TUI UK adds Moroccan destination for Summer 2020 from Newcastle Airport

The UK-based holiday company, TUI UK, has recently announced Agadir, Morocco as a new destination for summer 2020 from Newcastle Airport.

The first TUI flight from Newcastle to Agadir will depart on May 7, 2020 and operate once a week on Thursdays. With the new service, TUI now offers flights to 25 destinations for summer 2020 from Newcastle Airport.

Agadir boasts nine kilometres of golden sandy beaches and clear waters. TUI’s holiday offer includes a range of hotels such as the 4T+ RIU Palace Tikida Beach – an adults-only Platinum hotel located on Agadir’s sandy beach. The hotel is set to rebrand as the TUI Sensimar Tikida Beach later this year, ahead of the new flight route from Newcastle next summer.

Available to book through First Choice, the 4Sun RIU Tikida Dunas hotel is suited for families, offering activities for children with its four to 17-years old kids’ clubs.

TUI UK&I’s Director of Aviation Planning, Karen Switzer, said: ‘We are really pleased to be adding Agadir to the summer 2020 programme from Newcastle Airport. We are always looking to add routes to the programme that we know our customers will enjoy and we’re delighted to be providing holidaymakers with even more choice and the opportunity to experience our wide range of hotel concepts and great destinations from their local airport.’

Richard Knight, Chief Operating Officer at Newcastle Airport, said: ‘I extremely pleased that TUI have continued their investment in the region by adding this brand new route for Summer 2020.

‘Morocco offers an exciting new destination option for our passengers and I’m sure that the wide choice of resorts, fantastic weather and Blue Flag beaches will be a real hit with the North East travelling public.’

Summer 2020 holidays are now on sale at Newcastle Airport. TUI offers seven-night holidays to Agadir staying at the 4T+ TUI Sensimar Tikida Beach on an all-inclusive basis from £732 per person when booked online. Price is based on two adults sharing and includes flights departing from Newcastle airport on May 7, 2020 and transfers.

TUI and First Choice will also several free kids’ places across their holidays and deposits will be £50pp for short and mid haul, and £125pp for long haul.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays launches six new routes from Birmingham Airport for summer

Airline and package holiday specialist Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has announced the launch of six new routes from Birmingham Airport for this summer, including services to Bourgas, Bulgaria; Chania, Crete; Izmir, Turkey; Verona, Italy; Pula, Croatia; and Bergerac, France.

Starting May 6 until September, Jet2 will operate twice-weekly flights and holidays on Mondays and Thursdays to the Bourgas region from Birmingham Airport. With a range of 2-5 star hotels on sale, holidaymakers can soak up the Balkan sun in resorts such as Sunny Beach, Nessebar, Obzor and St Vlas.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport said: ‘Welcoming a new route to the airport is always exciting, but in this case, this is the first of six! Jet2.com and Jet2holidays’ inaugural flight to Bourgas in Bulgaria marks the start of the six new routes giving passengers the chance to visit Chania, Izmir, Verona, Pula and Bergerac from their local Airport. This added to the other 36 destinations on sale from Birmingham Airport this summer marks the beginning of the biggest ever programme from Jet2.com and Jet2holidays providing passengers with a variety of destinations and packages to suit their needs.’

In addition to Bourgas, between May and September, the travel and holiday company will operate to Chania once a week on Tuesdays. Chania is a popular spot among local holidaymakers looking to enjoy the northwest coast of Crete, with its fine beaches and attractive resorts like Rethymnon, Aghia Marina, Chania Town, Kalyves, Stalos and Kolymbari.

From May through to the end of October, Jet2 will operate every Wednesday to Izmir, another popular destination with beautiful beaches and Dilek National Park located within easy reach.

The company will operate weekly Saturday services from Birmingham to Verona, from May 11 until October, offering city break options as well as holidays in the Lake Garda area.

Further, Jet2 will operate weekly Sunday services to Pula from May 12 until September, offering further choice of sun destinations. Starting from May 25 to late September, Jet2 will operate weekly services to Bergerac every Saturday, providing access to the Dordogne region of south-west France.

With the launch of the six new routes, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays is offering nearly 40 destinations from Birmingham Airport this summer.

TUI UK launches Dreamliner flight service from Doncaster Sheffield to Florida

TUI UK, the UK-based holiday operator, has launched its new TUI Airways Dreamliner flight from Doncaster Sheffield airport to Orlando Sanford in Florida.

The new weekly flight to Sanford, Florida will be operated on Boeing 787.

In addition, TUI also announced a new summer 2020 route to Cancun from Doncaster Sheffield Airport, as well as a further new route to Girona, Spain.

Dawn Wilson, Managing Director of TUI Airways said: ‘We are so excited to be launching flights from Doncaster Sheffield to Florida today as we know how popular Florida is for UK holidaymakers and the importance of flying from a local airport. We’re always looking at ways to provide a seamless, end-to-end experience for our customers, which is why we continue to introduce more and more fantastic destinations from regional airports.

‘We are also delighted to be announcing a brand-new summer 2020 route from Doncaster Sheffield to Girona, a popular Spanish destination which will operate alongside another long-haul favourite Cancun, Mexico. We are confident customers will benefit from our continued growth at Doncaster Sheffield airport.’

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘This is a momentous day for us here at DSA. The team has been excited about this maiden long-haul flight since it was first announced in 2018, increasing TUI seats from DSA by 25% from this April. This and the new route to Girona illustrates huge confidence in DSA and our established reputation for an easy, friendly, relaxed service for our customers. We’re proud to be the home of long-haul flights for the region and look forward to our Cancun service starting next year.’

TUI Airways has three aircraft based at Doncaster Sheffield, and will be flying to 27 destinations this summer.

TUI commences flights and holidays to Italy, Croatia and Hurghada from Cardiff Airport

TUI, the UK- based holiday company, has commenced its first flights to three new holiday destinations from Cardiff Airport for summer 2019.

TUI has launched its flight services from Cardiff to Naples (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Hurghada (Egypt). As a key regional base for TUI, holidaymakers now have over 90,000 additional seats and three new routes to choose from when booking their summer holiday.

Flights to Naples will support the new homeport for the cruise ship Marella Explorer 2, which will sail to European holiday destinations including Venice, Rome and Dubrovnik. Flights to Dubrovnik will offer customers the chance to enjoy a holiday on land or join Marella Celebration for the ‘Adriatic Affair’ itinerary which includes Croatia, Italy and Slovenia.

Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning for TUI UK & Ireland, said: ‘It is great to see our customers heading off on their holidays to our new summer holiday destinations. These three new flight routes open up new holiday opportunities for customers flying from the Welsh capital. In total we have increased our capacity this summer at Cardiff Airport by over 90,000 seats, offering holidaymakers even more choice and flexibility than ever before.’

Deb Barber, CEO at Cardiff Airport added: ‘We are delighted that TUI have added three fantastic destinations to their schedule, offering our customers even more choice when booking their getaway. Naples, Dubrovnik and Hurghada are fantastic new routes for sun-seekers and cruise-lovers alike, and the addition of seats including extra flights to Greece and the Balearics shows TUI’s commitment to increasing the choice for passengers flying from Cardiff Airport.’

With the new services, TUI also offers customers its brand experience with Egypt, Croatia and the Sorrento region being home to their own TUI Sensimar hotels; the 4T TUI Sensimar Makadi Gardens, Hurghada, the 4TPlus TUI Sensimar Kalamota Island Resort, Kolocep and the 4T TUI Sensimar Atlantic Palace, Sorrento.

In total, for summer 2019, holidaymakers will have 25 destinations to choose from when booking their holidays from Cardiff Airport, giving more choice of destinations and hotel concepts that TUI offers.

WestJet commences Halifax- Dublin nonstop service

Canadian low-fares airline WestJet Airlines has launched its new non-stop service between Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Dublin Airport.

The new Halifax-Dublin service was launched on April 29, 2019, and will be operated six times a week. WestJet has operated to Dublin, Ireland since 2015. On June 1, 2019 the airline will bring one of its first three Dreamliner aircraft to the city with nonstop service from Calgary, it said.

‘The new non-stop flight between these important tourism and business markets reinforces our commitment to investing in Halifax as an Atlantic gateway to Europe,’ said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet’s chief commercial officer. ‘WestJet continues to support the efforts of the government of Nova Scotia to enhance trade, tourism and grow economies in the province and the UK. To our guests on both sides of the Atlantic, go raibh maith agat, thank you.’

Flights to Halifax Stanfield International Airport will depart at 10:20 p.m. and arrive at 7.32 a.m. next morning at Dublin Airport. Flights from Dublin to Halifax will depart at 9 a.m. and arrive at 11:02 a.m.

‘We’re so pleased WestJet continues to demonstrate confidence in our airport, our region and our future with the introduction of this new non-stop service to Dublin,’ said Joyce Carter, president & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. ‘We have grown into an Atlantic Canadian hub airport where travellers can conveniently connect to, from and through Europe and beyond. We thank WestJet for their continued investment and expansion of their service at Halifax Stanfield and to passengers who make these flights a success.’

This summer, WestJet will operate non-stop service to 15 cities with an average of 28 departures per day from Halifax.

easyJet to operate Bristol-Lyon route throughout Summer 2019

easyJet, the UK-based European regional airline, has extended its existing winter route from Bristol to Lyon to operate throughout July, August and September.

The summer flights will commence on July 1, 2019 and will operate twice a week on Monday and Friday. They will be operated on an A320 aircraft. The extension of the route to Lyon will provide an additional 10,044 seats on 54 flights and it is expected to be popular among holidaymakers and tourists.

Ali Gayward, UK country manager at easyJet, said: ‘We are delighted to announce the extension of easyJet’s service between Bristol and Lyon to the summer months. This is a route which is expected to be especially popular amongst those looking to enjoy great food in a stunning city backdrop this Summer.

‘Our ongoing growth at Bristol demonstrates easyJet’s long-term commitment to providing connectivity for the South West. We continue to be the largest airline at Bristol and in the coming weeks we will carry our 55 millionth passenger, showing that our customers continue to book with confidence.’

‘easyJet has now been at Bristol for over 18 years and this new route plays a key role in its overall expansion strategy, offering both low fares and great service.’

Nigel Scott, business development director, Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted with easyJet’s announcement adding the extra flight to Lyon for summer season 2019 from Bristol Airport.

‘Extending the flight schedule offers passengers in the region a choice of flights and provides additional flexibility for their travel plans. We are continuing to work with easyJet looking at other route opportunities for further route development in the future.’

In addition, easyJet is also set to launch three brand new routes from Bristol this July, to Milan and Brindisi in Italy and Biarritz in France.

With the extension and route expansion, easyJet now operates up to 770 flights a week from Bristol across 74 routes – nearly 10 percent more flights compared to summer 2018.

Marriott International launches home rental initiative

American multinational hospitality company, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), has announced the launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International, a home rental initiative offering 2,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 100 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

‘The launch of Homes & Villas by Marriott International reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation as consumer travel needs evolve,’ said Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer, Marriott International. ‘What started out as a pilot a year ago is now a global offering, providing our guests with the space and amenities of a home backed by a trusted travel company, and the very best in loyalty benefits.’

Marriott’s expansion into home rentals has been developed as a result of the 2018 pilot under the brand extension Tribute Portfolio Homes. Of the guests who booked a home during the pilot, which was only available in select European cities, nearly 90 percent were members of Marriott Bonvoy, the group’s customer rewards programme, and over three-quarters were traveling for leisure with family and friends. During the pilot, the average guest stay was more than triple the typical hotel stay. Marriott says that these insights, along with its commitment to providing travellers with unique and different accommodations including spacious homes with one or more bedrooms, large kitchens, in-unit laundry and more, played an important role in guiding the selection of luxury and premium homes, as well as the key leisure markets available at launch that complement the core offerings of Marriott’s hotel portfolio.

The introduction of Homes & Villas by Marriott International adds nearly 40 new leisure destinations for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points, including Sorrento, Italy and the Amalfi Coast, Italy; North Lake Tahoe, California; and St. Barts in the Caribbean. This curated selection of homes aims to connect travellers to thousands of rental properties around the world.

‘Our approach to home rentals allows us to curate an incredible collection of homes that deliver an elevated travel experience,’ said Jennifer Hsieh, vice president, Homes & Villas by Marriott International. ‘By working with a select group of professional management companies that understand and operate in this dynamic landscape, we are able to focus on what we do best – selecting a breadth of homes in inspiring destinations, setting standards for responsive service and designing a seamless booking experience that helps our guests navigate an increasingly complex and uncertain set of home rental choices.’

Marriott says that starting next week, travellers can search and book homes on the Homes & Villas by Marriott International site – www.homesandvillasbymarriott.com.

London Gatwick adds 10 new summer routes in response to travel trends

London Gatwick has recently announced the addition of ten brand new routes for this summer season, with nearly 17 million passengers expected to depart from the airport during the season.

In response to the summer travel trends from the airport, London Gatwick is introducing ten new routes this 2019 summer season, including from Rio, Brazil to Rijeka, Croatia. The new routes include three flights per week to Asturias, Spain; two flights per week to Chisinau, Moldova; seven flights per week to Cluj Napoca, Romania; seven flights per week to Gdansk, Poland; one flight per week to Lametia – Terme, Italy; seven flights per week to Miami, USA; one flight per week to Rijeka, Croatia; four flights per week to Rio, Brazil; five flights per week to San Francisco, USA; and, three flights per week to Zadar, Croatia.

In addition to new routes, airlines operating from Gatwick will also increase the number of flights they operate to a range of destinations. For summer 2019, Gatwick will see an increase in frequency of flights to Spanish destinations Almeria, Bilbao, Jerez and Alicante as well as to Antalya, Turkey, Kos, Greece and Budapest, Hungary.

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, Gatwick Airport said: This summer, ten new routes will start from Gatwick which is the very latest demonstration of passenger demand for flights from Gatwick. It shows that, even though it’s one of the busiest in Europe, airlines can still acquire slots and grow at our airport.

‘Rio de Janeiro has just joined Gatwick’s roster of long-haul connections while our airlines are opening up new must-see destinations to explore, particularly in Europe.

‘Our summer seat availability is nearly double that of our winter season. With the airport set to have its biggest ever summer this year, we are delighted to treble the days our in-terminal passenger entertainment of musicians, performers and comedians is available. ‘

KLM Airlines to add extra 10,000 seats from Bristol Airport for summer 2019

Netherlands-based KLM Airlines is planning to add extra 10,000 seats between Bristol and Amsterdam this summer, commencing June 24.

The expansion will allow travellers and holidaymakers to visit Amsterdam for a short break or connect to 162 KLM destinations worldwide via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. To meet the expansion plans, KLM will upgrade the aircraft operating on the weekday service to a Boeing 737 aircraft, providing an additional 32 seats per flight. KLM currently operates four daily flights to Amsterdam from Bristol and the introduction of the Boeing 737 jet service will increase the overall seat capacity by 6.2% compared to the same period last summer.

Benedicte Duval, General Manager for Air France-KLM in the UK & Ireland, said, ‘Due to strong passenger numbers and positive commercial performance on our Bristol to Amsterdam route, we are pleased to be in a position to increase route capacity for the summer 2019 season.

‘The addition of a larger Boeing 737 aircraft will provide almost 10,000 additional seats across the period, giving people in the West of England more opportunity to fly with KLM, and take advantage of our worldwide connections from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.’

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director, Bristol Airport said: ‘This is incredibly exciting news and we are delighted that KLM is adding the B737 jet service to the Amsterdam route from Bristol Airport for the first time.

‘This decision is based on the strong passenger demand in the region and represents a key milestone in our relationship with KLM. The airline has consistently improved the service and product from Bristol Airport over 30 years of the airline partnership. We look forward to additional improvements in the future which will benefit business, leisure passengers and inbound visitors with improved connectivity from Bristol to the world via the Amsterdam hub.’

Expected to serve more than nine million passengers in 2019, Bristol Airport serves nearly 126 direct routes globally.

Chinese conglomerate eyes Thomas Cook takeover

Chinese international conglomerate and investment company, Fosun International Limited, is reportedly considering a takeover of ailing UK-based travel firm, Thomas Cook.

A joint venture between the two companies is already in operation and Fosun is now reported to have lodged a preliminary interest in buying Thomas Cook’s tour operating business, the UK’s oldest provider. Fosun already has a varied range of businesses in its portfolio, including a sporting interest with its ownership of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, an arts interest with its 24.5 percent share in Canada’s Cirque du Soleil theatre group, and an existing travel interest with its ownership of Club Med, a France-based luxury holiday company.

Fosun’s reported interest in the takeover, along with a number of other potential suitors, has seen a surge in Thomas Cook’s share value, which had been depressed of late as the company had struggled with its debts, compounded by a reduction in demand for package holidays and the effect of stiff online competition. Profit warnings posted in September and November 2018 had added to a fall of around 80 percent in the company’s share value over the past 12 months. It has recently announced plans to close 21 of its high street stores for a total of 320 job losses.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook’s airline business was made the subject of a strategic review in February this year in an effort to create funds to invest in other aspects of its business portfolio. Thomas Cook is not the only travel company suffering financially at the moment, an industry-wide price war and a reluctance by customers to commit to major purchases due to economic uncertainty are issues that are also affecting most other large operators.