Spring 2013








John Fairclough

It’s that time of year again when the Airlines  publish their schedules for April to October. In recent years, particularly to seasonal destinations like P.O., they have set their general stall out in January, and tinkered with the routes/ days of operation in the spring, when they can see how bookings have been going. I suspect that this year will be no exception.

The four countries that we are directly concerned with (UK, Ireland, France and Spain) are all undergoing severe economic crises, so it’s not surprising that the airlines have been rather cautious as regards new routes and enhanced services. There are no new airlines entering the fray, and of course BMI Baby is now defunct.

The outlook at PERPIGNAN continues to be bleak. Still no airline has filled the Manchester gap vacated by BMI Baby, and FlyBe is in some economic turmoil and has cut frequency on several services. Unfortunately, Air France’s much vaunted 49Euro  low cost revolution has not spread as far as here. So, all that remains is:


STANSTED 5x pw (Ryanair)
BIRMINGHAM 1x pw (FlyBe)
2x pw (Ryanair)
DUBLIN 3x pw (Lingus)


Whilst Ryanair still have an unchallenged run at CARCASSONNE, they have at least expanded the number of destinations available.


BOURNEMOUTH 2x pw (Ryanair)
LIVERPOOL 2x pw (Ryanair)
STANSTED 7x pw (Ryanair)
GLAS PRESTWICK 2x pw (Ryanair)
NOTT E MIDS 3x pw (Ryanair)
DUBLIN 3x pw (Ryanair)


The tidy little operation at BEZIERS continues its modest growth.


BEZIERS to:-  
BRISTOL . 4x pw (Ryanair)
LUTON 4x pw (Ryanair)
EDINBURGH 2x pw (Ryanair)
MANCHESTER 2x pw (Ryanair)


Just up the road at MONTPELLIER, the choice of routes appears to be holding steady.


LEEDS BRADFORD 2x pw (Ryanair)
 BIRMINGHAM 2x pw (Ryanair)
GATWICK 14x pw (Easyjet)
LUTON 4x pw (EasyJet)


Ryanair’s on/off relationship with the owners of GIRONA airport seems to be moving towards a positive phase again, with one or two reinstatements of routes announced this year, although the Irish airline’s desire to grab a bigger chunk of the Barcelona  market means that a number of ex -Girona routes now operate from El Prat.



GIRONA to:-  
LUTON 7x pw (Ryanair)
GATWICK 2x  pw  (Thom)
STANSTED 7x pw (Ryanair)
MANCHESTER 7x pw (Ryanair)
2x pw (Thom)
BIRMINGHAM 2x pw (Ryanair)
1x pw (Thom)
BOURNEMOUTH 5x pw (Ryanair)
BRISTOL 7x pw (Ryanair)
DONCASTER 2x pw (Ryanair)
NEWCASTLE 3x pw (Ryanair)
DUBLIN  4x pw (Ryanair)
CORK 2x pw (Ryanair)
KNOCK 2x pw (Ryanair)

As in previous years, those wanting the widest choice of routes, airlines and timings will have to be prepared to make the trip down to BARCELONA. The popularity of the Catalan capital seems to be bucking the economic trend, with all sorts of new operators beating a path to El Prat’s door. Although not directly relevant to this article, it’s worth mentioning that the growth in non- European destinations is particularly impressive with some new services to N and S America, Africa and the Middle and Far East. Another fact worthy of note is that the route to Gatwick is very well served this summer with no fewer than FOUR airlines operating a staggering 82 flights a week!



HEATHROW 56x pw (BA/Iberia)
GATWICK 21x pw (BA)
14x pw (Vueling)
40x pw (EasyJet)
7x pw (Monarch)
STANSTED 14x pw  Ryanair
LUTON 14x pw (Easyjet)
SOUTHEND 10x pw EasyJet
CARDIFF 2x pw (Vueling)
EXETER 2x pw (FlyBe)
BIRMINGHAM 4x pw (Monarch)
4x pw (Ryanair)
MANCHESTER 5x pw (Jet2)
6x pw (Monarch)
NOTT E MIDS 7x pw (Ryanair)
BRISTOL 10x pw  EasyJet
LIVERPOOL 12x pw (Easyjet)
5x pw (Ryanair)
LEEDS BRADFORD 3x pw (Ryanair)
5x pw (Jet2)
2x pw (Monarch)
NEWCASTLE 5x pw (EasyJet)
GLAS PREST 7x pw (Ryanair)
EDINBURGH 4x pw (Ryanair)
3x pw (Vueling)
BELFAST INT 4x pw (EasyJet)
DUBLIN 7x pw (Lingus)
7x pw (Ryanair)
CORK 4x pw (Lingus)

Please be aware that these were all correct at the time of going to press (Feb 2013), and that schedules refer to the high summer period of June, Jul and Aug. For services outside these times please refer to individual airlines’ websites.


As per usual I hope to have some (hopefully positive!) amendments to make in the PO Life summer edition, but, in the meantime please let us know if you hear of any changes to the above or new routes/services.


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