blu-express ventures into Greece and Spain; only Nice survives from airline’s first season

Image: blu-express rolled-out the blue carpet for the recent launch of twice-daily weekday services from Rome Fiumicino to Genoa
blu-express rolled-out the blue carpet for the recent launch of twice-daily weekday services from Rome Fiumicino to Genoa.

Image:blue-expressDespite having been in existence for more than three years, Italian low-cost carrier blu-express is probably barely known outside of Italy, since the majority of its routes from its Rome Fiumicino base have been domestic. Part of the Blue Panorama group its regular fleet consists of just two 737-300s (148 seats) and two 737-400s (167 seats) though aircraft from its parent company are also used during peak periods.

This summer sees the airline venturing into Greece and Spain for the first time with scheduled services to Palma and Mykonos beginning soon and Ibiza flights having recently started. In the winter of 2005 when the airline began operations its network included daily flights to Munich and Vienna, as well as routes to Grenoble and Nice in France. Only the Nice service has survived since those early days.

Chart: blu-express network: summer 2009
Source: blu-express website

This summer sees the airline using 50% of its capacity on just two domestic routes from Rome Fiumicino to Catania and Turin. Competition on the Turin route is provided by the new Alitalia while on the Catania route competition is much fiercer with new Alitalia, Meridiana and Wind Jet all offering non-stop flights on the route.

Almost 90% of blu-express’ scheduled flights this summer are on domestic routes, with Nice being the best served international destination with six weekly flights.


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