Delta Air Lines Adds Third Daily Heathrow to Atlanta Flight

Delta Air Lines, a US-based airline, is expanding its daily service between Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, in Atlanta, US, and London Heathrow Airport in the UK.

The airline, which already flies two daily flights on the route, will be adding the additional flight from March 31, 2013.

The new service will also include access to in-flight Internet services for passengers. The airline will be installing Wi-Fi on its fleet of around 150 international aircraft, and claims to be the only airline offering online access on flights between the UK and the US.

Perry Cantarutti, the airline senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said, ‘In just five years, we will have gone from no Heathrow flights to nine daily non-stop services to five US cities. We are also responding to customer demand for more comfort and convenience and the roll-out of our in-flight Wi-Fi from the UK means business customers in particular can stay connected throughout their journey, or simply relax and enjoy a full flat-bed seat.’

The route between London and Atlanta is often used by British passengers to fly to connected destinations of Orlando, Tampa, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles and Miami, in the US.

The airline has also opened its 360° Lounge in London, located within the Millennium and Copthorne Hotel. The lounge will be used exclusively by the airline on Chelsea FC match days as part of its sponsorship of the club, and will be open to hotel guests and the public at other times. Delta is also the football club’s Official Airline Partner.

Cantarutti said, ‘This is our first commercial sponsorship of a Premier League side. London is now home-from-home for Delta and, thanks to our partnership with Chelsea FC, our brand is reaching thousands more customers every day.’

easyJet Offers Service to Newquay from London Southend Airport

easyJet, a UK based airline, has announced a new route from London Southend Airport in the UK.

The airline will be flying to Newquay from Southend Airport commencing June 20, 2013. Seats are currently on sale for the three-times-weekly service.

Hugh Aitken, the easyJet UK commercial manager said, ‘We’re thrilled to be announcing this new route from London Southend to Newquay which opens up a fast connection to the English Riviera and its great beaches, restaurants and attractions. The new service makes the South West much more accessible, and certainly a lot faster to reach than the current road or rail alternatives.

With easyJet fares starting from as little as £30.99 per person (including taxes based on two passengers flying on the same booking, we’re bringing an easy and affordable option to passengers from this region who wish to travel to the South West coast.

London Southend Airport is our newest and fastest growing UK base with over 400,000 passengers travelling with easyJet since its opening in March this year. We’re fully committed to delivering services from the airport, which meet the needs of business and leisure travellers alike and sure that this new route will prove very popular.’

Previously the airline has launched new services from London Southend Airport to Krakow (Poland) and Berlin (Germany).

Alastair Welch, the managing director of Southend Airport, said, ‘We are delighted to offer another fantastic easyJet route from London Southend Airport – our very first mainland UK destination.

We are sure Newquay is going to prove popular with Essex travellers for both short breaks and longer staycations – not just for its surfing, but also for the simple and easy access it provides to the much admired Cornish coast. Destinations such as St Ives and the Eden project are now just 60 minutes flight time away, instead of a 6-hour car or 9-hour train journey.’

Blizzard freezes travel plans in Sweden

A Baltic blizzard in Sweden has affected travel plans, with the cold spell also strengthening in several other parts of Europe.

Travellers have had to battle against wind and snow, and residents are having a difficult time coping with the conditions in Stockholm. The first week of meteorological winter brought continued cold and snow to many areas of central and northern Europe. In some places, conditions are said to be severe and lasting.

Sweden appears to be the worst affected, with the strong Baltic storms bringing up to 40cms of snow to the nation’s streets. Blizzards broke out in central and eastern parts of the country on Wednesday, and figures show that at least eight inches of snow fell in Stockholm. The end result was that the downfall seriously affected public transport in the Swedish capital and grounded most of the air traffic in and out of the country’s busiest airports. Power was also disrupted, and it is believed that about 6,000 people lost electricity in the Stockholm region as temperatures failed to climb above zero throughout the day.

Travel plans have been seriously affected, even those of high-ranking delegates and Nobel Prize laureates, who have been delayed because of the unexpected turn of events. The heavy snowfall prompted Sweden’s Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) to issue a class 2 storm warning on Wednesday. The department said that it has recorded gusts of wind that reached between 35-40 mph in east-central Sweden.

The department said that the meteorological development that brings arctic air into central Europe would push daytime temperatures below freezing in Stockholm and southern Sweden throughout the weekend. The effect is also expected in France and Germany and parts of Eastern Europe.

Enterprise Launches Operations in Portugal

Car rental company, Enterprise, is launching its operations for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in Portugal, through a franchise.

The company has appointed Guerin Car Rental Solutions as its franchise partner in Portugal, increasing its operations in Europe to six countries, including the UK, Germany, Ireland, France and Spain.

Peter A Smith, the vice president of global franchising for the company, said, ‘While this may be the first franchising agreement for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand, it won’t be the last. In fact, we plan to continue this same growth strategy throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

We’re careful to choose strong, stable domestic businesses as our international franchise partners, and Guerin certainly meets that standard as a well-respected travel industry leader in Portugal’

Jim Burrell, the senior vice president for Europe, said, ‘We are committed to developing a comprehensive network of rental car businesses across Europe and beyond.

Since arriving in Europe in 1994, Enterprise has developed a strong brand presence through our corporately owned locations across the UK, Germany and Ireland. But our strategy is to be where our customers need us. Today this brings us to France and Spain with a well-established network of 350 branches and an outstanding and committed team of people.

From here we will quickly look to establish businesses in other markets as our customers’ needs extend beyond our current operations. We will seek to do this in the way that best suits the needs of each market, through affiliates, franchisees and other wholly owned operations’

Enterprise is also re-branding its newly acquired Citer and Atesa operations in France and Spain. The re-branding will add 350 new locations to the company’s car hire network. Today, the European Enterprise Rent-A-Car network operates more than 100,000 vehicles.

East Midlands Trains Plans Fare Increase for 2013

UK-based train service, East Midlands Trains, is intending to increase its rail fares in the New Year.

The company has announced an increase of around 4 percent on its fares, effective January 2, 2013, with the cost of a single journey likely to increase by around £0.52 per ticket. The new fares can be checked at www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk, or through National Rail Enquiries.

David Horne, the managing director of East Midlands Trains, said, ‘Railway funding can only come from the taxpayer or from the passenger. The government’s policy remains that a bigger share must come from people who use the train.

We know that nobody likes paying more for their travel, especially to get to work. That’s why we are working hard with the rest of the rail industry to make the system more cost-efficient and help take the pressure off future fare rises. At the same time, we are investing in our trains and stations to deliver a better railway for our customers.’

East Midlands Trains, owned by the Stagecoach Group, operates train service from London St Pancras International to other UK destinations, including Leicester, Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool. The company is currently in the process of investing around £40 million for station improvements and train refurbishments across its network.

The company has recently entered into a partnership with Vodafone UK, a mobile network company, and is in the process of installing special equipment on each of the 27 Meridian trains on its routes. The mobile phone signal booster equipment is intended to increase passenger’s mobile phone signals.

Monarch Airlines Offers Summer Service to Almeria from Manchester Airport

Monarch Airlines, a UK-based airline company, is re-launching a service to Almeria, in southern Spain, from Manchester Airport in the UK.

The service to Almeria will be offered during the summer of 2013, with twice a week flights commencing on May 4, next year.

The managing director of Monarch Airlines, Kevin George, said, ‘We are delighted to be resuming the Almeria route for our summer 2013 flights programme from Manchester Airport. Since we last operated the route in 2011 the popularity of our Birmingham/Almeria flight has grown considerably and therefore we thought it timely to bring the route back to Manchester.

Our social media followers will be particularly pleased by the resumption of the flight as it has been the topic of discussion and debate for some time on both Facebook and Twitter and we are always very pleased to be able to respond positively to customer feedback.

The addition of Almeria for summer 2013 expands further our extensive offering from Manchester and we are sure that it will be a popular choice for our customers.’

Ken O’Toole, the chief commercial officer for Manchester Airports Group, the owner of Manchester Airport, said, ‘Monarch Airlines is a major carrier here and the re-instatement of the Almeria route will be a welcome addition to the summer 2013 schedule from Manchester. Spain remains a popular destination for leisure travellers using our airport and Monarch’s continued growth is something we will continue to support in the year ahead.’

The airline is also offering a number of cheap flights from UK airports, including Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and London Gatwick, to a number of destinations.