ROUTES EUROPE: Southampton Gains French Route to Dijon

UK regional carrier Eastern Airways is to expand its activities in the French market with the launch of a new seasonal connection between Southampton International Airport, on the English south coast, and its new base at Dijon, in Eastern France.  The three times weekly service will begin on June 6 and will be operated by a 29-seat BAe Jetstream 41 turboprop.

“This new summer service from Southampton is part of our wider development plans in Dijon to provide a UK link to the south of England,” said Kay Ryan, Commercial Director, Eastern Airways.  “Southampton Airport is a popular gateway for heading to France and our service will save business and leisure travellers visiting the Burgundy region valuable time.”

The city of Dijon is the capital of the Cote d’Or and Bourgogne region and industry includes manufacturing, automobile, electronics, machinery and pharmaceuticals.  The region has some of the country’s best wine producing vineyards, and of course Dijon is famous for its mustard.

The new route will be the only direct link to the UK from the Dijon region and will provide access to the whole of the south of England, besides the local market, according to Jan Halliday, Director of Marketing & Communications, BAA Southampton.  “London is just 66 minutes away by train from Southampton Airport and the route provides an ideal way to access the Olympics in 2012 in both London and Weymouth,” she added.

This latest announcement is part of Eastern Airways’ expansion plans for Dijon, following the set up of a dedicated French base in September 2010 with domestic services to Bordeaux and Toulouse.  The airline has already confirmed the start of a daily domestic route from Dijon to Nantes from May 16.