easyJet to take tougher stance on failing routes

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UK low-cost carrier easyJet says it is taking a tougher look at underperforming routes. The move comes as the airline industry grapples with rocketing fuel prices that are eating into profit margins.

The carrier's chief executive Carolyn McCall was quoted in a UK newspaper during its inaugural flight to the Jordanian capital Amman at the weekend as saying in future it would be much more "brutal" when looking at its route network.

An easyJet spokesman says that the Luton-based operator "is going to be more discerning in responding to passenger demand and will change routes accordingly". It last week announced it was dropping Helsinki from its network after poor originating passenger figures from the Finnish capital.

While easyJet, like any airline, responded to public demand when determining routes, if passenger numbers were declining: "We won't continue routes for the sake of it," says the spokesman. "We're taking a tougher look at what's happening out there and responding accordingly."