Eurostar faces increased Avignon competition

21 Feb 2007 by business traveller

This summer sees budget airline Flybe again compete with Eurostar on the popular Avignon route. Eurostar operates a weekly (every Saturday) high-speed train direct from London to Avignon between July and September.

Air options in previous years were limited and costly. The sole option was to route via Paris and transfer between CDG and Orly.

But last year Flybe began summer flights from Southampton. It was the first direct flight linking the UK and Avignon. Southampton continues again this year with Flybe adding an additional service from Exeter.

So air travel can be a better alternative for travellers living within easy reach of either airport especially as there are more departures. A further advantage for Flybe is that Eurostar's timings (an early departure from Waterloo with a late return) are geared for the London market so regional passengers can incur additional hotel expenses.

Eurostar's Avignon service departs from, and returns to, Waterloo every Saturday between July 7 and September 8. Return fares start at £99 in standard and £249 in first class.

Flybe departs Southampton four times a week (every Monday, Wednesday. Friday and Saturday) between March 26 and October 27. Typical return fares in July start at £100. Flybe's new service departs Exeter three times a week (every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) between March 27 and October 27. Return fares in July start at £76. Flybe's prices may vary when you travel outside the summer peak.

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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