Aer Lingus today rejected an Irish Independent article on low fare seat availability as unbalanced, inaccurate and misleading. A spokesman for the airline said over 200,000 low fare seats had been sold during January for travel up to the end of March and that 2.5 million low fare seats would be on offer for the full year.
Highlighting the inaccuracy of the article, the front page piece refers to Aer Lingus and cited Barcelona, a city which is not yet served by Aer Lingus, as the main case for its story. The article is riddled with other inaccuracies suggesting that Aer Lingus does not fly to Frankfurt, a city served three times daily. Comparisons with other competitors are scant with three of the six sample destinations not compared at all.
In the case of the example used to Amsterdam, the article directly compares a quote for a return journey €218 with the advertised each-way fare of €54. Aer Lingus still has over 10,000 fares at €54 each-way available until March 31st. The spokesman also pointed out that the article chose the busiest period within the January - March timeframe, St Patrick`s weekend, when the lowest priced seats are snapped up at the earliest possible opportunity.
With over 200,000 low fare seats already sold, the spokesman added that on the five specific routes selected in the article, more than 30,000 sale fare seats were still available for travel up to the end of March. Specifically 10,000 to Amsterdam at €54 each-way; 5,000 to Paris at €54 each-way; 4,000 to Munich at €76 each way; 5,000 to Frankfurt at €54 each-way and 6,000 to Edinburgh at €24 each-way.
1) Over 200,000 low fare seats sold by Aer Lingus in the past three weeks.
2) Aer Lingus has committed to 2.5 million sale fare seats in 2002.
3) Aer Lingus will offer more low fare seats into/out of Ireland than Ryanair will have total seats in this market.
4) Barcelona - a city which Aer Lingus will only commence serving in April, was highlighted as having no cheap seats during St Patrick`s weekend!
4) The comparative destinations chosen revealed that Aer Lingus did not fly to Frankfurt, a city which we serve three times daily.
5) Of the 30 airlines serving Ireland only two were chosen for comparisons.
6) Three of the six destinations were not served by any other carriers, leading to an unbalanced view of the offers available.
7) The comparison tables highlight telephone prices when the report clearly reflects internet prices.
8) Demand for low fares seats for the peak period chosen - St Patrick`s weekend - is among the highest of the year and seats are sold out more quickly than off-peak periods.