EasyJet bets sales on business travellers

EASYJET will target business customers to boost sales, according to chief executive Carolyn McCall.

The second largest budget airline in Europe is testing a Flexifare system, which offers business travellers preferential boarding, free hold luggage and the ability to change planes just two hours before flight time.

“We have been testing this since November and the signs are positive,” said McCall.

The service will cost around £100 per journey compared to £250 a trip offered for equivalent services by flag-carriers British Airways, Air France-KLM or Lufthansa.

The airline plans to make Flexifare available on its website by the summer, to target its business customers that work in small or medium sized firms and book their own travel arrangements.

Nineteen per cent of easyJet’s current passengers are business travellers. They pay on average between 10 per cent and 20 per cent higher fees because they book later than leisure fliers.

McCall was speaking yesterday having flown into Amman on easyJet’s inaugural flight to the Jordanian capital (right), just 48 hours after protesters demanding reform clashed with government supporters in the city centre, killing one and injuring 100.

But the airline boss insisted the route was safe to fly.

“Jordan is stable,” she said. “The Foreign Office’s advice is that we can fly here and we will be guided by that.”

The airline has cut 22 of its 550 routes in the last six months, with McCall clear that it would not hesitate to axe further failing routes.

“You will see us being much more brutal about what routes work and what routes don’t,” she said.