Budget airline easyJet said it is aiming for a larger share of the business travel market as it announced its 25 millionth passenger through Belfast.
Carly Brear, commercial manager for easyJet UK, said increased competition for airline passengers had pushed prices down, benefiting both leisure and business travellers.
Ms Brear said: “If ever there was a time for business travellers to break out of the standard way of booking business travel, now is the time to do it.
“The perception of easyJet is that is a leisure airline but we have 12 flights a day to three London airports,” she said.
“At a time of financial pressures, value for money is essential for companies.”
EasyJet yesterday said it had carried 25 million passengers since starting up in Belfast 11 years ago.
The lucky passenger, who received a bottle of Champagne and two tickets to any easyJet destination of their choice, was Tristan Haldane from south Belfast. He was on a flight from Luton, the destination of easyJet’s first flight out of Belfast International.
The airline remains committed to growing its Northern Ireland business and its market share is holding up well, Ms Brear said.
While easyJet has reduced frequency on routes such as Nice, it is increasing flights to popular destinations including Malaga and Faro for summer 2010.
Ms Brear said: “What a lot of people want is more flights to core destinations, so, especially in the current market, we think ‘why try something different’. When we are in a less volatile market we’ll feel more comfortable about looking at opening up new routes from Belfast. In the short term it is not the right thing to do.”
The airline now flies to 19 domestic and European destinations from Belfast — carrying around 11,000 people a day on up to 43 flights.