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New Ryanair hub in Marseille ......................

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Ryanair have announced the establishment of a new hub at Marseille.
Marseille airport is about 1 hr from Nimes and is already used by many travellers from East Languedoc.

Press Release :


Ryanair, Europe’s No. 1 airline today (10th May) announced that it has selected Marseille as its 16th European base. Ryanair will invest over $120M in 2 new aircraft that from November will serve 13 routes and deliver almost 1M passengers per annum. From November, Ryanair will connect Marseille to Brussels, Dublin, Eindhoven, Fez, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Karlsruhe Baden, London, Marrakech, Oujda, Oslo, Porto and Rome.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO today in Marseille said:

“Ryanair’s first base in France marks a major breakthrough for French passengers/visitors who will no longer suffer Air France’s high fares. This base will revolutionise travel to/from the Provence region. It would not have been possible without Marseille Provence airport who have developed a low cost terminal that has won them this base despite intense competition from 5 other low cost European airports.

“Now Marseille airport which has suffered a passenger decline from 6.5M in 2000 to 5.8M in 2006 will achieve record growth in 06/07 thanks to this new low cost partnership with Ryanair.

“Ryanair’s low fare routes are good news for business and tourism in Provence. Marseille airport will become the low fare airport for the South of France as Ryanair delivers almost 1M passengers p.a. This traffic will sustain 1,000 jobs whilst allowing passengers in the region to enjoy low fare flights and end the high fare monopoly of Air France.

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Less enthusiasm from me.  Hope it doesn't mean that Nimes gets squeezed out (literally, between Montpellier and Marseille).

Avignon's location is, indeed, excellent for many: it's relatively short runway may be the problem.

Lori - presumably you know about the Flybe flights to there from Southampton? 

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Ryanair fights back :


Ryanair, Europe’s largest low fares airline, today (Thursday, 11th May 2006) announced that it had launched a complaint to the European Commission against Air France regarding approximately €1 billion in illegal state aid that Air France has received from the French Government over the past number of years. The French Government has maintained an airport charging system whereby landing and passenger charges for domestic routes are often up to 50% lower than on routes between France and other EU Member States. This is illegal under European law and the European Commission has sued other Governments for similar differentiated charging.

As a result of this unfair price advantage Air France has received almost a €1 billion in illegal state aid, which has furthered their dominance in the French market and has placed competitors like Ryanair at a serious competitive disadvantage. Ryanair have therefore called on the European Commission to require the French Government to regularise their charging system and to force Air France to repay this illegal state aid.

Announcing the complaint against Air France, Ryanair’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, Jim Callaghan, said:

“Air France has a rampant monopoly in the French market and this dominance has been enhanced by the illegal airport charging system that has been maintained in France, despite rulings by the European Commission in other EU member states. These substantially lower charges on domestic French routes, on which Air France has an almost complete monopoly, have allowed them to make super profits on domestic routes and to cross subsidise their international routes, on which they compete with airlines like Ryanair. As a result, France is the only major EU country that does not have a significant low fares airline presence.

“For far too long, the French Government have been protecting Air France from competition and this is the most blatant example. Ryanair are now asking the European Commission to take urgent action against the French Government and to force Air France to repay this illegal state aid in order to remove the distortion of competition in the French market”.


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Oh but Peter, surely when one is in Rome one should act like a Roman?

If Ryanair don't like France, they should jolly well go home to where they came from...... oh damn, slipped into H E L L (How-integrated-I-am Expat Loony) mode there.  [Www]  

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Ian - No I didn't know about Flybe's flights into Avignon.  I only

recently even heard of Flybe.  Guess that could be because I am

not British - aren't they a British low cost carrier??  I did read

an article in the newspaper here (several months back) that said

Avignon's airport was going to expand and include more carriers, but

there was apparently a lot of hoopla  -  complaining 

-  and I don't know where that plan stands now.  The article

stated that the airport had a huge income potential that could benefit

the entire department.  Gee wonder how long it will take them to

make it happen.

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Lori .........

They're a reputable outfit, originating from the old Jersey European Airways. They start the Avignon schedule from end-May through to Sept-ish, 3 times wkly. Civilised timings and prices comparable with Ryanair for that time of the year.  You'll find them on www.flybe.com or something like that (but there's plenty of ads in the British press).

I guess that they'll try it out for the Summer and see what load factors they get.

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Thanks Ian.  I'll keep that in mind for future travel.

I'm just glad to hear SOMEONE is using Caumont other than Air France.  Just seems such a waste.

I always have to drive down to Marseille or Nimes for flights.  It

would be so so nice if I didn't have to do that.  With multiple

carriers and international destinations, Marseille and Nimes always

seem to be cheaper than using A/F out of Avignon and connecting through


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here are some more local options :

MarseilleCologne-BonnHapag Lloyd Express
MarseilleDublinAer Lingus
MontpellierCasablancaAir Horizons
MontpellierFrankfurt HahnRyanair
ToulonBrusselsVirgin Express
Flights scheduled for operation summer 2006, based on announcements at December 2005. Routes are subject to change at short notice.
NEW routes from Marseille starting November 2006




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