easyJet reduces air fares as UK train prices continue to rise

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The annual UK train price change came into effect today and sees fares increase by an average of 1.1% in 2016 while easyJet’s flight prices are lower than they were 20 years ago.

The airline famously launched air fares for the price of a pair of jeans back in 1995 with starting fares between Luton and Glasgow of £29.00.

Two decades on and starting fares on the same route are cheaper at £27.49 – a reduction of 5.2% despite Air Passenger Duty tax increasing by more than 160% in the same period. The official UK inflation rate has gone up 78% since November 1995.

In comparison, a train fare from London Luton to Glasgow is considerably higher and takes on average over four hours longer*.

Peter Duffy, easyJet’s commercial director, said:

We consistently see the price of national train fares increasing year after year but at easyJet our fares have actually reduced. When easyJet started 20 years ago, it typically cost a couple of hundred pounds to fly into Europe. We challenged that and by keeping our fares low we changed the way that people think about travel, enabling a new generation of travellers of all ages, incomes and interests to enjoy Europe.

“We’re thrilled that by staying true to our roots our Scottish fares and many others across Europe now cost less than our original launch fare of £29.00 in 1995.

“As well as being more affordable, travelling with easyJet is often also quicker and easier than travelling by rail – as well as having the additional benefit of our friendly service.

easyJet undertook research last month as part of its 20th birthday on how much the price of popular products have changed since the airline started in 1995.

Property is the biggest riser – good news for sellers but bad for buyers. In 1995 the average UK house sold for £68,183. Today it is £295,000, a rise of a staggering 332%

But football fans are footing the bill for the rise of the premier league – in 1995 a ticket to Arsenal, then playing at Highbury, cost just £12.50. Today a similar seat at the Emirates is £45.69, up 265%.

Pop fans have also paid the price for the growing popularity and increasing gentrification of the Glastonbury music festival. A weekend ticket in 1995 was a mere £65 but today is £228, an increase of 251%.

Many other household essentials have rocketed in price.  Petrol, lager and cigarettes have all seen inflation busting rises since 1995 though much of that is down to the extra tax levied on them by the government who have also raised stamp prices by 152% from 25p then to 63p now.

However there is some good news for consumers with both tea bags and milk having seen their prices held back by the growth of budget supermarkets and loss leader promotions.

In common with easyJet’s Glasgow starting fare, other items have also dropped in price including games consoles, books and car tax for low emissions cars.

*Based on information on nationalrail.co.uk and easyJet for travel on Thursday 4 February 2016. Train travel from Luton Airport Parkway to Glasgow, flights from Luton Airport to Glasgow Airport. 

04 Jan 2016

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