easyJet criticised for climate damage after launching 12 new UK routes

(Alliance News) - easyJet PLC has launched 12 new UK domestic routes amid government rules ...

Alliance News 17 June, 2021 | 1:31PM
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(Alliance News) - easyJet PLC has launched 12 new UK domestic routes amid government rules limiting foreign travel.

The new routes include Liverpool-Bournemouth, Birmingham-Newquay and Manchester-Edinburgh, leading environmentalists to accuse the London-listed budget airline of putting profits over "our planet's health".

Summer 2020 saw huge demand for trips to beach locations as people rushed out of urban areas after the first coronavirus lockdown ended.

Accommodation providers have also seen strong booking numbers this year, partly driven by quarantine and testing requirements for overseas holidays.

Flights between Liverpool and Bournemouth will take one hour whereas rail travel between the same locations involves changing trains once and an overall journey time in excess of five hours.

Travel between Birmingham and Newquay will take one hour and 15 minutes by air, or five hours and 50 minutes by rail with two changes of trains.

The Manchester-Edinburgh route replaces a service lost when Flybe ceased operations in March 2020.

Flights will take 65 minutes, compared with direct trains which take around three hours.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: "Domestic flights have long been a symbol of how our economic system incentivises our own destruction.

"Companies like easyJet claim to take sustainability seriously, but their announcement of 12 new domestic routes, including one under 200 miles, shows they will not prioritise our planet's health over their profits until they are forced to do so by law.

"The UK government claims to be a climate leader but is considering lowering taxes on domestic flights despite them being cheaper than train fares on many routes.

"What will it take to make ministers understand that you can't hit carbon reduction targets without carbon reduction policies?"

The distance between Birmingham and Newquay as the crow flies is just below 200 miles, but by land transport it is about 240 miles.

easyJet is returning to Leeds Bradford and East Midlands airports with new flights to and from Belfast International.

Those routes were previously operated by Stobart Air, which collapsed over the weekend. Stobart Air was owned by Esken Ltd.

Flight frequencies are being ramped up on easyJet's existing routes from Belfast International to Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow

The expansion of easyJet's domestic flying means it is also adding Belfast City, East Midlands and Leeds Bradford airports to its network.

EasyJet's UK manager Ali Gayward said: "We know our customers can't wait to be reunited with friends and family or to explore the UK so these additional new routes today should prove popular and will further strengthen our UK domestic network providing customers with even more choice.

"We were sorry to see the news about Stobart Air and so are pleased to continue to provide key regional connectivity from Belfast International Airport to East Midlands and Leeds Bradford airports, as well as launching easyJet operations for the very first time from Belfast City Airport to London Gatwick.

"We also know it is important to our customers to be reunited with loved ones overseas so we continue to urge the UK government to add more countries to the green list – which can be done safely – to make this possible."

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

source: PA

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Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
easyJet PLC 846.20 GBX -4.02

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