easyJet has been forced to drop the Paris Orly-Ajaccio route that was announced earlier this month.
easyJet was informed by the French CAA (DGAC) that it would not agree to a second airline operating scheduled flights on this route, as the French Government had granted a monopoly to Air France/CCM under a so-called Public Service Obligation (PSO). After careful consideration of all options, easyJet today decided not to operate the route.
François Bacchetta, easyJet Directeur Général France said:
“There is a huge demand for flights from Paris to Corsica, as we have seen over the past few weeks, and there is no justification for a monopoly. Not only are other airlines banned from this route, but also is tax-payers’ money being handed over to Air France.
easyJet finds it hard to believe that a subsidised monopoly is granted on such a popular route. We could provide a better service at a better price without subsidies with return fares starting at €70, compared to the lowest return fare of €263 for Air France/CCM.
The scheme is a licence for Air France to milk the French tax payer and the citizens of Corsica. As a consequence, tourism in Corsica suffers and visitors from Paris have to pay rip-off prices. Tourists who would have flown with us to Corsica will now go abroad this summer, because they can get cheap flights.”
easyJet is currently evaluating alternatives to the Ajaccio flight and will make an announcement in due course. Customers who have already booked a seat on the Paris-Ajaccio route will be contacted directly by easyJet and will be reimbursed free of charge. Sales on this route were already stopped on 13 March to minimise the impact on passengers.
On 7 March, easyJet announced further expansion in France with five new routes and three new airports (Ajaccio, Bordeaux, La Rochelle). The new routes are Luton to Bordeaux starting on 29 June, Bristol to Toulouse starting on 21 July, Marseille to Bristol starting on 22 July, as well as a 4 weekly flight from Bristol to La Rochelle which begins on 21 July.