Easyjet expands routes in southern France, including new flight to Denmark

The low-cost airline Easyjet has announced the expansion of its services to and from the French Riviera, including a new direct flight to Copenhagen.

Easyjet expands routes in southern France, including new flight to Denmark
Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

Easyjet revealed to French newspaper Le Figaro that it will be opening the new Nice to Copenhagen service from summer 2023. 

It will also be expanding many of its existing services from Nice, and keeping them going through the winter.

From November 1st there will be;

  • Six weekly flights to Lisbon
  • Twelve daily flights to Paris – eight to Orly and four to Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle.
  • One daily flight to Rome
  • One flight during the week and two at weekends to Marrakech
  • A daily flight to New York

Easyjet now represents a third of all traffic in and out of Nice airport, and in 2019 transported 4.8 million passengers.

Since 2019, the French government has banned domestic flights where there exists the option of taking a train in two-and-a-half hours – the Paris-Nice route escapes that ban because the journey by train takes five and a half hours.

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French teachers blame Brexit as schools cut trips to UK

The number of French pupils crossing the Channel on school trips - even daytrips - to the UK has plummeted post-Brexit, with teachers blaming the additional cost and paperwork involved.

French teachers blame Brexit as schools cut trips to UK

“I wanted to, but I gave up. It’s dead,” middle school teacher Murielle Bourré told local paper La Voix du Nord.

Schools in northern France used to do regular day-trips to the UK, since it’s just a short ferry-trip away, as well as longer visits, but many teachers say they have stopped this since Brexit.

School trip organisers in northern France have noticed a large drop-off in the number of school trips to the UK. “Before Covid, we used to organise about 40 trips a year. This year, it will be about 10,” said Edward Hisbergues, a school trip organiser from Maubeuge in the Nord département.

According to Hisbergues, Ireland is now the more straightforward option because it is an EU Member State, although trips there are more expensive.

Since October 1st, 2021, any European citizen wanting to visit the UK has needed to hold a passport when previously a national ID card was sufficient. 

Since the ID card can be used for travel anywhere within the EU, many French people don’t have passports, meaning that parents need to apply for a passport for their children in order for them to go on a school trip.

For French children aged up to 14, a passport costs €17. For children aged between 15 and 17, it costs €42. An adult passport costs €86. It is often enough for hard-pressed parents to think again, especially for day trips to cities in the south-east of England, such as London, Canterbury, or Brighton.

Meanwhile, children at French schools who hold non-EU passports require a tourist visa, at a further cost of £100 – it also requires a trip to the British Embassy in Paris.

One possible solution – a collective passport, allowing groups of French children to travel to the UK on one document – has reportedly been discussed in government, but plans have not yet seen the light of day.

Pre-Brexit, around 10,000 school trips a year came from France, representing a direct annual input into the UK economy of £100m, according to travel companies.

Detailed post-Brexit figures are not yet available – since travel was heavily restricted by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 – but anecdotal evidence from trip organisers suggests that the number has fallen.