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Budget airlines slash fares

Europe’s budget carriers heavyweights have joined the price war by announcing across-the-board fare cuts. easyJet unveiled its January sale today with 25 percent off all flights between 1 March up to 30 June 2009. Meanwhile rival Ryanair has put one million seats on sale to over 300 routes.

The cuts in the budget market coincide with a price war at the premium end of market, sparked by Virgin Atlantic’s sweeping cuts.

Europcar, easyJet’s car hire partner is offering a free upgrade from economy to compact rentals booked for collection between 1 March and 30 June 2009.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair is delighted to brighten up the start of January with unbeatable fares of just ?2.50 on over 300 great routes Europe-wide. 

“The first week back to work is always the worst and it can be the best time to book a short city break, a ski trip or a summer sun holiday. Our New Year price war will make it even easier for passengers to take advantage of Europe’s guaranteed lowest fares and no fuel surcharges. Our half price seat sale is the ideal weekend pick-me-up to lift the spirits and provides something to look forward to for 2009.