|Quoting AI (Thread starter):
Looks like I will be travelling on Clickair from LGW to SVQ next month. Looking at their website, they are a newish airline (started in 2006) with an all A320 fleet.
I had never ever heard of them before today. Any feedback from you will be appreciated.
1. Clickair was created by Iberia and Nefinsa (the owner of Air Nostrum, which is the regional franchisee). Even if there are 5 partners involved - Iberia, Nefinsa, the construction & services group ACS, the charter airline & touroperator Iberojet, and the equity fund Quercus -, each one with a 20%, only Iberia and Nefinsa paid almost the 80% of the 120M euros of capital. That's why Iberia has an option to buy the shares of ACS, Iberojet, and Quercus, and currently would receive the 80% of the dividends of the airline, if they had had positive results.
2. Clickair's main base is Barcelona, where they also have the headquarters. In 2007 the also opened what they call "sub-bases" in Valencia, Sevilla, and Bilbao. A sub-base is an airport where some crews are based, but there are no aircrafts being base there: they just "sleep" one night in a sub-base, and then the next day they are again sleeping in BCN
3. The fleet is 26 A320. Some of them are inherited (ex-Iberia with new LCC seats and configuration), and others are brand-new (but ordered by Iberia). They have an "all tourist class" cabin with 180 slim Recaro seats (imagine the pitch). They are good once you are sat, but it's difficult to reach your seat.
4. Clickair took almost everything at BCN
airport which was previously operated by Iberia (except Madrid, Paris, and London). They did that in less than one year. Like this, Iberia could transfer more than 30 aircrafts to Madrid, where they were needed. They don't fly MAD
, which is the hub of Iberia.
5. Clickair has the second lowest costs of Europe, after Ryanair and before EasyJet. In order to do that, they use the infrastructure of Iberia (handling, maintenance, Frequent Flyer Program, sales through Amadeus with IB
-coded flights) and their own employees, which are mainly juniors. Moreover, the aircrafts are heavily squeezed: they start flying by 6 or 7am, and they keep "dancing" up to 11 or 12pm with just 30 minutes pauses between the landing and the next take off. (LHR
need more time.)
6. Even if the first months were a bit problematic because the airline only had 3 aircrafts (so guess what happens when one went to the hangar) and no expertise, now they do a good job. They have some frills:
- "Click&Fly": you can print your boarding passes and select the seat you want at the time of the purchase.
- "Premium Plus seats": the 3 first rows have the middle seat empty. (you have to pay a surcharge)
- "Premium seats": some seats (emergency seats with more pitch) are eligible if you pay a surcharge
- Iberia Plus points: you get IB
Plus points regardless of the fare paid BUT you need to identify yourself as a cardholder at the time of the purchase.
- The have a free magazine called "Click", which they publish each two months.
- They fly to main airports.
- They don't use buses to board the passengers when bridges are available.
- They fly to LHR
. Unfortunately, it's not the case of the LON-SVQ
route, that goes to LGW
7. In 2007, they were awarded as the best new LCC in Europe.
8. Clickair follows the European LCC style: point-to-point operations, BOB service, & baggage surcharges (if your ticket is an IB5xxx, I'm not sure but I think that you get 20kg for free, but I'm not sure). They always have "everything", but the prices seem high for many customers. (They are not higher than any other airline in Spain, but apparently UK carriers charge lower prices). The sandwiches look dry but taste good and fresh.
However, trust me... if you ask for a glass of tap water, they'll give you a glass from the bottles that the airline gives to the crews.
9. Their call themselves as the "british airline" (in terms of on-time performance). They are really good performing on-time flights. Last year, they were the most punctual airline in Spain with a 94% on-time ratio.
10. Right now, they are preparing a merger with Vueling, the other Spanish LCC airline. Clickair will be shallowed by Vueling, that will keep its identity and product, but Iberia & Nefinsa will take the majority of the capital of Vueling.
==> My opinion: Clickair is a good carrier, but they are a LCC. They are far better than Ryanair, and better than EasyJet, but far worse than Iberia, regardless what some passengers are used to say. It's a complete different concept: one is a point-to-point LCC and the other one is a hub-and-spoke legacy carrier.
The crews are very young and nice (the FAs are all female, and they are either like models or rubbish, there is no middle point). The pilots are from all over Europe (mainly Spaniards, but also from Portugal, France, the Netherlands...).
Punctuality is high. The flight is generally good BUT sometimes you get a group of high-school kinds (typical LCC customers) and it's very noisy. Expect a friendly but basic service: safety demo, food for purchase, duty free, and no much more. If you ring the bell, the FAs come very fast.
The aircraft is usually clean but the toilers sometimes not, since with only a 30 min, of course they cannot clean it. (However, it's the same as in Vueling, EasyJet, and Ryanair.)
[Edited 2008-05-28 12:46:59]
[Edited 2008-05-28 12:48:46]