Ryanair launches new Liverpool route to Corfu

Ryanair, the Irish low fares airline, has announced a new route from Liverpool to Corfu as part of its Summer 2019 schedule, which will be launched shortly.

With a twice weekly service from June, Ryanair’s full Liverpool Summer 2019 schedule will be unveiled soon. To celebrate its new Corfu route, Ryanair has launched a seat sale, with seats from Liverpool available from £9.99 for travel in October, November, December and January.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to announce a new Liverpool route to Corfu commencing in June, which will operate twice weekly as part of our Summer 2019 schedule. Customers in the North West region can now book flights to the Greek sunshine as far out as October 2019, with our full schedule launching soon.

To celebrate, we are releasing seats across our network from Liverpool from just £9.99 for travel up to January 2019. This offer is available for booking until midnight Saturday (13 Oct). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto the Ryanair.com and book a bargain break today.’

Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s Director of Aviation Development, Paul Winfield said: ‘Liverpool Airport is delighted to welcome this latest new route with Ryanair. This new route will allow passengers from across the North West to travel to Corfu from Liverpool, the Faster, Easier, Friendlier Airport in the North West.’

In addition, Ryanair has launched its Cardiff Summer 2019 schedule, and is set to double its Cardiff traffic with two new routes to Barcelona (twice weekly) and Malta (two weekly) and four routes – including Faro (twice weekly) and Tenerife (weekly) – in total.

Commenting on the move, CEO of Cardiff Airport, Deb Barber, said: ‘It’s great to see that Ryanair continues to recognise the potential that exists to build on its offering at Cardiff Airport, having already announced a new route to Malta from April 2019.

‘Furthermore, we are very pleased by today’s announcement that Ryanair will begin operating regular, low-cost flights to Barcelona from next summer – the ideal destination for a city break or beach holiday in the sun. The announcement of two new routes in as many months means that Ryanair has now doubled its choice of destinations for Summer 2019.’

Thomas Cook Airlines launch long haul economy light fares

Thomas Cook Airlines has announced the launch of ‘Economy Light’ fares on its long-haul routes.

The fares, available with Thomas Cook Airlines in the UK and Condor in Germany, are intended to be competitively priced flights under the scheme. Economy, Premium and Business (Condor only) fares will remain the same, the airline said. Meanwhile, the Economy Light fares from Manchester to New York would start from £299.99 return and Economy, £359.99 return.

Henry Sunley, Commercial Director at Thomas Cook Airlines, said, ‘We wanted to ensure that we provide fares that support the different needs of our customers, which can differ from trip to trip. Economy Light offers an option for those customers who want less amenities for their journey but want to benefit from fantastic cost savings.

‘They are the first fares that we have introduced on a pan-European scale across Thomas Cook Group Airline for our seat-only business.’

Economy Light fares include a 6kg cabin bag as well as a personal item (such as a handbag). Light fares do not include any hold baggage and check-in is online only. The on-board experience remains the same for all Economy customers, as people will receive signature James Martin meals and inflight entertainment.

Economy Light fares will be available online at thomascookairlines.com and through participating retailers for selected long-haul flights from November 1, 2018. Customers can expect fares such as Manchester to New York return from £299.99 return.

In addition, Thomas Cook Airlines in the UK has also introduced a ‘Flex’ option to its Economy fares for customers looking for more flexibility with their booking. Adding Flex turns a non-refundable fare into a flexible ticket that allows cancellations and removes penalties and charges for date and route changes.

The company said: ‘Economy Flex fares have been available with Condor for a number of years and are a great option for business and leisure travellers alike. We believe that our UK customers will welcome the chance to add extra flexibility to their trip if they wish to. With Economy Light and the option to add flexibility with Economy Flex, we are providing more choice than ever for our customers.’

British Airways increases Nashville services

British Airways is set to increase its flights to Nashville next summer, operating a daily flight between Tennessee and Heathrow.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ director of Network and Alliances, said: ‘We’re incredibly excited to be offering daily services to Nashville from our home in London, next summer. We only launched this route earlier this year and it is testament to the appeal of the city and all that it offers that we’re able to increase our service in such a short timeframe. Indeed, it’s the quickest new route that we’ve moved to a daily service in the last 10 years.’

When launched, Nashville was the 26th US city British Airways flew to. Since then, the airline has announced it will start a direct flight from Heathrow to Pittsburgh in April 2019, operating four times a week. This summer, British Airways and American Airlines have operated up to 67 daily flights between the UK and the US, as part of their transatlantic joint business.

The daily service will be operated on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the high-tech aircraft designed to enhance customer travel experience and comfort. The aircraft can carry 214 passengers across three cabins, with 154 seats in World Traveller (economy), 25 seats in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and 35 seats in Club World (business). All customers will be offered free meals and drinks, individual widescreen TV screens with complimentary on-demand entertainment, and a free checked bag, the airline said.

British Airways is also investing GBP4.5bn for enhancing customer experience on board, including offering the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, refurbishing 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and acquiring 72 new aircraft. The airline is also investing GBP600m specifically in Club World, including outstanding catering and luxurious White Company bedding, plus, from 2019, a new seat with direct aisle access.

Ryanair expands route network at Dublin Airport

Irish low cost airline Ryanair is planning to expand its route network from Dublin next summer, according to a release by Dublin Airport.

Ryanair announced its new Dublin services as it launched its Irish summer schedule for 2019. The airline will have nine new services from Dublin next summer, Bordeaux, Bournemouth, Cagliari, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Lourdes, Luxembourg, London Southend and Thessaloniki.

According to Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, 16.4 million people will travel to and from Ireland with Ryanair next year, which will ‘support and sustain over 12,300 ancillary jobs, alongside a tourism spend over EUR2 billion’.

‘Ryanair is an important customer and we are delighted to see it expand its route network from Dublin Airport next summer, said Dublin Airport managing director, Vincent Harrison. ‘The addition of these new services means that Ryanair is now connected to more than 100 destinations from Dublin Airport, offering more choice and flexibility for customers. We wish Ryanair every success with its new routes and we will continue to work closely with its management team to promote and market these new services.’

Dublin Airport will also see Canadian airline WestJet launch a new direct Dublin-Calgary service next summer. The new route will operate three days per week and will be the only direct scheduled service between the two cities. WestJet’s new Calgary service will also offer potential onward connections to 24 destinations including Vancouver and Las Vegas.

Presently Dublin Airport operates flights to almost 190 destinations in 43 countries, operated by 56 airlines. Nearly, 24.2 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the first nine months of the year, a 6 percent increase when compared to the same period last year. The airport has welcomed an extra 1.4 million passengers in the first nine months of the year, the airport said.

London Gatwick opens sensory room for departing passengers

London Gatwick has become the first UK airport to open a sensory room for its passengers, offering a relaxing, private and interactive environment to calm people who may feel in busy and unfamiliar airport surroundings.

Located in the North Terminal, the new sensory space is designed for passengers with autism, dementia, cognitive impairment or other special needs to help them feel at ease before their flight. Passengers using the sensory room can transform the space from a calming and relaxing environment to a stimulating interactive space full of light and sound with the flick of a switch.

The ‘chill-out zone’ for those needing calm includes floor cushions, bean bags and digital display panels, which generate colourful visual wall features. The separate ‘interactive zone’ stimulates the senses through tactile panels, textures and a game to improve memory, motor skills and encourages learning. The free to use room is available only to departing passengers and their families or carers who can book a 45-minute session at the North Terminal’s special assistance desk after the security check.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminal Operations, Andy Pule, said: ‘We recognise airports can be stressful environments for some passengers, which is why we are extremely proud to offer this new space for them to relax in and enjoy before their flight.

‘Gatwick is committed to providing passengers who have a disability of any kind with the support and services required to ensure their time at the airport is as comfortable as possible and this remains a key area of focus for the airport.’

Autism Ambassador for Gatwick Airport, Maria Cook, said: ‘I cannot thank the whole team involved in this project enough for making it a reality. Working closely with Gatwick I explained the vast benefits of having such a wonderful facility available and the positive impact it has for people with complex conditions and their families and they did not hesitate to create something very special indeed. It is the most amazing Sensory Room I have ever seen.’

Specific activities to experience in the room include: the Catherine Wheel Panel with colour and sound displays including firework effects; Abstract Tactile Panels featuring raised and recessed fluid shapes in contrasting textures; Colour Match Panel with classical music, mood lighting, and game to improve memory, colour recognition and motor skills; Sound to Light Showtime; Waterless Rainbow Tube with a colour wheel offering calming and stimulating effects; Interactive Giant Causeway which can activate colourful lights; Activity Board encouraging motor movement, coordination and sensory skills and Infinity and Beyond Panel offering visual and auditory effects using range of shapes, sounds, patterns and speeds.

Omega Breaks offers night flight for Northern Lights seekers

Omega Breaks, the UK-based tour operator, has announced plans to offer its night flight service from Cardiff again in March 2019, enabling stargazers to sight the Aurora Borealis.

The plan follows the success of an inaugural trip in March, and the next night flight in search of the Northern Lights will take off on Friday March 8, 2019. The trip offers customers an opportunity to take to the skies on board an aircraft to seek out the Northern Lights, the colourful dancing lights resulting from the ionization of solar particles entering the earth’s magnetic field at high atmosphere.

Deb Barber, Chief Executive Officer of Cardiff Airport, said: ‘Our customers will really enjoy the opportunity to take off from Cardiff and discover one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomenons from the sky. This was such a unique and popular addition to our schedule back in the spring, so it’s great to see the return of the Northern Lights experience with Omega Breaks in 2019.’

Peter Truman, Astronomy Consultant at Omega Breaks, added: ‘These unique flights, which have been operating for 20 years, really offer an excellent opportunity to see the Northern Lights.

‘We are above the main obstacle, cloud cover, and also have a much wider overall view of the Auroral Oval from around 36000ft above sea level, than you do at ground level.’

The Omega Break experience will begin at Cardiff Airport with a presentation in the terminal from guest astronomer Pete Lawrence, presenter of the BBC’s Sky at Night programme. He will be joined by Nigel Bradbury, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and an active amateur astronomer for over 40 years. Seeking out the best views of the Northern Lights, the three and a quarter hour-long flight will take off from Cardiff in the darkest hours of the night, with on-board commentary by the two expert astronomers. Bookings can be done at the Omega Breaks website.

Delta to expand US-London service next summer

The US-based airline Delta Air Lines has announced that it will increase the frequency of its flight service to London next summer from its Detroit hub and Portland, Oregon.

Starting from 13 May 2019, Delta will offer a twice daily service – increased from a daily service – between London-Heathrow and Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport. Effective 09 May 2019, the airline service will operate daily service between London-Heathrow and Portland International Airport, up from four times weekly in summer 2018.

‘We hear from customers all over the U.S. that access to London is very important to them,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President – Trans-Atlantic. ‘And Delta is happy to answer their needs by expanding additional choice through our Detroit hub with a second daily, and from the U.S. West Coast at Portland through daily service next summer.’

Delta Air Lines, a key player in the London-U.S. travel market, resumed the only nonstop services from Portland, Oregon, along with Salt Lake City, to London Heathrow in summer 2018. Earlier this year, Delta celebrated 10 years of service at London-Heathrow, marking growth from three daily flights to two US cities in 2008 to nine daily flights to seven cities presently.

The daily flight to Portland will depart Heathrow at 1230, arriving in the US city at 1513, and on return leave Portland at 1808, arriving London at 1205 the following day. The new second daily Detroit service will depart Heathrow at 1350, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1722; and on return will leave Detroit at 2233, arriving back into London at 1110 the following day. The first Detroit service will depart London Heathrow at 1035, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1358; and on return will leave Detroit at 1816, arriving back into London at 0640 the following day.

The expanded services to Detroit and Portland will be operated on a 210-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin, 32 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 143 seats in economy.

Emirates commences new Dubai-Edinburgh service

Emirates has said that it has commenced its new service between Dubai and Edinburgh on October 1.

The new Edinburgh route, which was originally announced as a daily service, will now be operated five-times weekly, and will revert to a daily service by next June. The new service is operated on the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER.

Edinburgh is Emirates’ second destination in Scotland and the eighth in the United Kingdom. Other destinations which Emirates serves in the UK, include London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow.

‘Today’s flight marks the start of greater connectivity and more convenience for leisure and business travellers from the wider Edinburgh area and locations further afield, such as Aberdeen and Dundee, to destinations across Emirates’ global network via Dubai. While for inbound travellers, particularly from cities in Asia and Australia, there is now a direct flight option to Scotland’s most visited city by tourists,’ said Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations West. ‘In addition to tourism, the new flight will also directly connect Edinburgh to new opportunities for business, trade and education across our network.’

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘This is a great day for Scotland and Edinburgh. We know the power of connectivity – the more we can connect with cities and countries across the globe, the more opportunity for passengers. It makes our country stronger and culturally richer.

‘Our partnership with a world class brand like Emirates strengthens and grows our country’s connectivity and we look forward to working with them to the benefit of passengers across the world. We’ve built our success on making Edinburgh where Scotland meets the world and today’s flight see us take a major step on that journey.’

The Boeing 777 deployed on the new Edinburgh route has a three-class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 304 seats in Economy Class.

British Airways announces launch of Munich flights from London City

British Airways has announced the launch of a year-round service from London City Airport to Munich starting February next year.

The new thrice-a-day service will start on February 16, 2018. With the new service, British Airways will offer four German routes from London City, with each-way hand baggage only fares to Munich from £59.

In addition, British Airways will also add extra winter frequency on Berlin, Dublin and Prague routes from November 10 this year and to Geneva from December. Return flights to Berlin will go up to 18 a week, Dublin to 38 a week, Prague to seven a week and Geneva to 16 a week from December.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘As promised we are adding more choice for our customers at London City Airport with a new route and extra frequency to four of our most popular destinations.

‘The addition of Munich to our schedule complements our existing flights to Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt and means that we will be flying 82 return flights a week to Germany direct from the Docklands 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: ‘A three-times-a-day Munich service is a further commitment to London City Airport operations by our home carrier, hot on the heels of the recent Rome announcement and BA CityFlyer’s fleet investment.

‘Munich is a German powerhouse for business, with Siemens a case in point for how this new route will expedite trade and investment between the cities. It is also an attractive leisure destination, evidenced right now as Bavarians and tourists celebrate the height of Oktoberfest. With the introduction of Munich to LCY’s route map, we are continuing to keep London connected to major European cities that we know passengers will love.’

British Airways announced in August that it will be adding four new aircraft to its fleet based at London City, as well as starting a new daily service to Rome and adding a fifth daily year-round service to Zurich in October. The year-round Rome route will commence on November 11, with one-way hand baggage only fares from £55.

Birmingham Airport offers new flight update service via Facebook messenger

Birmingham Airport has announced the introduction of its new flight update service – Flight Smart – for departing passengers via Facebook messenger.

The Flight Smart flight update service was originally offered via Twitter, having launched in summer 2017. Following the success of the programme, Birmingham Airport will now add Flight Smart to Facebook messenger as well. Passengers can send their flight number to the Flight smart messenger page and instantly receive live flight updates direct to their mobile and tablet devices.

Jo Lloyd, Business Development Director – Birmingham Airport said: ‘In this digital age we live by our mobiles, so to be able to see where to check in, what gate to use and which restaurant to choose from, all from your phone or tablet, takes the stress out of travelling. The twitter Flight Smart has been heavily used by our passengers since its inauguration, but we were conscious that not everyone uses twitter, with the addition of Facebook messenger Flight Smart all passengers can have up to date information on their journey at their fingertips.

Paul Brugger, C.E.O of TIC said: ‘Birmingham Airport has been running BizTweet under the Flight Smart brand for eighteen months, due to its phenomenal success they will be launching our complementary Facebook Messenger service. At a touch of a button the airport will be able to provide even more passengers with real-time, high personalised operational and customer service messages directly to passengers via these two platforms.’

Facebook messenger also offers more detailed content, allowing passengers to access maps and directions, information about restaurants and contact details, enabling them to plan ahead of their trip. Flight Smart was developed in collaboration with Cork -based technology company, TIC for Facebook Messenger.

Passengers using Flight Smart on Facebook messenger may type @flybhx into the search tab on the Facebook app or the Birmingham Airport facebook page to get live updates. This service helps passengers get constant flight updates until departure and also allows family and friends to track the flight, the airport said.