easyJet plc is a UK-based low-cost air carrier founded in 1995. It is headquartered in Luton, the United Kingdom and based out of a terminal facility known as easyLand. The company was founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou with a loan from his father and has since been grown via expansion and acquisitions into the EUs 2nd largest low-cost air carrier. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.
Despite disagreements with current management, Sir Stelios and his holding company still control more than 15% of the company. It, EasyGroup Holdings, owns the Easy brand and operates an extensive network of services as well as licensing the brand to other businesses. One of easyJet’s more distinctive features and a common characteristic of the Easy brand is its bright orange color.
easyJet began as a paper airline, one that leased aircraft for its 2 routes, with less than 100 employees but it now employs more than 13,000 people to service its 308 planes flying from 29 bases primarily in the UK. The company, through a network of affiliates, flies 927 routes to 34 countries and served more than 15 million passengers per year prior to COVID-19.
easyJet operates on a business model pioneered by Southwest Airlines. The strategy aims to optimize plane utilization and revenue by limiting routes, connecting flights and itemizing upsells like luggage and carry-on allowances. Other low-cost features of the airline include no snacks, single-class high-density seating and minimized operating costs. Among the many benefits to investors is the company’s fleet which is among the youngest in the industry. Its fleet has an average age of under 8 years (as of 2022) compared to the industry average lifespan of 30 years.
The company’s fleet is entirely Airbus aircraft and includes A319, A320 and A321 models. Using one type of aircraft is fundamental to the low-cost model as it lowers maintenance costs and improves uptime. The company’s success is due in large part to the marketing slogan “making flying as affordable as a pair of jeans”. The company became a household name in 2007, however, when it became the center of a UK television show centered on the airline industry.
Originally, the company sold its seats via phone only and had its telephone number printed boldly on the side of all its aircraft. Today, easyJet sells seats through its website www.easyjet.com and its 'easyJet Worldwide' platform as well as through traditional channels.