Back in 1992, faithful Air France were one of the resort’s most important travel partners. After all, the high speed TGV rail connection was still two years away, and the UK’s direct connection to the magic via Eurostar and the Channel Tunnel not due until 1996.
But, as airlines such as itself focus more and more on long haul flights, it appears Disneyland Paris have looked to one of the successful low cost airlines, snapping up the short haul market, to give visitors more choice when booking a package.
As of 19th January 2010, Flybe.com signed closer links with the resort, effectively becoming one of its preferred travel partners. Compare the Autumn/Winter 2009 brochure with the updated Spring/Summer 2010 brochure, announcing the new options as available “soon”:
The press release from Flybe is rather vague, but confirms:
Flybe, the UK’s Number One Domestic Airline, has teamed up with Disneyland Paris® in a move that will pave the way for exciting promotions and added incentives for Flybe passengers to include flights, accommodation and theme park ticket packages. The deal builds on two successful campaigns that Flybe has previously run with Europe’s leading tourist destination.
Hugh Wood, VP and MD of Disney Destinations International says: “Disney Destinations is excited about expanding the business – this is very positive news for Disneyland Paris and our guests as it offers a wider choice of travel options for them.”
Flybe flights from Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Glasgow, Jersey, Manchester and Southampton to Paris Charles de Gaulle can now be booked at the same time as your package via the Disneyland Paris booking hotline. In return, Flybe will be promoting Disneyland Paris more heavily as a destination for its Paris flights.
As visitors increasingly sniff at paying the higher prices of airlines like Air France for short hops, it makes sense for Disney not to be losing out on these booking commissions — at the same time making clear how easy it can still be to get to the resort for people who don’t live in the South East.
But of course, there is a downside to not using Air France — that you won’t have Gérard Depardieu as your baggage handler… right?