Flight news - new routes to the snow
As a bumper season for snow in the Alps finally draws to a close, while ski resorts bombard us with press releases on their summer programmes (though some ski resorts are still open, like Sunshine Village in Canada), and most people’s thoughts turn to what beach they will be reading the latest blockbuster on, here at Where to Ski and Snowboard we’ve got our noses to the grindstone putting together the 2013 edition, to be published in late-August/early September 2012. We’re gathering news from all the resorts, tour ops and others involved in the ski holiday business. And we’ll be publishing advance news snippets here on our web site.
And we’re kicking off with getting to the slopes, and some news of changes to services for ‘independent travellers’.
Monarch Airlines http://www.monarch.co.uk are expanding their scheduled-flight service to more ski-area-serving airports. Top of the list is new services from Leeds Bradford International Airport to Grenoble and Munich, while there are expanded services to Friedrichshafen (handy for St Anton), Grenoble (covering the Southern French Alps) and Munich (serving many Austrian resorts) variously from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Birmingham. This is in addition to its services to a number of Italian airports within reach of the slopes. Monarch has also introduced a number of flexible upgrades, for a fee, naturally.
The full list of new scheduled flights:
London Gatwick: Friedrichshafen - 4 flights per week
London Luton: Munich - 4 flights per week
Manchester: Friedrichshafen - 2 flights per week; Grenoble - 3 flights per week; Munich - 4 flights per week
Birmingham: Grenoble - 3 flights per week; Munich - 4 flights per week
Leeds Bradford: Grenoble - 3 flights per week; Munich - 2 flights per week
Our other flight news is less positive; unfortunately SnowJet http://www.snowjet.co.uk/ has ceased its convenient services to Chambery and Sion, to the great regret of the WTSS editors. According to their website, they “will be focusing on our core business of operating ski flights on behalf of tour operators”. Bon voyage, SnowJet.
Update 25/5/12: bmibaby has been sold to IAG (International Airlines Group - the holding company for British Airways, Iberia and bmi - http://www.iairgroup.com ) and will be winding down flights from the 11th June through to the 9th September, which means there will be no service next winter. bmibaby had regular services to Geneva and Verona that catered for skiers. See http://www.bmibaby.com/bmibaby/faqs/important_information.aspx for details.
Update 30/5/12: British Airways has announced it is increasing flights to two of its popular European ski destinations from Gatwick next winter. From December 18, flights to Turin in Italy will increase to 10 a week and flights to Salzburg in Austria will increase to five a week, as both cities are popular destinations for ski holidays. The extra return service to Turin will operate on a Sunday and extra return services to Salzburg will operate on Thursday and Saturday.