EasyJet’s New Partnership With Norwegian & WestJet At London Gatwick

Legacy carriers are facing increased competition from low-cost airlines in all segments. Over the past few years, low-cost long-haul has exploded, and we now have Norwegian, WOW Air, WestJet, AirAsia and many more offering no-frills service from North America to other continents.

Traditionally, low-cost airlines have been regional and focused on short-haul flying, especially the biggest names such as Southwest, Ryanair and EasyJet. Things are clearly changing. JetBlue now wants to start transatlantic flights, while the European airlines are finding their own innovative solutions to join the growing market.

In the latest news, EasyJet, Norwegian and WestJet have announced a partnership to offer connecting flights through Gatwick to North and South America. 

EasyJet has a bigger European network than Norwegian, while Norwegian serves a dozen long-haul destinations from Gatwick, so there will be a lot of new connection opportunities for each airline. The concept is called “Worldwide by EasyJet” and will utilize GatwickConnects services. This is exciting, in theory, and will open up a lot of new destinations for Americans looking to fly low-cost to Europe.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few issues with this new service. Firstly, the minimum connection time will be an insane 150 minutes. In comparison, Frankfurt and Munich have 45 and 30 minute minimum connection times, respectively.

Essentially, the only difference is that you can now purchase your flights on the same ticket. You’ll still be required to collect your bags and recheck them at flight connections. There is also no mention of the fact that EasyJet and Norwegian operate from different terminals at Gatwick. Since there are no connecting buses, assuming no changes are made, you’ll have to take a transit train and reclear security. Smooth connection, huh? WestJet should be a little smoother, but their long-haul fleet looks like it should be avoided.

Copyright Photo: D.Wilson/PFN

Historically, Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos and Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary have been quite close, so I’m surprised to see this partnership with EasyJet. The more competition the better, in most cases. I look forward to seeing how this develops.

Comments

  1. it’s really lipstick on a pig. The fares are additive, thus rarely making them more competitive than FSCs, MCT is unreasonably long, and you still have to manually move the bags yourself.

    Add to that, their sparse list of interline partners make IRROPS protection rather unattractive, even when covered under a single e-ticket.

  2. You forgot to mention Loganair. The best way to The Highlands of Scotland and of course KOI where I work 😉

  3. easyjet won’t even connect internal easyjet->easyjet flights from the same terminal so I am surprised they would offer connections with other carriers.

  4. Actually there is a bus run by the airport that will take you between the north and south terminals airside, the catch is it is before you clear immigration so it only works if you have no checked luggage. We did it this Past June, arrived from Calgary on AirTransat and connected to EasyJet to Venice. (Yes not exactly aspirational airlines but it was Cheap!!!!). We didn’t utilize it on the return as we checked bags, bought too much!

  5. ” WestJet should be a little smoother, but their long-haul fleet looks like it should be avoided.”

    Westjet has had maintenance and on time performance problems with their ex QANTAS 767s but it looks like it has improved dramatically. They have 787s on order to expand their international routes.
    “WestJet announced the purchase of up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft; 10 are firm orders with delivery to begin between 2019 and 2021, and 10 are options for delivery between 2020 and 2024.”

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