Sept. 14--EasyJet has launched a service that will allow passengers to book long-haul trips via its website.
The booking platform -- Worldwide by EasyJet -- will allow its customers to connect with long-haul flights operated by other airlines in one go, rather than individually.
Budget long-haul airline Norwegian, which offers cheap flights to North America, and low-cost Canadian airline WestJet have teamed up with EasyJet for the launch.
Passengers will, for example, be able to book a flight from Belfast to Buenos Aires through EasyJet, flying from Belfast to Gatwick with EasyJet and from Gatwick to Buenos Aires with Norwegian or Toronto with WestJet.
When passengers land at Gatwick they will go to their next flight via the airport's GatwickConnects scheme.
The service allows passengers to pick up their bags and drop them off at a transfer desk before going through security for their next flight.
EasyJet is the first low-cost airline to offer this kind of scheme, as it seeks to muscle in on the market for connections at hub airports. Peter Duffy, EasyJet's chief commercial officer, said it would now be cheaper for passengers who must use expensive legacy carriers for long trips.
Carolyn McCall, chief executive, said: 'Long-haul carriers have been asking to work with EasyJet for some time. The new technology platform has now allowed us to do so.' The move also increases pressure on British Airways at Gatwick, RBC analyst Damian Brewer said, where it lacks the short-haul feed for its intercontinental routes.
Duffy said: 'The way we have designed Worldwide by EasyJet means we can profitably access a major new pool of customers without undermining EasyJet's operating model and punctuality. We know there is a real customer demand for making flight connections on EasyJet easier.'
He added: 'This will open up lots of new competition for long-haul travel and will drive prices down.'
EasyJet said it will also start to sell stand-alone tickets from other partner airlines.
Loganair tickets will be available on its website from next month.
EasyJet said it was also in advanced talks with Middle East and Far East carriers who are also looking to use its Worldwide platform.
WHERE YOU CAN FLY TO
÷ Changi Airport, Singapore
÷ Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina
÷ LAX airport, Los Angeles
÷ Calgary Airport, Alberta, Canada
÷ Pearson International airport, Toronto
÷ John F Kennedy International Airport, New York
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