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Toulouse - Southampton route


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If you put this together with the bits about Toulouse in the Travelling To/From France section, that means that THREE low costs have now pulled out of Toulouse, BMI baby are the third, that just leaves EasyJet flying to Gatwick and they have two flights a day throughout the summer. Seems odd that this is happening when the BMI Baby flights over the Christmas period were so busy.
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I have made a posting in the Travelling to France forum, which may give a clue about Toulouse. There is a rumour that Airbus is taking back some of the airport, in order to fly this new plane they are building. It seems some of the smaller airlines are losing out. One presumes BA will keep flying there but I wonder if it will become more of a business than a leisure airport. Maybe the leisure carriers will start to use more of the local airports like Cahors..who knows.

Lottie

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I have made a posting in the Travelling to France forum, which may give a clue about Toulouse. There is a rumour that Airbus is taking back some of the airport, in order to fly this new plane they are building. It seems some of the smaller airlines are losing out. One presumes BA will keep flying there but I wonder if it will become more of a business than a leisure airport. Maybe the leisure carriers will start to use more of the local airports like Cahors..who knows.

For the last couple of years villages on the N113/N20 north of Toulouse have been plastered with signs objecting to a new airport and it had been my impression that Airbus wanted increased/exclusive use of Blagnac. However, the A380 will not "need" more of Blagnac in order to be flown. A big aircraft does not take up more of an airport operation than does a small aircraft, its size is not a material factor when it comes to runway occupancy and there are unlikely to be many more than half a dozen movements a day when it is flying. The airfield has two runways and is hardly overused (consider Gatwick - probably 10 times the daily traffic from a single runway). And anyway, I would guess that EADS (Airbus' owner) may look to establishing final assembly plants elsewhere.

When I passed through Blagnac last week there was an exhibition celebrating 50 years of operation and looking to future expansion. My guess is that the airport's owners are increasing their fees or otherwise discriminating against low-cost operators. If so, more fools them!

I would like to see Agen being used.

By the way, why do you consider low cost operators to be "leisure" operators? Are they "less" of a business than full service operators like BA? Do they only carry non-commercial passengers?

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By a "business" operator, I was thinking of an airline that was more likely to be used by people travelling on business than going on holiday.

For example BA, with 3 flights a day, can have me in the London office by 9.30am if I get the first flight, and then I return two days later on the evening flight which means I don't leave the office until 5.30pm. Although RyanAir's flight from Rodez is nearer, it wouldn't give me that flexibility.

A number of the airlines at Toulouse serve European cities like Frankfurt which are more likely to be used by business travellers. Just look in the departure lounge, everybody is clutching their laptop!

Maybe these airlines who charge higher fares, are prepared to pay higher landing fees.

Lottie

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Yes, I see what you mean.

I suppose I had believed that companies like easyJet and Ryanair would develop their services into being attractive to business travellers. But then if Mr O'Reilly keeps looking for cost reductions like out-of-the-way cheap airports he isn't going to attract business passengers and he is stuck with a more fickle passenger base. Which means impermanent services.

This is where we started. Perhaps the low-cost airlines aren't prepared to do the business marketing which would make routes viable in the long term. Then Toulouse would not be pricing itself out of the market - if that is what is happening!

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We live about the same distance from Toulouse and Bergerac, we always try to get our guests to use the latter as it a much nicer route.

I also would love to see Agen used, but these small airports and low cost airlines do have limitations, poor winter service and if plane is cancelled for bad weather.............hard luck.

 

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Yes there is so much about Toulouse being dropped that it must be a pricing issue ! Shame as it was a useful hub. (When Perpignan failed due to bad weather last Feb, and Ryanair couldn't be bothered flying out of Carcassone instead, it was Gerona and Toulouse that took the strain).

Perhaps more flights into Carcassone ?  Or my suggestion for an airport near to the upcoming rail hub near Puigcerda/ Latour ? Even a 'leisure' airport would be good !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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i'd really like a low cost airline to use tarbes/lourdes.  selfishly, bliss would actually be a low cost service from stansted to toulouse or tarbes/lourdes.

am amazed that other low cost airlines are pulling out of toulouse and am particulalry surprised by EUjet which seems to have stopped before it barely started.

in terms of business use i think quite a number of business people use easyjet.

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Here's an update I received yesterday from the Passenger Traffic Manager at Toulouse Airport:

EUjet flights from Manston was planned to operate only during winter season for ski travellers.
- Flybe is going to continue to operate Bristol and Birmingham routes to Toulouse as daily flights. We do expect to have a second daily flight to Bristol as the traffic is important and needs additional frequencies. Only Southampton will stop from April 2005 due to lack of profitability of the route (too much cheap tickets sold).

- Bmibaby is going to stop East-Midlands as they have decided to reduce the number of aircrafts based in East-Midlands and so they have decided to stop routes where the operate only as weekly frequencies (instead of daily).

- All big airports in France are going to change their structure. We are talking about private investors but nothing has been done yet. There are negotiation between Chamber of Commerce and French Government. Airbus is not involved in this issue.

This does explain things a bit.

Lottie

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>Only Southampton will stop from April 2005 due to lack of profitability of the route (too much cheap tickets sold).

This makes me laugh, from June 2003 onwards (i.e. just after the route opened) I regularly checked the prices from TLS-Southampton.

Only the first time did I get a reasonable price (57 eur each way), after that every single time, no matter how far in advance I looked, what time of the week etc, it was about 160 euros each way!

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Thanks for that Lottie. When the AirFrance service stopped last year that was due to the UK end. The flight was operated by Flybe who decided to sell their Heathrow slot to Virgin. I heard that Airbus were not happy about this at all. Makes sense as they were one of the major buisness users of this flight. Now you can only go to Gatwick and although the winter flight times (BA and Easyjet) will get you into central London at a reasonable hour and allow you to leave after a full day in the office, its not the case in the summer.

I too would love to see an Agen alternative but its not likely to be at good business timings. Even the Agen-paris service stops and starts and chenges operators from time to time.

Lets hope any increased Airbus activity means they just have to provide more Toulouse routes !
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