Plan to double easyJet passengers at Stansted

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The Independent Online

EasyJet plans to double its Stansted passengers over the next five years, the airport's new owner said yesterday.

MAG, which also owns Manchester airport, added that the deal underlined its potential to solve the South-east's aviation capacity crisis.

The budget airline currently flies on 27 routes out of Stansted, carrying 2.8 million passengers a year, but that is expected to rise to 6 million. A "long-term growth framework", signed this week, will see further routes added, and easyJet grabbing a larger share of the corporate market, with one in five of its customers at Stansted expected to be on business.

The deal was struck just three months after MAG bought the airport for £1.5bn.

Andrew Harrison, Stansted managing director, said: "This deal with easyJet is a statement of intent of how you can grow capacity. There is a balance to be struck between minimal impact of extra flights on the local community but also serving the travelling public's needs.

"In the past, too many people have had to drive past Stansted to get to other airports and that is about to change."