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:


STANSTED5x pw (Ryanair)
2x pw (Ryanair)
DUBLIN3x pw (Lingus)


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


BOURNEMOUTH2x pw (Ryanair)
LIVERPOOL2x pw (Ryanair)
STANSTED7x pw (Ryanair)
GLAS PRESTWICK2x pw (Ryanair)
NOTT E MIDS3x pw (Ryanair)
DUBLIN3x pw (Ryanair)


The tidy little operation at BEZIERS continues its modest growth.


BRISTOL .4x pw (Ryanair)
LUTON4x pw (Ryanair)
EDINBURGH2x pw (Ryanair)
MANCHESTER2x pw (Ryanair)


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


LEEDS BRADFORD2x pw (Ryanair)
 BIRMINGHAM2x pw (Ryanair)
GATWICK14x pw (Easyjet)
LUTON4x 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:- 
LUTON7x pw (Ryanair)
GATWICK 2x  pw  (Thom)
STANSTED7x pw (Ryanair)
MANCHESTER7x pw (Ryanair)
2x pw (Thom)
BIRMINGHAM2x pw (Ryanair)
1x pw (Thom)
BOURNEMOUTH5x pw (Ryanair)
BRISTOL 7x pw (Ryanair)
DONCASTER2x pw (Ryanair)
NEWCASTLE3x pw (Ryanair)
DUBLIN 4x pw (Ryanair)
CORK2x pw (Ryanair)
KNOCK2x 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!



HEATHROW56x pw (BA/Iberia)
GATWICK21x pw (BA)
14x pw (Vueling)
40x pw (EasyJet)
7x pw (Monarch)
STANSTED14x pw  Ryanair
LUTON14x pw (Easyjet)
SOUTHEND10x pw EasyJet
CARDIFF2x pw (Vueling)
EXETER2x pw (FlyBe)
BIRMINGHAM4x pw (Monarch)
4x pw (Ryanair)
MANCHESTER5x pw (Jet2)
6x pw (Monarch)
NOTT E MIDS7x pw (Ryanair)
BRISTOL10x pw  EasyJet
LIVERPOOL12x pw (Easyjet)
5x pw (Ryanair)
LEEDS BRADFORD3x pw (Ryanair)
5x pw (Jet2)
2x pw (Monarch)
NEWCASTLE5x pw (EasyJet)
GLAS PREST7x pw (Ryanair)
EDINBURGH4x pw (Ryanair)
3x pw (Vueling)
BELFAST INT4x pw (EasyJet)
DUBLIN7x pw (Lingus)
7x pw (Ryanair)
CORK4x 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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