Vueling Selects Florence for New European Base

Spanish carrier Vueling has announced it will open a second base in the Italian market next year at Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci Airport.  The airline will base a single Airbus A319 in the Italian city from March 2013 to add a further four destinations to its network, increasing its activities in Florence by more than 150 per cent compared with last summer, when the company first launched flights from the Tuscan capital. 

Vueling inaugurated flights to Florence in March 2012 with services from Barcelona, Madrid and Paris Orly.  It dropped the Madrid route at the end of the summer schedules in October but continues to serve the other two destinations with multiple daily frequencies.  Under its revised summer 2013 schedule, which will see the return of the Madrid route on a three times weekly basis, Vueling will introduce links to Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg and London Heathrow, adding 160,000 extra seats during the season.

According to schedule data, Vueling will be the sole carrier on all of its seven routes but with face indirect competition in the London and Paris markets.  On the Paris route it already competes with CityJet, which serves Charles de Gaulle Airport for its parent Air France and Vueling will also compete with the carrier to London, via its London City route.  Meridianafly also operates from Florence to London Gatwick but this service is due to end in January. 

The German cities of Berlin and Hamburg will be brand new destinations from Florence.  Vueling’s other new route to the Danish capital Copenhagen will mark the return of a service operated on a seasonal basis by Sterling Airways and its successor Cimber Sterling between 2006 and 2010.  Vueling will offer daily flights to Barcelona, London Heathrow and Paris Orly; four times weekly services to Berlin and Copenhagen and three times weekly to Hamburg and Madrid.

Florence will be Vueling’s fourth base outside of the Spanish market complementing Amsterdam (inaugurated in 2010) and Rome Fiumicino (launched earlier this year).  It has also had a base in the southern French city of Toulouse, but this has subsequently been closed, although flights continue to the link the city with its Spanish hubs.

Vueling’s summer plans at Florence will significantly increase seat capacity from Amerigo Vespucci Airport and with a total of 315,460 seats on offer between March 2013 and October 2013 will position the carrier among the largest operators from the Tuscan gateway during the summer schedule.  In the table below we highlight the scheduled network from the airport during the same period this year when Vueling already accounted for a 6.8 per cent share of the capacity.  

SCHEDULED AIR SERVICES FROM FLORENCE AMERIGO VESPUCCI AIRPORT (non-stop departures; March 2012 – October 2012)

Rank

Airline

Flights

Seats

% Capacity

1

Alitalia (AZ)

1,508

183,942

19.7 %

2

Lufthansa Cityline (CL)

1,505

162,534

17.4 %

3

CityJet (WX)

1,680

159,600

17.1 %

4

Meridianafly (IG)

733

93,980

10.1 %

5

Swiss European Air Lines (LX)

735

73,500

8.0 %

6

Air Dolomiti (EN)

883

66,028

7.1 %

7

Vueling (VY)

439

63,216

6.8 %

8

airberlin (AB)

440

33,000

3.5 %

9

Brussels Airlines (SN)

271

22,954

2.5 %

10

Austrian Airlines (OS)

348

34,800

2.1 %

(Others)

976

73,254

5.8 %

TOTAL

9,170

932,008

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