1. COMPANY OVERVIEW
EasyJet was lunched in November 1995 with a fleet of two Boeing 737-300 aircraft flying from London to Glasgow and Scotland. Its mission was to offer low-cost airline service to the masses. This was successfully achieved by offering customers low fares with its no frill flights and adopting an efficiency-driven operational model; high brand awareness, maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction making it one of the leading low-cost airlines in Europe. Extensive public relations and advertising campaign slogans by easyJet resulted in increasing demand for more flights resulting in the creation of new routes. The concept adopted by easyJet was the use of one type of aircraft which was brand new, point-to-point short haul travel, rapid turnaround time, high aircraft utilisation and no in-flight meals. This concept also involved avoiding the use of travel agents and issuance of tickets thereby encouraging sales over the internet. By 1998, easyJet had acquired six Boeing 737-300 aircraft and flew twelve routes in five countries. By 1999, the airline had expanded with a fleet of eighteen Boeing 737-300 aircraft and twenty-seven routes in Europe creating a niche for itself in the low-cost airline business.
2. THE SUCCESS OF EASYJET SO FAR
Much of easyJets' success was due to intensive research of a United States owned low-cost airline Southwest Airline'. Most of the concepts for easyJet were adopted from Southwest airline, yet easyJet added its own touch of ingenuity which reduced operating costs even further. EasyJet was strategically located at London's Luton airport. Its location enabled it to take advantage of the low labour costs, close proximity to downtown London and also low charges on airport fees. In order to maximize its cost cutting, the airline operated an open-plan, paper less office with no personal secretaries. Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the CEO of easyJet, championed the idea of no frills travel. The only free item on board their flights was easyRider, the airline's in-flight magazine. This concept alone saved costs of at least ₤14 per passenger. Moreover, internet sales of tickets were encouraged reducing operating cost by 25% through the elimination of additional reservation agents, computer reservation systems and travel agents. Even with the extensive cots in cost to keep prices low, easyJet did not compromise on the quality and safety of flights and aircraft. The airline flew brand new planes, hired experienced pilots with competitive salaries. Even flight attendants salaries were not compromised, which meant that customers would arrive onboard easyJet, to meet friendly staff smiling at all times. One of the more distinctive characteristics of Easy Jet was its approach to customer satisfaction. CEO, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, enjoyed interacting with customers of Easy Jet. A few examples of this would include him working the phone lines selling tickets, replying to queries both by phone and email. The direct booking of easyJet flights through the internet or by phone was convenient for customers. As soon as the customer had paid by credit card, they received a six character booking reference number, which was the only thing required to board the plane. In addition, punctuality was important. If a flight arrived more than four hours late, a letter of apology with Stelios signature would be send to the customer, including a full refund. Customer satisfaction was believed to ensure many repeat customers. Creating high brand awareness was very critical to the success of Easy Jet. By 1998, Easy Jet brand had a recognition rate of 88% in London and a brand awareness of 82% in Geneva through extensive public relations and advertising campaign. It also took the opportunity to make some news by publicly attacking its competitors.
3. ANALYSIS OF MARKET SITUATION
3.1 Macro environment (PESTL)
We take a look at macro...