Bloomberg News

EasyJet Turns to Wombats to Increase Share of Business Market

September 23, 2011

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- EasyJet Plc will next month begin its first major television advertising campaign to lure passengers from carriers such as British Airways and Air France- KLM Group and boost its share of the business travel market.

“We’re very keen to get the message out that EasyJet is flying more and more business people into Europe,” Peter Duffy, EasyJet’s marketing chief, said in a telephone interview today.

EasyJet will air a series of three 20-second clips, featuring music from Liverpool band The Wombats, starting Oct. 5 on television in the U.K. and then in countries in continental Europe, including France and Switzerland.

Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall has made raising EasyJet’s share of the business-passenger market a cornerstone of her strategy since taking the helm in July 2010. The carrier said yesterday that it will log record pretax earnings this year as demand for business flights and short-haul travel lifts revenue.

Passengers buying flexible tickets for travel in October and November will be offered a free flight if their plane arrives more than 15 minutes late. The so-called Flexi fares have been on sale since November and are targeted at business passengers who need to change their flights at short notice.

EasyJet surged yesterday after it said it would make a one- off dividend payment of 150 million pounds ($232 million), in addition to paying its first-ever regular dividend payment worth about 40 million pounds. The company said it will report record pretax earnings of 240 million to 250 million pounds for the year ending Sept. 30.

--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Jerrold Colten.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Rothwell in London at srothwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net


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