British budget airline EasyJet announced a global connections service on Wednesday that will enable passengers to book connecting tickets from Europe to and from worldwide destinations.
Working initially with partners WestJet and Norwegian, EasyJet will offer flights to North and South America, as well as to Singapore. Bookable immediately through EasyJet's website, these flights will connect through London's Gatwick Airport.
Customers will still have to recheck their own baggage between flights, although this can be done in baggage reclaim through the Gatwick Connect service.
EasyJet claims this is the first time a low-cost European carrier has formed such a partnership. Many of its customers already connect with EasyJet flights under their own steam, the airline said, but now it should be easier to buy a through ticket from the beginning of the journey to the final destination.
"Around 70 million passengers flying through an easyJet airport each year are connecting on to other flights, mainly long haul, and it is this market segment that Worldwide by EasyJet will open up for us," said the company's CEO Carolyn McCall.
Many of the world's top airlines already belong to airline alliance schemes, such as the One World partnership or Star Alliance. EasyJet's partnership program will allow the airline to compete more effectively with rivals including British Airways.
It already has plans to expand the service to other key EasyJet airports in Europe, including Milan Malpensa, Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Barcelona.