Eastern to launch Dijon route

Eastern Airways, a predominantly domestic airline, is to begin offering flights between Southampton Airport and Dijon, a city in the wine-producing region of Burgundy, France. The thrice-weekly service, which begins on June 6 2011, will be the “only” way to access the south of England from Burgundy, according to Eastern’s marketing chief, Jan Halliday.

Dijon, while only a tenth of the size of the French capital, Paris, is rather well known in Europe. The city is located in the Côte d’Or (Golden Hillside) department, a region of France that produces Pinot Noir, Aligoté, and Chardonnay grapes. Pinot Noir, if carefully cultivated, can be used to create some of the most sought-after red wines in the world.

Kay Ryan, commercial director at Eastern Airways, said that the airline’s new route from Southampton Airport to Burgundy is “part of our wider development plans in Dijon”. The carrier established two domestic routes from the French airport in September 2010, travelling to Bordeaux and Toulouse, in order to “share our expertise” with the French people.

Eastern’s route from Southampton to Dijon is unique, as it represents the first time that the BAA-owned airport has been linked to the French city. The Hampshire hub has carved out a niche as a provider of flights to France and the Channel Islands, and currently offers 15 routes to the near continent, many of which are operated by Flybe.

The Dijon route will depart every Monday at 11:30 GMT. Flights on Fridays and Sundays will take off from Southampton at 12:30 and 12:10, respectively.

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