Easjet Case Study

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EasyJet is Europe's leading low-cost airline. The airline was founded by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and the family remains the major shareholder. He controls other separate EasyGroup companies such as EasyInternetCafe, easyCar.com, EasyMoney, and EasyValue.There are no "cross-shareholdings" between EasyJet and these other EasyGroup companies. EasyJet operates independently from the other companies, although some "cross-marketing" agreements do exist.

EasyJet is a low cost airline officially known as EasyJet Airline Company PLC. The company is based at London Luton Airport. It operates frequent scheduled services for leisure and business passengers and serves more than 200 routes between more than 60 European airports. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange and easyGroup owns only a minority stake.

EasyJet and its Republic of Ireland based rival Ryanair are by far the largest low cost airlines in Europe, and the rivalry between them is intense and sometimes vituperative (especially on Ryanair's side from its high profile chief executive Michael O'Leary). The two companies have slightly different strategies. EasyJet flies mainly to leading airports while Ryanair uses far more secondary airports to reduce costs. EasyJet places more focus on attracting business travellers as well as leisure travellers, although all its aircraft have single-class cabins.

Ryanair makes much of the fact that EasyJet's average fares are higher and its average punctuality is consistently lower. This is mainly due to the different range of airports used and Ryanair routinely scheduling flights to take thirty minutes longer than required. As of September 2005, Ryanair flies more passengers, but EasyJet has a higher turnover, leading both of them to claim to be "Europe's number one low cost airline".

EasyJet's vision of the future is built on developing its strength as the largest low cost airline in Europe. Total revenue in 2002 was more than £500 million, an increase over the previous year of nearly £200 million.

EasyJet's main competitor is Ryanair, which was the largest European low cost airline before EasyJet acquired Go Fly. In early 2003, though, Ryanair bought one of the smaller firms in the market, Buzz. There is now some debate about which firm is now the largest. They both have a similar number of routes; EasyJet carries more passengers (20 million); Ryanair is worth three times the stock market value of EasyJet.

Techology is plays a key part in the success of any business, and EasyJet are always improving the technological network.

• Use of the Internet to reduce distribution costs EasyJet was one of the first airlines to embrace the opportunity of the Internet when it sold its first seat online in April 1998.
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