Air Transport World

Air Europe: different from the rest; the British package holiday airline has started offering scheduled services; has also started a premium cabin on some routes.

Air Europe: Different from the rest

Formed in the summer of 1978 specifically to carry British package tourists to the sunspots of the Mediterranean, Air Europe has succeeded well in this aim, but is starting to complement its basic business with a move into the scheduled market. At this writing, AE is operating scheduled services from its main base at Gatwick airport, London, to Palma, on the Spanish island of Majorca, and was due to begin similar oprations from Gatwick to Gibralter Nov. 1. It holds Manchester-Gibraltar and Gatwick-Barcelona scheduled licences, and is looking round for further opportunities.

The move towards scheduled services has been made because there is a more-discerning breed of British holidaymaker appearing demanding seat-only travel. It also reflects a more-relaxed attitude towards licensing by the CAA here which, while not approaching U.S. deregulation, does introduce a degree of liberalization on services into Europe.

In a further departure from the majority of what are known as Britain's "package holiday airlines,' AE has introduced a premium cabin on some routes, both scheduled and inclusive tour. Called premier class, it blocks off up to 17 seats in Boeing 737s and up to 30 in Boeing 757s, using a seat back divider, but with seats at the same pitch as in the rest of the airplane. …

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