easyJet was founded in March 1995 by businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou who was then 28 years old. The first flight from London-Luton to Glasgow took off on 10 November 1995. The aircraft used by the airline during the first year were leased from British Airways. easyJet bought the first of its own planes in April 1996. The first easyJet flight from Dortmund Airport departed on 15 July 2004 for Palma de Mallorca.
Only three years after it was founded, easyJet bought a share in the Swiss charter operation TEA Basel AG, which later become the company's Swiss subsidiary easyJet Switzerland. In 1999, the airline set up its second base in Liverpool, alongside London-Luton, and a year later was floated on the London stock exchange. By 2009, easyJet had a further 18 bases throughout Europe. It now employs around 4000 people in the air and on the ground, all of whom aim to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.
The takeover of the British Airways spin-off Go-Fly in August 2002 made easyJet the largest low-cost airline in Europe. easyJet has a total of 279 routes from 74 airports. From Dortmund Airport, the airline flies to six destinations in Europe (as at December 2010).
In 2008, easyJet acquired the British airline GB Airways and is now the fourth largest airline in Europe. easyJet passengers can choose their own seats, but travellers who opt for the Speedy Boarding service can be among the first onto the plane.
Flight safety is the airline's number one priority, which is why the A319 aircraft that it is using on a growing number of routes have been fitted with two additional emergency exits.