Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Powdair looks like it's happening

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Apologies I've been in CH then Sweden and off SH, so forgive me if this already has been discussed - but can't find anything...

Anyway...

SInce the military announced its withdrawal from Sion airport, there have been accounts of a small and committed airline startup running into Valais from GB, Holland and Zurich. It all seems confirmed now, and a year round service promises winter ski and DH summer action. Very short transfers up to Nendaz, Crans Montana etc. All looking excellent.

The airline's reps have been very busy with local guide companies and tourist offices to ensure that the service is really well integrated into local arrangements and facilities.

Well done them...a ray of light in post-recession blues....
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Deserves support. We have a daily service to our local airport (Belp) from London City and it seems to do very well.
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Absolutely, if it works, more strength to them.

Bit odd that they advertise a Sion-Zurich flight (it's only 2hr30 by train) but I suppose if baggage is transferred straight across that would work well as a feeder.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
We did have a go at this earlier in the year here;
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3063191&highlight=powdair#3063191
it does seem to be gathering pace, but the scuttle on the aviation forums suggests that it has been a bumpy 'flight'. They will not have their own ac and one of the companies they were going to 'wet lease' from pulled out and may now be putting up their own service. Certain destinations have come and gone.

Hopefully they will provide some extra options, but Sion has weather issues like Chambéry, caveat emptor.
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@chocksaway, ...well, yes and no.

Small aviation companies have to be very agile and change strategy to achieve their overall goals. If they get things in the air and deliver a good schedule I am not going to criticise the tenacity and flexibility which they had to deploy to get things established.

And weather - chambery is an entirely different kettle of fish - I know both intimately. Yes, temp inversions in valais just like any valley in the alps, but not the lake-induced clag which you have at Chambery. It really is meterologically entirely different. And the schedule means that any severe morning mist will have burned off.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@chocksaway, I'm sure you know more and understand better than me but pretty clear it's a wet lease biz.

Unconvinced. C.f. FlyBaboo/Darwin... et al. Ad naus.
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I thought this looked promising (Sion-Chatel about an hour) but at around £350 (dummy bookings, non peak) for a long weekend from LTN or SEN at not very convenient times I think I will stick with EasyJet to GVA.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
DJL wrote:
I thought this looked promising (Sion-Chatel about an hour) but at around £350 (dummy bookings, non peak) for a long weekend from LTN or SEN at not very convenient times I think I will stick with EasyJet to GVA.


Bing. Did the same- not interested
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@valais2, Not disagreeing about the type of weather and the need for agility, but I was really talking about approach minimas, steep flight paths and pilot training requirements, there, the 2 are similar, it will not always be open. However, I believe the current plan is to use aircraft that are based there so, as ever, lots of good local knowledge at the pointy end.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@valais2, I think its great news for all, I will still have friends that will will come and stay and do the Geneva EJ route (some really enjoy the train). but my son works in London now and the LCY route will be great for him, although this particular route seems expensive, especially as he will have nothing to check in. As you say its all looking excellent and its early days and its another option for us all.
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Also I wish some airline would do a direct flight from the UK to Berne.
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
DJL wrote:
I thought this looked promising (Sion-Chatel about an hour) but at around £350 (dummy bookings, non peak) for a long weekend from LTN or SEN at not very convenient times I think I will stick with EasyJet to GVA.


Bing. Did the same- not interested

+1
snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@chocksaway, ...yes I understand that is indeed the case and I guess they will be using a slightly different approach pattern to Sion in comparison to the Constellation which seemed to go past our front window (1100m) on a weird spiral approach to the valley floor, a couple of years ago. Scary roar from the four R-3350s at full chat.


http://youtube.com/v/eInb9ouuBWg
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@valais2, Very nice.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Swissie wrote:
Also I wish some airline would do a direct flight from the UK to Berne.


Skywork do exactly that.

https://www.flyskywork.com/flight-schedule
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Swiss fly on Saturdays only between LHR and SIR. Return fare from about £90 each:

https://www.swiss.com/ch/en/Book/Flight/sidc5s7
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@valais2, Eeeeek! Just had a chat with a guy that operates out of Sion, he reckons that they lose about 10 days a winter season, What's the betting most will be Saturday!
latest report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I was quite excited about this as we have an apartment in Thollon but a test booking shows £326 return over Christmas per person and last year with Easyjet we paid £275 return for the 3 of us. Not something we could afford.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Hello all!
I'm Zoë, the commercial director of powdair - and am writing this from the Valais as we speak...
Great to see so much interest in powdair...and I can assure you that aircraft doors are very much being prepped for takeoff. A few facts to cover some of the discussions taking place here (and forgive me in advance if I don't have time to reply to all the questions they may prompt - there are literally not enough hours in the day at the moment!):
We are wet leasing 4 aircraft for our first year (5 if you include the additional aircraft we're having to charter for certain dates next year which are already sold out): 2 x Bombardier CRJ200s and 2 x Saab 2000s (from Backbone Aviation in Denmark and Adria Switzerland who recently bought out Darwin and Ethiad)
We are also putting in place our own transfer options from Sion Airport direct to resort - approx 10 destinations available by shared bus transfer - and frequent flyer private transfers by Tesla direct to door (or as close to door as allowed)
We are a year-round proposition - 2017/18 routes are: London Southend, Luton and City (whoop whoop!), Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, Antwerp (one of our most popular routes) and Zurich. In the summer we'll maintain Zurich, London City and Antwerp plus add in summer destinations from Sion outbound to sunny destinations.
We are NOT a low cost carrier and aim to provide a champagne travel experience for a 'lemonade' budget - we don't dynamically price our tickets, charge only £20 more each way for peak travel, include free ski/snowboard carriage, 23kgs hold luggage and a complimentary drink and snack with all tickets - with only 50 seats we aim to provide a first class experience for everyone flying powdair. In addition, we offer discounts for everyone under 16 years and children under 2 fly for free.
We also offer a frequent flyer 'Season Pass' which offers anyone the chance to buy 10, 20 or 30 tickets in advance and save a minimum of 20% on any flight during the season and which allows the Season Pass holder to book travel for any named passenger, not just themselves.
(Sorry, this isn't supposed to be a sales pitch - just keen to dispel some of the rumours!)
We were indeed in lengthy discussions with another airline operator to lease their aircraft - as the saying goes, you need to kiss a lot of frogs...
Delighted to be working with Adria Switzerland and Backbone Aviation, two very well respected operators!
Weather - yup, Sion is a Category C airport in the mountains...it's more likely to be affected by the weather than Geneva say. However, all of our aircraft are hangared at Sion Airport which means our first outbound flights less likely to be affected by poor visibility (the biggest influence on flight ops). Assuming any fog is early morning fog then by the time we fly back, it will have lifted. If not, we will divert via Berne or Basel (not allowed to divert via Geneva) - but if so, we will know the weather is due to be in for the day BEFORE the day, and we'll have confirmed and communicated that before the day.
Our official launch event is at Ellis Brigham in Covent Garden in London next Wednesday 6 September from 10am...all welcome!
Thanks for your interest in powdair - and I hope we get to fly lots of you this winter!
Cheers, Zoë
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@powdairski,
Thanks for dropping by. Hope it goes well for you.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I was really excited to see Southampton on the list of airports but the prices are too high Sad
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@powdairski, Thanks for the info - There is certainly a market for what you are offering. We have a few British expats in our village who 'commute' to and from LCY to Bern-Belp on a very regular basis. I hope it all goes well for you.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I like the sound of that. Sure, the headline price is more than the horrible airlines, but then they want to charge you for snowboards and a bunch of other stuff, and they go places I mostly don't want to be... so I end up hiring a car, which is a hassle and more cash. And in any case this is real people doing something good; a good home for those rapidly depreciating pounds.

---
I guess I'll have to look harder at Sion. Presumably it's feasible to just stay there and catch the post bus to local resorts?
snow conditions     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

Presumably it's feasible to just stay there and catch the post bus to local resorts?


I'd not thought of that possibility (having just stayed in a single resort when in that area), but yes I think you could make that work quite easily. The post bus is frequent and reliable. You could also increase your choice of resorts by first travelling a short distance along the main valley to Visp or Brig and then getting a post bus from there.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@powdairski, hey Zöe, welcome to SHs. It sounds as though you have all thought this very well through. I truly hope it works out very well. Bonne chance!
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@philwig, e.g. Belalp (I only have visited to do the Hex downhill) looks to be one of those stereotypical Swiss stations with one or two lifts into a bowl à la Kicking Horse with acres of powder to then ski.
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@powdairski, this sounds very exciting - the best of luck! Maybe I will fulfil a long-held ambition to return to Crans, where I spent many weeks of my childhood. Very Happy
latest report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@telford_mike, Thanks for that, didn't pick that one up (probably Skyscanner)
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I think the prices are on reflection part of the impact of the GB Peso vs the almighty CHF particularly if the aircraft are based out of Sion. To put them in context though I'm flying to Oakland from my local airport and renting a car to drive to Tahoe for pretty much the same price as an adult return to Sion plus van transfer. & I get meals included.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@powdairski, Leeds?
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dave of the Marmottes, ...well... I sat down and did some sums.

If I fly to GVA then I need a hire car or a 2x70chf taxi ride up to resort due to arriving after the last funicular because of the exit time plus two and a half hour run from GVA.

And Switzerland looks mighty expensive until you factor in the close transfer and the Magic Pass - ski for two weeks and you save 350 chf, which pays for the difference of a Powdair flight versus SqueezyJet, add to that the saving on a hire car and it all looks pretty competitive.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yep depends where you are going. Le Chable GVA plus train still hard to beat.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My parents are interested, they hate Easyjet/budget airlines and have much more disposable income than me, they love the idea. Sion is pretty much the same drive time as Geneva too.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Bravo to Powdair and the Valais for this initiative: I've flown Gatwick-Sion on a charter and it was just so much easier to transfer to Verbier than from Geneva. It'll also make places like La Tzoumaz, Nendaz (especially), Ovronnaz, Crans-Montana, etc. more viable for UK visitors.

Also hats off to the Valais and Téléverbier for various initiatives to help reduce costs:

You can now buy an all-year pass for under-25s for only CHF 400 (£330) from Téléverbier covering the whole of the 4 Valleys for 12 months. So you could go ski/boarding in the winter and VTT/walking in the summer. See http://www.verbier.ch/en/liste-news-3/news-763/

There's also the Valais 'Magic Pass' covering the 25 non-4-Valley resorts at CHF 399 for the winter season. See https://www.magicpass.ch/en/ This makes staying somewhere in the valley like the thermal resort of Bains de Saillon an interesting alternative to being in-resort (https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/) although you'd probably want to hire a car to go out and about. One advantage is that if the weather's bad you could just stay in the thermal resort. Plus non-skiers could use the resort facilities while others go skiing, or visit nearby places like the Fondation Giannada (http://www.gianadda.ch/) etc.

The http://www.myswitzerland.com site also builds all sorts of offers combining accomodation with skipasses and is worth a look.

I'm not saying these will suit everyone but all these initiatives represent an attempt by Valais businesses to compete. I appreciate that the Powdair pricing is not low but it is very competitive to Swiss (at least on last year's prices). And I for one would pay a premium to fly other than easyJet, who, let's face it, seem to have been given a virtual monopoly of LGW-GVA slots.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Spot the runway...


http://youtube.com/v/T1pu84CoMsM
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Slightly off-topic (forgive me) - when I was in Sion in the summer I heard some very fast jets flying around all day, but couldn't see them. Any ideas what they were?
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Jenniper, Always in the air when we are in Crans. Assume Swiss Air Force F18 Hornets or F5 Tigers.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ah thanks! Where are they based?
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
What's a "wet lease?" Puzzled
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Jenniper, They used to be based at Sion. With the air force withdrawal I guess they will go to the other bases.
snow report     



Derived from phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group & 2004-2013 snowHeads.com Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy