The CEO of British low-cost carrier easyJet has supported calls for airport security to be tightened around the world following the Egypt plane crash. As Hayley Platt reports, she spoke to Reuters as the airline which pioneered budget flying celebrates its 20th anniversary.
It's been 20 years since Britain's easyJet first took to the skies. But the anniversary celebrations were tinged with sadness. The airline's been ferrying passengers back from Sharm al-Sheikh following the weekend's plane crash involving a Russian jet. The tragedy has impacted many airlines. And easyJet's CEO Carolyn McCall is calling for improved airport security (SOUNDBITE) (English) EASYJET CEO, CAROLYN MCCALL, SAYING: "We never compromise on safety or security and of course what has happened in Sharm is absolutely tragic and we feel terrible. We support the British government in its efforts to tighten security measures in airports where ever that is necessary and that will be a global thing." easyJet was a pioneer of low-cost travel. It was started by British entrepreneur Stelios (HAJI ENEW) Haji-Ioannou with just two aircraft. It now has 250 planes, flying more than 78 routes across 31 countries. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EASYJET CEO, CAROLYN MCCALL, SAYING: "It started with easyJet making travel very very easy for people and of course very affordable. You could fly anywhere for about 29 pounds. If you think about air travel 20 years ago it cost you 250 pounds to get anywhere." These days there's a lot more competition. And flagship carriers are also trying to muscle in with their own budget operations. easyJet says it's not worried. It's even adopting a sales technique usually only used by the traditional airlines. It's now offering the more frequent of its 68 million flyers a loyalty scheme.