EasyJet would consider setting up an operation at Heathrow if the airport were given the green light to build a third runway.
Addressing delegates at the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) annual overseas conference in Marrakech, chief executive Carolyn McCall quashed rumours that the low-cost carrier would never move to the London hub.
“We fly out of lots of hubs already,” she said. “We have 10 aircraft at Charles de Gaulle and we’re the second-biggest carrier at Amsterdam Schiphol.
“But Heathrow is an expensive airport so it would be about getting the right price.”
She revealed Heathrow had been seriously considered for its recently-launched Moscow service.
Though easyJet is the biggest carrier at Gatwick airport, McCall refused to endorse its proposal to build a second runway.
“I don’t know how a second runway would impact us yet,” she said. “I haven’t seen any economics or a business case yet, so until we see the numbers we will reserve judgement.”
McCall did confirm, however, that easyJet had no intention of operating any long-haul services, saying it would “distract” it from its core short-haul offering across Europe.
Earlier this year Ryanair announced it was going after corporate travel business and would start selling its fares through global distribution systems (GDSs) and travel management companies (TMCs).
McCall, however, said she is not concerned by the potential competition.
“It only flies to a few primary airports, but not many. If it’s going to be relevant to the business traveller it would need a change of network strategy.
“All our surveys confirm that business travellers want primary airports, convenience and speed. They don’t want to have a one and a half hour transfer to Paris or Vienna.”
McCall said easyJet flew 12 million business travel passengers in the last year, but that it was only “scratching the surface” of what it can do and how it will work with TMCs.
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