Volotea Plans Ambitious Summer Network Expansion

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Despite many airlines just hoping they will be allowed to fly this summer, Volotea is looking to expand its network and introduce more destinations. The Spanish carrier specializes in cheap flights to European cities and has announced 40 new routes to France, Italy, Spain, and Greece. It aims to restart operations by June 16th. Within 2020 the airline plans to add six new aircraft to its fleet as well as adding a total of 62 new routes.

volotea Boeing 717
Volotea is hoping to add 62 new routes this year. Despite the ongoing virus outbreak, it will launch 40 of those routes this summer. Photo: Volotea

Massive expansion plans

Volotea already operates in all four countries where it has announced new routes but is hoping to strengthen existing connections. The airline will also be opening routes to airports it has not previously served, including Beauvais in France, Santiago de Compostela, and Granada in Spain and Bologna in Italy.

Of the 40 new routes, 15 are to France; another 15 are within Spain, eight are to Italy, and just two to Greece. The two new routes in Greece will connect Athens to Corfu and Santorini to Thessaloniki. As well as launching the new routes the airline’s statement says it will “densify the frequency of its flights between mainland and islands” on existing routes.

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Volotea A319
Volotea is looking to increase its network by doubling its presence in Spain and France. Photo: Volotea

The Spanish carrier also claims five of the new routes in Spain are exclusive. Its plans for Spain include doubling the number of domestic routes as well as improving connections out to the Balearic and Canary Islands. Volotea also plans to base a second aircraft at both its Asturias and Bilbao hubs.

The airline’s French expansion is very similar to its Spanish plans. The airline will add 15 new routes, five of which are exclusive. It will also be connecting Corsica to the mainland. And it’s a similar story again for Italy, but on a smaller scale. Five of the eight new routes are exclusive to the airline, although it has not clarified which these are, and then there are plans to connect to Sicily and Sardinia.

Currently, Volotea has 39 aircraft but is adding a further 6 to help operate its new routes.

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Strong focus on island tourism

Although it hasn’t named each of the new routes in its statement, there is a strong focus on connecting islands to the mainland. Volotea has always focussed on destinations that see a lot of tourism. The expansion aims to capitalize on the easing travel restrictions and on “increasing travelers’ choices for local summer holidays.

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Volotea is going to be adding six planes to its 39 existing fleet to help cover the new routes. Photo: Volotea

Many people hoping to holiday in Europe this summer, others are expecting it to be the only option. Volotea is well-placed to provide cheap flights to those looking to get away once travel restrictions ease. Carlos Muñoz, Founder and CEO of Volotea said that,

Now that flying protocols are becoming clearer, and that clients will regain the confidence in safe and healthy travel for this summer, we know most of our clients will want to travel more, especially in domestic markets. “

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Hope for the summer

Today has provided many with significant hope of at least some recovery for the industry over the summer period. Especially for those within Europe, EasyJet has also said it is hoping to get back in the air around the same time as Volotea. Many airlines are now looking to adapt their networks and capitalize on a potential post-lockdown travel boom, so we may see more route changes as we get closer to summer.

What do you think of Volotea’s new routes? Will you be looking to travel after the lockdown is over? Do you think Europe will restrict travel to stay within its borders? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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