Autumn is around the corner? Certainly not at the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, which is bringing you a sun-drenched catalogue to fly away to azure skies.
You would almost miss the dreariness a little! Because the coming winter season is packed with “picture-postcard destinations” at Toulouse-Blagnac. The French airline, XL Airways, the pioneer of this trend, is beginning operations from the airport with two long-haul routes to Réunion and Martinique. The route to Saint-Denis de la Réunion will be launched on 31 October, with a direct flight all year round on Tuesdays. On the Atlantic side, Fort-de-France will be served once a week, every Thursday, from 18 January to 26 April. After the west and the east, you can head south for the third island on the programme this winter, as scheduled flights: Fuerteventura, with the Spanish airline Volotea, which will operate a weekly flight to the Canary Islands on Sundays, from 24 December.
Autumn is also the perfect season for other sensations. For those looking for diversity, at the end of summer, Ryanair recommends Edinburgh, a Scottish city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where nature and culture meet. With two flights a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, Edinburgh is the fourth new destination in the Toulouse airport’s Autumn-Winter programme.
Two other destinations, launched this summer, will be extended in autumn: Caen, the route opened by Volotea, which was a great success by directly connecting the Pink City to Normandy, is therefore confirmed with two weekly flights on Thursdays and Sundays. Hop! Air France will offer an alternative from 22 December, with four flights a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) to the Prefecture of Calvados. Second destination: Athens, with flights operated by Aegean during the Christmas holidays.
Another new feature of the Autumn-Winter programme is the introduction of additional operators on existing routes. Ryanair is launching flights to Lisbon (6 flights a week, every day except Saturdays), Frankfurt (4 flights a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays), Seville (2 flights a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays) and Naples (2 flights a week, Wednesdays and Sundays).
Volotea lands in Nantes (4 flights a week, Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays), while easyJet flies to Venice 3 times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays). Air Arabia Maroc invites you to Agadir, by connecting the seaside resort twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. Finally, Iberia Express, the low-cost subsidiary of the Spanish national airline is launching operations in Toulouse with a daily flight to Madrid at budget prices.
This autumn, several airlines are increasing their flight frequencies to the destinations they serve on scheduled flights. This is the case for easyJet, which is offering two flights a day to Nice (Mondays and Fridays), as well as an additional weekly flight to Nantes on Wednesdays. Ryanair is doubling its flights to London-Stansted. Volotea will offer an additional flight on Thursdays to Strasbourg, and will operate a flight every Saturday to Bastia throughout the winter season. Tap Portugal will operate additional flights to Lisbon on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while Turkish Airlines is expanding its service to Istanbul with a flight on Sundays. Finally, Paris will be even better connected to Toulouse: Air France is increasing the number of seats it offers by 12.2% to Paris-Orly, as is easyJet (+7.2%).
Three ad hoc flights wrap up this winter offer from Toulouse. Costa is offering a cruise to the Caribbean from Pointe-à-Pitre (departure on 13 January by Alitalia charter flight), MSC Cruises is opening the doors to Havana and the Spanish Caribbean (departure on 17 February by Air France charter flight) and La Française des Circuits is organising a trip in Lapland, from 27 January to 3 February (Transavia charter flight).
The number of seats offered in this Autumn-Winter programme (75 direct destinations) shows an 8.6% increase compared with 2016, with 4,956,596 seats for sale. This growth is balanced between the scheduled domestic network (+8.3%) and the scheduled international network (+8.9%), to the detriment of the charter offer (-28.8%, 40,717 seats). The low-cost offer, up by 19.9%, is expanding thanks to Volotea, Ryanair and, to a lesser degree, easyJet.
“This autumn, some exquisite destinations are in the offing”, says Jean-Michel Vernhes, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. “The Toulouse airport is expanding its long-haul service, with the two routes opened by XL Airways, as well as its medium-haul route with Volotea to the Canary Islands. The resumption of a route to Scotland is also good news, which we owe to Ryanair. Perfect timing to go and cheer on the France national rugby team at the Six Nations Championship, next February. Finally, the increased service to Paris-Orly, thanks to Air France and easyJet, shows that air travel remains a very efficient means of transport to get to the capital”.
The 2017-2018 Autumn-Winter programme will kick off on Sunday, 29 October.
Pictures : Jean-Michel Vernhes and Catherine Gay,
Crédit photo : © Aéroport Toulouse-Blagnac / Guillaume Serpault