with Robbie Shaw

Robbie Shaw lives near Gatwick where he was an Air Traffic Controller and travels regularly to his place in Collioure. His wife describes him as an ‘aviation geek’, just what we need in fact. 🙂
He travels all over the world photographing aircraft, and also keeps you up to date with flights between this region and UK & Irish airports, and any other airport news that seems relevant.

air

APRIL – JUNE 2019.

As is the norm in airline scheduling there have been some changes since those published in the last P-O Life, probably the most significant being an increase in the number of Barcelona – Gatwick flights by Barcelona based Vueling.

At the request of one reader I have included flights to Nimes, though not in P-O. and continued a little bit further north to include Avignon. Only two flights a week in the short mid-summer season but those who use Birmingham or Southampton may consider flying into Avignon and out of Perpignan, or vice versa. It is a very pleasant train ride along the Mediterranean coast, and don’t forget that those over 60s get a 10% discount on train tickets.

Below are this summer’s offerings. In effect due to airline scheduling, as soon as these figures are published they could be out of date, so should be used for guidance only.

And don’t forget to print off your boarding passes before going to the airport as one reader did recently – an expensive mistake which cost him an expensive 55€, on top of the inexpensive 66€ return flight.

FRANCE

AVIGNON

A bit too far north for P-O readers perhaps, this small airport offers brief summer only programme. As of late November 2018 Flybe is up for sale, so things could change.

FROM ;NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTSAIRLINE
BIRMINGHAM

1

FLYBE from 25 May to 31 Aug.
SOUTHAMPTON

1

FLYBE from 25 May to 7 Sept.

PERPIGNAN

As can be seen in the table below, Perpignan comes to life in the spring. Aer Lingus starts their Dublin flights on 17 May with an increase to five flights a week, note though that the weekend flights leave Dublin at 0600.

The airport has been trying hard for a Gatwick service but Gatwick’s single runway is just so busy that there is no availability of slots at the right times.

If you find the fares to P.O. are very high at certain times, look at the rugby fixture list. Often changing just a few days can reduce the fare. Early in May there are two French holidays in the same week, so car hire prices increase. Also fares are generally cheaper midweek, especially in the summer months – or ridiculously expensive in school mid-term.

FROM;

NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTS

AIRLINE

BIRMINGHAM

2

RYANAIR

DUBLIN

5

AER LINGUS

SOUTHAMPTON

1

FLYBE from 25 May to 7 Sep.

STANSTED

5

RYANAIR


BEZIERS

Like Carcassonne, Ryanair has a free run at this small airport.

FROM;NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTSAIRLINE
BRISTOL

3

RYANAIR
EDINBURGH

2

RYANAIR
LUTON

3

RYANAIR
MANCHESTER

2

RYANAIR
STANSTED

3

RYANAIR

CARCASSONNE

Ryanair remains the sole operator here. Glasgow flights no longer operate as Ryanair has closed its base there to operate more flights from Edinburgh.

FROM;

NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTS

AIRLINE

EAST MIDLANDS

2

RYANAIR

EDINBURGH

2

RYANAIR

MANCHESTER

2

RYANAIR

STANSTED

7

RYANAIR

CORK

2

RYANAIR from 3 June

DUBLIN

3

RYANAIR

MONTPELLIER

FROM ;

NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTS

AIRLINE

DUBLIN

2

AER LINGUS from 17 May

GATWICK

11

EASYJET

LUTON

4

EASYJET from 25 June

NIMES

Ryanair is the sole operator for P-O readers.

FROM ;NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTSAIRLINE
LUTON3RYANAIR
STANSTED4RYANAIR

TOULOUSE / BLAGNAC

There tends to be more flights to Toulouse from UK regional airport in the winter due to skiing opportunities, with Andorra not too far away. The Birmingham service has been suspended for 2018.

FROM;NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTSAIRLINE
BRISTOL

7

EASYJET
EDINBURGH

2

RYANAIR
GATWICK

18

EASYJET
HEATHROW

21

BRITISH AIRWAYS
LUTON

6

EASYJET
MANCHESTER

1

FLYBE
STANSTED

14

RYANAIR
DUBLIN

2-7

AER LINGUS Starts with 2 a week, increasing to seven a week by 16 May.

 

BARCELONA / EL PRAT

As always a huge variety of flights to Barcelona, most of which run all year round, but with seasonal increases. For those unfamiliar, take care on the Barcelona ring-road, one wrong turn could be very time consuming. As you can see there is no shortage of flights to Barcelona.

FROM;

NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTS

AIRLINE

BELFAST

5

EASYJET

BIRMINGHAM

9

7

RYANAIR

VUELING

BRISTOL

14

EASYJET

CARDIFF

2

RYANAIR

EAST MIDLANDS

7

RYANAIR

EDINBURGH

7

RYANAIR

GATWICK

42

9

42

EASYJET

NORWEGIAN

VUELING

GLASGOW PRESTWICK

6

RYANAIR

HEATHROW

55

BRITISH AIRWAYS

LIVERPOOL

12

7

EASYJET

RYANAIR

LUTON

21

7

EASYJET

RYANAIR

MANCHESTER

3

6

14

10

EASYJET

JET2

RYANAIR

VUELING

NEWCASTLE

6

EASYJET

SOUTHEND

4

EASYJET

STANSTED

28

RYANAIR

CORK

4

AER LINGUS

DUBLIN

14

18

AER LINGUS

RYANAIR

GIRONA

There has been a big increase in flights to Girona and it seems as though Leeds based Jet2 have suddenly found the airport, and since summer 2017 have introduced a whole raft of flights. In 2019 these flights start on 29th April. There are a few TUI flights, which do seem to be rather expensive.

FROM;

NUMBER OF WEEKLY FLIGHTS

AIRLINE

BELFAST

2

2

JET2

RYANAIR

BIRMINGHAM

2

3

JET2

RYANAIR

BOURNEMOUTH

4

RYANAIR

BRISTOL

5

RYANAIR

EAST MIDLANDS

2

2

JET2

RYANAIR

EDINBURGH

2

2

JET2

RYANAIR

GATWICK

1-2

TUI from 4 May

GLASGOW INT’L

2

JET2

GLASGOW PRESTWICK

2

RYANAIR

LEEDS BRADFORD

2-3

2

JET2

RYANAIR

LIVERPOOL

2

RYANAIR

LUTON

3

RYANAIR

MANCHESTER

2-4

3

1-2

JET2

RYANAIR

TUI from 4 May

NEWCASTLE

2

2

JET2

RYANAIR

STANSTED

2-3

5

JET2

RYANAIR

CORK

2

RYANAIR

DUBLIN

2

RYANAIR

KNOCK

2

RYANAIR

Please note that these are the average number of flights per week, and will be variable in the shoulder and peak seasons, that is why you will sometimes see a minimum and maximum number listed. If you think I have missed any,  please contact me on info@anglophone-direct.com. Please do bear in mind airline schedules do fluctuate.


AIRPORT TRANSPORT (correct early 2018)

PERPIGNAN

www.aeroport-perpignan.com

Bus/Train ……. The airport bus from Perpignan railway station takes about 20 mins and runs regularly from app 06.30 to 19.30 Mon to Sat, with a much reduced service on Suns and Holidays.

Taxi..…..3 taxi firms have the right to use the forecourt at Perpignan airport. Prices average about 2€50 per km, so fares for single trips to coastal resorts and the Alberes/Vallespir can be eye-watering !

Car..…… PGF is north of the city near Rivesaltes. Since the recent modernisation, parking supply is ample and costs around 40€ per week.

CARCASSONNE

www.aeroport-carcassonne.com

Bus/Train.….you can travel to Carcassonne railway station from almost any station in P-O, but must usually change at Narbonne. From Carcassonne, there is a shuttle bus that individually connects with each flight departure and arrival. Single fare 5€.

Car.……The airport is right by jcn 23 of the A61 autoroute. There are 3 car parks: short, medium and long stay, and a week in the latter costs 40€.

BEZIERS

www.beziers-aeroport.fr

Bus/Train…….All trains from PO stations to Montpellier and beyond stop at Beziers. From there, there is a shuttle bus that individually connects with each departing and arriving flight. Single fare 1€60.

Car. …..the airport is close to jcn 35 of the A9 autoroute. There is ample parking right next to the terminal and costs 40€ per week.

GIRONA

www.aena.es/en/girona-costa-brava-airport

Bus/train ……… Not an easy airport to access by public transport anymore. A train from Perpignan will take you to Girona station, the easiest option from there being a taxi at around 40 euros. ( price not confirmed).

You can also take a bus to the airport from Girona’s bus station, not far from train station to the Girona Buses run every hour & travel time is 26 minutes. Check bus schedules HERE

Pick up Flixbus directly to the airport from Perpignan. Prices are reasonable but timetable can be constrictive

Car.…….The airport is right by jcn 8 of the AP7 autopista. Several car parking companies exist both on and off the airport, and the official on-airport car park do regular promotions. For example, at the time of writing, a prebooked stay of 7 to 20 days costs a flat 42€.

BARCELONA

www.aena.es/en/barcelona-airport

Train……. The new Barcelona Metro line L9 now serves both Terminal 1 and 2 but only from stations south of the city so is of limited use if coming from P-O . The suburban train R2 Nord runs from Sants station in the city every half hour, but serves only T2 . As regards accessing Barcelona by rail from P-O, there are 4 trains to/from Perpignan daily direct to Sants station, but unfortunately the earliest of these arrives Sants at 12.38 and the latest departs Sants at 16.45. A better bet is Figueres Vilafant (AVE) station which offers a virtually hourly service to Sants from 06.30 to 21.00 daily.

Bus….. The Aerobus runs from the Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona city centre all day every 5 minutes to Terminal 1 and every 10 mins to Terminal 2. Perpicat (see Girona listings) run one morning service direct to Barcelona airport at a single fare of 50€ . There is a free green shuttle bus between terminals.

Car.…… Barcelona airport is on the south of the city just off the C31 autovia. I find that, generally, easiest access is via the AP7 toll road, continuing round the city onto the A2 autovia as far as the C31. Reckon on 2h15 mins from Le Boulou. Once there, parking options are vast. As a rule of thumb, the nearer the airport terminal, the more you’ll pay, but even at popular times you should need to pay no more than 8€ per day. I recommend looking at the official airport site, as there are often deals and promotions. For example at the time of writing prebooked up to 20 day stays in the main T1 multi storey just 3 minutes walk from the terminal were only 75€ ! Another option, particularly if you are catching an early flight is using one of the 4 local hotels that offer free shuttle buses direct to the terminals. You can leave your car free by the hotel, and usually rooms are available booking in advance for about 70€ . Try www.booking.com for details .

As I’ve stressed in this article, pre-booking tends to save you money, so a little pre-planning and flexibility usually pays dividends. But console yourself with the thought that, generally, transport and parking costs are a lot cheaper here than in the UK, where I’ve regularly paid more for my journey from East Anglia to Stansted than for the air ticket from Stansted to Perpignan !

TEST YOUR FRENCH (useful vocab at end)

Le président de Ryanair entre dans un pub et commande une Guinness.

“Ça fera un euro”, dit le serveur.

“C’est trois fois rien!”, pense O’Leary tandis qu’il laisse la pièce sur le bar.

“Dites, si vous n’êtes pas venu avec votre propre verre, il va falloir payer deux euros de plus”, fait remarquer le garçon.

Le président de Ryanair sort les pièces en grommelant, prend sa chope et se dirige vers une table lorsqu’il entend à nouveau:

“Si vous vous asseyez, c’est trois euros de plus et, comme vous n’avez pas fait de réservation, un supplément de deux euros vous est demandé.”

L’homme d’affaire irlandais, très contrarié, s’approche du garçon et lui lance :

“Tout ceci est un attrape-nigaud, je veux parler avec le responsable du pub”.

Le serveur lui sourit et répond:

“Vous ne pouvez le joindre que par courrier électronique !”.

A propos, si vous ne comptez pas laver votre verre, c’est deux euros de plus.

Et n’oubliez pas de tout ranger avant de partir.”

Vocab

C’est trois fois rien! – it’s nothing

tandis que – as/whilst

Dites – by the way

votre propre verre – your own glass (Votre verre propre – your clean glass)

il va falloir – you’ll have to

….sort les pièces – ….gets the coins out

en grommelant – grumbling

prend sa chope – takes his beer (chope – large beer glass or tankard)

lorsqu’elle – when

à nouveau – again

un attrape-nigaud – a con/trap

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