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Go puts a stop to its pounds 100 flat fare

GO, the new European low-fare airline launched by British Airways just over a week ago, put up some of its cheapest tickets by 20 per cent and announced the end of its flat fare of pounds 100 return on all seats yesterday, writes Randeep Ramesh.

The airline said the original offer was only "introductory", adding it would continue to sell some seats at rock-bottom prices as part of a new fare structure. That will mean the cheapest return tickets on Go flights from Stansted airport to Milan and Copenhagen will remain at pounds 100, but those travelling to Rome will have to pay at least pounds 120 for a round trip.

Go's moves are part of the airline's attempt to establish itself quickly as a recognisable name. It is believed that Go will launch another batch of routes from London to Germany in the next few months and then make inroads into popular European destinations such as Amsterdam and Barcelona. A spokesman for the airline was not willing to say how many seats would be available at the lowest price. "It will vary from city to city," said Jamie Bowden, a press officer with Go's parent company, BA.

This sees the end - just 10 days after the carrier was launched - of the revolutionary "one-price-for-all-seats" approach pioneered by Go.

Other low-cost airlines openly advertise "staggered" seat prices. The lowest single fare for easyJet's London-to-Athens route is pounds 69, but passengers can pay pounds 159 for the most expensive seats.

Go will mimic this. Higher prices will be charged in increments of pounds 10 according to availability on its fleet of 148-seat Boeing 737-300 aircraft. David Magliano, sales and marketing director, said: "The number available on each flight varies but we think we will have more seats on our aircraft at the lowest price than any of our competitors."

Leading article, page 14