easyJet was established on the 9th of March, 1992, starting operations one month later with two wet-leased Boeing 737-200s that operated from London Luton Airport to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Since easyJet did not receive its Air Operator’s Certificate in time, during the first 3 years of existence, its aircraft were operated by GB Airways, and subsequently by Air Foyle.
easyJet incorporated offers low-cost services of its own in 1995, but still operates under the AOC of Air Foyle and GB Airways.
In April, 1996, easyJet takes delivery of its first wholly-owned aircraft (the previous two had been leased) and goes international with first services to Amsterdam from London Luton.
One year later, easyJet.com is launched, but online bookings are not available until 1998.
In September, 1997, an order or 12 brand new Boeing 737-300s is placed.
One month later, the airline receives its Air Operating Certificate, and launches its second UK base at Liverpool Airport.
In July, 1998, easyJet orders 15 brand-new Boeing Next Generation 737-700.
In October, 1999, easyJet is voted “Best Low Cost Airline” by readers of Business Traveller magazine for the first time, while Marketing magazine describes the launch of easyJet as “one of the 100 great marketing moments of the 20th century” only two months later.
The following year, in November, easyJet shares are formally admitted to the London Stock Exchange at an offer price of 310p.
In December, 2001, easyJet establishes London Gatwick as its fifth base and becomes the second largest scheduled airline at the airport, after reaching the ten million seats sold online milestone.
In August, 2002, easyJet and Go complete their merger, creating Europe’s number one low-cost airline.
One year later, the first Airbus A319 goes into service in Geneva, the first of an order of 120 aircraft expected to arrive over the next 4 years.
New bases and routes are being added to the network in the following 3 years.
In July, 2004, easyJet removes the 5 kg weight restriction on hand baggage.
During May, 2005, easyJet welcomes its 100 millionth passenger.
In October, the new base at Milan’s Malpensa Airport becomes easyJet’s 16th base in Europe and first in Italy.
In early 2006, easyJet becomes the first major low-cost airline to offer internet check-in for its UK passengers, offering a 15-minute gate arrival time for those travelling only with hand baggage.
By the end of 2006, a few new bases and routes join the network, and in early 2007, Microsoft launches the pioneering “easyJet desktop gadget” that allows customers to personalize flight information and booking services using this Microsoft Vista technology.
In June 2007, easyJet announced plans for construction of its own airliner, dubbed EcoJet, but no news about it emerged since then.
In late October, 2008, the Dortmund base was closed.
In December 2009, easyJet discontinued flights at East Midlands, choosing to concentrate on higher priority markets.
In the same year, easyJet became a really pan European airline. It was operating over 400 routes in 27 countries, with more than 175 aircrafts. For the first time, over 50% of its passengers originated from different countries than the UK.
In February 2010, easyJet became the UK’s biggest airline reaching 500 itineraries. In September, the airline was voted the Best Low-Fares Airline for the tenth consecutive year, this at the Business Traveller magazine awards. In November, easyJet reaffirmed its strategy of ‘Turning Europe Orange’ and launched flexible prices targeted at business travelers.
In January 2011, the airline expanded its fleet and confirmed orders for 15 supplementary Airbus A320 airplanes.
At the end of 2011, easyJet, Nicarnica Aviation and Airbus teamed up for high altitude testing of Airborne Volcanic Object Imaging Detector ash recognition equipment on their A340-300 test plane at the speed and height of commercial aircraft.
In January 2012, the airline expanded the network by opening 4 new bases in Lisbon, Southend, Toulouse and Nice. The last two opened with 2 Airbus 319 aircrafts in each, taking the number of easyJet bases in France to 5 (along with Orly, Lyonand Charles de Gaulle) with a total fleet of 24 planes. In March 2012, easyJet marked opening of London Southend, the first new airport in South East.
In June 2012, the airline proudly announced a commitment of three years with pan European in order to raise funds for UNICEF, the world’s most important children’s organization.
In November 2012, easyJet introduced assigned seating on all of the flights, normally over 1000 per day. The airline trialed this kind of seating in April with approximately 2 million passengers flying on 12.500 assigned seating flights. In reaction to the success of this trial, the airline decided to compress allocated seating across the entire network.
In January 2013, easyJet was awarded the privileges to fly the last great monopoly itinerary in European aviation: between the airports Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino in a landmark verdict by the Italian opposition authority (AGCM). Therefore, easyJet launched journeys from early 2013 operating Airbus A319s on 5 services a day between the two mentioned airports.
On 18 March 2013, the airline launched flights between London Gatwick and Moscow, the airline’s 100th itinerary operating from the London airport. In the same month, the airline announced a raft of procedures to improve fuel efficiency and to reduce the emissions of CO2. The fuel savings will get through a new, lightweight trolleys and lighter seats onboard together with aerodynamic enhancements like sharklets, which consist in an enlarged wing tip that make wings more efficient.
On 25 September 2013, the airline stated that a base in Hamburg will be opened as well as its fleet in Berlin will increase, all of this in the spring of 2014.
In 2014, easyJet carried more than 65 million passengers, becoming the second-largest European airline by the number of passengers carried, after Ryanair.
In April 2015, easyJet took delivery of its 250th Airbus A320 aircraft. In November, the airline was operating Europe’s largest and the world’s fourth largest Airbus single-aisle fleet.
In March 2016, easyJet ceased all flights to Moscow.
Between 2017 and 2022, easyJet is scheduled to take delivery of 130 Airbus A320neo aircraft in the 186-seat configuration.
In July 2018, easyJet took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft, the largest member of the Airbus single-aisle family and, with 235 seats in easyJet’s configuration, the largest aircraft in easyJet’s all-Airbus fleet. In November, easyJet ordered an additional 17 Airbus A320neos, taking its total order, including the Airbus A321neo, to 147.
In April 2019, easyJet opened its Nantes-Atlantique base, the airline’s 29th base in Europe and 7th in France.
At present, the airline operates almost 1000 itineraries with over 300 aircraft, from over 150 departure airports, in 36 countries from 29 bases. In a year, the airline looks after more than 80 million passengers.
No easyJet aircraft has been involved in a fatal incident so far.