From the 21st May 2010, EasyJet will begin offering flights from John Lennon Airport to the Isle of Man, departing every day except Tuesday.
The airline has already noted strong demand for the route in the northeast, where rival firm, Flybe, has held a monopoly on all Isle of Man connections for almost two years, ever since the collapse of the island’s local airline, EuroManx, in May 2008.
EasyJet expects 70,000 people to use its Isle of Man service within the first year of operation, noting its potential for growth as the island becomes more popular with British tourists.
The airline has already reserved a new Airbus A319 aeroplane for the route, which is expected to cost around £23, each way. Not everybody is happy to see EasyJet on the Isle of Man, however.
Flybe chief, Mike Rutter, has already warned travellers away from the ‘new airline in town,’ fearing many broken hearts when EasyJet abandons the route in favour of somewhere exotic and shiny:
“Let’s not kid ourselves.” Mr. Rutter said, “EasyJet’s Isle of Man service has nothing to do with wanting to serve the island, but everything to do with their inability to find a use for their aircraft in Liverpool.”
EasyJet currently operates 27 routes out of Liverpool, including its new route to the Isle of Man.
In similar news, the long-running feud between Ryanair and EasyJet is expected to reach a crescendo in the coming weeks, when the owners of the two airlines, Michael O’Leary and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, take part in a specially chosen challenge: namely, a race around Trafalgar Square or a wrestling match.