Air France subsidiary Cityjet will inaugurate flights from London City to Dresden and Paderborn in time for the summer 2013 season.
Dresden will start on April 1 with Paderborn following on April 22. Both routes will be operated six times a week with the venerable Avro 85 seeing service to Dresden while Paderborn will be operated by a Fokker 50 turbo-prop.
In the case of Dresden will it be third time lucky? I ask, because air services between London and Dresden have seen mixed fortunes since British Airways inaugurated direct flights in March 2007.
BA operated daily from Gatwick before pulling off in October 2008. The route was vacant until April 2010 when Lufthansa resumed service using a Bmi A319 out of Heathrow. That service lasted until March 2011 to be replaced by a Eurowings CRJ900 (with Lufthansa branding) which itself ceased in March 2012 (click here for more details).
Dresden is an increasingly popular destination for tourists and business travellers alike. But passengers are not prepared to pay profitable prices for their tickets.
Flights I took with Lufthansa (in the days when it was rostered for Bmi’s A319) to Dresden were fully booked in economy but empty in the business cabin.
Cityjet will face higher operating costs than did the previous operator Lufthansa because its four-engined Avro 85s are fuel inefficient by today’s standards.
On the other hand Cityjet will be aided by the ongoing problems at Berlin Brandenburg. Why? Because not only is the capital’s new airport on the ‘right’ side of Berlin, it was designed with its own station with the aim of providing easier rail links to regional cities like Dresden. But as we reported recently (see online news November 14), Brandenburg will not now open until next October at the earliest.
Cityjet’s other new destination, Paderborn in Nord Rhine-Westphalia, was most recently served by Air Berlin which operated daily from London Stansted between September 2002 and October 2011.
Cityjet is confident it will be ‘third time lucky,’ Andre Cini, the carrier’s commercial director told Business Traveller.
“We are delivering a product and airport, London City, that is adapted to passengers that might be travelling for business or leisure. By offering the only direct service between the two regions, without having to travel to Leipzig or Berlin first, along with attractive entry fares and complimentary onboard service we feel we’ve got a winning combination.”
The full schedules for the new routes are details below.
For more information visit cityjet.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter
Schedule for Dresden
- From London City to Dresden Monday-Friday and Sunday: departs 1330, arrives 1630
- From Dresden to London City Monday-Friday and Sunday: departs 1715, arrives 1815
Schedule for Paderborn
- From London City to Paderborn Monday-Friday: departs 0930, arrives 1215; Sunday departs 1230, arrives 1515
- From Paderborn to London City Monday-Friday: departs 1245, arrives 1330; Sunday departs 1545, arrives 1625