UK-based LCC easyJet will enable passengers to connect with partner airlines through a new booking platform. It will also offer tickets on behalf of partner airlines.

The system, dubbed Worldwide by easyJet, does away with traditional interlining agreements and allows passengers to make connections by buying tickets for easyJet’s partner airlines through the company’s website.

The facility will initially be available only through London’s Gatwick Airport, one of easyJet’s major centers, but will be expanded to cover other major European airports where the LCC has a strong presence, including Paris Charles De Gaulle, Milan Malpensa, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Geneva.

The airline said traditional interline or codeshare arrangements will be replicated by passengers “self-connecting” and sales partnerships with other carriers through a digital, virtual hub devised by Icelandic travel technology company Dohop.

The system will initially allow passengers to book onward flights with easyJet’s two launch partners, Canada’s WestJet and Norwegian. The LCC intends to sign up more airlines to the system, “with talks already far advanced with Middle Eastern and Far Eastern carriers among others.”

EasyJet said Sept 13 it would not hold flights for connecting passengers. Passengers using the system would be given a 2 hour-30 minute “minimum connection time.” If passengers miss a connecting flight they would be transferred to the next available flight.

“Around 70 million passengers flying through an easyJet airport each year are connecting on to other flights, mainly long-haul, and it is this market segment that Worldwide by easyJet will open up for us,” easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said.

“Because of easyJet’s strong positions at Europe’s leading airports and our customer focus long-haul carriers have been asking to work with easyJet for some time and the new technology platform has now allowed us to do so.”

“We know there is a real customer demand for making flight connections on easyJet easier, CCO Paul Duffy added.

Almost 200,000 easyJet passengers a year already self-connect through Gatwick Airport.

The London Luton-based LCC is also starting to sell standalone tickets on behalf of partner airlines alongside the connectivity product on its website. 

Scottish regional carrier Loganair has been signed up as a launch partner and its tickets will be available on from next month. This will allow easyJet passengers to book onward flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Loganair’s route network in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Alan Dron