easyJet is a discount airline operated by the United Kingdom company easyJet Airline Company PLC, partly owned by the entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who also owns several other companies, including the Internet café chain easyInternetcafé. Its routes are generally between the UK and other parts of Europe. In 2002 the company bought the rival airline Go Fly Limited. It reported that the combined operations had sold 1,498,802 seats for flights as of January 2003. Its IATA designator is U2 and its ICAO designator is EZY.
Up until September 2003 easyJet flew exclusively on Boeing 737s, like many budget airlines, but the Swiss base will be the first one to receive brand new Airbus A319 aircraft, which will also be introduced to the UK branch in 2004. They will gradually replace the 737s.
Most recently the airliner set up hubs in Newcastle and Paris, but its traditional home airports are Bristol, London Stansted Airport (from the 'Go' part of the company) and Geneva Cointrin International Airport and London Luton Airport (from the original easyJet before its takeover of Go Fly). London Gatwick Airport is a hub since British Airways reduced its number of flights from there and slots became available for easyJet. In December 2003 easyJet announced it would open a new hub in Berlin, at Schoenefeld airport, from which it will start flying on 11 routes from May 2004.
Amongst easyJet's main low-cost competitors in Europe are Ryanair, Air Berlin, Germanwings and BasiqAir.