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EasyJet opens first new UK base in 12 years and hopes it will reduce fares

EasyJet has opened its first new UK base in 12 years, claiming that additional competition could help bring down fares for passengers.

The no-frills carrier is basing aircraft at Birmingham Airport for the first time, creating 140 jobs for pilots and crew.

The three planes there will operate on 16 new routes from this summer.

Destinations will include Antalya in Turkey, the Greek island of Kos, and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

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The airline said it would also increase frequencies on its existing network, which includes flights to and from Birmingham using aircraft which are not based at the airport.

It equated to more than 50% additional flights each week, easyJet said.

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Chief executive Johan Lundgren told reporters: “This is going to provide a huge amount of additional connectivity, which not only will serve the holidays community, but also a very critical part of the business community as well.”

He also expressed optimism that the new base had the opportunity to grow further in future years.

EasyJet marked the base opening by commissioning street artist Gent 48 to create a mural celebrating “the best of Birmingham” by representing its culture and traditions.

Gent 48, aka Josh Billingham, in front of his new mural. Pic: PA
Image: Gent 48, aka Josh Billingham, in front of his new mural. Pic: PA

Musician Ozzy Osbourne, late poet Benjamin Zephaniah and 11-year-old fundraiser Ryan Hulance are among those honoured in the artwork.

EasyJet’s announcement is part of efforts to bolster capacity this summer – largely on the back of new aircraft deliveries from Airbus.

Mr Lundgren said growth of 8% was expected.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said of the airline’s investment: “EasyJet’s decision to set up this new base at BHX (Birmingham Airport) will be warmly welcomed by thousands of holidaymakers across the West Midlands and beyond.

“The increase in destinations is not only great news for those heading off to the sun this summer but also for our business community, helping them forge new overseas trade links.”

Sky News Source