Bmi Regional Announces New Routes from Bristol

Bmi Regional, a UK based airline, is launching new routes from Bristol, UK, to Hamburg and Frankfurt in Germany.

The airline is offering five-times-weekly flights to Hamburg from February 11, 2013, and a six times per week service to Frankfurt in late March, 2013.

Cathal O’Connell, the airline’s chief executive, said, ‘The launch of new services to Germany is a continuation of bmi regional’s promise to serve key economic and transport hubs to multiple destinations across Europe.

Our choice of destinations is based on customer demand and with Hamburg being a significant operational base for major employers such as Airbus and Imperial Tobacco and Frankfurt a world hub offering connectivity throughout the globe, we are supplying services our business users have asked for. Both cities are exciting destinations for leisure customers and with launch fares starting from as low as £49.99 each way, we also expect to see a boost in both inbound tourists to the South West region.

We are also reviewing other opportunities with the team at Bristol Airport and hope to announce additional routes in the New Year.’

Robert Sinclair, the chief executive officer at Bristol Airport, said, ‘Today’s announcement is a major statement of Bristol Airport’s commitment to providing the connectivity which is vital in enabling the economies of the South West and South Wales to compete on a global stage.

It forms part of an overall strategy to enhance services and facilities for the region’s business passengers, including commencement of a £600,000 project to create a new, improved executive lounge in the terminal.

When we ran a recent survey of ‘most wanted’ routes, German destinations featured strongly in responses from the business community. As well as being an important financial centre, Frankfurt is a major global hub offering access to a huge range of onward connections. Hamburg is a key location for several major companies in the South West, such as Airbus and Imperial Tobacco.

Both new services will be warmly welcomed by the many businesses across the South West and South Wales with customers, suppliers or aspirations to trade in Germany and beyond.’

Eurostar Announces Seasonal Bargain Fares to Continental Europe

Eurostar International, a UK-based high-speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, is offering a 12-day Express Sale from January 3, 2012.

The company has announced a bargain price of £59 return fare from London St Pancras to the continental Europe destinations of Paris, Brussels or Lille. The train company is offering around 150,000 seats to those travelling between January 17 and March 27, 2013.

Eurostar is also offering return travel from London to any Belgian station, commencing from £69 in standard class. The Eurostar Plus offer is available for those travelling to Paris and Brussels from London, and it includes two admissions for the price of one to many of the cities’ popular museums and galleries.

The company has previously reported a surge in bookings to France, Belgium and Switzerland from across the UK, until January 3, 2013, due to the festive season.

December 21 and 22, 2012, have been the busiest days for departures, according to the company, as the period also marked the commencement of Eurostar’s French and Swiss ski services. The weekly services are running until April 13, 2013 to the popular French ski towns of Moutiers, Aime-La-Plagne and Bourg St Maurice, with return fares commencing from £149 per person.

The new Swiss ski service offers to transport ski and snowboarding enthusiasts from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the Swiss Alps and the Valais region resorts, including Verbier, Zermatt, Saas Fee and Gstaad. The company will also be carrying ski and snowboarding gear free of charge.

Eurostar is launching a new weekly spring service for a trial period during May and June 2013, from London and Ashford to three popular holiday destinations in the South of France; Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. Tickets are on sale along with tickets for an existing weekly summer service to Avignon.

Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hosting European Elvis Championships

The European Elvis Championships will be held at Hilton Birmingham Metropole, in Birmingham UK. Announcing its hosting of the event, the hotel has welcomed Elvis Presley fans who will be visiting the city for the event.

The event will be held from January 4 to 6, 2013. The hotel general manager, Patrick Stapleton, said, ‘With the outstanding success the event had last year we are anticipating an even greater turnout and exceptional entertainment’.

The convention styled contest will include performances by Elvis-inspired artists, including European masters champion, Pete Storm, and popular artist, George Elias. The event will also be staging performances by The Graceland Band for audiences and music enthusiasts.

The 790-room Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel is located on the site of National Exhibition Centre, and is the largest conference hotel outside London. The hotel is located around ten minutes away from Birmingham International Airport, and travellers can use the complimentary shuttle from the airport to the hotel.

For first time visitors, the hotel is located a short commuting distance from the famous Bullring Shopping Centre and central Birmingham. The hotel also has 33 meeting and function rooms, three restaurants, a 24-hour lounge bar, room service, and a Health Club, with swimming pool.

The hotel’s room rates for the duration of the event commence from £46.13 per person per night, and must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. A three-day pass for the event is available for £90 per person, while individual day passes are available from £30 per person upwards with concessions for under 14’s.

Etihad Airways Flies 10 Million Passengers in 2012

Etihad Airways, a UAE-based airline, has reported carrying around 10 million passengers in 2012.

The airline is reporting a 22 percent increase in the total number of passengers carried in 2012, compared to a total of 8.41 million passengers that it carried in 2011. The increase of around 1.8 million passengers is due to more destinations in 2012, with the airline network now covering 87 airports worldwide, and around 245 airports globally through code share flights.

James Hogan, the airline president and chief executive officer, said, ‘Etihad Airways has achieved significant expansion in 2012 and therefore it’s very satisfying to pass our target of flying more than 10 million passengers during a year for the first time.

We have launched flights to six new destinations during the last year – Tripoli, Shanghai, Nairobi, Basra, Lagos, and Ahmedabad – which have all contributed to the 22 per cent increase in passenger numbers.’

The airline, which has recently acquired a stake of 3.96 percent in Virgin Australia Holdings, also owns a 2.99 percent holding in the Irish airline, Aer Lingus, and a 29 percent stake in Air Berlin, the second largest air carrier in Germany. Growth in passenger traffic is also reported by these airlines, with Virgin Australia carrying 19.5 million passengers in 2012, Aer Lingus around 11 million passengers, and Air Seychelles 241,000 passengers.

The busiest route for the airline has been Bangkok, with the airline carrying around 691,000 passengers to the city in 2012, a 38 percent increase on 2011 passenger traffic. The other busy routes are from Abu Dhabi to Manila, Heathrow and Jeddah, Sydney, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester, Doha and Dublin.

The airline flies to Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Jersey, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle, and Southampton airports in the UK.