Swiss airline EasyJet has been in the news as of late. The low-cost carrier has said that cancellations and delays caused by staff shortages cost them £133 million over its latest quarter to the end of June. The matter was made almost exclusively worse by the expediential growth of passenger traffic. 

The carrier reports that its operations have now “normalised” after it was forced to make cuts to its schedule to cope. 

Now, it really does seem as if its troubles are in the rearview mirror. Yesterday, the carrier announced a dramatic expansion of its operations from Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport, causing easyJet to become the second largest airline in Lisbon, Portugal based on capacity. 

The only way is up 

The European Commission allocated easyJet a total of 18 new daily slots, allowing the popular low-cost carrier to add 21 new Lisbon routes to its existing operations. The carrier will now have a total network from Lisbon of 32 routes. 

The addition of three more Airbus A321neo aircraft, easyJet’s largest aircraft, will facilitate the launch and ensure that the airline can serve all routes smoothly. The A321neo will benefit easyJet’s sustainability goals by reducing fuel consumption by 15%.

Airbus A321neo
The A321neo can house as many as 224 passengers in a high-density arrangement. | © Airbus

TAP Air Portugal, the state-owned flag carrier airline of Portugal, previously held the 18 daily slots now owned by easyJet. However, the Star Alliance carrier had to give the slots back to the European Commission when it accepted a €2.55 million financial restructuring package. 

What’s on offer?

easyJet will launch a total of 21 new routes. Out of the 21, 8 of which involve an increase in frequency to preexisting destinations. For example, the Birmingham – Lisbon service will see a new twice-a-week winter increase. 

The new routes include the likes of Barcelona, Porto Santo, Nice, Milan Bergamo, Zurich, and more.

All new flights are scheduled to go on sale from 15 August. 

Exciting times for easyJet

The introduction of 21 new routes to Lisbon will make easyJet the number one carrier between the UK and Portugal. 

The excitement is evidently palpable amongst easyJet’s top brass. José Lopes, easyJet Country Manager for Portgual, commented on the news:

“We are extremely glad to unveil part of easyJet’s new network at Lisbon airport that will start operating later in 2022 and which will turn easyJet into the second largest carrier operating at Lisbon airport. We are particularly happy to be bringing the A321 neo to Lisbon which will contribute to making our operations more sustainable.” 

He continued:

“Despite the challenging external environment, we’ve never stopped investing in Portugal in the last two years, opening a new base In Faro in 2021 and continuously launching new routes from both Lisbon and Porto throughout the period. By the end of the year, we will have 19 aircraft based in Portugal which will enable us to carry more than 10 million passengers every year, contributing significantly to the connectivity of the country and playing a key role in supporting the national economy.”

Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport
Humberto Delgado Airport is home to 2 runways and is the main international gateway to Portugal. | © vinci-concessions.com

From the start of this year’s winter season, easyJet will have a total of 19 aircraft based in Portugal and a network of more than 80 routes to and from the country. And following this expansion, easyJet expects to carry 10.3 million passengers annually to and from the European country. Impressive right? 

Well, regardless of these impressive statistics, easyJet will still fall short of TAP Air Portugal’s capacity at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport and will rank as the second largest airline.

In the last 26 years, easyJet has carried approximately 69 million passengers to and from Portugal. The carrier is no stranger to the country and has undoubtedly made it clear that it is here to stay. 

Will you be flying to or from Lisbon with easyJet? Comment below to share your thoughts with us. 

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