Our clients are often confused as to the manner in which we put our holidays together. In the last 10 years, with the advent of the no-frills carriers, many routes are no longer served by charter flights. For instance, we no longer charter aircraft to Cyprus, because it is served by scheduled carriers like Cyprus Airways, Aegean, British Airways and a variety of no frills airlines. Italy and Portugal are two more destinations where we buy in seats as and when required. This certainly gives more flexibility in holiday duration and departure airport but gives us less control over the service we provide. Many airlines charge extra for baggage and operate a 'buy on board' service for drinks and food.
Our Greek packages are still predominantly based on charter flights. Our Gatwick departures, with the exception of the Monarch flights to Chania (Crete), include a meal on board and all our services include a 20 kilo baggage allowance.
Our flights to Corfu depart on Mondays, to Crete on Tuesdays, Samos and Lemnos on Thursdays, Skiathos and The Pelion on Fridays, Kefalonia on Saturdays and Preveza and the Peloponnese on Sundays. We either charter a whole aircraft or we share an aircraft with other tour operators. Where we charter our own seats we have greater control over the service provided by the airline and our operations department works with that of the airline in order to make sure, if there are technical problems with the flight or delays, that we keep our clients informed. Our overseas representatives can also offer a more efficient service and we are able to keep transfer and ferry costs down as we have economies of scale. Overall, a charter flight, used by a traditional operator like Sunvil, is superior to the more fragmented operation necessitated where no frills and scheduled carriers are used.
We also charter our own seats from Manchester, on the same day as Gatwick, to all the above destinations, excluding Samos where there is no route available. Where we purchase seats from scheduled or no-frills carriers, we are often asked to pay for the seats at the moment we book them and, more often than not, the cost is non refundable. We therefore ask our clients to pay for these in full at the time of booking, in addition to the deposit for the holiday.
We charter our own seats from Bristol to Corfu on Mondays, from Gatwick to Ponta Delgada in the Azores on Saturdays with SATA International and from Heathrow to Lisbon on Mondays and Thursdays with TAP Portugal.
Where we have committed to our own seats, our pricing is accurate because we obviously know what we are paying. Where we buy in from other airlines on an ad hoc basis, we can only give price indications in our price grids because we never know exactly what we will be paying for the flight element until we book the seats. Prices on European routes can be very cheap but also very expensive depending on supply and demand. It is generally better to book holidays where we are buying in seats well in advance, as the prices for these tend to be cheaper early on.
Finally, remember that if we book your flights as part of a package, then it is our responsibility to sort out any problems which may arise. If you book your own flights and only make the ground arrangements with us, then we are only responsible for these and will be unable to help if you have difficulties with the flight element or if you are delayed.
For full details of our charter flights specific to each destination please follow the links below: