22 SEPTEMBER 2014
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Now very much part of IAG Barcelona-based Vueling says that passenger numbers in 2014 are up 30% and should reach 22m for the year.
Chief Executive Alex Cruz notes that the airline is different than other so-called ‘low-cost operators’ with a load factor of just 77% but higher yields and up to 40% business travellers.
The airline does not chase the very low fares. Business travellers pay more, their flexibility allowing for unoccupied seats and much more financial return.
Mr Cruz is proud of the flight connections operation at Barcelona where the transfer times for Vueling to Vueling Schengen flights are just 35 minutes. Clients pay the sector fares but baggage is transferred for free. This works very well on routes from Northern Europe where direct flights to some of the sun spots are limited.
Italy has seen a big expansion this year with 10 aircraft forming the nub of the Rome (Fiumicino) operation. Mr Cruz says that a limited connection programme is under trial. Once Fiumicino is really established Vueling will look at other major bases where link flights are possible and clearly Paris Orly fits into this category. The problem here is gaining the slots. www.vueling.com
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