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Winter Flights

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:28 am
by ridgeback
It seems that there isn't a single lo-cost carrier doing winter flights. When you contrast this with say. Spain and Portugal, this does seem to be extraordinary. Just wondered if anyone has a friend or relative who works for an Easyjet or a Ryanair who can explain why? Is it linked to the number of expats from the UK living in Crete -does anyone know how many there are?

Re: Winter Flights

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:54 am
by Kilkis
Easyjet and Ryanair's business model is based on where people in the UK and Ireland want tto fly to not on ex-pats flying to the UK. In summer they want to fly to summer destinations like Crete. In winter they want to fly to winter destinations. They have a limited number of planes and they move them to routes where they can get the highest occupancy rate.


Re: Winter Flights

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:14 pm
by filippos
There are no carriers with direct flights during winter. If you want to use a single airline Crete/UK it's Aegean via Athens

Re: Winter Flights

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:46 pm
by ridgeback
Thanks for your replies. I think we can all understand that airlines want to fill planes by serving destinations to which people want to fly. However, Ryanair fly throughout the winter to and from, for example, Carcassonne and Limoges to Manchester. Neither of these French locations could possibly be categorised as "winter sun" destinations. Therefore, it seems likely to me that many of the passengers are going to be expats visiting the UK and Brits visiting friends and family in France.Another not insignificant category is the passenger who has his home in France but commutes every week to the UK for work.Expats regularly visiting elderly parents in the UK is another element. I live in SW France so these thoughts stem from personal experience.
I am still struggling to understand why Ryanair isn't willing to give a weekly service to Crete a try when they fly twice a week to Limoges! Can I ask againi f anyone knows the number of UK expats in Crete?

Re: Winter Flights

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:17 pm
by filippos
Remember it's not only sun in winter. There are many ski resorts in Europe. Carcassonne, for example has more than 40 ski resorts nearby.
As for the number of UK expatriates in Crete this has been discussed on here previously. I can't remember the numbers now but not all who live here travel often to the UK and the airlines want a full/nearly full load for all flights. There aren't enough people wanting to travel between November and March to fill a 180-200 seat aircraft every week. You can be sure the airlines have done the sums and if they were going to make more profit flying to/from Crete than other destinations there would be flights.

Over the years this topic has cropped up regularly and the pattern of discussion and conclusions thereof have remained the same. I vaguely remember that at one time a petition to the airlines was raised and the numbers showed how unlikely it was that winter flights would happen.

There are practical problems, too. People visiting the UK from here want to fly to a wide variety of UK destinations. How many passenger would want to fly to, say, Stansted if their destination was Manchester or Bristol or Glasgow or Newcastle? Are there connecting flights or other convenient means of onward travel. Similarly, I live in the west of Crete and on the rare occasions I go to the UK I'd rather travel to LHR via Athens from Xania rather than trek along to Iraklio for a direct flight to a UK airport a hundred or more miles from my final destination.

Re: Winter Flights

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:23 pm
by Jeffstclair
Yes, I came home on a Easy jet flight from Gatport Airwick last week and there were a plenty of empty seats ...

Re: Winter Flights

Posted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:43 pm
by Carolina
ridgeback wrote:I am still struggling to understand why Ryanair isn't willing to give a weekly service to Crete a try when they fly twice a week to Limoges! Can I ask againi f anyone knows the number of UK expats in Crete?

Don't quote me on this, but I recall that the British Ambassador said in a speech she made on a visit to Chania last year that there are around 6,000 Brits living in Crete. Are these just the people that are registered here? How many more are home owners who do not live here? How many more live here but are not registered? I have no idea.

The winter flights issue was raised in 2013 when I started a campaign and petition to send to Easyjet and Ryanair. I also had a meeting with the Vice President of the Chania Chamber of Commerce, he saw the online petition and contacted me; local businesses have been trying for a long time to get the airlines to fly year round into Chania. There's a full run down of the campaign and reactions here
http://livingincrete-carolina.blogspot. ... s-and.html

There is a small update to that blog post. In the end there were around 2,200 e-signatures but the petition site has quite recently folded and they have disappeared. I had downloaded the first 1500 e-signatures and still have a copy of those which I had sent to Ryanair & Easyjet.

Also, there were 20 letters of support in the end from small businesses/ villa companies/small tour operators, which were forwarded to Easyjet after their initial lack of response. I never received any reply or acknowledgement from Easyjet at all, while Ryanair sent a formal, but standard, response (on the link above).