Spanish low-cost carrier, Volotea is to further expand its presence in the French market with the launch of three new routes from its base at Bordeaux Airport. The airline will add five additional weekly frequencies to its network through new links to Alicante, Faro and Split in summer 2016, bringing its total network from the French facility to 23 destinations in eight countries.
The Barcelona-headquartered carrier, established by the original founders of Vueling, has developed bases in France, Italy and Spain after first launching flights in April 2012 from Marco Polo Airport in Venice, Italy using a fleet of Boeing 717-200s. It arrived in the Bordeaux market in 2012 and based on this month’s schedules the city’s Mérignac Airport now the fifth largest point in its network and second largest in France after Nantes Atlantique Airport.
“We are particularly proud of Volotea’s growth in Bordeaux, where we will have risen from seven destinations in 2012 to 23 in 2016. This is impressive growth due among other factors to our team based in Bordeaux, with over 70 people. The three new routes announced today will allow us to offer a wider choice of destinations, attaining an even larger target,” said Carlos Muñoz, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Volotea.
The airline’s model is built around connecting small and medium sized European cities with non-stop direct flights and its latest growth will see Volotea add a sixth destination in Spain to its network with twice weekly flights to Alicante from April 10, 2015; a second destination in Croatia with a twice weekly service to Split also from April 10, 2015; and a first route into Portugal with a weekly link to Faro from June 2, 2015.
“The opening of these three new routes confirms the position of Volotea as the airline offering the widest choice of destinations from Bordeaux. This rapid development over the last three years is the illustration of its success at our airport which, as in 2014, continues to lead the way in terms of growth among large regional French airports,” said Pascal Personne, Chairman of the Management Board, Bordeaux Mérignac Airport.
Since the launch of its operations in Bordeaux, Volotea has carried over 786,298 passengers from/to the city, including more than 260,000 in 2015. Next year, Volotea will offer over 504,000 seats from Bordeaux, an increase of 16 per cent over last year, when it grew departures by 17 per cent versus 2014 by operating close to 3,500 flights.
Alongside its three new routes, Volotea serves six domestic markets (Ajaccio, Bastia, Brest, Figari, Toulon and Strasbourg) and 14 international points: five in Italy (Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Pisa and Venice), five in Spain (Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Malaga, Palma de Majorca, Tenerife) and one in Germany (Munich), one in Croatia (Dubrovnik), one in Greece (Corfu), one in the Czech Republic (Prague).
OAG data shows that the growth of Volotea has seen it establish itself as the fourth largest operator from Bordeaux Mérignac Airport by capacity. Although it operates the largest variety of destinations, its lower frequency operations means it accounts for only around 6.4 per cent of total departure seats, behind Air France (34.3 per cent), easyJet (22.4 per cent) and Hop! (11.3 per cent).