easyJet exploiting Valentine’s day demand surge and MIPIM event in Cannes (Nice)

Image: Barcelona likely to see more romance over the upcoming Valentine weekend
Barcelona was the setting of Woody Allen’s film Vicky Cristina Barcelona and, in spite of the high fares, the city is likely to see more romance over the upcoming Valentine weekend.

One of the arts of revenue management is to know what events there are that may induce a surge in demand and thus create an opportunity for increased revenue. School holidays are an obvious example on leisure routes. Next month, Valentine’s Day (14 February) falls on a Sunday, thus creating a perfect opportunity to indulge in a romantic weekend break. However, this is also a perfect opportunity for airlines to raise their fares (or make far fewer seats available in the lower fare classes).

As an example, anna.aero has this week collected fare data from easyJet’s website for the cheapest fare each day for a three week period from London Luton to Barcelona, a popular getaway for romantically-minded couples. All fares quoted here are the basic one-way fares which do not include any charges for luggage, Speedy Boarding, travel insurance, any sports equipment or relevant credit/debit card fees.

Chart: London Luton - Barcelona One-way fares in February
Source: easyJet.com on 15 January 2010
Yellow shaded areas are Saturdays and Sundays.

easyJet operates two daily flights making a day return possible. The spike in London outbound fares on and just before Valentine’s day clearly shows the potential for increased revenue. Barcelona outbound fares peak during the following week reflecting the likelihood that many people may consider going for a longer period, especially as that week coincides with half-term for many schools in the UK.

MIPIM event pushes fares up to Nice

Image: MIPIM event pushes fares up to Nice
Property inflation: Up to 30,000 real estate investors visit MIPIM in Cannes in March paying up to €450 for a one way fare from London.

The annual multi-day MIPIM exhibition and conference in Cannes for “connecting property professionals” has, in the past, seen easyJet charge over £400 (€450) for one-way fares from its London airports to Nice. A check in mid-January (two months before the event, which this year takes place from 16-19 March) shows that outbound fares from Luton on Monday and Tuesday are already above £200, while getting back on Friday afternoon will already cost almost £250.

Chart: London Luton-Nice - One-way fares in March
Source: easyJet.com on 15 January 2010
Yellow shaded areas are Saturdays and Sundays.

During March, easyJet operates only a single daily flight between London Luton and Nice. A quick look at easyJet’s London Gatwick to Nice flights during this period (operated double-daily) suggests that the Friday morning return flight has already sold out while a seat on the Friday evening flight (departing Nice at 21:25) will cost £140 at present. The Tuesday morning outbound flight (departing Gatwick at 07:15) currently has seats available at £230.


  1. Arthur Dent says:

    £451.99. As of this afternoon (Tuesday 26th January) the LTN-BCN fare on Saturday 13 February has just reached a staggering £451.99, excluding all the extra charges for bags, booking fee, priority boarding etc. One of the two flights has already sold out so they seem to be desperate to maximize the revenue on the other flight given that we still have two weeks to go before departure.

  2. Arthur Dent says:

    £700 return fare on easyJet. As of today (27 January) the LTN-NCE flight on 16 Feb is up to £302 while the NCE-LTN flight on 19 Feb is up to £395. So with credit card fee that makes a £700 return fare on easyJet a possibility. What chance a £1000 return fare on an LCC?

  3. Arthur Dent says:

    £900 return fare on easyJet to attend MIPIM. As of today (3rd March 2010) travelling LTN-NCE on 16/3 and returning NCE-LTN on 19/3 will cost a couple of quid short of £900. And that’s before you add any “extras” like bags, speedy boarding and booking fees. Wow!

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