Ask the traveller: No Ryanair?
Wednesday 02 March 2011
Q: Has Ryanair now stopped flying between Edinburgh and London? I am no longer able to find these flights on the booking page. Have we done something to upset Michael O'Leary?
Ryanair will fly you from Edinburgh to dozens of destinations. Yet even though Europe's biggest no-frills airline has big operations based at London's three low-cost airports – Gatwick, Luton and Stansted – it has never flown between the Scottish and English capitals. Why not? Because easyJet already flies between Edinburgh and that trio of airports. And the experience of the past 15 years demonstrates that low-cost airlines rarely compete directly between one airport and another.
Ryanair's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, is not averse to a scrap with Britain's biggest airline, easyJet, but only when he feels his turf is being invaded. When easyJet decided, six years ago, to launch flights from Gatwick to Ireland, Ryanair duplicated the routes, halved the fares and travellers cashed in until easyJet retired hurt. A similar battle ensued between Scotland and Northern Ireland when BA's low-cost start-up, Go, tackled easyJet from Belfast to Edinburgh and Glasgow. For many months, hardly anyone paid more than a fiver each way. The madness ended only when easyJet bought Go. Most of the time there is an uneasy coexistence: between Glasgow and Stansted, for example, easyJet flies from "real" Glasgow, while Ryanair operates from remote Prestwick.
The Edinburgh-London route enjoys plenty of terrestrial competition, too, with overnight train prices starting at £19 for Caledonian Sleepers, and bargains on Megabus and Greyhound coach services. And from May 22 – when East Coast Trains improves its timetable, at least for major stations – there will be even less reason to take the plane. A new early departure, branded the Flying Scotsman, leaves the Scottish capital at 5.40am, stops only at Newcastle and takes four hours to reach King's Cross. Going north, the last train from London leaves an hour later, at 7pm.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Scientists create transparent mouse complete with see-through organs
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Amazonian Indian tribe filmed making contact with Brazil village in rare video footage
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...