Lidl offers cheap flights to shoppers

30-08-2006

Budget supermarket chain Lidl has announced that its customers will be able to buy cut-price flights to Europe from its stores along with their groceries.

The German retailer has teamed up with Air Berlin to offer shoppers flight vouchers which can be used on routes operated by the airline from five UK airports.

Under the week-long promotion, which begins on September 5th, consumers will be able to purchase one-way flight vouchers from each of Lidl's 390 stores for £19.

Those taking advantage of the offer will be able to use the vouchers for Air Berlin flights that would normally cost £69, with air passengers able to use the vouchers on routes to 25 European destinations.

Air Berlin flights from Stansted, Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast and Bournemouth are included as part of the deal, which consumers will be able to use to fly cheaply to European cities such as Berlin, Copenhagen, Majorca, Milan, Rome and Vienna.

Lidl has stressed consumers will not be required to purchase groceries from their stores in order to take up the offer of cheap flight vouchers.

Lidl director Tony Parker described the promotion as a "first for retailing in the UK".

He said that Lidl "absolutely delighted to be expanding our existing range of weekly offers and extending it into a new sector".

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

Dr Jonathan Reynolds, director of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management and a Fellow in retail marketing at Oxford University, said the Lidl offer was a "great demonstration" of the ability of grocery retailers to move into other sectors while still offering value to consumers.

"There's a natural match between a low-cost retailer and a low-cost airline. I think it's a really positive development and makes low cost airline travel more accessible to budget-conscious consumers," he said.


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