New routes and charges backlash for low-cost carriers

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Budget airline EasyJet has announced plans to expand its European network in 2010 not only in its frequency of flights but new routes. For 2010 alone, the carrier will be adding a further 21 routes to 49 already planned including destinations such as Turkey, Greece and Croatia, to its current expansion programme. Also daily flights will be introduced from Amsterdam and Paris to Prague and the airline plans to expand its fleet by 15 jets by September next year. Last month, the company announced that chief executive Andy Harrison is planning to leave the Board in June this year. In other news, its competitor Ryanair has been branded ‘childish’ by the Office of Fair Trading chief executive John Fingleton for using a legal loophole to charge online customers with an extra credit card charge. Current laws state that there must be at least one method on offer in which customers will not occur charges and Ryanair has added charges to all but one form of payment, a pre-paid MasterCard. Fingleton says: “It’s almost like taunting consumers and on some level it’s quite puerile – it’s almost childish.”
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