Resort turns nose up at budget flights

THE people of Essex have always had a poor - and largely undeserved - reputation among their fellow countrymen.But now it appears the county's image of loutish men and white-stilettoed women has travelled across the channel.

THE people of Essex have always had a poor - and largely undeserved - reputation among their fellow countrymen.

But now it appears the county's image of loutish men and white-stilettoed women has travelled across the channel.

Because some residents in the French resort of Deauville have drawn the line at welcoming new budget flights coming in from Stansted.

And they are particularly annoyed that their Mayor, Philippe Augier, has agreed to pay Ryanair £114,000 a year to advertise the new route, which is scheduled to open next February.


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Some people in Deauville, with its swish restaurants, casino, racetrack and polo tournaments, believe that cheap flights will result in one thing the Normandy Riviera resort does not want to attract - cheap people.

Christiane Célice, leader of the recently formed No Budget Flights association, told one newspaper that she was particularly against visitors wearing T-shirts and “bringing their own sandwiches to eat outside the casino”.

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She added she was not being snobbish, “but it is not the clientele we want”, and it would ruin the tranquillity of the area.

“We are considering legal action, not against Ryanair, but against our own local representatives.

“There was no consultation. Why should French taxpayers money be spent on this?”

Yesterday, however, a spokeswoman for Deauville's Tourist Office insisted that Ms Célice's views were not shared with most people in the town, who were in support of the new flights.

“There is not really a dispute,” she told the EADT. “The town is in favour of this new route.

“A minority is against it but it is really only a few people, not many at all. Of course this is a good thing for Deauville.”

Ryanair already flies to a number of France's smaller airports with tickets as cheap as £10 each.

Yesterday a spokesman for the airline said: “The overwhelming majority of people in Deauville are delighted that Ryanair will be flying from London next year.

“Business and tourism in the region stand to reap enormous benefits from year round flights from the hugely populous London market, and property values in the area will shoot up as they have done at the 19 other airports in France that Ryanair connects to the UK.”

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