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Flybe offer could launch price war

PUBLISHED: 07:45 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 October 2010

Budget airline Flybe today launches its first low-cost route from Norwich to Amsterdam, promising to undercut its competitors by up to 55pc. The announcement could launch a price war as KLM - the only other operator flying to the Dutch capital from Norwich International Airport - is already hinting at more competitive fares.

Budget airline Flybe today launches its first low-cost route from Norwich to Amsterdam, promising to undercut its competitors by up to 55pc.

The announcement could launch a price war as KLM - the only other operator flying to the Dutch capital from Norwich International Airport - is already hinting at more competitive fares.

With Flybe's prices starting at £29.99 one way and £59.98 return, including taxes and charges, the service, which will initially operate as a once daily return, is expected to be popular with business and leisure travellers.

However, the company was unable to confirm what proportion of tickets on each flight would be available at the lowest rate, with a spokesman saying it would vary depending on the popularity of particular flights and how far in advance customers booked.

And although the Flybe service is undoubtedly cheaper that KLM's lowest rate of £99, the hundreds of people who travel via Amderstam to long-haul destinations each week may still prefer to use the Dutch airline as the cost is often covered in their package. The first Flybe flight takes off on October 29 and tickets can be

booked online now.

Mike Rutter, chief commercial officer for Flybe, said: "This significant move into the Dutch market sees us delivering on our promise to continue expansion across Europe and provide low cost travel to the regions.

"We are significantly undercutting competitors on this route and have high hopes for the new service. We see huge potential for growth in Europe and this is just one of the many new route announcements for Flybe in this exciting marketplace.

"We are delighted with the success of the Norwich base and over the past year we have aggressively increased our services and passenger numbers from Norwich and our other regional bases across the UK and we

will continue in our goal to bring more destinations directly to people's doorsteps, pushing the growth of regional air travel."

KLM did not comment on its future pricing plans but in an interview with the EDP earlier this year Vincent Knoops, general manager of KLM UK, said a new booking system could lead to more competitive fares. He also said the airline would consider increasing its capacity if the route continued to prove popular.

A spokesman said: "We now offer passengers flying from the UK access to a global network. Rather than just providing a point to point offering, passengers can fly to 650 destinations worldwide with KLM and its SkyTeam partners, via KLM's hub at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

"KLM is currently the only scheduled intercontinental airline to operate flights out of Norwich International Airport and, as a full service airline, passengers can make use of KLM's lounge facilities plus the carrier offers a full inflight service and full ground services.

"As an airline pioneering seamless travel, KLM is proud to be the only carrier to offer a fully functioning internet check in service for Norwich Airport allowing passengers to

check in and print out their very own boarding cards from the comfort

and convenience of their home or office."

Flybe now has an online check-in for its Economy Plus passengers.


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