Flybe announces 2019 summer schedule from Norwich Airport

Flybe, the UK-based European regional airline, has announced that it will continue its two sun routes to Alicante and Malaga for 2019 summer, together with four fights a week to Exeter.

The new services will be available for booking from Thursday, August 16, 2018. The routes will operate for the entire period of the summer schedule between March 31 and Saturday October 26, 2019 but are currently only available for travel through to June 16, 2019.

These three routes will join the existing Saturday service to Jersey that is already on sale, available for travel next summer. Flybe’s 2019 summer routes from Norwich include services to Alicante on Tuesdays and Fridays; Exeter on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with a scheduled journey time of 75 minutes; weekly services to Jersey on Saturdays and to Malaga on Mondays and Thursdays.

Roy Kinnear, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer commented: ‘We look forward to welcoming many new customers on board next summer and hope that by putting these flights on sale now it will allow them the opportunity to plan their next summer travel early to take advantage of the lowest possible fares.’

Richard Pace, Managing Director of Norwich Airport, said: ‘This is great news as it gives our customers the opportunity to plan ahead, book early and benefit from great fares on these extremely popular Alicante and Malaga sun routes which have gone from strength to strength since launch in 2016.’

Full details of Flybe’s 2019 Summer schedule are available at www.flybe.com, Norwich Airport said in a release.

Jet2 announces new summer programme to Nice from Leeds Bradford for MIPIM 2019

Jet2.com, the UK-based flight and holiday company, has announced that in 2019, delegates from Leeds City Region will be able to fly with Jet2.com from Leeds Bradford to Nice for MIPIM.

Je2.com will be providing direct return flights from March 11 – 15, 2019 for the 4-day real estate exhibition, conference and networking event in Cannes, following strong demand from the business community. Those wishing to find out more information about Leeds City Region’s Presence at MIPIM 2019 can visit www.investleedscityregion.com/lcratmipim.

Besides giving delegates the chance to attend the conference, the flight on March 11 also marks the start of Jet2’s flying programme to Nice from Leeds Bradford for Summer 19, allowing local holidaymakers to fly direct to the French Riviera with Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks. Holidaymakers can book direct via www.jet2.com or www.Jet2CityBreaks.com, the airline said.

Trevor Caplis, Manager – Charter and Airline Sales at Jet2.com said: ‘As the leading airline in Yorkshire, we are very pleased to be supporting the region by providing return flights to Nice for this major conference. Thanks to this partnership, delegates from the region will be able to fly direct from Leeds Bradford Airport on our award-winning airline, and we are confident that the flight will be a huge success.

‘As well as supporting local businesses, the flight marks the start of our Summer 19 programme to Nice, giving holidaymakers the opportunity to experience the magic of Nice and the French Riviera from Leeds Bradford Airport with Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks.’

The news comes after the recent announcement that Jet2.com is providing a direct flight to Nice from Newcastle Airport, both for MIPIM delegates and holidaymakers across the North East.

Earlier this year, Jet2 has announced flights and holidays to Bourgas (Bulgaria) from all nine of itsUK bases for summer 2019, and with resorts such as Sunny Beach on sale.

London Gatwick announces new direct route to Shanghai

London Gatwick has announced a new long-haul connection to Shanghai – China’s largest city – as Gatwick recorded year-on-year long-haul growth of 20.8 percent in July.

The new service will be operated by China Eastern and will connect the UK to one of the world’s leading business centres, providing over 70,000 seats and more than 3,700 metric tonnes of new cargo capacity each year. The new China Eastern Airlines service to Shanghai will begin on December 7, 2018. The Airbus A330-200 will depart from Gatwick on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 12:00 and will fly to Shanghai Pudong Airport.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick and look forward to the start of this vital new link to Shanghai which, like London, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important cities and business hubs. Starting from such a strong position gives this new route every chance of success, as it will be popular with business passengers travelling between the two economic centres, as well as leisure passengers keen to sample the excitement of China’s largest city.

‘July’s traffic figures demonstrate that Gatwick’s long-haul network is driving the airport’s growth. These connections to China and other non-European countries will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain as we become more reliant on them to generate vital growth through trade and by exploiting the other business opportunities that they provide.’

A global financial centre like London, Shanghai is at the centre of China’s economic growth. It is also the leading city driving the Yangtze River Economic Zone – a region accounting for 20 percent of China’s GDP and responsible for a third of the country’s imports and exports, the airport said.

The launch of the new route follows one of the busiest Julys in Gatwick’s history, with cargo handled by the airport growing by 28.8 percent year-on-year. In October, the airport will also see the launch of new Norwegian flights from Gatwick to the Florida city of Tampa, it added.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport announces new direct route to Budapest

Doncaster Sheffield Airport has announced a new Wizz air flight to Budapest to commence services from October 29, 2018.

The new thrice weekly service from Doncaster Sheffield – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – follows the introduction of a route to Debrecen a few weeks ago. With the new route, Doncaster Sheffield will have a total of five flights per week and almost 100,000 seats to Hungary. Tickets for Wizz Air flights to Budapest, Hungary, are now on sale.

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘Wizz air is an important strategic partner of DSA. Since opening operations in 2006 we have worked together in partnership to develop a growing range of routes with over 3 million passengers carried.

As one of Europe’s leading low cost Airlines renowned for low fares and exceptional service we share many of the same values. Today we are delighted to offer even greater choice to such an impressive destination, such is Budapest’

Owain Jones, Chief Corporate Officer at Wizz Air, said: ‘WIZZ is the European airline that is always creating more and more exciting travel connections for our customers across Europe and beyond. We are delighted to be the first airline to connect Doncaster Sheffield with Budapest, giving our UK customers in the north of England the opportunity to experience the stunning architecture, world famous wines and superb gastronomy on offer in one of Europe’s most beautiful and vibrant capital cities.’

One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest has several historical structures that would interest the tourists such as the Royal Palace, Hungarian State Opera, and Castle Museum. Known as the City of Baths, the city has over 120 thermal baths and spas around the Danube river and also hosts major music festivals such as Sziget Festival on an island located on the river itself.

The city is also rapidly emerging as a global business centre. It was previously named one the highest ranked cities in Central Eastern Europe for innovation and now regularly ranks within the top 30 European cities in the world.

Birmingham Airport named the UK’s most family friendly airport

Birmingham Airport has said that it has been named the most family friendly airport in the UK and Ireland.

The award was granted by Netflights.com after working with expert parenting bloggers to measure 20 airports on their travel experience for families. Netflights.com conducted a survey on 2,000 British travellers on their habits and experiences of using airports with children. Birmingham Airport was named the most family friendly airport, with 80 percent of its flights leaving on time in June 2018, designated baby changing areas, express security lanes, free water fountains and free Wi-Fi – all enhancing the travel experience for families.

Paul Hopkinson, marketing director at Netflights, said, ‘We are delighted that Birmingham has ranked so highly against other airports in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands for its family friendliness. Its central location, free drinking water, free Wi-Fi, play areas and punctual flights meant it scored very highly and is a good option for those travelling with children this summer.’

Stuart Haseley-Neirup, head of Customer Experience at Birmingham Airport, said, ‘We are delighted at being named the most family-friendly Airport. We put the passenger at the heart of everything we do, meaning we tailor the airport experience to the needs of all of our 13m passengers that travel through whether they are on business, leisure or as a family.’

Under the family-friendly brand initiative, Birmingham Airport has launched the new look SkyZone area on July 23, to coincide with the start of the school holidays. SkyZone is accessible for all families, enabling an engaging experience for all children pre-flight. The airport’s interactive and educational children’s play area is located after security at gate 55.

Birmingham Airport is also planning to introduce a new child focused initiative at security over the next week, where every child will be greeted and awarded with a Zoom sticker. To enhance the airport experience, Birmingham Airport offers a range of special assistance initiatives including for passengers travelling with a hidden disability.

The airport is continually improving its customer service experience and has recently spent over £14.5m investing in its facilities for passengers. These new facilities included a new security preparation area, which included a family friendly channel.

easyJet passengers offered luggage check-in from home

easyJet, the UK-based European regional airline, has launched a partnership with home bag drop service, AirPortr, offering passengers travelling from London Gatwick the option to check their luggage in online and have it collected from their doorstep by cab drivers and taken directly to the airport.

The move comes after research claimed that over three quarters of travellers preferred to be luggage free on the day of their flight. Under the agreement, AirPortr will pick up luggage from the passenger’s doorstep, and safely deliver it to easyJet’s bag drop at Gatwick Airport. Customers can then collect their baggage at their destinations baggage reclaim.

Andrew Middleton, director of Ancillary Revenue at easyJet, said: ‘We are excited to be introducing AirPortr’s services to our passengers, starting with Gatwick services. Whether a flight is for business or leisure, we are confident the home bag drop service is a fantastic initiative to improve a traveller’s experience. easyJet is proud to continue to develop our product offering with innovative companies such as AirPortr.’

Randel Darby, CEO of AirPortr, said: ‘Particularly when flying short-haul with hold luggage, a disproportionate amount of journey time can be spent on the ground getting to and through the airport. We’re delighted to work with easyJet to overcome this, starting their passengers’ journey at home, saving valuable time and providing hassle free travel, all at an affordable price.

‘With easyJet’s reputation for leading digital innovation, we will see the service integrated into the customer journey in new ways, such as being offered alongside great baggage fares when booking a flight.

‘We’re proud to be working with an airline with a start-up mentality but Europe-wide scale, as we continue to lead the development of at-home bag check-in services.’

The service is available for flights to any of easyJet’s destinations across Europe from London Gatwick, the airline’s biggest UK base. The premium product allows passengers to check in a piece of luggage and choose a one-hour pick-up time slot for as little as GBP30. Alternatively, a GBP40 value product includes collection of up to 4 pieces of luggage within a 3 hour window.

More information is available at homebagdrop.easyjet.com.

Gulf Air commences new Dreamliner service from Bahrain to London

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the introduction of a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner double daily service to and from London.

Gulf Air’s new twice daily nonstop flights connecting Bahrain and London Heathrow Terminal-4 will reportedly be suited to both business and leisure travellers. Regional passengers will be able to connect via Bahrain to London, while UK-based travellers can fly non-stop to Bahrain, with onward connections to key cities throughout the Middle East, Africa, India Subcontinent and the Far East.

Commenting on the new service, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. KreSimir Kucko said, ‘Gulf Air has had strong ties with the United Kingdom since we commenced our operations to London in 1970. London is a key destination for our customers travelling for either business or leisure, and I am delighted to introduce our newest 787-9 Dreamliner double daily service on this route. I look forward to receiving passenger feedback on this exciting addition to our fleet, which allows our UK travellers to travel across Gulf Air’s expanding network in superior comfort. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our key industry partners in UK who are integral to the growth and success of our London operations.’

The new state-of-the-art aircraft offers 26 Falcon Gold Class seats and 256 Economy Class seats with improved onboard services and greater entertainment choices. It boasts large overhead bins, LED lighting, and technology that senses and counters turbulence.

In 2018, Gulf Air’s network will serve 49 cities in 26 countries. Gulf Air operates double daily flights or more to select destinations across the GCC, MENA region, Indian Subcontinent and Europe while its network spans the GCC, MENA region, Indian Subcontinent, Europe and the Far East.

easyJet commences Bordeaux service from London Southend Airport, announces new routes

easyJet, European regional airline, has launched its first flight from London Southend Airport to Bordeaux in South West France.

The new service is the first of four services to launch this summer. Operating three times a week, easyJet will operate the new Bordeaux route on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

easyJet will also launch new routes from Southend to summer holiday hotspots Prague, Pula and Dubrovnik this summer. The airline is expected to carry over one million annual passengers to and from the airport for the first time this year – a 25% year on year rise in passenger numbers. It is also planning expand its fleet with the addition of a new aircraft at the base.

Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s Director of UK Market, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating further expansion at London Southend Airport and it’s great to announce the inaugural flight to Bordeaux – one that is expected to be popular with those looking for a short break, second home owners and as a region famed for its wine-growing, wine connoisseurs.

‘Having been at London Southend Airport for over six years, the addition of another aircraft this summer will help us to deliver long term, sustainable growth at the airport whilst providing passengers with a greater range of destinations, all with low fares and great service.’

Glyn Jones, CEO of London Southend Airport, said: ‘Our successful partnership with easyJet continues to go from strength to strength, and the addition of a new aircraft at London Southend will bring four exciting new routes – Bordeaux, Prague, Pula and Dubrovnik – and further choice to passengers using our airport. We are now London’s fastest growing airport, and it is great to see that easyJet expect to carry over one million annual passengers to and from the airport for the first time this year. We are expecting great demand for flights to Bordeaux, and wish the passengers on this inaugural flight bon voyage!’

easyJet now operates 20 destinations from London Southend. They can be booked at easyJet.com.

Flybe launches first phase of 2019 summer schedule from Cardiff Airport

Flybe, the European regional airline, has announced the first phase of its 2019 summer schedule from Cardiff, offering a range of destinations for both leisure and business customers, Wales’ national airport said in a release.

As part of the first phase of Flybe’s summer 2019 schedule at Cardiff Airport, the airline will increase its services to Paris Charles de Gaulle to 10 return flights a week, and five return flights a week to Glasgow; extend ski flights to Chambery and Geneva until the end of April for Easter; and introduce popular routes to Faro, Venice, Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino and key business routes including Belfast City, Dublin and Edinburgh. The announcement of extra flights to Paris and Glasgow comes after increased demand for these destinations, and further capacity will be added when the second phase is released in the coming weeks, the airline said.

Allowing customers to plan early, seats are now on sale at flybe.com and are currently available for travel to and from Cardiff between March 31 and June 16, 2019. All routes will be operated on three aircraft now based at Cardiff Airport. Details of schedules will be available at www.flybe.com.

Flybe CCO, Roy Kinnear, commented: ‘We have listened to our customers’ feedback and know that many like to plan their travel far in advance. Our new schedule features many of our most popular high frequency services and also highlights Flybe’s ongoing commitment to unparalleled connectivity from regional airports to destinations across the UK, Europe and beyond.’

Cardiff Airport’s CEO, Deb Barber, added: ‘It’s great to see Flybe adding flights for Summer 2019 on sale early, giving our customers that extra time to plan, book and benefit from great fares.’

Flybe, which opened its Cardiff base in 2015, offers multiple opportunities for onward travel either with its own services or via its 11 code share partner airlines. The options are available via the ‘One Stop to the World’ link at http://onestop.flybe.com/en-GB/flights.

Marriot International opens Europe’s largest Residence Inn in London

Marriott International, Inc. has said that it has opened its new Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington, the largest property in the brand’s European portfolio.

The opening of Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington is the brand’s seventh property in Europe, with further expansion including the brand’s entry into new markets such as France due to the opening of Residence Inn Toulouse-Blagnac.

Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington provides one- and two-bedroom suites with separate living, working and sleeping areas designed for longer stays. Each of the seven suite categories has fully-functional kitchens besides the complimentary Wi-Fi, smart TVs, USB plug points and work space. Complimentary breakfast is served seven days a week, while the Grab’n Go market and Fitness Centre are both open 24/7. There is also a grocery delivery service available.

Located on Warwick Road in Earls Court, the new hotel features 319 suites, many with private terraces. The hotel’s eighth floor terrace will be available to hire as an events space. Suites at the Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington are available from £90 plus tax.

‘Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington has been one of our most highly-anticipated launches in Europe; not only is it the largest Residence Inn in Europe, but it is the third largest in the world, and a flagship property for the brand,’ said John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands Europe at Marriott International. ‘London is a key market for extended-stay travel and we are delighted to launch the city’s second Residence Inn following last year’s opening of Residence Inn by Marriott London Bridge.’

John Wagner, co-founder of Cycas Hospitality, said: ‘We know that guest expectations and travelling styles have evolved in recent years, creating a growing demand for centrally-located properties that bridge the gap between hotels and home. Opening London’s biggest aparthotel will therefore allow us to widen the accommodation options available to business travellers whilst also putting the capital’s most popular cultural attractions within easy reach of our long-stay leisure guests.’

Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre and the city’s key cultural attractions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and the Natural History museum are within walking distance from the hotel. Guests also have access to transport links across London and to Heathrow Airport.