4 Jul 2003
Prestwick has more international scheduled services than BAA's Abbotsinch
Berlin-based low fares operator Germania Express today (Thursday July 3, 2003) confirmed it will commence direct scheduled flights between Glasgow Prestwick and the German capital in August.
Germania has opted for low-cost Glasgow Prestwick instead of Glasgow Abbotsinch where high charges have already deterred easyJet and bmibaby.
Germania Express will commence its no-frills service to Berlin Tegel using Fokker 100-type aircraft.
Whilst this is a true low-cost operation, passenger comfort is second to none. The beautifully fitted-out aircraft have 100 all-leather seats positioned at a 36" pitch.
The service will initially operate once daily Monday through Friday arriving in Glasgow Prestwick at 12:15 and departing at 12:45.
All fares will be €88 one way including all taxes irrespective of when the booking is made on www.gexx.de
The route is the third from Prestwick to be assisted by the Scottish Executive Interim Route Development Fund. The first two were Ryanair's new routes from Glasgow Prestwick to Barcelona Girona and Stockholm Skavsta.
Germania is one of Germany's largest low cost airlines. It operates to seventeen European destinations - five in Germany, four in Spain, three in Austria, two in Switzerland, and it also flies to Salonika, Istanbul and Tiflis in Georgia.
German Chief Executive Dr. Hinrich Bischoff said: "I'm delighted to be able to provide this new air service and am very confident that Berliners will be using it to visit Scotland in large numbers. Through the fantastic co-operation and partnership with Glasgow Prestwick, I am hopeful that this link between Scotland and Germany will be the first of many for Germania."
Independently-owned Prestwick, Scotland's fastest-growing airport, now has more international scheduled routes than BAA-owned Glasgow Abbotsinch.
"Scotland has been starved of air services because of BAA's high charges but now operators are seeing the real alternative at Prestwick," said Managing Director Tom Wilson.
"We have Ryanair, flyglobespan.com, Aer Arann Express, bmibaby and now Germania. We are Scotland's only low-cost airport.
"The message to the industry is simple: if you want low-cost air charges in Scotland, the only solution is Prestwick."
Last week bmibaby switched its daily Glasgow-Cardiff service to Prestwick because of Abbotsinch's high charges. Its Managing Director Tony Davis said: "BAA have not provided us with the opportunities to expand our business in Scotland."
And he added: "Higher costs at Glasgow Abbotsinch continue to restrict new route development in Scotland."
Tom Wilson added: "This could be the start of a mass exodus from high-cost Glasgow Abbotsinch. Operators who wish to significantly lower their cost base now have a real alternative a few miles down the coast at rail-connected Prestwick, the only Scottish airport with its own dedicated railway station. Thirty per cent of our 1.5m passengers arrive by rail and qualify for free or discounted rail travel throughout Scotland."
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