This year’s European winter ski season would appear to have come early, with many parts of Western Europe experiencing unexpectedly heavy snow falls, and not just in mountainous regions. As a result several airports had to cope with major disruption, especially in snow-loving Britain.
Many of the new winter ski routes are from the UK as snow enthusiasts in other European regions such as France, Germany or Italy tend to pack all their ski gear in a car and drive to their favourite ski resorts. Scandinavians have enough snow in their own countries thus making it unnecessary to fly to the Alps or other southern European ski areas.
|Wind Jet||Moscow DME|
|Source: anna.aero new route database, OAG Max Online|
LCCs with bases in the UK seem to have been busiest expanding their winter ski networks, with easyJet and Jet2.com leading the way. Apart from the routes in the above table easyJet has also added a new service between Liverpool and Grenoble and has re-started flights between London Stansted and Grenoble after a five-year gap. Another ski route from the UK is between London City airport and Chambery, which will be operated by British Airways during the rest of the winter season.
One notable absentee from this table is Ryanair which launched a wide-range of winter ski routes in 2008 and 2009. Although many of these are re-starting in the next few weeks the only half-hearted attempt at growing the market is to operate just a couple of flights during the February half-term school holidays from various UK bases to Salzburg and Turin.