Low-cost airline news - March2006 archives

March 31st, 2006

Air Scotland expands.. into England

Air Scotland will scale back the flights they operate from Scotland this summer, in favour of flying from English airports instead. From 07 June 2006, they will begin flying weekly from Birmingham and Newcastle to Girona. This follows their recent announcement that Manchester would become an Air Scotland base.

This move will see them scale back some routes planned from Glasgow (International) and Edinburgh.

Virgin Express and SN Brussels to merge

It was announced today that Virgin Express and SN Brussels will merge, and become operational as a single unit by April 2007. They intend to rebrand, although a name has yet to be revealed. The merger is apparently a response to there being insufficient room for competition in the Belgian market.

While early speculation has suggested that the new airline will continue to offer low-cost services, such as those provided by Virgin Express, this is not entirely clear yet. It has been stated that the new airline will sit in the “modified traditional” segment of the market, which apparently includes airlines such as SAS and Aer Lingus.

Vueling to connect Alicante and Barcelona

Vueling will begin flying daily between Alicante and Barcelona from 02 June 2006.

Flights are already available to book at www.vueling.com.

March 30th, 2006

Centralwings to fly to Kavala

centralwings will launch a weekly flight from their Warsaw base to Kavala in Greece from 22 May 2006. This will be the first low-cost airline route to Kavala.

March 29th, 2006

Another Polish route from Glasgow with Ryanair

Ryanair will begin flying between their Glasgow (Prestwick) base and Wroclaw from August 2006. This will become the 4th Polish route available from Glasgow (Prestwick).

AlpiEagles adds 2 routes to Sardinia

From June 2006, Italian low-cost airline AlpiEagles will begin flying between Verona (Villafranca) and Cagliari, and between Rome (Fiumicino) and Olbia. These routes are in addition to the currently timetabled flights to Sardinia during the summer season.

Ryanair announces expansion at Shannon

Ryanair will launch 5 new routes from their Shannon base on 12 October 2006. They will begin flying to Biarritz, Faro, Venice (Treviso), Carcassonne and Krakow.

March 28th, 2006

Ryanair launches Doncaster to Girona link

In addition to their new route between Doncaster and Pisa announced earlier today, Ryanair will also launch a new route between Doncaster and Girona. They will fly 3-times per week on this new route, from 31 October 2006.

Ryanair adds 6 new routes from Pisa

Ryanair will launch 6 routes from their Pisa base from 14 September 2006. They will begin flying daily to Valencia and Trapani, 4 times per week to Doncaster and Karlsruhe-Baden and 3 times per week to Friedrichshafen and Oslo (Torp).

Blue Air route to Paris is saved

Blue Air had decided to drop their route from Bucharest (Baneasa) to Paris (Beauvais) from the end of March 2006. By popular demand, they have decided to reinstate it from 09 May 2006. They will fly twice per week.

March 27th, 2006

dba adds Dusseldorf to Dresden route

dba will begin flying twice per day between Dusseldorf and Dresden from 08 May 2006. Flights are already available to book at www.flydba.com.

March 26th, 2006

Lufthansa takes a leaf out of the low-cost book

Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, will introduce flat fares from 03 April 2006.

Their new betterFly tickets will cost €99 return (fully inclusive) and will be available on all routes from Germany to EU destinations, and flights to Turkey, Norway and Switzerland. They decided to roll out this scheme to 181 routes after a successful trial at Hamburg.

The catch is of course that tickets are limited, and will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

March 24th, 2006

FlyMe announces Gothenburg to Barcelona flights

From 04 June 2006, FlyMe will begin flying weekly between Gothenburg (Landvetter) and Barcelona.

flybe adds Edinburgh to Newquay connection

flybe will begin flying between Edinburgh and Newquay from 10 July 2006. They will fly 3 times per week on this route, which looks currently scheduled to operate as a summer only service.

Flights will shortly be on sale at www.flybe.com.

March 23rd, 2006

Air Wales to cease flying at the end of April

Air Wales, the Welsh low-cost airline, has announced that they will stop flying regular passenger services from 23 April 2006. This will see the end of their low-cost operation, and they will instead focus on charter and freight flights.

Some of their routes will be taken over by other carriers, including Air Southwest. They claim that anybody booked after that date can apply for a full refund.

March 21st, 2006

Vueling to fly from Bilbao to Malaga

From 13 April 2006, Vueling will fly between Malaga and Bilbao. Flights are on sale now at www.vueling.com.

March 17th, 2006

easyJet route to Corsica halted by French government

Last week, easyJet announce plans to fly between their Paris (Orly) base and Ajaccio. Flights were due to commence later this summer, however their plans have been vetoed by the French government.

Air France operate on this route to Corsica under a “Public Service Obligation”, and as such, the French CAA would not allow a second airline to operate on this route.

March 16th, 2006

Air Berlin begin flying to Belfast

More news arrives of Air Berlin entering the British market as they announce that they will begin flying between Belfast (City) and London (Stansted). Air Berlin will fly twice daily on this new route, which indicates a desire for further growth outside Germany.

Flights are already available to book on this new route at www.airberlin.com.

Jet2 to fly to Lanzarote

Jet2 will begin flying from their Leeds Bradford base to Arrecife (Lanzarote) from 02 November 2006. They intend to fly twice per week.

Vueling adds route to Santiago

Vueling will begin flying from their Barcelona base to Santiago de Compostela from 14 April 2006. They will fly daily on this new route, which is already on sale at www.vueling.com.

March 15th, 2006

Norwegian expands to Baltic countries

From 04 May 2006, Norwegian Air Shuttle will begin flying 3 times per week from Oslo (International) to the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, and to Tallinn in Estonia.

Flights are already available to book on these new routes.

Vueling launches online check-in

It is now possible to check-in online when flying with Vueling. This allows passengers to check-in from 2 days prior to departure, up to 4 hours before departure. Customers will print their boarding cards and can go straight to the boarding gate.

For more information, see www.vueling.com.

March 13th, 2006

WindJet to fly to Romania, Russia and more

WindJet are due to expand from their Bologna (Forli) base at the end of March 2006. They will launch routes to Bucharest (Otopeni) and Moscow (Domodedovo). They will also launch routes from Palermo to Barcelona and Madrid and from Catania to Madrid.

March 11th, 2006

Air Berlin begins flying to Sylt

Air Berlin will begin flying to Westerland on the island of Sylt. From the beginning of May 2006 they will fly from Berlin (Tegel) and Dusseldorf.

Flights can be booked at www.airberlin.com.

March 9th, 2006

Norwegian expands to include St Petersburg and others

Norwegian Air Shuttle will begin flying from their Oslo (International) base to St. Petersburg from the beginning of May 2006. This follows the announcement last week that Germanwings would begin flying to St. Petersburg.

Norwegian Air Shuttle will also move their Oslo (International) to Paris route from Paris (Beauvais) to Paris (Orly) from April.

In June they will add 2 summer services to Alicante from Bergen and Stavanger.

March 8th, 2006

Wizz Air to fly to Gothenburg

Wizz Air will launch a route from their Warsaw base to Gothenburg (Saeve) on 18 June 2006.

March 7th, 2006

Jet2 launches route to Dusseldorf

Jet2 will begin flying between Leeds Bradford and Dusseldorf from 08 May 2006. They will fly 6 times per week on this new route.

Further route development for easyJet

easyJet have announced that they will launch new routes from London (Luton), Edinburgh, London (Gatwick) and Paris (Orly).

They will fly from London (Gatwick) to Split, their second destination in Croatia – announced just a week after the first. From London (Luton) they will begin flying to Bordeaux and Rimini. easyJet are also planning a major expansion at Edinburgh – their first new route will be a weekly service to Alicante.

easyJet have also announced a new route from Paris (Orly) to Ajaccio (Corsica), making the first low-cost route to Ajaccio.

easyJet announces expansion at Bristol

easyJet will launch 5 new routes from Bristol from 21 July 2006. They will begin flying to Rijeka in Croatia, Krakow in Poland and the French cities of Toulouse, Marseille and La Rochelle.

This will bring the total number of routes they fly from Bristol to 30.

March 5th, 2006

easyJet to offer priority boarding – at a cost

easyJet are to trial the opportunity for priority boarding by paying a £5 fee from the end of this month. The trial, which will involve flights between London (Luton) and Edinburgh, is aimed at business customers.

March 4th, 2006

Meridiana launch Venice to Olbia for summer

Meridiana will launch a summer route between Venice (Marco Polo) and Olbia. Flights will begin on 09 June 2006.

March 2nd, 2006

Germanwings launches flights to St Petersburg

Germanwings will launch flights to St. Petersburg from Cologne-Bonn on 28 April 2006. They will fly 3 times weekly, restoring St. Petersburg back on the low-cost airline map of Europe.

They have also announced details of 2 new routes from Stuttgart which will be launched in April/May. They will begin flying weekly to Malaga and Faro.

Flights are on sale now at www.germanwings.com.

Monarch Scheduled adds flights to Lanzarote

Monarch Scheduled will launch 2 new routes to Arrecife in Lanzarote at the beginning of May 2006. They will fly from London (Gatwick) and Manchester.

March 1st, 2006

Condor added to flycheapo database

Following the announcement that Condor would launch regular and low-cost style flights from Munich, we have added these flights to the route database.

Condor currently fly from Munich to Barcelona, and in April and May will launch flights to Brussels (International), Prague, Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Pisa, Turin, Venice (Marco Polo), and Istanbul (Sabiha). These are priced as single tickets.

These flights, along with the regular Condor charter flights, can be booked at www.condor.com.

dba to fly between Paris and Munich

Later this month, dba will launch a daily flight between Munich and Paris (Orly).

Atlas Blue added to flycheapo

Following our expansion to include Morocco in flycheapo, we have added Atlas Blue – a low-cost airline operating in Morocco.

They fly a number of interesting routes between Marrakech and Milan (Malpensa), Brussels (International), Bordeaux, Lyon, Geneva, London (Gatwick), Amsterdam, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Toulouse. From the end of March they will begin flying between Brussels (International) and the Moroccan airports of Tangier, Oujda, Nador. They also currently fly between Agadir and Milan (Malpensa).

Atlas Blue will operate a summer service between Brussels (International) and Al Hoceima, beginning in late June.

easyJet launches flights outside the EU

easyJet are set to shake up mainstream low-cost flying in Europe by expanding outside the EU, and even outside Europe.

They have announced that they will launch new routes to the Turkish capital, Istanbul (Sabiha), and Marrakech in Morocco.

Flights to Istanbul (Sabiha) will begin on 24 May 2006 from Basel and London (Luton) on 29 June. easyJet will begin flying between London (Gatwick) and Marrakech on 06 July. They will also launch a route between London (Luton) and Rijeka in Croatia on 30 June.

This move has prompted changes here at flycheapo. As a European guide, we did not previously cover Morocco. Given the clear intention to expand to neighbouring countries, we have decided to relax our definition of Europe (which already included Turkey), to include the North African country of Morocco.

We will take this opportunity to include additional airlines and routes, and will be upgrading shortly. This will include Moroccan low-cost airline, Atlas Blue, who already operate on the route easyJet are launching.

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