Something To Declare: Pilgrimage route axed; Croatia
Saturday 14 January 2006
Warning of the week: pilgrimage route axed
European travellers who like extra comfort are about to have their choice reduced once again. Ryanair is continuing to chase "full-service" airlines off long-established routes.
At the end of January, the Spanish airline Iberia (0845 850 9000; www.iberiaairlines.co.uk), is to abandon its decades-old link between Heathrow and Santiago de Compostela: the destination of pilgrims paying their respects to St James. The link is also sold by British Airways under its "code-share" arrangement with Iberia. From 1 February, the Iberia plane and crew will be switched to La Coruña, 40 miles north of Santiago. The only direct flight back to Britain for pilgrims will be with Ryanair (0906 270 5656; www.ryanair.com) to Stansted.
Bargain of the week: Croatia
The first low-cost link between the UK and Croatia is set to start on 27 March. Wizz Air (00 48 22 351 94 99; www.wizzair.com) will fly from Luton to Zagreb on Fridays, Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. The opening offer to Croatia's capital is £50 return.
The fine lakeside city of Klagenfurt in southern Austria is another possible way in to northern Croatia, as well as to northern Slovenia. Styrian Spirit (00 43 5 0805 1212; www.styrianspirit.com) is a small Austrian airline that has opened a link with Luton, making up for Ryanair abandoning the route. Given the high standard of service, a week's trip departing 22 January looks reasonable at €180 (£129).
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