EasyJet opened its sixth French base in Bordeaux-Merignac airport (BOD) on March 28, 2018.  During the ceremony, Johan Lundgren, CEO of the company, revealed his expectation of more changes on the European aviation market in years to come.

Shifting market

France is easyJet’s biggest market after Britain. In the meantime, easyJet Europe (the sister company that was created after Brexit) is skyrocketing at Berlin’s Schönefeld (SXF) and Tegel (TXL) airports.

EasyJet is the third company to open an airbase in Bordeaux-Merignac after Air France and Volotea. The low-cost carrier represents 30% of the airport flights, with 31 destinations available. It will take advantage of the airport’s low-cost terminal, billi (for “Bordeaux illico”), which should even be expanded to meet the company’s needs, according to the airport director, Pascal Personne. Three A320s will be based in Bordeaux for now.

Foreboding changes

Brexit shifted the centre of gravity of aviation market from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, according to Johan Lundgren,CEO of easyJet since December 2017: “There’s no doubt that the growth potential is in Europe. The UK will always be a critical market, but we have more to go at in the European mainland.”

For Lundgren, the European market will change in the years to come. “I’m convinced easyJet is part of the companies who will become stronger and stronger. But there will be players who are weak today and who will continue to become weaker and also potentially disappear,” he said at Bordeaux inauguration. This means more opportunities for easyJet to acquire bankrupt companies, like it did with Air Berlin (AB1) by overtaking the short-haul routes from Berlin and 25 of its planes.