EasyJet – carrying 60 million passengers per year

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Seen as the first of the raft of budget airlines, EasyJet became synonymous with the boom in low-cost air travel towards the end of the last millennium.

The success of the business after its launch in 1995 arguably prompted some of the biggest changes in the airline industry, and it has been argued that EasyJet instigated the advent of cut-price flight operators – with BMI Baby, Flybe and many other carriers now offering similar services.

Currently, EasyJet are ranked as the second largest budget carrier in the industry – the top spot is currently taken by Irish operators Ryanair. Based out of their hub at London Luton Airport, the business is responsible for earning revenues of around £4 billion per year, carrying an estimated 60 million passengers annually.

EasyJet were the first real pioneers in cutting operating costs – savings that were then passed on to customers in lowered flight prices. In addition to offering additional savings for those booking online (due to the savings EasyJet make on not hiring additional customer service staff for their contact centres), there are charges to reserve seating, for all food and drink aboard the aircraft and for anything above that legally required for air travel.

Founded by Greek entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the company was the catalyst for a number of other businesses based around the same brand – with EasyCar, EasyBus, EasyHotel and EasyGym all offering low-cost solutions for their respective industries, with mixed results that have never quite matched the accomplishments of EasyJet.