Low-cost airline easyJet has announced it will open a new UK base at Birmingham Airport next March.
The West Midlands facility will become the carrier’s ninth hub in the country and is set to have three Airbus A320 aircraft positioned there.
“We are delighted to be announcing our new base in Birmingham, the UK’s second-largest city, which creates around 100 direct and many more indirect jobs,” said Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO. “Having already served Birmingham for many years, the decision to open a base and grow at the airport now is testament to the strong demand we see, coupled with the importance of the UK market in supporting our profitable growth.”
Nick Barton, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, added: “This landmark investment by easyJet is a huge vote of confidence in the West Midlands.
“Basing three aircraft at BHX will create many more jobs for local people and many more options for customers. Years of hard work have led to this. Together we look forward to years of future success.”
The announcement comes as easyJet reveals it made a headline loss before tax of £411m for the six months to the end of March. However, revenue increased by 80% to £2.68bn for the same period. Last month, the low-cost operator raised its full-year pre-tax profit guidance to £260m for the 12 months to the end of September.
Commenting on today’s results, Lundgren said: "easyJet's optimised network combined with the strong demand seen for flights and holidays, enhanced revenue capabilities and operational resilience, means we enter the summer with confidence. Recent research has shown that travel is the number one priority for household discretionary spend with customers safeguarding their holidays and increasingly opting for [low-cost] airlines and brands which provide great value.
"easyJet holidays expects to deliver full year profits of more than £80 million as it continues its rapid growth in the UK alongside its entry into the European package holiday market. From summer it will start selling holidays in Switzerland which will be the first of a number of planned new European markets.
"All of this progress should result in the acceleration in the delivery of our medium-term targets while we continue to also capture the opportunities ahead.”
The announcement of easyJet’s Birmingham base comes days after leisure carrier Jet2 revealed it would open a hub at Liverpool/John Lennon Airport next March.