EasyJet will make a fresh advance into tour operator strongholds by launching flights to Luxor, Egypt, in November.
Services will depart Gatwick twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday, with passengers bound for the Valley of the Kings and Nile cruises.
At present, only charter carriers serve Luxor. Thomson, Thomas Cook and Monarch each fly once a week from Gatwick, while charters also operate from Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.
EasyJet’s flights will raise capacity sharply.
Its pricing, leading in at £127.81 return including tax, is likely to take business from existing carriers on the route.
The carrier will also start flying to Paphos twice a week and Cologne four times a week from Edinburgh in November.
EasyJet already flies to the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester, but the five-hour flights to Luxor mark an extension of the low-cost model.
Tui Travel UK managing director Dermot Blastland said: “Egypt is a long way to travel on a budget carrier with no inflight entertainment and minimal leg-room, and sourcing accommodation in southern Egypt is not as straightforward as somewhere like Spain. We remain confident we have the right product for the market.”
However, easyJet UK regional manager Paul Simmons told Travel Weekly: “Our previous entries into Egypt have been very successful despite the views of charter operators. We expect our service from Gatwick to Luxor to have a similar impact.”
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