Low-cost airline news - September2004 archives

September 30th, 2004

flybe announce new French routes

flybe are determined to show commitment to connecting France and the UK. They have announced 4 new routes today, including connecting Brest with Southampton, Exeter and Birmingham (International). All services begin on 27 March 2005.

In addition, they have added the northern French port of Cherbourg to the low-fares map of Europe, with a connection from Southampton starting on 27 March.

September 29th, 2004

Vueling to connect Madrid and Barcelona

On 01 November 2004, Vueling, the recent Spanish start-up budget airline flying many domestic routes will add to their network with a new route from Madrid to Barcelona.

Jet2 makes Manchester a new hub

Jet2, currently based primarily at Leeds (Bradford) have announced they they will expand, using Manchester as their next hub.

They have announced 9 destinations from Manchester which include Budapest (starting 01 December 2004), Murcia, (02 December 2004), Valencia, Nice, Venice, Faro (all starting 19 March 2005),Pisa (26 May 2005), Geneva (18 December 2004) and Malaga (04 February 2004).

Ryanair to expand Milan hub next year

Ryanair have announced that they will expand their hub at Milan (Orio al Serio) next year. They will add 7 new routes, bringing the total number of routes flown from the airport up to 16.

6 of the new routes will commence on 25 February 2005, these include Oslo (Torp), Newcastle, Liverpool, Seville, Zaragoza and Eindhoven. They will also begin a route to Valencia on 19 January 2005.

In addition to their expansion at Milan, it would seem they are due to begin a new route from Frankfurt (Hahn) to Klagenfurt on 01 March 2005.

September 28th, 2004

Aberdeen to become a new Air Wales destination

Air Wales have started taking bookings for new routes to Aberdeen from 01 November 2004. It would seem that they will operate flights from Cardiff to Aberdeen via Liverpool (stopping, but not changing).

September 27th, 2004

Planestation to buy EUjet

Planestation, the company which owns Kent (Manston) airport which recently became the base of EUjet is to buy EUjet. At present, they already own 30% of the airline which only began flying on 01 September 2004.

Under the proposed purchase, they are expected to hold a 100% stake in the company.

In other news, EUjet were due to begin flying from Kent (Manston) to Milan (Orio al Serio) on 04 October 2004, but have dropped the route from their schedules.

September 25th, 2004

JetX launch new routes from Bologna

Italian low-cost carrier JetX have announced 4 new routes which they will be running from Bologna for the winter season.

From Bologna they will begin flying to Hamburg, Berlin (Schoenefeld), Brindisi and Reggio Calabria, a new destination for European low-cost airlines.

flybe launch new route to Chambery

On 08 January 2005 flybe will launch a new route between Birmingham and Chambery.

September 23rd, 2004

Evolavia moves from Trapani

From 01 October, Evolavia will operate their services from Paris (Charles de Gaulles) and Ancona to Palermo instead of Trapani.

Teesside airport renames

On 21 September Teesside airport was renamed Durham Tees Valley. We have updated the airport name within cheap0 to reflect this.

SkyEurope changes airport at Paris

SkyEurope are due to commence flying a new route from Krakow to Paris on 30 September 2004. They had originally intended to fly to Paris (Orly) but have now moved the flight to Paris (Charles de Gaulles) for ‘operational reasons’.

easyJet introduces 5 new routes including routes to Ireland

easyJet have decided to begin flying routes to Ireland for the first time, service will commence on 28 January 2005. They will begin flying from London (Gatwick) to Shannon, Cork and Knock.

In addition, they will add 2 new Spanish routes (beginning 01 March 2005) from Gatwick, Almeria and Valencia. This will bring the number of routes they fly from Gatwick to 29.

September 22nd, 2004

SmartWings to fly new routes from Prague

The Czech Republic based airline, Smart Wings, have announced 2 unlikely new routes from their base at Prague. On 22 October 2004 they are due to commence a new route to Vienna, an unlikely selection for a low-cost airline as Vienna has notoriously high landing fees, meaning that most low-cost airlines find it too expensive for them to use.

In addition, they have announced that they will begin flying on 01 November 2004 to London (Gatwick). This route is already flown by 2 carriers, easyJet and bmibaby. In the face of tough competition, it seems unlikely that all 3 will continue to operate the same route for much time.

September 21st, 2004

Ryanair announces 4 new routes

Ryanair have announced that they will begin flying from London (Stansted) to Oporto from 19 January 2005. This will be their first route to Portugal. In addition, they have announced further expansion in Spain with new routes from Stansted to Valencia (commencing 02 November 2004), Almeria (19 January 2005) and Seville (25 February 2005).

It is expected that they will announced a further 4 new routes in western Europe next week.

Ryanair to offer inflight entertainment

This morning, Ryanair claimed the first victory in low-cost aviation, as Michael O’Leary announced plans to include inflight entertainment systems on their planes from 01 November 2004. O’Leary claimed, at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress, that Ryanair would be the first low-cost airline in the world to provide inflight entertainment.

Initially this will be for a trail period, with an anticipated roll-out date of 01 April 2005 for their entire fleet. To be able to make use of the systems, Ryanair expects to charge consumers £5 or €7.

September 19th, 2004

World Low Cost Airlines Congress

This week, on 21 and 22 September, we will be attending and reporting from World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London. Speakers include Michael O’Leary (Ryanair), Ray Webster (easyJet) and a number of other speakers and panelists from European budget airlines including bmibaby, Hapag-Lloyd Express, Air Polonia, Sky Europe, FlyMe, Wizz Air and Sterling.

We hope to be able to bring you some up-to-the-minute information from the conference. In the meantime, we’re getting very near to being able to launch the newly revamped cheap0.com, keep watching this space.

Bexx Air to begin again on 08 November?

Bexx Air, the Bulgarian low-cost carrier raided by the police earlier this week for allegedly not possessing the licenses required to run an airline, claim they will begin flying again on 08 November.

The airline claims to be backed by a ‘strong partner’ and anticipate that tickets will be available from €8 to a new range of destinations. In the meantime, any passengers who were due to fly with the airline can find out more information about claiming compensation at www.flybexx.com.

September 18th, 2004

FlyMe begin flights to Angelholm-Helsingborg

FlyMe, the Swedish low-cost airline has announced that from 27 September 2004 they will begin a new route (5 times weekly) between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Angelholm-Helsingborg.

September 17th, 2004

Bexx Air raided by police

On 14 September, the head office of Bulgarian-based low cost carrier Bexx Air was raided by the ‘economic police’. It is alleged that they did not have the correct operating licenses required to run an airline and all of their flights have been suspended and their operation shut down.

Bexx Air claim they will refund the cost of tickets to passengers, although at present there are no plans to fly remaining passengers home as all their flights are grounded.

September 16th, 2004

helvetic launches routes to Macedonia

helvetic will add 2 more destinations to their flight schedule when they launch routes from Zurich to the Macedonian capital of Skopje and lake-side resort, Ohrid. They launch these routes on 24 and 25 September 2004 respectively. helvetic will be the first low-cost carrier to fly to Ohrid.

Ryanair adds Rochefort to network

Ryanair will begin flying on 02 November 2004 from London (Stansted) to Rochefort in France. This will be the first low-cost route to serve Rochefort.

Ryanair expand in Stockholm

Ryanair have announced today that they are expanding their base at Stockholm (Skavsta). From 21 February 2005 they will base 1 new aircraft at the airport and add 3 more routes, bringing the total number of Ryanair routes from Skavsta to 12.

The new routes from Skavsta include Niederrhein, Girona and a short hop across the Baltic sea to Riga.

September 15th, 2004

Wizz Air comes to Liverpool

On 06 December 2004, central-European airline Wizz Air are due to launch operations from Liverpool. They will make this a new hub airport, flying to Budapest, Warsaw and Katowice.

This move makes Wizz the first central or eastern European based airline to have a UK hub outside London.

In addition, they have added a new route from Brussels (Charleroi) to Katowice which is due to begin on 04 December.

EUJet cuts back routes before launch

EUJet, a new low-cost airline based at Kent (Manston) began flying just 2 weeks ago. Already they have cut 2 routes from their schedule, both of which they were due to start today.

They were planning to fly from Dublin to Shannon and apparently had an agreement with Aer Lingus that they would stop flying this route in order to stimulate demand in their direction. EUJet have indicated that the reason they have dropped this route is because Aer Lingus have not altered their schedules.

In addition, they appear to have dropped the route between their 2 hub airports, Shannon and Kent (Manston), which was due to launch today.

September 14th, 2004

Jet2 to fly to Ibiza next summer

The low-cost carrier based at Leeds (Bradford), Jet2, have put on sale a new route for Summer 2005 from Leeds (Bradford) to Ibiza. Flights will begin on 26 May 2005. Jet2 seem keen to emphasise that their routes for next summer are on sale already, unlike some of the other low-cost airlines.

September 13th, 2004

Volareweb launch winter timetable

Volareweb have announced a large expansion for thier operation, based in Italy. On 31 October they will launch 10 new routes.

From Bologna, they will begin flights to Bari, Cagliari, Catania and Palermo. They will also begin flying routes from Bari to Catania and Palermo. At Milan, they will launch 2 new routes from different airports, from Malpensa they will fly to the Romanian capital of Bucharest and from Orio al Serio they will fly to Lamenzia-Terme. Finally, from Naples they will launch 2 new routes to Catania and Palermo.

September 12th, 2004

Norwegian connects London and Trondheim

Norwegian Air Shuttle will begin a new route on 04 November 2004 from the Norwegian city of Trondheim to London (Stansted). This will be the first time there has been a direct connection between Trondheim and the UK.

September 8th, 2004

Ryanair expands Rome base

Ryanair have announced that they are to expand their base at Rome (Ciampino). At present they fly 12 routes from the airport, and over the coming months will add another 5 daily routes to this. On 28 January 2005 they will launch new routes from Ciampino to Niederrhein, Liverpool and Teesside. On 07 February they will also add new routes to Nottingham (East Midlands) and Valencia.

In addition, they are also starting a new route on 08 November 2004 from Girona to Niederrhein.

September 7th, 2004

Basiq Air will become Transavia

Today it was announced that Basiq Air, the low-cost offshoot of Transavia, will be phased out from 1 January 2005. Rather than operate the 2 separate brands, they believe “it is now time to absorb the experience accumulated with Basiq Air and to continue with the strong and familiar Transavia brand”.

It is anticipated that the same low-fares and low-cost service will continue, but simply under the Transavia name, the idea being that the consumer shouldn’t ‘feel’ the difference.

Until January, the Basiq Air web site will be taking bookings as normal for flights until March 2005. This is likely to change in January.

Wizz Air quietly scraps new routes

We reported in July that Wizz Air would launch new routes on 15 September 2004. It seems they will still launch many of those routes, but today routes from Malmo to Gdansk and Katowice disappeared without trace. These routes were due to begin on 15 September.

This isn’t the first time that Wizz routes have disappeared from their schedule prior to their launch without any official announcement.

Flybaboo connect Geneva and Prague

Swiss low-cost airline Flybaboo now have flights on sale for a flight connecting Geneva and Prague. Flights begin on 11 October 2004.

Wizz Air launch Gdansk to Dortmund

On 31 October 2004, central-European based low-cost carrier Wizz Air will begin a new route between the Polish city of Gdansk and Dortmund. This will be their 2nd route from Gdansk, at present they fly to London (Luton).

Air Polonia Winter Season

For the Winter season 2004/05, it seems Air Polonia are moving some routes to cheaper airports. Flights from Warsaw will go to Paris (Beauvais), instead of Charles de Gaulles, and flights to Rome will go to Ciampino instead of Fiumicino.

In addition, Air Polonia will begin flying a new daily route between Warsaw and Stockholm (Skavsta) on 31 October 2004, as their winter season begins.

September 6th, 2004

easyJet launch new Bristol – Valencia route

easyJet chose not to continue flying their routes from Bristol to Copenhagen and Bilbao this winter season, however they have just announced that they will begin flying a new route from Bristol to Valencia this winter. The route commences on 03 November 2004 and tickets are on sale now.

September 3rd, 2004

Vueling include Seville

On 04 October 2004, recent Spanish low-cost start-up Vueling will begin a new route between Barcelona and Seville. Tickets are available now for these flights.

September 2nd, 2004

Ryanair expands at Prestwick

Ryanair have announced that they will begin flying 4 new routes from Glasgow (Prestwick) in the coming months. They currently fly 13 routes from Prestwick, many supported the Scottish Executive’s Route Development Fund, administered by Scottish Enterprise.

The first of the new routes is a link to Niederrhein, which will begin on 8 November 2004. The other 3 new routes will begin from Prestwick on 01 March 2005 , and include Hamburg (Luebeck), Pisa and Murcia.

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