April 1, 2018 / 10:54 AM / a year ago

MEDIA-EasyJet boss sees consolidation in Europe - SonntagsZeitung

ZURICH, April 1 (Reuters) - The chief executive of British low-cost carrier easyJet expects consolidation among European airlines to continue, he said in an interview with Swiss paper SonntagsZeitung.

** “We had a really good environment for aviation in recent years. The economy was doing well, oil prices were low and still Air Berlin, Alitalia and Monarch went broke,” Johan Lundgren was quoted as saying

** “Even in a good environment weak airlines get weaker, strong airlines can grow. You can imagine what will happen in an economic crisis, and we want to be in position to profit from this.”

** Asked about interest in Italy’s Alitalia, he said: “We are speaking to the Italian government about this. It is clear that we are interested in the short-haul business. I cannot say any more about it.”

** He said easyJet was in talks with Geneva airport and airlines there about introducing EasyJet Worldwide service

** He played down the potential danger of Brexit. “I have spoken with many politicians in Brussels and Britain and no matter their position on Brexit they are confident that the EU and Britain can agree on an aviation treaty. I do not think it will come to interruptions or groundings.”

** He noted as a safeguard it had applied for a European operating license in Austria, from where around 130 aircraft will operate in a year’s time (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter)

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