Since its grand opening in 1992 Disneyland Paris has been closely associated with Air France which acted as the resort’s official airline. Last year Air France was even recruited by the resort in its effort to bolster the attendance numbers by handing out free one day passports to its passengers flying into Paris (as we reported over on the Mousekingdom Blog). However, unnoticed by many flybe, a low cost carrier flying from various UK airports into Paris (using Charles de Gaule airport there) and thus a competitor of Air France on some routes, run a similar promotion for a free one day passport as well plus a 15% discount on all additional passports (even so the promotion ended prior to the Air France promotion already at the end of June instead the end of September).
The promotion must have been a success as the resort teamed up one more time with flybe later in the year, offering up to 50% discounts on 2 night packages in the Disney Hotels leading up to the christmas days (and yes, this promotion has ended as well). Looking back these two promotions seem to have been tests by the resort’s management and the UK airline whether a partnership made sense. The results of the tests?
Considering that the high price of the Euro for guests from the UK has had an impact on the UK market for the resort obviously being able to offer flights not only on Air France but also on a low cost carrier which nevertheless lands at one of the two main airports of Paris should make sense for Disneyland Paris. And it seems it did.
Earlier this week British travel websites such as Breaking Travel News revealed that flybe and Disneyland Paris have teamed up “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“. Simon Lilley, director of marketing at flybe is cited with a statement that “flybe is delighted to cement its relationship with Disneyland Paris. To be working with one of the world’s leading brands is a real mark of respect for flybe and is also a sign of our significant presence and commitment to the regional French market.” While Hugh Wood, vice president and marketing director of Disney Destinations International comments: “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.”
However, the announcement is rather vague in what this actually means. There is no word whether Disneyland Paris or Disney Destinations Internation have entered into a any formal contract with flybe or whether the new partners have already agreed to any specific deals and promotions. Currently the website of flybe does not list any promotions unique to it. Nevertheless, guests from the UK should check out the official website of flybe for deals and special promotions regularly in the future…
UPDATE: DLRPToday just published scans from the official spring & summer brochure of Disneyland Paris for the UK market. Apparently the brochures – even so released prior to the announcement by flybe and Disneyland Paris – already included flybe flights as low cost alternatives to Air France flights. So it seems the partnership was already in the preparation for a while, most probably with contract negotiations dictating the timing for the announcement.
At least for the UK there is no longer any exclusivity for Air France in the official brochure of Disneyland Paris anymore. So the question now certainly has become: what about other European countries? Will Disneyland Paris supplement the flights of Air France with flights by other airlines on additional markets? May some international brochures already included alternative airlines? What about YOUR country? Let us know!