Published On: Thu, Apr 3rd, 2014

easyJet targets Israeli business passengers

The low-cost airline is offering flexible tickets for changing flights and destinations including free luggage.

Travel,    Tourism,

Having proved popular with Israeli vacationers, low-cost carrier easyJet plc (LSE: EZJ) is introducing flexi tickets for business passengers, which offer flexible terms for changing flights and destinations, and includes free luggage.

“Business is a good product. One of every four of our passengers in Europe is a business traveler, ” easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall told “Globes”. “Of all the places we operate in Europe, Israel has the smallest proportion of business travelers.”

Israeli travel agents are not afraid that low-cost airlines will take over the business traveler market. “Despite the entry of low-cost airlines to Israel, we do not yet see substantial movement of business passengers to low-cost, ” ISSTA Lines (TASE:ISTA) subsidiary American Express Travel Chairman Yaron Levy told “Globes”. He says that, for now, Israelis are not seeking lower fares, so the product is not attractive. “An Israeli wants to get to a meeting refreshed and on time. In other words, he wants to enjoy the business lounge, fly at a convenient time, and not in the middle of the night, and land at a central airport, not at a secondary airport and take the train for another hour to reach the city center.”

Levy says that business travelers account for 40% of Israel’s outgoing passenger market. “This large business is the reason why low-cost carriers want business travelers.”

McCall said, “easyJet has become one the airlines with the largest volume of activity in Israel, and we intend to maintain this. We’ll increase the number of flights to Israel. We’re now examining several options. We’re an airline that responds to demand.”

McCall added that easyJet is working with the Israel Airports Authority to turn Ben Gurion Airport’s Terminal 1, where it operates, into a duty-free terminal. “Terminal 1 has all the infrastructures to operate all services for passengers, ” she said.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news –

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