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Thomson suspends route from Bournemouth Airport to Sharm el-Sheikh
HOLIDAYMAKERS who booked their trips abroad from Bournemouth have been left facing an unexpected journey to London after an airline pulled its route to a popular destination.
It emerged yesterday that Thomson had decided to suspend its route to the tourist hotspot of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, leaving those who had booked to fly from Bournemouth Airport facing a last-minute switch to Gatwick – more than 100 miles away.
A statement from Thomson apologised for the inconvenience and added: “Following a review of our flying programme the decision was taken to suspend the route from Bournemouth to Sharm el-Sheikh.
“We have offered customers flights from an alternative airport as well as compensation in line with our terms and conditions.
“Thomson is committed to flying customers from their local airport to fantastic destinations and we continue to invest in our operations at Bournemouth Airport.”
One Daily Echo reader, who asked not to be named, said he had been contacted by Thomson to be told his flight at the start of October to Sharm el-Sheikh had been moved to Gatwick.
He said the holiday was booked last December.
“We specifically really wanted a holiday from Bournemouth as we live in Christchurch and it’s 10 minutes away. I believe Bristol is affected as well.
“What they are doing is amalgamating the flights at Gatwick as they’re not filling the flights, I believe.”
He said he had been refunded the difference of the cost of the flights from Bournemouth compared to Gatwick, as well as receiving money back for seats with extra legroom, which they had paid for.
“It just means that in the future you wonder whether it’s worth booking from Bournemouth. It seems Bournemouth is being more and more diminished.”
It is thought that Thomson flights to Sharm el-Sheikh have been suspended until April and replaced with a service to Lanzarote.
Bournemouth Airport, whose MD is Paul Knight, declined to comment.
Ryanair’s schedule is cut
THOMSON’S move comes a few days after Bournemouth Airport’s main airline, Ryanair, announced it was cutting parts of its winter schedule.
But it said it was too early to say which airports and routes would be affected by the cuts, prompted by a fall in profits.
In July the low-cost operator announced it would operate a winter schedule from Bournemouth for the first time in three years due to huge demand.
It is currently offering six services to Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malaga, Alicante and Girona.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “We are going to respond to this by being out there first and being aggressive in fare response.”
The airport stressed that it was “business as usual” at the moment.
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