In this exclusive interview, Luc Bereni talks with ITB News about the carrier’s new summer schedule. 2022 is a year of major international expansion and reinforced cooperation with TOs for Air Corsica.
Which new routes will you be operating this coming summer? What will be the size of your network compared to 2021?
We have indeed announced several novelties in our network for this upcoming summer season. With a total of 36 regular routes, 8 more than in the summer of 2021, we are offering a service to Corsica that is unmatched since the company was founded in 1990!
What are the countries that will be served for the first time this year? Why did Air Corsica’s management decide to operate these new routes?
In addition to mainland France and Belgium, where we have never stopped operating during the two “Covid years”, we are offering Corsica in 2022 from 5 countries whose service had been interrupted due to the sanitary crisis. Some other destinations are true novelties. We will serve the United Kingdom (from London Stansted to Ajaccio and Calvi); Sweden (Gothenburg-Bastia), Austria (from Vienna and Salzburg to Calvi and Ajaccio), Italy (Rome-Ajaccio) and Switzerland (Zurich-Ajaccio). All our analyses have led to the conclusion that there is a strong tourist potential on these routes, which until now had little or no connection through direct flights.
Do you have specific partnerships with tour operators? Do you offer advantages to TOs which buy seats in advance or special incentives for their customers (luggage, lounge’s use, ticket flexibility, etc…)?
Air Corsica is extremely flexible in terms of cooperation with TOs that propose Corsica as a destination. All arrangements or packages are possible, from block seats to negotiated fares, including of course various allotment or one-off group formulas. All our TO fares include a registered baggage and a drink/snack on board.
“Air Corsica is extremely flexible in terms of cooperation with TOs…”
Do you also plan charter flights with TOs? When would it start if implemented? Would you only fly to and from Corsica or are there other destinations outside Corsica that could be served with your own fleet?
We tend to ignore it but charter represents nearly 5% of Air Corsica’s activity. If a TO wishes to have the total capacity of our aircraft – the ATR72 has a capacity of 70 seats and the Airbus A320 of 180 seats – it is indeed in their best interest to ask us about a charter operation. In 2022, this is the case for various routes from French regions. We also worked on charter flights to various European countries, such as Sweden and Denmark last year. Outside Corsica, our charter activity is more limited, but we occasionally carry out incentive operations with some brokers.
How do you work with the Corsican Tourism Agency (ATC) to promote Corsica?
Before a new tourist season starts, we analyse jointly with the Corsican Tourism Agency which are the markets to be targeted. We generally join forces when a promotion initiative is launched. It can be a series of actions and campaigns to promote the destination either to the B2B segment or to the general public.