EasyJet is considering selling holidays through the trade following its deal with Lowcost Travel Group to establish a dedicated holiday brand.
The airline’s chief commercial officer Dana Dunne told Travel Weekly: “We have very good relations through the trade and have been encouraged by the positive feedback. People have given us encouragement. This is definitely an option, but no decision has been made.”
Lowcost Travel Group chief executive Paul Evans agreed. He said: “We are considering selling through the trade. Lowcost Travel is a trade-friendly brand.”
EasyJet will financially protect customers through insurance as now, and not through the Atol scheme, despite Lowcost being an Atol-holder.
Dunne confirmed: “We will provide exactly the same level of protection through insurance.”
The company will respond as necessary to any change in Atol regulations, with the Department for Transport poised to announce proposals for reform. “All we can do is operate within the regulations as they are,” said Dunne.
Easyjet.com/holidays will launch in the UK in “early spring” with a dedicated website. Dunne declined to say how many holidays would be on sale, but said: “We have £1.3 billion in cash, 200 aircraft and one of the largest networks in Europe.”
The deal would put the brand “in the top three to five in the UK market”. Thomas Cook has 93 aircraft and Tui Travel 150.
Dunne confirmed the carrier is considering registering the operation outside the UK. “We are a pan-European airline based in multiple countries, and are looking at the most efficient way of organising ourselves,” he said.
Evans said: “We have the brand, we have the aircraft and we have the hotel stock. It is going to be a very strong proposition.”