Quelle surprise! EasyJet woos the French establishment

Gone, it seems, are the days when the French government only supported its own.

None other than French Minister for tourism and consumption, Luc Chatel, was on hand at easyJet’s bash in downtown Paris to launch its new base at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

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Here is M. Chatel (right) cutting a ribbon with M. Harrison, the easyJet CEO.EasyJet is making big steps into France – not always the easiest of markets – this year. It is positioning three Airbus A319s at CDG adding to the six already operating from Paris Orly while another two will go to Lyon in April.

It says the additions will take its French traffic from 6 million passengers in 2007 to 12 million in 2011 and in the process make it the country’s second largest airline.

That would be number two after a certain behemoth in the shape of Air France-KLM. IT will offer 28 routes to destinations in France and beyond.

EasyJet says it is currently France’s second largest airline with a 6% market share. Air France currently controls 55% of the market.

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