Aer Lingus joins battle with easyJet and Monarch on Gatwick-Faro

Image: Airport Passengers
Aer Lingus this week began services from London Gatwick to Faro – a route also operated by British Airways, easyJet and Monarch.

This week Aer Lingus began a new double-daily service between London Gatwick and Faro. British Airways, easyJet and Monarch already provide at least daily scheduled flights on this route which is popular with British holidaymakers seeking some sun and relaxation.

Fares (including all taxes) for a one-week return trip across a range of dates this summer (every day in May and the first week in June, July, August, September and October) have been collected. For each airline the cheapest available flight on each travel day was selected regardless of time of departure.

Chart: London Gatwick - Faro return fares
Source: Aviation Analytics via QL2 (Data collected on 29 April 2009).

For easyJet and Monarch flights, the optional travel insurance fee is not included. Aer Lingus, easyJet and Monarch all quote prices excluding baggage fees. Assuming a passenger takes a single non-overweight bag on both sectors of the journey the additional cost would be £20 for Aer Lingus, £16 for easyJet and £19.98 for Monarch.

Premium for Bank Holiday flights; BA most expensive

The big spike in late May coincides with a UK Bank Holiday on Monday 25 May. As a result outbound travel on the previous Friday or Saturday (22/23 May) is considerably more expensive as this is a key time for revenue managers to maximise the flight’s total revenue. Fares in August are also noticeably more expensive than in either July or September. Again, this coincides with the main school holiday period in the UK when families can travel together to soak up some sun.

Throughout the entire analysis period British Airways (which operates twice daily flights) is consistently the most expensive choice for consumers with return fares reaching almost £700 on 22/23 May. Interestingly, fares for this weekend’s UK Bank Holiday (on Monday 4 May) are nothing like as high for any of the airlines though BA’s fares on Friday (1 May) are almost three times higher than for the other carriers.


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