bmi announces additional flights on Bristol – Paris route

bmi has announced plans to expand the Paris CDG service from its Bristol hub, with increased frequencies effective from May 14, 2018.

The airline, which currently flies twice daily between Bristol and Paris, said that it will further add three flights a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. As per the revised schedule, starting May 14, the Bristol – Paris Charles de Gaulle route will operate thrice daily on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, twice daily on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a service on Sundays.

In addition, bmi also enables business and leisure travellers from the South West to connect three times daily to Frankfurt and twice daily to Munich, offering them to travel across Europe and further afield, via both Munich and Frankfurt hubs and also its codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and Air Dolomiti.

Jochen Schnadt, Chief Commercial Officer of bmi, commented, ‘Providing a convenient, quality air link between the South West / South Wales and Europe’s most prominent business and leisure destinations has always been a priority for bmi, and we are delighted to continue to build the network at our Bristol base.

‘Having consistently invested in our service offering from our Bristol hub, manifesting itself in increased frequencies on key business routes as well as new destinations such as our recently launched Bristol to Gothenburg service, we believe these additional flights between Paris and Bristol will offer our customers an even greater choice, with greatly improved convenience and flexibility, alongside the continued service, efficiency and value that our customers expect from bmi. With the strong affinity between the Paris Metropolitan region and the South West / South Wales, especially in the energy and aerospace industries space, increasing our service offering now to 14x weekly flights in either direction, we are looking to directly address our customers’ needs.’

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director, Bristol Airport added, ‘We are delighted bmi regional will increase the capacity on flights between Bristol and Paris (Charles de Gaulle) airports. This will provide improved services to a European hub airport offering world-wide connections whether for business or leisure.’

bmi offers flights from Bristol to Paris from £70 one way. All fares are inclusive of 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating, complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks and 30 minute check-ins. Tickets are available to book at

Gatwick adds new double daily service to Qatar, expands service on transatlantic routes

London Gatwick is planning to increase the global connectivity it provides for passengers with the introduction of a new route to Qatar operated by Qatar Airways, starting May 2018.

In addition, Norwegian has announced plans to offer passengers more choice with additional frequencies, on transatlantic routes, adding 150,000 extra seats from Gatwick this summer. The airline also starts new routes to Austin and Chicago this March – adding to its new Buenos Aires service that was launched in February.

Gatwick Airport Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Qatar Airways – one of the world’s premier airlines – to Gatwick for this exciting new double-daily service to Doha. Our existing airlines are also providing even more choice for passengers with Norwegian starting routes to Austin and Chicago this month while also adding 150,000 extra seats on their transatlantic services from Gatwick this summer.’

Gatwick, which was named London Airport of the Year at the London Transport Awards in February, registered its 60th month of consecutive growth in February. The airport marked five full years of month-on-month growth as 3.0 million passengers travelled through last month, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to 2017.

Commenting on the continued growth at the airport, Wingate said: ‘Our February traffic figures mark five consecutive years of growth and during this time Gatwick has been transformed by our ongoing GBP2.7 billion investment programme. Our passengers now have a wealth of choice through an extensive route network – including over 60 long haul routes – a variety of airlines plus world-class airport facilities.’

‘February’s passenger figures are the latest demonstration of Gatwick’s importance as a vital piece of UK infrastructure providing global connectivity at a time when the country needs it most. We have exciting plans for growth maximising the use of our existing facilities whilst we also offer the country the prospect of a financeable and deliverable new runway scheme,’ he added.

Ryanair announces new routes for Dublin Airport, launches London winter 2018 schedule

Irish low fares airline, Ryanair, is now planning to launch seven new routes from Dublin Airport this winter, the airport said.

The airline will operate a twice weekly service to Athens, Bari, Frankfurt, Marrakesh and Santander, a three times weekly service to Luxembourg and a weekly service to Paphos. Ryanair also announced that it will add frequency on 11 of its existing services from Dublin Airport.

‘We are delighted to see Ryanair’s route network go from strength to strength from Dublin Airport providing customers with greater choice and flexibility,’ said Dublin Airport managing director, Vincent Harrison. ‘The announcement means that Ryanair will operate 76 routes from Dublin Airport next winter. We will work closely with Ryanair to help promote its new services,’ he added.

Dublin Airport has flights to 191 destinations in 42 countries operated by 47 airlines. The airport received a record 29.6 million passengers in 2017, a 6 percent increase over the same period last year. An additional 1.7 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2017.

Earlier this week, Ryanair also announced the launch of its London winter 2018 schedule, with 142 routes in total at Ryanair’s three London airports, Stansted, Luton and Gatwick, this year.

Ryanair’s London winter 18 schedule will deliver 123 routes in total at Stansted, including one new route to Nantes (four weekly), two new winter routes to Belfast (three flights daily) and Edinburgh (four flights daily) as well as more flights on 15 existing routes. At Luton, the budget airline will offer 15 routes in total and at Gatwick, the airline will offer four routes, Alicante (daily), Cork (daily), Dublin (seven daily) and Shannon (daily).

Ryanair will continue to connect London with major business centres on low fare services including Berlin (four daily), Dublin (18 daily), Edinburgh (four daily), Madrid (four daily) and Rome (five daily), with convenient timings and lower fares, according to the airline.

Jet2 announces more flights and holidays to Greece from Birmingham Airport

Flight and holiday company Jet2 has said that it is adding more flights and holidays for the peak summer season, with a focus on Greece and the introduction of a new route to Corfu.

Following increased customer demand, Jet2 is adding over 9,000 departing seats between July and September, including more than 7,500 departing seats to Greece. The expansion takes the total capacity to over 1.2 million seats this summer, more than double the capacity last summer.

The expansion at Birmingham includes a new route to Corfu, with the introduction of a weekly Saturday service to the island, which features secret coves and beach resorts such as Sidari, Kavos and Barbati. With the addition of Corfu, UK holidaymakers will have a choice of 34 sun and city destinations from Birmingham Airport this summer with and Jet2holidays.

The company said that it will also add two weekend services on Saturday and Sundays, during the peak summer season to Rhodes, and operate a total of four weekly services to the island. Jet2 has also announced an additional Friday service to Crete, which is now served through four weekly services during the peak summer season, and the introduction of a weekly Monday service to Zante, that is three weekly services from July to September.

Further, UK holidaymakers will now have more choice of services to Menorca, with the addition of a weekly Sunday service, taking it to a total of four weekly services.

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said: ‘This is fantastic news for holidaymakers in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. Since we launched at Birmingham Airport we have seen nothing but strong demand for our award winning flights and great value package holidays, and as a result of this our summer programme has more than doubled in size. Our latest response to this demand means the launch a new route to the stunning destination of Corfu, as well as more flights to Rhodes, Zante, Crete and Menorca too.’

William Pearson, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘Since launching services from Birmingham almost a year ago, the and Jet2holidays product has proven to be extremely popular with our passengers here at Birmingham Airport and it’s great to see them expanding their flight frequencies and destination choices to top summer destinations.

‘Corfu is a Greek island steeped in history with rugged mountains and a resort-studded shoreline. Increasing frequency to other Mediterranean holiday hot spots will give our passengers more choice and seat availability during the busier summer season.’

Tickets are available to book at or, the company said.

Thomas Cook launches summer 2019 holidays, adds Jamaica to its list of long haul destinations

UK holiday company Thomas Cook has announced the launch of its summer 2019 holiday schedule with the re-introduction of package holidays and flights to Jamaica.

Thomas Cook has re-introduced flights and holidays to Jamaica, which last featured in 2015, following increased customer demand. Thomas Cook Airlines will operate a weekly flight from Manchester to Montego Bay between May and October 2019.

The company’s offering to Jamaica boasts adventure, with a zip line through a rain forest, an experience of the Mystic Mountains as well as swimming in a dark lagoon. Four of the hotels being offered feature in Trip Advisor’s top 25 all- inclusive resorts for the Caribbean and three of them are in Trip Advisors’ top 25 hotels for families in the Caribbean.

Thomas Cook has also announced additional regional flights for the launch of summer 2019, with new flights and holidays from Cardiff and Belfast to Tunisia and the extension of Manchester to Marrakech.

Chris Mottershead, Managing Director at Thomas Cook UK, said: ‘We are delighted to be launching our summer 2019 holidays this early, with even more choice for our customers looking to travel further afield thanks to the addition of Jamaica. We know that many of our customers like to return to the same hotel each year, or travel on particular dates, so being able to book early means they can make sure they get the holiday that best suits them. We’ve also added more regional flights for summer 2019, making it even easier to get away locally to places like Tunisia which is once again proving popular as an affordable holiday.’

The offer also includes a zero deposit buy now-pay later scheme, allowing customers to book breaks for summer 2019 with no immediate payment, and enabling them to spread the cost with monthly direct debit payments.

Thomas Cook offers seven nights in Jamaica from £1,149 per person, based on two adults sharing. The service will commence in June 2019 with stay arranged at the three star Royal Decameron Montego Beach on an all- inclusive basis.

Thomas Cook Airlines is offering return flights from Manchester to Montego Bay from £450 per person, including hold and hand luggage, a James Martin meal and seatback entertainment. Tickets are available to book at, the company said.

Gatwick announces new peer-to-peer car rental scheme, partners with Car & Away

London Gatwick has announced plans to host a new peer-to-peer car rental scheme that allows people to rent out their vehicles to others while they are away.

Gatwick is the first UK airport to introduce such a scheme. The airport is partnering with a start-up company, Car & Away, to provide a new ‘Rent & Earn’ service for passengers, in addition to the other existing long stay parking options at Gatwick.

Vehicle owners looking to participate in the scheme may register the service, via the Gatwick parking website, where they are provided with information about Car & Away’s qualifying criteria and the renting process. Their vehicle will also receive a mini valet service. Small vehicle owners can expect to earn up to GBP80 per week in rental income, while owners of larger cars can expect to earn up to twice that amount.

Renters can find Car & Away’s available vehicles via when searching for rental cars from Gatwick. On finding a suitable service, the vehicle is available for collection from Car & Away parking bays located in the valet arrivals area of the South Terminal, the airport said.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Car Parking, Gary Wallace, said: ‘We are always searching for ways to provide new, innovative and ground breaking services so we are pleased to be hosting this exciting new scheme with Car & Away. The new service offers passengers an alternative option when it comes to renting vehicles from the airport and gives them a chance to offset their parking costs.

‘Our goal is to help as many people as possible to travel for less, in a convenient way, and airport peer-to-peer car sharing services are another way of achieving this.’

Car & Away will ensure that all vehicles are fully insured, cleaned and meet RAC approved vehicle roadworthiness checks before being offered to renters. Octo Telematics systems will be installed to monitor the vehicle driving patterns. When the renter returns, the vehicle passes through the same checking processes and will then wait in the Car & Away parking bays for the owner’s return, the airport said.

Primera Air to commence direct services to US, Canada, Spain from Birmingham Airport

Icelandic leisure airline Primera Air has announced plans to launch direct low-cost services from Birmingham Airport to New York, Toronto, Malaga, Barcelona, Palma and Crete, effective from May.

The airline will commence its services on May 14 to Malaga and Palma, with New York launching on the May 18 and Toronto on June 23. Crete will start on July 30 and Barcelona on October 1. Flights will operate to New York four times weekly and to Toronto three times per week. Malaga, Palma and Barcelona will operate daily and Crete each Monday. New York and Toronto fares start from £149.00 (one way, all taxes included). Malaga, Palma and Barcelona start from £35 and Crete from £54. Tickets are available on sale via, the airport said in a release.

Anastasija Visnakova, Chief Commercial Officer, for Primera Air, said, ‘We are proud and excited to place Birmingham on our route map for 2018. With two transatlantic and four short-haul destinations we are opening our operations here and looking forward to further development of this Primera Air base.

‘This is an important first step for us and significant development for Birmingham Airport and region. With the technology that our brand new fleet offers expensive transatlantic travel becomes a thing of history’.

Chairman of Birmingham Airport, Tim Clarke, said, ‘Primera has seen the enormous opportunities available in the Midlands thanks to its strong trading and cultural links with the US and Canada, and the leisure travellers’ desire to escape to warmer Mediterranean climes.

‘Primera is able to offer low fares due to its brand new fuel efficient Airbus A321 Neos which means that these services are accessible to all pockets – whether travelling on holiday, visiting loved ones or flying for business.’

The airline, which launched its new base in Birmingham recently, will operate brand new Airbus A321 Neos, configured with 16 premium economy seats and 182 economy seats. The new-generation aircraft allows airlines like Primera to fly on routes usually served by wide-body jets. Passengers can also use Wi-Fi on board and the aircraft has full charging facilities for their devices.

Ryanair to introduce new Shannon service from Bristol Airport

Irish low fares airline Ryanair is set to launch a new service to Shannon in this summer, expanding the fight service between Bristol Airport and Ireland.

Ryanair will operate a twice-weekly service to Shannon, taking the total number of flights per week to more than 100, including routes to Dublin, Cork and Knock.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘Frequent flights between Bristol and Ireland help foster strong links for business and tourism, which is why Ryanair’s new Shannon service is such great news. Shannon is a convenient gateway from which to explore Ireland’s South West, just as Bristol Airport is the ideal starting point for Irish visitors to the South West England and South Wales.’

The flight service between Bristol and Ireland began in 1936, when Aer Lingus operated its very first international route from Dublin to the city’s airport, which was located in Whitchurch.

Presently, Dublin is one of the most popular destination served from Bristol Airport, with more than 418,000 passengers using the route in the last 12 months. Ryanair and Aer Lingus jointly operate up to seven departures a day, providing flight options for business and leisure passengers. Aer Lingus also serves Cork daily, while Ryanair operates three flights a week to Knock, in the west of Ireland.

According to the International Passenger Survey, Ireland is Bristol’s fifth biggest market for overseas visitors. Irish visitors to the South West of the UK spent a total of £29.86 million in the first three quarters of 2017, with the number of visits to the region up more than eight per cent over the previous corresponding period, Bristol Airport noted.

Air India commences Birmingham-Amritsar direct service

Air India has commenced its new twice weekly non-stop service from Birmingham Airport to Amritsar, the Airport said in a release.

Flights will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays, departing Birmingham at 1845 hours, reaching Amritsar early the next morning at 0745 hours. From Amritsar the flight departs at 1355 hours arriving into Birmingham at 1715 hours the same day. The service will be operated using a Boeing 787-8 series aircraft, with 256 seats in a split cabin, comprising 18 flat beds business class seats and 238 economy seats. Tickets are available to book at

William Pearson, Aviation Director, Birmingham Airport, commented: ‘We are proud to say we are offering a totally unique route, as Birmingham is the only UK airport offering a direct service to Amritsar.

‘The Midlands has the second largest Asian community in the UK and so it is great news that we are making more of India accessible to our passengers for business, leisure and to visit family and friends.’

Tara Naidu, Regional Manager – UK & Europe of Air India, said: ‘Amritsar is an important spiritual centre for the Sikh faith being home to the Golden Temple as well as being a major commercial and cultural centre in the heart of the Punjab.

‘The Sikh community has long awaited this direct route and so we are sure it will be as popular as our Delhi service from Birmingham.’

Vishwanath Panyam, Manager- Birmingham, Air India said: ‘The addition of Amritsar is great news for our passengers offering greater choice, flexibility and convenience.

‘The celebrations for the inaugural flight yesterday were fantastic and show the amount of excitement and support for this route.’

Air India also operates an established Delhi service from Birmingham Airport which started in August 2013. The service has carried more than 600,000 passengers in the four years it has operated using the popular Boeing 787-8 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft.

Nearly 90 per cent of customers like to use apps to organise hotel stays – survey

A hospitality trends survey has revealed that 88 per cent of people staying in hotels would like to reserve, check in and check out through a mobile app, an online report said.

The survey, named ‘Exploring The Future of Hospitality’ and commissioned by London-based international branding and interior design agency I-AM, reported that 77 per cent of people would like to request room service or other facilities through an app. The survey was conducted among 500 people aged 20 to 35 in the UK, Germany and France.

The survey also found that 80 per cent of people would like to take virtual tours of hotels before booking; 91 per cent of people would like the ability to choose their hotel room as they would choose a seat on an airplane and 85 per cent of respondents were of the opinion that hotels should provide them with the opportunity to link their streaming devices such as Spotify or Netflix.

Additionally, 95 per cent of the respondents believed that the hotel has a responsibility to introduce them to local culture and 94 per cent would like their hotel to provide them with an itinerary of places to visit depending on their interests.

Commenting on the report, I-AM Group Partner, Pete Champion, said: ‘People are travelling and moving around more than ever before, and this has allowed for a new breed of players to think about how to provide hospitable experiences on the move.

‘Transport providers are taking cues from hotels to provide novel and comfortable experiences. This, combined with the popularity of sharing economy services like Airbnb, may begin to take some of the hotel industry’s market share away. Hoteliers need to begin thinking about how they can weigh in and possibly collaborate on projects outside of their permanent sites.’

‘Consumers are requesting more control at all levels of their hotel experience. They want to build their own packages, receive transparency about costs, and cater their activities to their own interests and this is happening at many levels of the market, from budget to luxury,’ Mr Champion added.

Headquartered in Shoreditch, I-AM has overseas offices in Istanbul, Dubai and Mumbai, has a portfolio of clients in many sectors including food and drink, banking, fashion, retail estate, telecom and tech, showrooms, education, transport and destinations.