Low-cost airline news - November2005 archives

November 29th, 2005

flybe French summer expansion

Seats have just become available on a number of flybe routes for summer 2006. This signals the introduction of 9 routes to France for summer 2006, including flights to destinations which are new to the low-cost airline map of Europe – Avignon and Angers.

flybe will begin operating flights from Southampton to Angers and Avignon from the end of May 2006, flying 3 times per week. Their summer 2006 timetable also includes routes from Southampton to Perpignan and Brest. They will launch a direct route from Leeds (Bradford) to Bergerac and from Norwich to Bordeaux. flybe will also start-up summer routes from Birmingham to Perpignan and La Rochelle.

In addition to these French routes, flybe will fly from Southampton to Faro.

Tickets are available to book immediately at www.flybe.com.

November 28th, 2005

Wizz Air and Hamburg

Wizz Air will launch another new route from Gdansk on 03 March 2006. They will operate a service, 4 times per week, between Gdansk and Hamburg (Luebeck). This will be their first route to Luebeck.

November 25th, 2005

SkyEurope adds Amsterdam to Poznan connection

From 25 March 2006, SkyEurope will launch a route between Amsterdam and Poznan. This will be their first route from Poznan and flights will operate 3 times per week.

November 23rd, 2005

SkyEurope expands Krakow base

SkyEurope will expand their Krakow base, where they currently operate 7 routes.

They will add a further 8 routes in 2006 (and reopen one to Barcelona) from March to June, including Edinburgh, Birmingham, Brussels, Bologna, Stockholm (Arlanda), Naples, Turin and Athens.

November 22nd, 2005

Wizz Air to Girona

Wizz Air will launch a summer route from Katowice to Girona on 17 June 2006.

November 21st, 2005

Jet2 expand at Newcastle

Jet2 have put 3 new routes on sale today from Newcastle, confirming their intention to make it a hub airport.

From 26 April 2006, they will begin flying daily to Amsterdam. From 22 May they will also commence routes to Menorca and Pisa.

November 19th, 2005

SkyEurope expands at Budapest

SkyEurope have put 4 new routes on sale for 2006 from Budapest. In mid-April they will launch 2 new Italian routes from Budapest, including Bologna (Guglielmo Marconi) and Naples.

They will also launch 2 new routes to Bulgaria for the summer season, including Bourgas and Varna. This will make SkyEurope the first low-cost airline to fly to Varna.

November 17th, 2005

Air Berlin to Alicante from London

Air Berlin continue their expansion of UK operations with an announcement that they will launch a new route from London (Stansted) to Alicante.

Flights, which will operate daily, are due to begin on 01 May 2006. They will face direct competiton from easyJet, who already operate on this route.

Flights can be booked now at www.airberlin.com.

November 16th, 2005

New routes for Air Southwest

Air Southwest have announced a number of new routes from 11 April 2006. They will begin flying from Bristol to Norwich, and from Cardiff to Newquay and Manchester. All services will operate daily.

November 15th, 2005

Wizz Air adds UK – Gdansk connection

Wizz Air will launch a new route from Liverpool to Gdansk from 06 March 2006. Flights will operate 3 times per week on this new route.

November 13th, 2005

Ryanair to offer online check-in in 2006?

It has been reported that Ryanair will announce the ability for passengers to check-in online in early 2006. This means that there will be no need to queue at airport check-in desks, and will also offer passengers the opportunity to purchase ‘premium’ seats, with additional legroom, in advance.

It is thought that Ryanair may even offer passengers a discount for checking in online, due to the reduced overheads they will incur at the airport.

Only passengers who do not have any hold baggage will be able to use this facility, but it is believed that around 40% of Ryanair‘s customers have only hand-luggage.

November 11th, 2005

FlyMe expands outside Sweden

The Swedish low-cost airline, FlyMe, will launch 12 new routes from their base at Gothenburg (Landvetter) to a host of European destinations for the Summer 2006 season.

From 30 March, they will operate routes to Prague, London (Stansted), Alicante, Malaga, Palma (Mallorca), Rome (Ciampino), Crete, Rhodes, Amsterdam, Paris (Beauvais), Dusseldorf and Nice.

What is surprising about this announcement is that 5 of these routes are already operated by rival Scandinavian budget airline, Sterling.

Potential passengers may be interested to read the note on their site:

Be aware that we change our schedules regularly in order to adapt to the needs of our clients and to meet the current demand for departures.

This could be taken as an indication that they do not intend to launch all 12 of these routes, and will instead take bookings and decide which routes to axe (if demand is insufficient), maybe before they have even started. This was certainly a strategy employed by other emerging European low-cost airlines – for example Wizz Air.

November 10th, 2005

FlyGlobespan expands for summer 2006

FlyGlobespan have announced an additional 3 new routes for summer 2006. These include Edinburgh to Rome (Fiumicino) and Bournemouth, and from Glasgow to Ibiza. Flights to Bournemouth will operate daily, while the other routes will operate once per week.

November 8th, 2005

Nexus Airways in difficulty before they launch

Nexus Airways, the new low-cost carrier established by 18 year old Daniel Reilly has run into difficulty – even before their first flight has taken off.

The airline was hoping to establish an operation using the Air Operator Certificate (the commercial transport license required to operate an airline) of another airline. According to Nexus, this undisclosed partner has subsequently ceased trading.

Nexus will instead purchase capacity from other airlines (who have not been announced) to fly passengers during peak periods, although neither flight numbers nor times are available at present. Any passenger who had intended to flying during a period not deemed to be ‘peak’ will need to rebook using another airline. Nexus claim they have no intention to contact potential passengers to inform them that their flight has been cancelled.

Passengers who wish to make a booking with Nexus for the future can apparently do so, however it is unclear how. Nexus have never accepted bookings online.

Air Wales to fly from Cork to Exeter

From the beginning of 2006, Air Wales will launch a route from Cork to Exeter.

Since flybe moved in at Norwich airport, Air Wales have dropped their route from Norwich to Dublin, and no longer have a presense at the airport.

November 7th, 2005

Aer Arann adds Lorient connections

From 27 March 2006, Aer Arann will operate flights between Lorient and Kerry and London (Luton). Flights to Kerry will be twice per week, with the Luton route operating 6 times per week.

SkyEurope to Athens from Krakow

SkyEurope will operate a flight between Krakow and Athens during summer 2006. The service will commence on 6 June 2006.

November 3rd, 2005

Air Berlin to fly UK domestic routes

Air Berlin have announced that from 16 December 2005 they will become the first German airline to offer domestic flights within the UK. They are due to make London (Stansted) a hub airport, adding routes to Manchester and Glasgow.

They will fly up to twice daily on these new routes. Stansted to Glasgow is a highly competitive route, with existing competition from easyJet and FlyGlobespan. FlyGlobespan have even introduced free breakfasts on their morning flights on this route, and their route between Edinburgh and Stansted, in an attempt to lure passengers away from their rivals.

Air Berlin will also become the first airline to use Stansted as a transfer hub. It will be possible to connect from Glasgow or Manchester to the destinations Air Berlin already serves from Stansted, and Air Berlin will ensure the safe transfer of your luggage from one flight to the next. This is exactly the sort of frill that was traditionally removed from the low-cost airline model.

The new flights are already available to book at www.airberlin.com.

Ryanair adds Riga route from Dublin

Ryanair will continue their expansion of routes to Riga, when they launch a new route between Dublin and Riga on 09 January 2006. This flight will operate daily and is available to purchase already.

Wizz Air adds Wroclaw to Dortmund

From 01 March 2006, Wizz Air will launch a route between Wroclaw and Dortmund. This flight will operate 5 times per week.

November 2nd, 2005

helvetic ‘optimises’ route schedule

helvetic will add 3 new routes for the forthcoming summer 2006 season. From the end of March 2006, they will begin flying from their Zurich base to Ibiza, Olbia and Cagliari.

Prior to this, however, they will withdraw one of their aircraft from service and lay off 14 staff. They will also stop flying to Madrid, Prague and Rome.

Ryanair to fly passengers for free?

In the next 2-3 months, Ryanair is expected to announce a partner company who will help them organise in-flight ‘gambling and gaming’. Ryanair hopes that the revenue received from additional activity such as this, compounded with their affiliated services such as car hire and hotel bookings, will allow them to fly passengers for free.

Ryanair is confident in their ability to generate significant revenue from this new venture. In September 2004 Ryanair was also confident that they would be able to make considerable revenue from in-flight entertainment by renting portable DVD players, however this proved unsuccessful and they never rolled the idea out.

MyTravel Lite off the European budget airline map

As indicated in July, from 01 November 2005 MyTravel Lite ceased to operate as a separate part of the MyTravel Group. MyTravel no longer operates any airlines with a low-cost model.

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