Snow comes early in Western Europe; easyJet and add most new winter ski routes

December 2: airberlin arrives in Salzburg from both Hannover and Stansted (although easyJet and have led the way in expanding their UK winter ski networks).

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.

Airline Geneva
airberlin   Düsseldorf   Hannover
London STN
Carpatair         Bacau
easyJet Leeds/Bradford   Berlin SXF
Liverpool Belfast BFS
East Midlands
Swiss Madrid        
TAROM       Bucharest       Billund
Wind Jet         Moscow DME
Source: 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 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.


  1. DAVID NEILL says:

    In addition to starting Salzburg services from Manchester, Jet2 will also be adding a new route from Edinburgh for the many Scottish skiers wishing to travel to Austria this winter.

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