Cornwall Airport Newquay announces new service to Channel Islands

Cornwall Airport Newquay has said that regional operator Blue Islands, a franchise partner of Flybe, will commence a new service to Jersey and Guernsey.

Starting June 3, Blue Islands will operate three times weekly throughout the summer season until August 31, with the service adding a further 3,600 seats at Cornwall Airport in 2019.

The carrier will operate the route on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, offering passengers a weekend break or full-week break in the Channel Islands. Flights will depart Cornwall at 12:10, arriving in Jersey one-hour later, with passengers then having the option to connect through to Guernsey. Return flights will leave Jersey at 10:40. The airline will use its ATR 42-320s on the route, laid out in a 46-seat configuration.

‘It is fantastic news that from this summer the Airport will have more flight options for our passengers, adding to our already confirmed new services to Copenhagen, plus London’s Heathrow and Southend Airports,’ commented Al Titterington, Managing Director, Cornwall Airport Newquay

‘The Channel Islands are currently hard to reach for passengers in our catchment, with them having to either drive hours to the nearest airport with direct services or having to drive to the UK South Coast and take a ferry, with this being a journey which could take up to eight hours or more. By offering this seamless one-hour flight to Jersey and onwards to Guernsey, we now have a much more sustainable and customer friendly option for people wanting to reach this part of the world, and for those in the Channel Islands wanting to visit our great county,’ Titterington added.

Rob Veron, Blue Islands CEO said: ‘The exciting addition of direct flights between Cornwall Airport Newquay and the Channel Islands means residents of both regions can now appreciate discovering the respective unique cultures and subtle nuances that exist beyond the stunning coastlines, quaint harbours, picturesque countryside, as well as buzzing beach and surf scenes.’

In 2019, Cornwall Airport will see the introduction of a four times daily hub connection to London Heathrow with Flybe, connecting Newquay, Cornwall and South West UK. In addition, the new airline partner SAS will begin a twice-weekly service to its hub at Copenhagen, the first time that Cornwall will have a direct link with Scandinavia, the airport said.

British Airways announces launch of Munich flights from London City

British Airways has announced a new route to Munich from London City Airport.

The new year-round service was launched last Saturday. With the new service, British Airways now offers four German routes from London City, with each-way hand baggage only fares to Munich from £64 based on a return journey.

Besides its beer heritage and annual Oktoberfest, Munich is home to 18 world renowned museums and arts venues. Munich is a gateway to Bavaria’s scenic sightseeing routes, including palaces and castles. The ski slopes of the Bavarian Alps are also less than an hour’s drive away.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘Germany is such an important destination for both business and leisure customers, so the addition of Munich to our schedule has been welcomed by everyone who flies from London City. With well-timed frequent flights there are plenty of options for customers who either want to do a day trip or stay for longer.

‘Munich complements our existing flights to Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt and means that we now fly 82 return flights a week to Germany this winter. The new route will increase the number of British Airways’ destinations from London City Airport to 34.’

Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘Munich is a German powerhouse of a city, attracting leisure and business travellers alike. Its gaining popularity is reflected in the frequency of this new three-times-a-day British Airways service, which makes travel between Munich and the centre of London easier and quicker thanks to the convenience of London City Airport.

‘It’s not just the world-famous Oktoberfest that brings thousands of visitors to explore Munich. Alongside the city’s beer halls are public parks, historic architecture, and a leading centre for business – home to globally recognised firms. Through British Airways’ continued growth at its London City base, we are keeping London connected to Europe – enabling trade and tourism in both directions.’

In 2019, British Airways has also increased frequency to Berlin from the Docklands airport to 18 return flights a week. Further, the airline is investing £6.5 billion to improve its customer experience over the next five years, including new aircraft, new cabins, new catering, new lounges, WiFi, and new routes.

Jet2.com announces half-price ski carriage for Snowboxx festival goers

Jet2.com has announced a special partnership with Snowboxx, Europe’s iconic snow festival, offering flights and low-fares to festival goers in the UK.

As the ‘Official Airline Partner of Snowboxx,’ Jet2 will offer half-price ski carriage to UK festival goers. In the seventh year, Snowboxx will take place from March 23-30, 2019, and will see over 8,000 festival-goers enjoying world class skiing and snowboarding and live performances from artists including Craig David TS5, Jax Jones, Rudimental DJ Set and Wilkinson DJ Set ft. MC Adapt.

For 2019 Snowboxx will return to Avoriaz, a ski resort in the French Alps that is claimed to offer the largest connected ski area in the world, with 650 km of piste spanning across France and Switzerland. The airline will offer weekend and weekday services to Geneva, the closest airport to Avoraiz, from 6 locations throughout the UK.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: ‘We are very excited to be partnering with Snowboxx. Jet2.com offers fantastic choice and flexibility to Geneva from six UK airports, meaning festival goers can get to the slopes and the music with our award-winning airline, with the added benefit of 22kg of baggage and ski allowance for half price.’

Alan Crofton, festival director, Snowboxx, said, ‘Partnering with Jet2.com is a perfectly aligned brand association for Snowboxx. We offer a fully bespoke built booking system for the festival that is made unique by offering flights as part of the customer packages. We are incredibly excited to be working with Jet2.com for the upcoming festival and hopefully for many years to come.’

Tickets for Snowboxx are on sale now, along with half price ski carriage with Jet2.com, and can be booked at www.snowboxx.com or www.jet2.com.

Virgin Atlantic announces new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv

Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to commence a new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, Israel with the first flight offered on September 25, 2019.

The airline will fly daily between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport, and the five hour flight will operate on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Flights to Tel Aviv are on sale from February 25, 2019.

Offering over 180,000 seats each year, the new service will offer connections for customers connecting from Tel Aviv via London Heathrow to destinations throughout North America across both the Virgin Atlantic and Delta networks including New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO, commented: ‘2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company. Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK. We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.’

‘I’m also thrilled to introduce this new destination to our leisure customers and I know it’s somewhere they’ll love to visit. Renowned for its cultural sites and with UNESCO recognised architecture, Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches, a buzzing artistic and nightlife scene, incredible food and is a great base to explore the tourist destinations of the region including the iconic historical city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea’.

Sharon E. Bershadsky, Director, IGTO for the UK and Ireland, added: ‘We’re thrilled with the launch of the new flights and Virgin Atlantic’s confidence in the Israeli product. The ‘Two Sunny Cities, One Break’ campaign has been very successful in showcasing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and we’re proud of our continued commitment to working with the travel trade industry. We are looking forward to working together with the Virgin Group in order to promote Israel as a leading tourist destination.’

Virgin Atlantic is set to become the founding member of a new, USD13 billion transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop destinations, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas and Manchester to Los Angeles.

Hainan Airlines announces New Dublin-Shenzhen Service

Dublin Airport has said that Hainan Airlines will launch a new year-round direct service from Dublin to Shenzhen later this month.

Shenzhen will be Dublin Airport’s second destination in mainland China, as Hainan already operates a Dublin-Beijing service. Hainan will operate two flights per week between Dublin and Shenzhen in south-eastern China.

Shenzhen is a 30-40-minute bullet train ride away from both Hong Kong and Guangzhou and was ranked second in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to visit in 2019. Lonely Planet described Shenzhen as ‘China’s most innovative city’ with ‘a strumming indie-music scene, cool cafes, a small contingent of craft brewers and a whole new arts district risen from the remains of former warehouses’.

Hainan will operate its new Shenzhen route using a Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner with 289 seats. The route will operate on Mondays and Fridays, beginning February 25.

‘We are delighted that Hainan has decided to expand its Irish operation and launch this new service to Shenzhen,’ said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. ‘Shenzhen is China’s answer to Silicon Valley in the United States and this new route will further increase trade, tourism and investment between Ireland and China.’

Hainan’s existing Dublin-Beijing service, which currently operates twice a week, will return to four times weekly for the summer season.

‘We have worked closely with Hainan to establish this new route to Shenzhen, and over the coming weeks and months we and other stakeholders will be continuing to help them to promote this new service,’ Mr Harrison said. ‘Shenzhen is a really exciting destination for both business and leisure travel, and the addition of this new service will expand the growing number of Chinese visitors to Ireland,’ he added.

Hainan has a strong domestic network at Shenzhen and also operates flights from the city to international destinations such as Brisbane, Brussels, Madrid, Oakland, Osaka, Tel Aviv, Vancouver and Zurich.

Hainan’s Shenzhen service is one of 20 new routes at Dublin Airport for this year. Dublin Airport has flights to almost 200 destinations in 43 countries, operated by 56 airlines and is the 11th busiest airport in the European Union.

Jurys Inn transforms Belfast city hotel for enhanced customer service

Jurys Inn has completed a GBP9.1m major renovation programme at its Belfast city hotel.

As part of the programme, Jurys Inn Belfast completed major bedroom and public area upgrades, including a new look bar and restaurant and improvements to the check-in experience.

The hotel received an 80-bedroom extension, increasing hotel capacity by 42 percent with the hotel now offering 270 bedrooms in total. The new bedrooms have each been decorated with an individual wall mural of iconic Northern Ireland landmarks. All bedrooms now feature the exclusive Dream bed by Jurys Inn, and also include a flat screen TV, large workspace with an ergonomic chair, en suite bathroom, complimentary toiletries and more. Upgraded technology has also been introduced to the bedrooms, allowing for contactless key card entry.

Ryan Foster, General Manager of Jurys Inn Belfast, said: ‘We’re very excited to announce the completion of our refurbishment following a massive £9.1 million investment. We have completely transformed the hotel while also adding a brand new 80 bedroom extension. We look forward to welcoming guests and locals alike, and hope they love the hotel’s new look as much as we do. Whether it’s for a weekend away or a business trip, we’re certain you will find everything you need here at Jurys Inn Belfast.’

The hotel’s new-look bar and restaurant offers contemporary dining. ‘The Kitchen’ menu includes a wide range of food options served throughout the day ranging from artisan pizzas and burgers to steaks and salads. Guests can enjoy a rich, freshly brewed coffee from the hotel’s all-day Costa Coffee bar.

The hotel’s lobby, restaurant and bar areas have been refurbished to offer new decor with contemporary furnishings. Further, new self-check-in kiosks and a new connectivity area have also been introduced to the hotel lobby. Guests can now easily set-up their laptops in the area to work remotely, while availing of the hotel’s complimentary high-speed WiFi. The lobby area has also been revamped with a brand new ‘Off the Shelf’ shop that stocks a selection of drinks, snacks and travel necessities.

Wizz Air announces new service to Timisoara, Romania from Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Wizz Air is offering a new twice-weekly service from Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) to Timisoara, Romania, available for travel from September 2, 2019.

This addition comes after Wizz Air announced new routes to Krakow, Poland, and Budapest, Hungary. The new service to Timisoara will deliver an additional 38,000 seats from the airport. With the additions, the airport will add an extra 300,000 new seats for the year ahead that should see passenger numbers grow to 1.5 million per annum.

Located on the northern bank of the Bega River with its Secessionist architecture, Timisoara is the third largest city in Romania and considered the cultural, economic and social centre of western Romania. Often referred to as the ‘Little Vienna,’ Timisoara has a rich arts scene, including year-round theatrical and musical performances and a lively nightlife.

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director at DSA, said: ‘This is great news for Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and we’re delighted by the confidence airlines have shown in the easy, friendly, relaxed experience that we offer our customers across our growing catchment area of passengers covering the wider Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire regions. This is the fourth new route announcement from Wizz Air over the last 12-months, offering almost 40 flights per week to 13 destinations across Europe from DSA by September.

‘We’re proud to be Wizz Air’s largest operation in the UK outside of London and delighted to grow our choice of low-cost European destinations. Our first TUI long-haul flights to Sanford, Florida take off in May and tickets are already on sale for flights to Cancun, Mexico setting off in Spring 2020, taking our total destinations to 55, with new routes being added regularly’.

Tamara Vallois, Head of Communications at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are happy to expand our network in the United Kingdom with another exciting Eastern-European destination. Our newest route now connects Yorkshire with Timisoara, Romania, the historical Transylvanian city in the Western corner of the country. It is a perfect destination for a weekend break or even a longer trip, offering a relaxing atmosphere. We are confident that our British customers will enjoy visiting this splendid city. Our friendly crew looks forward to welcoming you on board a WIZZ flight!’

A convenient choice for passengers travelling from Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and beyond, Doncaster Sheffield Airport offers services to 55 destinations currently and with new routes being released regularly.

Flybe expands 2019 Summer Schedule from Southampton

Flybe, the UK-based European regional airline, has extended its 2019 summer schedule from Southampton Airport with the addition of a Tuesday flight to Palma de Mallorca service.

Accordingly, the airline will operate four flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays with effect from March 31, 2019. In addition, it will operate an enhanced schedule to Amsterdam offering customers the choice of four flights a day, Monday through Friday and three flights a day at weekends.

The other attractions of Flybe’s 2019 Summer schedule from Southampton include, flights to Alicante, Malaga, Faro; peak summer Saturday flights to Biarritz; double daily flights to Jersey on weekends; multi frequency flights to Belfast City, Dublin, Glasgow Manchester, Newcastle; up to two flights a day to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The airline’s 2019 Summer schedule, which operates until October 26, features a total of 28 routes offering a choice of up to 247 flights a week, available for booking at www.flybe.com.

Roy Kinnear, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented, ‘Our 2019 Summer programme to and from Southampton offers a really comprehensive range of travel options. We look forward to welcoming more passengers on board our extra weekday flight to Palma.

Neil Garwood, Managing Director at Southampton Airport, added: ‘The additional flights to Palma are great news for passengers who want more choice when planning their summer holidays. We are very pleased with Flybe’s decision to add more slots to our exciting summer schedule and are looking forward to welcoming even more passengers taking the opportunity to visit this stunning Mediterranean city.’

Ryanair launches new Manchester-Poitiers route, announces extra flights from Stansted for May

Ryanair, the Irish low fares airline, has announced a new route to Poitiers from Manchester, with a twice weekly service commencing in June 2019.

With the addition, Ryanair’s Manchester Summer schedule includes 64 routes in total with nine new routes to Bordeaux, Billund, Gothenburg, Kyiv, Marrakech, Marseille, Nantes, Poitiers and Thessaloniki.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to announce a new Manchester route to Poitiers, commencing in June, which will operate twice weekly, as part of our extended Manchester summer 2019 schedule.’

Stephen Turner, Commercial Director at Manchester Airport, said: ‘It’s great to see Ryanair continuing to add new routes from Manchester for Summer. Poitiers is another French destination for the airport opening up a fantastic region for the 22 million people in our catchment area to explore.’

Ryanair has also announced extra flights from London Stansted for May, with 20 additional return flights to Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Morocco. Ryanair is offering more than 7,500 extra seats for travel between 29 April and 7 May, to destinations including Alicante, Biarritz, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Marrakesh, Seville and Tenerife. The seats are now on sale on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s summer 2019 London Stansted schedule offers 142 routes, including six new routes to Kalamata, Kiev, Lviv, Nantes, Rodez and Vigo, with over 1,200 weekly flights.

Besides budget fares, Ryanair’s latest ‘Always Getting Better’ improvements for enhancing customer experience includes the addition of more routes, flights and destinations; Ryanair rooms with 10% off travel credit, and the ‘Try Somewhere New’ travel content platform on Ryanair.com.

Scotland to promote wellness tourism

Scotland is planning to promote the global movement in the travel industry known as ‘wellness tourism,’ according to VisitScotland.

Valued globally at $639bn in 2017, wellness tourism has grown more than twice as fast as tourism overall with visitors looking for immersive experiences or ways to improve self-development. The annual Trends paper published by the tourism agency examined the ‘global consumer phenomena,’ highlighting a range of micro-trends that can help visitors enhance and maintain their personal wellbeing.

The potential trends for 2019 include: Restorative Recreation, which focuses on Scotland’s beautiful landscapes and scenery highlighting the emotional benefits of ‘ecotherapy’ and long-term, physical health improvements associated with time spent in green spaces; and Creative Retreats, which enables travellers to create lifelong memories – focusing on the role of hobbies, skills development and unique opportunities. The paper suggests ‘writing workshops, artists retreats, outdoor survival schools and cookery courses could all enhance the popularity of a destination.

The other trends include: Trav-agogy, which focuses on the journey of visitors rather than the overall destination. More visitors are looking to learn about the destination, immersing themselves in the local culture or learning about history and heritage; and Green Getaways as more visitors today appreciate the impact travel can have on the environment.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: ‘2019 looks to be another exciting year for tourism with this new paper highlighting the potential for businesses to invest in experiences which are beneficial for people’s health and wellbeing.

‘Whether it’s our fantastic scenery which is encouraging people to experience our great outdoors, or activities like cookery workshops or outdoor retreats which are helping to develop people’s skills, it’s clear that Scotland really does have something for everyone.’

Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Insights Manager, said: ‘Our annual trends paper is designed to help the tourism sector, showing them what consumers want and inspiring businesses to adapt or develop their products accordingly.

‘Wellness tourism is a trend that’s not going away and is expected to continue growing. With wellness travellers found to be very high-spending, high-yield tourists, there is huge potential for businesses who want to appeal to this market, creating experiences that enlighten the sense and feed the soul. Fortunately, Scotland’s ability to embrace wellness within our visitor economy is embedded within our tourism industry DNA.

‘Tourism is more than a holiday experiences- it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.’