Budget airline will partner with public sector travel manager, Expotel
Budget airline easyJet is to offer business flights to the Scottish public sector as part of a new agreement with the Scottish Government's travel management company.
The partnership deal between easyJet and Expotel, which manages travel for the Scottish Government and a number of other public sector bodies, will come into effect from December 1.
EasyJet said it will deliver low cost, flexible fares between Scotland and London to MSPs and employees within public sector organisations such as NHS Scotland, the police force, local government.
The airline said the details of the deal, which will run as part of its wider business travel package – are “commercially sensitive” though the deals will be at a discount on its standard business travel packages.
Public sector workers travelling for work have to book their travel through Expotel's named providers.
EasyJet has been added as a partner airline with Expotel, joining British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, flybe, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic.
The budget carrier will also be competing for business with Expotel's rail partner Virgin Trains for the Scotland to London business from the public sector.
The new deal follows a similar agreement easyJet announced in September with Hillgate Travel, the travel management company for the Westminster Parliament.
EasyJet claims its use of technology and its policy of filling the majority of seats for each flight means an easyJet passenger's carbon footprint is 22 per cent less than a passenger on a traditional airline.
The airline bases its carbon reduction figure on its entire route network, taking into account an aircraft’s age, the weight the plane is carrying and the number of seats sold for each flight.
Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said:"We believe this new deal will not only offer public sector workers across Scotland easy and affordable travel but will also safeguard the taxpayers’ purse.
“The deal underlines easyJet’s commitment to Scotland and follows the announcement of six new routes at Edinburgh Airport which will help deliver £90 million to the economy.
"This deal is a good example of easyJet’s strategy of increasing the number of business travellers flying with the airline.
“Over one million business travellers fly from Scotland with easyJet each year as a result of our low fares and services to primary airports at convenient times.
“This combination will help save the public sector money whilst reducing their carbon footprint when compared to the same journey with a traditional airline. We look forward to welcoming them on-board soon.”
Deputy First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon added: “This is a tough economic climate and we are always looking for ways to cut down on necessary expenses such as travel.
“This deal between Expotel and easyJet will provide significant savings for public sector organisations in Scotland, including the Scottish Government.
“It comes on the back of easyJet’s recent announcement of two new aircraft and six new routes for Scotland – a welcome boost to our aviation sector at this time.
“Sustainability is a priority for us and I welcome the fact that the carbon footprint of public sector staff travelling by air will be 22 per cent less.”
The Scottish Government has yet to comment on how this deal will affect its own carbon reduction targets.