EasyJet reportedly plans new routes from Glasgow as rival Ryanair cuts routes from the airport.
The UK low cost carrier wants to help “redress the balance” with Edinburgh airport, according to UK country manager Ali Gayward.
Four EasyJet aircraft are based at Glasgow, but she said the scale of its operations there – on 19 routes – was the equivalent of eight aircraft’s worth of flying.
She told The Scotsman newspaper: “Glasgow is a really important strategic base for us.” The airline has eight aircraft based at Edinburgh, where it has 41 routes.
Gayward said: “We are keen to see what we can do to redress the balance across Scotland. I would like us to do more flying from Glasgow. We expect to announce some new destinations this winter.”
Only limited expansion was initially possible because of the lack of available new aircraft, but there would be “more opportunity” in two years’ time.
Ryanair announced in February it would cut its Glasgow routes from 17 to three in winter, blaming the Scottish government’s failure to halve Air Passenger Duty. Its single Glasgow-based aircraft will be switched to Edinburgh.
Ministers had planned to replace APD last month with an air departure tax of £6.50 per passenger on short-haul flights from Scottish airports, compared with £13 APD.
However, finance secretary Derek Mackay said last October the Scottish government needed to secure continued tax exemption for Inverness airport from the European Commission.
Ryanair chief commercial officer David O’Brien said in February: “Ryanair regrets these cuts in the weaker Glasgow market where efforts to stimulate low fare demand are severely hampered by the continuing burden of APD.”
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