EasyJet invests €100m in French base expansion

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EasyJet is investing around €100 million ($132.2 million) in its new bases in Nice and Toulouse, which open for business later this month and were formally launched today by chief executive Carolyn McCall.

The UK low-cost airline will base one 156-seat Airbus A319 in each airport and will launch six new routes from each airport at the end of March, plus a new service between the two cities. The new services will have the capacity of 500,000 additional seats through to the end of the year.

The French expansion brings EasyJet's base count to 22, with Southend and Lisbon due to join the base network in April.

"EasyJet has grown to become the second largest airline in France offering 170 destinations from 16 airports across the country," says McCall. "The investment of around €100 million serves to demonstrate our long-term commitment to France."

Over 12 million of EasyJet's 55 million passengers arrive or depart from France, which makes it the airline's second largest market after the UK.

The new services from Nice include Barcelona, Bordeaux, Lille, Nantes, Naples and Venice. From Toulouse EasyJet is adding flights to Basel-Mulhouse, Brussels, Porto, Lille and Venice, as well as flights between Toulouse and Nice.