Low-cost airline news - August2004 archives

August 30th, 2004

easyJet expand into the Baltics

Since EU enlargement in May this year, many have been waiting with bated breath for further expansion by budget airlines into eastern Europe and the Baltics. Today, following Ryanair‘s recent decision to begin flying to Riga, easyJet have also announced that they will begin flying to Riga, initially with one route from Berlin (Schoenefeld). Flights will begin on 18 November 2004.

In addition, easyJet will become the first low-cost airline to fly from the UK and Germany to Estonia. They will begin flights from London (Stansted) and Berlin (Schoenefeld) to the Estonian capital, Tallinn, on 1 November and 28 October respectively.

August 29th, 2004

Germanwings adds Stuttgart to Palma

Germanwings are continuing their expansion at their 2nd based at Stuttgart. They will begin flying from Stuttgart to Palma (Mallorca) in November 2004.

This new route is in addition to the 7 new destinations recently announced from Stuttgart, which included Madrid, London (Stansted), Warsaw, Zagreb, Krakow, Hamburg and Dresden, which also commence at the same time.

August 23rd, 2004

Jet2 launch 3rd route from Belfast

Jet2 have announced that they will begin flying daily between Belfast (International) and Barcelona from 24 September 2004. This will be their 3rd route from their base in Belfast, which they established in April this year with a route serving Prague.

August 20th, 2004

easyBus provides the first UK budget airport interconnection

This month, the Easy group‘s Stelios – founder of easyJet – launched his latest venture, easyBus.

easyBus aims to create a revolution in bus travel. Initially the company has been started with 10 Mercedes minibuses, which will run routes from London, with single tickets from just £1.

easyBus have announced that on 13 September 2004, they will start a new bus link between London (Luton) and their bus hub in north London, Hendon Central. They will have up to 19 journeys a day between Luton and Hendon Central. Much discussion has taken place recently about the cost of getting to airports in the UK used by low-cost airlines, particularly London (Stansted). Even Ryanair, whose primary hub is Stansted, seem to be testing the water at Luton, with a proposed expansion there, perhaps due to the available transport links.

The question remains as to whether easyBus will choose to launch services to any other low-cost airports; it seems the obvious thing to do when interconnection costs to and from the airport often cost more than your flight.

August 18th, 2004

easyJet moves Zurich route to Basel

easyJet have announced that on 1 November 2004, they will commence a new twice-daily route between London (Luton) and Basel (Mulhouse).

This will replace their Luton to Zurich service, which will fly for the last time on 31 October 2004. easyJet refuse to continue flying to Zurich after a reported 132% increase in landing fees at the airport in recent years, making it the most expensive airport currently used by the low-cost airline. Apparently Basel has a “management team that is also enthusiastic about low cost”, and easyJet are keen to emphasise the importance of this to their business model.

Air Wales announce new budget routes to Norwich

Air Wales will begin flying 2 new routes in November 2004 from Dublin and Cardiff to Norwich. This will be the first time that the airport at Norwich will have been involved in low-cost air travel.

August 16th, 2004

New Hapag-Lloyd Express from Berlin and Hamburg

Hapag-Lloyd Express have announced that they will begin flying new routes in December from Berlin (Tegel) and Hamburg to Salzburg, and also from Tegel to Olbia.

Virgin Express increases at-seat legroom

Recently Virgin Express increased the legroom on their planes in rows 2 through 7 to include an additional 7.5cm. Thanks to a new online booking interface, they are now selling these seats at a premium (€10 per flight); they can be booked in advance when you purchase your ticket either online or via a travel agent.

In addition, their new booking system allows you to reserve seats in advance anywhere in rows 16 to 23 on the aircraft for an additional €2.50 per seat (each way), so friends and families travelling together can ensure they sit together.

This new seating allocation system is available to new and existing bookings.

August 13th, 2004

SmartWings link Dublin and Prague

Despite a major low-cost airline presence at Dublin, until now there has no budget connection to Prague.

That is all about to change as Czech budget carrier SmartWings, a subsidiary of the larger Travel Service group, will begin flying from their base in Prague to Dublin on 01 October 2004. This will be their 7th low-cost route.

Flights are on sale now on Dublin‘s first budget connection into eastern Europe.

August 12th, 2004

Monarch Scheduled adds Canary Island routes

The low-cost arm, Monarch Scheduled, of the charter carrier Monarch, has announced further expansion into the Canary Islands.

From 1 November 2004, they will launch 2 new routes from London (Luton) to Arrecife (Lanzarote) and Las Palmas (Gran Canaria). This is in addition to their already established route to Tenerife (Sur), making Luton a new hub for UK low-cost flying to the Canary Islands.

August 10th, 2004

SkyEurope announces new base at Krakow

Central-European based SkyEurope have announced that their next new base will be Krakow. With this, SkyEurope‘s second base in Poland, they are adamant that expansion into Poland is the way to go, and they anticipate further expansion in the future.

They will begin flying from Krakow on 30 September 2004, initially to 5 destinations across Europe. The destinations include Amsterdam, Paris (Orly), London (Stansted), Milan (Orio Al Serio) and Rome (Fiumicino).

The new routes are on sale now.

August 6th, 2004

Germanwings expands at Stuttgart

Germanwings have announced that they will be increasing the number of flights from their hub in Stuttgart.

From 31 October 2004 they will begin flying new routes to Hamburg, Dresden, Krakow, Warsaw, Zagreb and London (Stansted). In addition, they will restore their link between Stuttgart and Madrid.

Tickets will go on sale this afternoon (Friday 06 August) at 3pm CET.

August 4th, 2004

easyJet announces 6 more new routes

Flights this winter are already hotting up, despite many remarks that the industry will suffer a blow during the off-peak season. Showing a serious commitment to expansion, easyJet have just announced a further 6 new European routes, including destinations which are completely new to them.

The new routes include London (Luton) and Berlin (Schoenefeld) to Bratislava, London (Luton) to Turin, London (Stansted) to Almeria and Valencia and Bristol to Madrid.

dba adds route to Hanover

In addition to their recently announced new route from Munich (Franz Josef Strauss) to Dresden, dba have also announced a new route from Munich to Hanover.

Flights will begin on this route from 13 September 2004.

helvetic to fly to London and Barcelona

Swiss budget airline helvetic has announced that they will begin flying 2 new routes later this year from their hub in Zurich. On 01 October 2004 they will begin flying to London (Gatwick) and on 31 October they will begin flights to Barcelona.

August 3rd, 2004

Thomsonfly replaces Grenoble service

Thomsonfly had previously announced a new route to Grenoble from their base at Coventry, beginning on 31 October 2004. They have decided to replace this new route with a route to Lyon instead, citing it as an ‘excellent gateway to ski resorts’ in the French Alps.

Passengers who have already booked on the Grenoble service will be offered alternative flights on the Lyon service or a full refund.

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