Europe opens up for WestJet with new easyJet connections

Europe opens up for WestJet with new easyJet connections

LONDON — European low-cost carrier easyJet has introduced its new ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ with launch partner WestJet, along with low-cost carrier Norwegian. ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ is being touted as the first global airline connections service by a European low fare airline.

“easyJet’s new booking platform, Worldwide, is a great fit with our London Gatwick service and we’re excited to provide Canadian travellers with connections to easyJet’s extensive European network,” said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, Commercial.

Sims added “many of our guests already self-connect between WestJet and easyJet flights, and this new booking tool will make it easier than ever before to travel throughout Europe from Canada and back.”

Seats are available starting today. Passengers using Worldwide by easyJet can connect their easyJet flight with partner airline flights with launch partners WestJet and Norwegian using GatwickConnects, billed as a world-first airport booking service that lets passengers seamlessly book connecting flights with different airlines in a single transaction. Launched in 2015, GatwickConnects allows the airport’s 1.7 million yearly self-connecting passengers to combine a range of non-interlined flights provided by 10 different airlines at Gatwick, while also insuring against any missed connections (replacement flights, hotels and meals).

GatwickConnects bag drop desks are located in the airport’s baggage reclaim halls so that passengers’ luggage can be put directly on the onward flight and customers can go straight through security without checking their bag in again.

“Legacy airlines have traditionally offered connectivity through costly and complex interline and codeshare agreements and procedures,” says easyJet. “With Worldwide by easyJet these will be replicated by self-connect and sales partnerships through a digital, virtual hub which will offer the same sort of connectivity but more simply and efficiently.”

easyJet, which flies on more of Europe’s 100 largest routes than any other airline, says it plans to sign other airlines up to Worldwide by easyJet with talks already “far advanced” with Middle Eastern and Asian carriers. As well as adding partners at Gatwick Airport easyJet plans to expands to other key easyJet airports in Europe such as Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Barcelona.

EasyJet says it is also starting to sell stand-alone tickets on behalf of partner airlines alongside the connectivity product on easyJet.com.

EasyJet says it will not hold flights for connecting passengers. “Worldwide by easyJet is subject to a 2 hour 30 minute minimum connection time, which will give customers plenty of time to transfer between flights and/or terminals. Should a passenger miss a connecting flight they will be transferred to the next available flight.”

“Around 70 million passengers flying through an easyJet airport each year are connecting on to other flights, mainly long haul, and it is this market segment that Worldwide by easyJet will open up for us,” says easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall. “Because of easyJet’s strong positions at Europe’s leading airports and our customer focus long haul carriers have been asking to work with easyJet for some time and the new technology platform has now allowed us to do so.

“By opening this new market segment this now means that easyJet can access a greater range of passengers flying across Europe.”

“We are delighted with the partners who have signed up for our launch today. We are confident it will be popular with customers and look forward to announcing more partners in the near future.

While Worldwide by easyJet is launching with its largest base London Gatwick, the airline intends to broaden its focus to include its other biggest airports such as Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Barcelona.