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gosta

Aero Lloyd unexpectedly ceased opeartions due to bankruptcy!

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And another one bites the dust! This was one of Europe's leading charter airlines! Sad!Wolfgang

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yep... happening accross all countries. This is what occurs when quality drops and cost go up. Because of security issues (long lines and carry on item limits), poor service (reduced staff), cost (way to much for number of flyers), quality (no food, tight seating) and no end in sight I personally have reduced my business travel up to 40% even in our economic recovery.bottom line - sometimes it just is not worth it!

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I guess this has a lot to do with the rise of the low cost airlines. traditional airlines were never big on the typical mediterranean holiday destinations, and most people would fly charter. But now you can get cheap tickes with Ryanair, Easyjet etc. to most popular holiday destinations, so a lot of people will use this alternative instead of a charter solution.- Oyvind

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Hi Oyvind,I'm not sure that's the case here. Aero Lloyd was a charter airline whose business mainly came from holiday tour operators, rather than individual customers (although they did have a few scheduled services). As such, they served different destinations from the low-cost airlines. Easyjet and co mainly fly between major cities, while the charter carriers serve the 'traditional' holiday resorts. While the low-cost carriers do serve some mediterranean destinations, it's usually those that are also attractive to non-holiday travellers. But places like Hurghada, Funchal, Olbia etc. are not that attractive to them, as people prefer to buy 'all-inclusive' packages. So I think the low-cost airlines are more of a threat to the scheduled carriers than to charter airlines.Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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Well perhaps. The reason I thought that is that just the other day I read complaints from charter operators here in the Norwegian newspapers that the low costs were eating their business as more people now would fly with a low cost and take care of hotel booking themselves. Currently there are direct low cost flights (I believe) from Norway to places like Nice, Alicante and Faro (Portugal). Perhaps these are not the same as the charter destinations, but people travelling to those destinations are definitely on holiday in most cases.I'm not saying this development is a bad thing, but the enormous growth of low cost carriers has to come from somewhere else than just the business sector.- Oyvind

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Hi Oyvind,you're absolutely right there, those destinations do cut into the charter market and are also profitable to low-cost carriers. The three places you mentioned, Alicante, Faro and Nice, are very attractive to individual travellers as well as package tourists - from personal experience, I'd recommend flying into Nice, rent a car, then drive along the Cote d'Azur towards Monte Carlo and Saint Tropez, then go inland via Grasse to Geneva, staying in Hotels along the way wherever takes your fancy. It's one of the most scenic drives I have ever done (the other way round, though - coming from Geneva).But it's the 'beach and bar only' resorts that are still firmly in the hands of the charter airlines and all-inclusive tour operators. You'd be hard pressed to find a cheap flight only to places like Varna, Fuerteventura, Holguin or Punta Cana.Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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That sounds like a good recommendation, Gosta! I have been to the Cote d'Azur once, but without a car, and not long enough to really explore the area. I would absolutely like to go there again.- Oyvind

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Hi Oyvind,that trip is definitely worth it. The best way to go about it, is not to make any plans - you can easily drive from Geneva to Nice in a day, so there's no hurry. I'd book a hotel for the first and last nights only, at your arrival and departure cities respectively. Apart from that, take in in your stride - if you have a tent, all the better, there a lot of 'unofficial' campsites around which are more than tolerated by the authorities, cheap hotels are not that difficult to find, once you're off the beaten path, and the best restaurants are often in little villages (make sure you've got the French version of the Michelin guide). One of the more memorable places was an old little village right on the coast with a beautiful beach and no tourists (sorry, I forgot the name of the place). The reason why there were no tourists was the bridge - to get there, you turned off the main coastal road and then crossed the river via some planks that posed as a 'bridge' No railings, warning signs, or anything. Our car was a 1972 Mercedes 220D, and it was too large, it just about fitted on the planks, but it was so close that jumping it was a serious alternative... :). From then on, it's another 4-5km on dirt road to the village. However, the reward was worth it - an excellent restaurant, beautiful beach, no tourists, some Roman ruins (nothing special, but adds to the atmosphere) and genuinely nice people (OK, managing to cross the bridge in a Merc probably made us the talk of the town, considering the biggest local car was a 2CV...)So, give it some serious consideration, and I'm sure you won't regret it.Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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Will do... I think one of the interesting things with France is that, no matter how remote the village, there's usually a restaurant with a sophisticated menu. - Oyvind

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Yeah, the French definitely have their priorities right in that aspect. For an excellent seafood variety, I recommend the Atlantic coast between Rochefort and Royan - of course, you can then turn East, go up the Loire towards and past Bordeaux and enjoy the most excellent wines to go with your food as well :). But I'd save that for a separate trip...Cheers,Gosta.http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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