The budget airline is branching out from cheap holidays travel into the world of troop movements.
Budget airline easyJet announced today that it will be going into partnership with the Ministry of Defence – not to provide cheap holidays in warzones, but rather to give members of the armed forces cheap flights and discounted travel throughout Europe.
The new partnership, which is being managed by the Hogg Robinson Group, means that all ranks will be given what easyJet terms “substantial discounts” on baggage charges while travelling on military business, or returning home on leave. Baggage is often a vexed question for armed forces members taking cheap flights due to the large amounts of “kit” they tend to lug around.
Destinations served by easyJet that are most often requested by military personnel include Belfast, Edinburgh, Gibraltar, Glasgow and Larnaca in Cyprus.
EasyJet said that the deal was good for the armed forces members and good for the airline, due to the government’s “significant buying power”. It estimates it will carry more than 50,000 military passengers a year, and now hopes to make similar deals with other branches of government, plus certain large companies and corporations in the private sector.
The carrier’s chief executive Carolyn McCall commented: “This new partnership will deliver huge benefits and cost savings for the ministry of defence, who in this current economic climate are under enormous pressure to deliver savings for the taxpayer.”
“EasyJet’s aim is to make travel easy and affordable and this new partnership is the first of what we hope will be a series of deals with public and private organisations secured by easyJet’s new corporate sales force.”
The MoD’s head of defence travel Lt Colonel Mike Holmes added: “The MoD is constantly seeking to identify new business initiatives that will help generate savings and offer better value for money to the customer.”
“This new partnership is the first of its kind with any low cost carrier and we are delighted with the positive approach that easyJet has adopted.”