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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
Lidl promotion set for take-off
Lidl has 390 stores in the UK
Shoppers at discount supermarket chain Lidl will be able to buy flights to Europe along with their groceries.

In what is thought to be a UK first, it is selling flight vouchers at its checkouts to be used on routes operated by Air Berlin.

Customers can exchange their 19 voucher for one-way flights worth 69 from Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast and Bournemouth.

Destinations include Berlin, Copenhagen, Majorca, Milan and Vienna.

The promotion begins on 5 September and lasts for a week, with flights to be booked online within a month and used within six months.

'Natural match'

Lidl, a German firm which has 390 UK stores, is famed for its pile-it-high and sell-it-cheap tactics, stocking few brand names.

"There's a natural match between a low-cost retailer and a low-cost airline," said Dr Jonathan Reynolds, director of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management and a Fellow in Retail Marketing at Templeton College, Oxford University.

"It's a really positive development and makes low cost airline travel more accessible to budget-conscious consumers.

"This is a great demonstration of grocery retailers' ability to move into new sectors and yet still be able to pass on value to consumers." Lidl director Tony Parker said the firm was pleased to be branching out into new sectors.

"Not only are we making air travel more accessible, we are making it even cheaper," he said.

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