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Monday, September 7, 1998 Published at 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK


Air price war hots up

Crowded market: Budget airlines have really taken off

The latest shot in the battle for the UK's budget air fare market has been fired.

British Airways' budget airline Go has announced a new London to Edinburgh service with two return fare categories starting from £70.

The carrier, launched earlier this year by BA despite a legal challenge from rival operators, is guaranteeing all seats on its three daily flights from London Stansted will be available at the bottom price.

A second £100 tariff, offering greater flexibility, will also be on offer.

Both fares will be available until December 2.

[ image: Ryanair announced cheap seats last week]
Ryanair announced cheap seats last week
The new service follows the announcement last week by rival Ryanair of a sale offering one-way flights to Europe from £16.99.

The carrier is offering one million seats at low prices, although customers have only 12 days to buy the tickets.

It admitted at the launch that the action was a response to the launch of Go, and a BA cheap seat sale in August.

Ryanair believes there is not room in the market for the current players.

Among them is EasyJet which earlier this year launched a legal bid to stop Go being set up.

The firm claims Go is illegally subsidised by British Airways in a deliberate attempt to break the discount operators.

Debonair and Virgin Express are also in this crowded marketplace.

Virgin boss Richard Branson also called on consumers to boycott Go, and claims prices will soar if the independent discount airlines go bust.

EasyJet's action is due to be heard in the High Court although they failed to stop Go from taking off when they launched the case earlier in the summer.

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