EasyJet is a British budget airline group offering low-cost flights and holiday packages across Europe. It was founded in 1995 by entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who recognised the vacancy in the market for budget air travel. Its headquarters are located at London Luton Airport. EasyJet is Europe’s leading short-haul airline, with the largest presence across the region’s top 100 routes.
The company now sits under the Easy family of brands, which has expanded over the years to include hotels, car rental, taxi services, and more. It has bases in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland.
What does the company do?
EasyJet is known for its low-cost flight offering, although it also provides services such as aircraft leasing, financing, and guided tours. It’s split into two operating segments: Airline and Holidays.
Claiming the title of “Europe’s number one network”, the company is a market share leader in popular airports across the region. It’s able to charge affordable fares due to several strategic factors: there are a higher number of seats per aircraft (and therefore passengers); the fleet is younger and requires less maintenance; and the aircraft has a higher load factor, reducing energy costs. Its fleet includes the Airbus A319, A320, A320neo and A321neo models.
The Holidays segment was launched in 2019 and focuses on encouraging existing customers to book accommodation with easyJet rather than a third party. This covers all-inclusive luxury hotels, adult-only spaces, self-catering properties, villas, and honeymoon suites.
The airline operates more than 900 domestic and international flight services across 35 countries, including primary airports, routes, and slots. Approximately 84% of travel booked with easyJet is for leisure.
Since the company was established, it has continued to grow the number of passengers carried each year, reaching a peak of 96.1 million in 2019. However, due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on all airlines, this number decreased dramatically, to 48.1 million in 2020, and 20.4 million in 2021, according to Statista. Passenger figures are generally higher between July and September.
Overview of EZJ stock
EasyJet stock is listed on London Stock Exchange under the ticker EZJ, after becoming a publicly traded company in November 2000. After many successful years, it was added to the blue-chip FTSE 100 stock index in 2013, as one of the UK’s largest companies by market capitalisation. However, as passenger footfall and revenues decreased during the pandemic, it was demoted to the FTSE 250 in the summer of 2020.
The easyJet share price traded consistently around 500p or less, with several jumps and dips, until 2013, when the shares more than doubled compared with the previous year, and the company was added to the FTSE 100. Strong sales and the announcement of a special dividend helped to boost the share price, according to Citywire.
The EZJ share price continued to climb for a couple of years, reaching an all-time high of 1,590p in March 2015. However, it was hit badly during the Covid-19 pandemic, along with many other aviation companies. EasyJet shares dropped from 1,270p in February 2020 to 400p within a few weeks, as lockdowns were initiated across the world, and the company’s fleet was grounded. Since this point, the shares have struggled to retain previous levels, fluctuating between the 500p and 1,000p marks.