easyJet undertakes a new entry in the holiday buying market with the launching of easyJetHolidays giving travellers the ability to combine easyJet?s 900 flights per day to 75 destinations with over 10,000 hotels across Europe to create personalised TTA-protected holidays.

easyJetHolidays confines the traditional European ?package holiday? to the dustbin of history. According to the company, booking holidays with the high-street travel agents has come to mean fixed holiday durations and inconvenient, inflexible flight departure times; whilst the new breed of online holiday providers offer a more flexible product but can only offer the flights on low-fare airlines by daily ?screen-scraping? and, in some cases, adding a booking surcharge of up to ?15.

Travellers won?t find any travel agents? commissions, fuel surcharges or the booking mark-ups on easyJet flights added by the likes of LastMinute.com. Perennially-unpopular features such as compulsory seven-nights stays, the holiday ?sales rep? or ?accommodation allocated upon arrival? are absent from easyJetHolidays.

easyJet Chief Executive, Andy Harrison, said: ?Package holidays offered through travel agents and tour operators have developed a deserved reputation for everything that is bad about travel ? fixed-term holidays in shabby hotels allocated on arrival with flights at the most inconvenient times on some of Europe?s least-known airlines. No wonder they are a thing of the past.?

?easyJetHolidays is redefining holidays by enabling travellers, for the first time, to combine flights on any of easyJet?s 298 routes with over 10,000 hotels across Europe to create their own easily-bookable holiday combinations in a single place. There are no middlemen, no 7-night stays, no dodgy ?sales-reps? or any of the things that really annoy the independent, savvy traveller.?

?easyJet has completely revolutionised the short-haul air market over the course of the last decade and we are now targeting what remains of the travel agent and tour operator business in Europe. Today really does mark the end of the European ?package holiday? as we knew it,? concluded Harrison.

Hoteltopia partnership

Hotelopia, part of the Online Destination Services Sector of First Choice Holidays PLC has teamed with easyJet, to create an industry ?first? with the launch of easyJetHolidays.com, a package holiday product on a pan-European scale, combining the services of a hotel portal, Hotelopia.com, and a low cost airline.

This is the latest step in Hotelopia?s strategic partnership with the low-cost airline since securing the partnership agreement for Hotelopia to become exclusive accommodation suppliers to easyJetHotels.com in 2004.

Hotelopia?s extensive handpicked bed bank of over 10,000 European hotels and apartments, are now also available with further flexibility and ease of booking.

The partnership agreement sees Hotelopia providing the content and management of the accommodation segment of the website using API technology. The website has been developed after months of confidential development between Hotelopia and easyJet. The new holiday product covers easyJet?s entire network throughout Europe and North Africa, and incorporates Hotelopia?s network of hotels in all easyJet destinations.

Hotelopia offers the brochure style content also available on Hotelopia.com, on each hotel with detailed information on facilities as well as easy-to-use location maps. Hotelopia?s access to a network of 47 offices around Europe and North Africa and access to locally based staff in destinations ensures support is provided as and when needed to travellers away from home.

Commenting on the agreement, Sotiris Damianos, Sales & Marketing Director at Hotelopia said: ?This is an important strategic step in the industry and firmly establishes Hotelopia as the most competitive accommodation provider in its ability to offer these services with a distinctive office network to back up the product.

Related Links: easyJetHolidays, Hotelopia