well as business passengers and all have demand for flights both into and out of Italy.”
EasyJet’s shares have been trading in positive territory so far today. As of 10:47 BST, the stock was changing hands at 1,576.00p – 1.16 percent up intraday.
As of 10:56 BST, Friday, 19 June, easyJet plc share price is 1,570.50p.