Austerity is driving businessmen who “always turn left” when boarding a plane to turn to easyJet instead.

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of the no frills carrier, has said that “cost conscious” business travellers have boosted passenger numbers by 1.6m year-on-year.The airline boss told the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) trade conference that business travellers have realised that the carrier is far cheaper and the “only thing they don’t get is a glass of red wine”.

As a result easyJet had had “resonance” with business travellers during the recession and once they had tried the airline “they never go back”. The airline’s “entire model is to be quick, efficient, reliable and punctual,” she said. “So business travellers like it.”

Ms McCall also said that the European Union can ‘be blamed for many things, especially red tape” but she said the European SIngle Sky deal had been “very important” to easyJet.