EasyJet Says It'll Carry 90 Million Passengers in 2018

U.K. discount carrier also says it's partnering with U.S. manufacturer on hybrid-power plane in the new year.

Winter weather Dec 27th 2017
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EasyJet intends to increase its passengers by more than 10 percent in 2018, CEO Johan Lundgren said in outlining his strategy less than a month after taking the helm of the discount carrier.

The Luton, England-based airline's acquisition of Air Berlin's operation at Tegel airport will bolster efforts to carry roughly 90 million travelers in the new year, up from 80 million passengers in 2017, EasyJet said in a statement

“My ambition is to help easyJet go from strength to strength next year.  I’m incredibly pleased to see that the hard work, energy and momentum that our people have delivered in 2017 will continue next year enabling easyJet to achieve a number of significant milestones," said Lundgren, who became CEO Dec. 1. 

"Reaching these milestones will be a result of the successful delivery of our strategy of purposeful and disciplined growth.  This continues to strengthen our market positions and to allow us to give passengers more choice, low fares and great service,” he added.

The company's transfer program with long-haul airlines will expand to cover some 50 percent of its routes during 2018.

The U.K. carrier said its fleet of Airbus SE planes would exceed 300 planes by spring following its purchase of assets following Air Berlin's bankruptcy and liquidation. EasyJet will begin flying from Tegel Jan. 5, it said.

Lundgren also said the carrier will take part in testing a hybrid-power airplane, partnering with American manufacturer Wright Electric on a nine-seat plane that can run on standard jet fuel as well as battery power in 2018.