Volotea to poursue its growth strategy in the Bordeaux Region and launch two new destinations for next summer
Volotea, the airline that connects European regional capitals, has unveiled its plans and developments for 2023 in Bordeaux today, giving the company’s International Business Development Manager, Céline Lacroix, an opportunity to look back on how the airline has developed and become firmly established in the region since it started operating out of the airport 10 years ago.
VOLOTEA CONFIRMS PLANS TO EXPAND ITS BORDEAUX OPERATIONS IN 2023
Volotea is set to pursue its growth strategy for Bordeaux in 2023 with a 39% increase in its offerings compared with 2022, thereby making 712,000 seats available on 4,300 flights throughout the year. The company, which has operated out of Bordeaux since it was founded in 2012, will offer two new destinations next year:
These new routes are already available for booking on the Voletea website, with prices starting at €29. Their addition to the Volotea network means the airline will serve 23 destinations out of Bordeaux in 2023, seven of them exclusively: Cagliari, Santorini, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Split, Florence and Strasbourg. These new developments are a clear illustration of Volotea’s strategy to increase its number of connections between the Bordeaux region and island destinations, with 42% of its seats now allocated to island destinations. In addition, the company is stepping up its international growth by connecting Bordeaux to six countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Algeria and France). To support this growth, the company is relying on its fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft designed for short- and medium-haul flights. In this manner, Volotea will continue to increase its presence in the region and support its economic development. In 2023, the company will provide 80 direct jobs and more than 160 indirect jobs.
Céline Lacroix, International Business Development Manager for Volotea, points out that “After operating for 10 years in this region, Bordeaux has become one of our strategic development hubs. We are proud to have presented our plans here today for our operations in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, which should see us strengthen both our local ties and the connectivity of the region by maintaining strong growth momentum in Bordeaux. We want to pursue our development plans with all stakeholders in order to offer people in the Bordeaux region an ever-expanding choice of destinations at competitive prices, while also guaranteeing the best possible passenger experience. Finally, it is equally important for us to keep taking practical steps, together with our partners, towards the creation of a sustainable aviation sector.”
Simon Dreschel, Chairman of the Bordeaux Airport Management Board, adds: “The confidence Volotea has shown in our airport and our region bears witness to our ability to work in partnership with airline companies in order to offer a flight schedule that meets the needs of people in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. With its base in Bordeaux and the resulting employment benefits, the company is now firmly established in the region. Incidentally, the Volotea HR team will be attending the “Destination Emploi” job fair on 17 November, organized by the airport and Pôle Emploi.”
RECORD GROWTH FORECAST FOR VOLOTEA IN FRANCE IN 2023
Buoyed by its strong performance over recent months, the airline company is continuing to expand in France, its key European market, and has announced, for 2023, the launch of its biggest flight offering since it began operating in the country. Volotea is planning to offer almost 6.5 million seats in France (out of a total of 11.7 million throughout its entire network), corresponding to an 81% increase in its offering compared with 2019. To this end, the company will be operating 224 routes next year out of its eight bases in France (Nantes, Marseilles, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Tarbes-Lourdes), all of which will benefit from new routes in the coming year. Volotea also intends to play a major role in the economic and social development of the regions in which it operates. These ambitions will be consolidated by the arrival of several Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, bringing the total number of aircraft at its French bases to 26, and representing nearly 700 direct jobs and 1,400 indirect jobs.
Volotea was created in response to the emergence of a major opportunity in Europe: the connection of European regional capitals, which established not only the company’s positioning but also the very reason for its existence. To this day, it operates without any competition on more than half of its links. Within its network, the company is ranked in either first or second place for the number of routes offered out of the majority of its bases. Furthermore, the relevance and success of Volotea’s strategy were recognized at this year’s Routes Awards: specifically, Volotea’s strategy during the COVID-19 crisis and, in particular, the adaptation of its network with the establishment of more than 150 routes, and also at the World Travel Awards 2022, where, for the second year running, it was named Europe’s leading low-cost airline.
THE VOLOTERRA PROGRAMME: A ROADMAP FOR MEETING SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES IN THE SECTOR
The “Voloterra” programme is a series of practical initiatives enshrined in the company’s sustainable development strategy. Since the airline’s creation in 2012, Volotea has implemented more than 50 initiatives to reduce its aircrafts’ fuel consumption, which have reduced its emissions by more than 40% per passenger kilometre travelled. The replacement of its fleet with cleaner and more efficient Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft is a further indication of its commitment to reducing emissions. Volotea has also demonstrated its commitment to the ecological transition by introducing sustainable airline fuel (SAF) in its aircraft and investing in the long-term development of the first commercial electric aircraft.
In addition to these emission-reduction measures and strategies, Volotea has implemented several initiatives to offset its emissions, and was the first airline company to join Vinci Airports’ forest carbon sinks programme. Finally, in accordance with its own business model, Volotea does not operate low-occupancy flights and averages an occupancy rate of between 90 and 95%, often with no or very few empty seats.
Volotea was founded in 2011 by Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros, who also founded Vueling. It is one of the fastest-growing independent airlines in Europe, increasing its fleet, the number of routes served and seats offered every year. In 2022, Volotea is set to reach the milestone of 45 million passengers carried throughout Europe since the company was established.
Volotea is currently based in 19 European regional capitals: Asturias, Athens, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Cagliari, Florence (due to open in 2023), Hamburg, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles, Nantes, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Strasbourg, Tarbes-Lourdes, Toulouse, Venice and Verona. Volotea serves more than 100 cities in 16 countries, including Algeria, to which flights from France started in December 2021.
The airline currently operates a fleet of 41 aircraft, up from 36 in the summer of 2019. Volotea has increased its seat capacity by nearly 39% compared with 2019, when it sold 8 million tickets. This highlights the strong demand in Europe's mid-sized city markets.
Likewise, the company is aiming to increase its workforce in all its markets. In June 2022, Volotea had more than 1,600 employees across Europe.
Volotea became a fully Airbus carrier in 2021. The airline had initially planned to standardise its fleet in 2023, but brought its plans forward in order to improve its cost base over the next two to three years and increase its network offering by using aircraft with a higher capacity and a longer flying range.
Since 2012, Volotea has implemented more than 50 initiatives to reduce the fuel consumption of its aircraft which, combined with the change to a fully Airbus fleet, have enabled it to reduce its emissions per passenger kilometre by more than 40%. Since 2021, the airline has been voluntarily offsetting 5% of its total CO2 emissions, with the aim of reaching an offsetting target of 25% by 2025. This year, Volotea has introduced sustainable aviation fuels in its aircraft for the first time and is working with manufacturers and the industry to ensure that these fuels (which are currently difficult to access) can be further developed and made more widely available as quickly as possible.
In 2022, for the second year running, Volotea was named “Europe's Leading Low-cost Airline” at the World Travel Awards, the industry's most prestigious awards recognizing excellence in the transportation and tourism industry worldwide.