Tony Blair drops Easyjet
In a blow to its ambitions of dominating Europe's skies, budget airline Easyjet has learned it will not be taking the Blairs on their summer holidays. In late July, Easyjet announced, with its usual blaze of publicity, that Tony Blair and his family were planning to use the airline to travel to the South of France - the first time the prime minister has travelled on a low-cost airline.
But it has emerged that the prime minister will now be travelling with Ryanair, the Irish airline that is Easyjet's main competitor in the cut-price market.
Easyjet had incorporated the Blairite seal of approval into its summer advertising campaign, adding the slogan "Even Tony Blair got a bargain this summer" to its distinctive orange posters.
An Easyjet spokeswoman was unable to confirm that the airline had been dropped by Number 10, pointing out that Mr Blair's ticket purchase would have been anonymous in any case.
But she said that the airline would be "disappointed" to lose his business.
"We were delighted at the publicity" when Mr Blair first decided to fly Easyjet, she said.
She speculated that multiple bookings may have been made for security reasons.
As for the losses incurred on the now-obsolete summer advertisements, the spokeswoman said the campaign was only ever intended to be short-term in any case.
Downing Street has not said why the Blairs have changed their minds about Easyjet.
Their decision to fly with a budget airline in the first place was justified because "it was convenient".
But Downing Street acknowledged that there had been criticism of the prime minister's decision to use the Royal Air Force to take his family on previous holidays.