MALLORCA: THE GERMAN WAY
Air Berlin is headquartered in the German capital, but its largest base of operations is Palma de Mallorca, where it is the airline carrying the highest number of people. From this Friday, it is to fly non-stop from Stansted to the Mallorcan city with extremely attractive fares; there appears to be plenty of availability at around £47 return, even over Christmas and New Year. Unlike most low-fare airlines, Air Berlin (0870 738 8880, www.airberlin.com) includes assigned seating and free meals and soft drinks on board. Expect retaliation from easyJet (0871 750 0100, www.easyJet.com), which already flies between Stansted and Palma; a typical fare for Christmas/New Year is £131.
The digital TV channel BBC4 celebrates the centenary of powered flight by devoting this evening to a special sequence of programmes about aviation. At 9.30pm Time Shift focuses on the Jet Set - especially in Monaco, before Nice was a mere no-frills flight away. The programme has found classic archive footage of nouveaux riches and aristocrats at play.
SENT FROM COVENTRY
Three years ago the Midlands was a no-frills free zone; from next summer you won't be able to move without tripping over a cheap flight. Yesterday, Britain's biggest holiday company, Thomson, revealed that its new low-cost airline, Thomsonfly (0870 1900 737, www.thomsonfly.com) will fly from Coventry to 11 European destinations from next summer.
At present, the West Midlands airport has no scheduled flights at all. From 31 March, the new airline will serve two destinations with no existing no-frills service from the UK - Jersey and Valencia - plus Marseille, Nice, Rome, Pisa, Venice, Naples, Palma, Malaga and Ibiza. The lead-in fare is £17.99 each way, so long as you book online.