Ryanair announces Luxembourg winter 2017 schedule, new Liverpool-Milan Malpensa route

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has launched its Luxembourg winter 2017 schedule, with one new route to Barcelona, three new winter services to Lisbon, Madrid and Milan and extra flights to Porto.

Available for travel in February and March, Ryanair’s Luxembourg winter schedule offers six new destinations, including a new service to Barcelona (operating four times weekly), three new winter services to: Lisbon (five services weekly), Madrid (four weekly service) and Milan Bergamo (also four times weekly) and extra flights ( six weekly service) to Porto. The airline’s winter schedule at Luxembourg will operate 30 weekly flights, delivering over 450,000 customers per annum and creating 340 ‘on-site’ jobs per annum at the airport.

Ryanair presently connects Luxembourg with major leisure and business centres, including London Stansted (daily) and Madrid (four weekly).

Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said: ‘We are pleased to launch our Luxembourg winter 2017 schedule, with a new route to Barcelona, new winter flights to Lisbon, Madrid, Milan and extra flights to Porto with 6 routes in total, which will deliver over 450,000 customers p.a. and support 340 jobs as we continue to grow at Luxembourg Airport.

Customers can look forward to even lower fares when they make advance bookings for winter 2017, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair and we urge all customers who wish to book their summer or winter 2017 holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from Luxembourg.’

Separately, Ryanair said that it has launched a new route from Liverpool to Milan Malpensa, with a three times weekly service beginning in October, as part of its winter 2017 schedule.

On the new Liverpool-Milan Malpensa route, Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to announce a new route from Liverpool to Milan Malpensa, with a three-times weekly service starting in October, as part of our Liverpool winter 2017 service, which will be launched soon.

Liverpool customers and visitors can look forward to even lower fares when they make advance bookings for their summer or winter holidays, so there’s never been a better time to book low fare flight to or from Liverpool.’

Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s Director of Air Service Development, Paul Winfield added: ‘It’s great to be able to celebrate our first new route announcement of the year so early into 2017 and for another airport in Italy to become linked with Liverpool later this year.

We expect this flight to Milan Malpensa to prove popular with the region’s travellers looking to travel to this part of Italy and also look forward to welcoming visitors to the Liverpool City Region from Italy on this service too.’

British Airways announces service improvements on China, Hong Kong flights

British Airways has announced certain improvements on the service that customers will receive on flights to and from China and Hong Kong as part of efforts to make travellers ‘feel more at home on board’

As part of improving its travel experience, the airline is now offering its Chinese customers bilingual menu cards and the option of chopsticks or cutlery when dining. In recognising the popular tea culture that both China and Britain share, the airline has also added Twining’s green tea as a beverage option in all cabins. Additionally, British Airways’ menus are custom-made to suit each route. Customers travelling to China and Hong Kong have the choice of relishing stir fried Kung Pao Chicken or Pork Wonton soup with pak choi and noodles on board in January.

The British airline has also introduced new dark blue slippers in business class and premium economy – Club World and World Traveller Plus – ahead of Chinese New Year. Currently slippers are only available in first class.

Richard Tams, executive vice president China, said: ‘We understand how important it is for our customers to feel comfortable when flying with us. Following customer feedback we have added a number of extra touches to our flights to and from China. These include slippers, green tea and chopsticks, which we hope will add value and create a more culturally authentic experience for Chinese customers when they choose to fly with us.’

The improvements come as the number of people travelling between the UK and China is increasing year over year. According to available statistics from VisitBritain, the UK’s official tourism board, in 2015, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Britain grew by 40 percent compared to 2014.

British Airways currently operates seven flights a week to Beijing, 10 flights a week to Shanghai and 14 flights a week to Hong Kong. Earlier in January, British Airways suspended a fourth regular route from London to Chengdu after serving the route for three years, stating it was commercially unviable. British Airways added the London-Chengdu flight in 2013, initially flying the route five times a week. It reduced the service to three flights a week in 2014.

The airline is currently running a sale, with return flights to Beijing starting from GBP387.00, flights to Shanghai starting from GBP496.00 and flights to Hong Kong starting from GBP445.00. The British Airways world sale runs until midnight on January 31, 2017.

See more at: http://mediacentre.britishairways.com/pressrelease/details/86/2016-72/8173?ref=News#sthash.o2GxnXo2.dpuf

bmi regional announces three new European routes from Birmingham Airport

bmi regional has announced three new destinations – Graz, Austria; Nuremburg, Germany; and Gothenburg, Sweden – from Birmingham starting early 2017 as the European regional airline plans to launch a new base at Birmingham Airport.

Featured in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites, Graz lies on the River Mur and will be bmi regional’s first destination in Austria. Besides being a cultural hotspot, Graz also presents key attractions for motorsports and golf enthusiasts.

bmi regional’s seventh destination in Germany, the Bavarian city of Nuremberg is the second largest city in the region after Munich. Nuremberg has vast arts and culture sites for tourists and features a host of museums dedicated to design, painting and modern art.

With its diverse culture and vibrant nightlife, Gothenburg is a popular mini break destination. Just two hours’ flying time from Birmingham, Gothenburg will be bmi regional’s fourth destination in Sweden.

The Graz flight will commence on February 27, 2017, initially with a twice weekly service on Mondays and Fridays, increasing to four times weekly in March. Fares will start from  £99.00 one way. The Nuremberg and Gothenburg routes will start on May 8, 2017, with six return flights per week. Fares start from £79.00 one way and £89.00 one way respectively.

Commenting on the new routes, Jochen Schnadt, Chief Commercial Officer from bmi regional, said: ‘bmi regional has always offered customers an array of up and coming destinations to explore and enjoy, and we anticipate all three routes to be popular. Given the many issues we are facing in different parts of Europe and the world these days, many people are looking for new experiences in more familiar regions and our new destinations have an abundance of interesting and exciting experiences to offer to customers. We’re also happy to once again be bringing the bmi regional level of quality, convenience, service and professionalism to travellers from the Midlands.’

William Pearson, Aviation Director of Birmingham Airport said: ‘It is great news that bmi regional will be offering flights to Nuremberg, Gothenburg and Graz this year. All three routes are currently un-served from Birmingham, so we thank bmi regional for filling these gaps and offering leisure travellers the chance to visit these vibrant city break destinations in Sweden, Austria and Germany with an airline that offers excellent service, efficiency and value.’

The fares include complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks, 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating and 30 minute check-ins. Flights on all-routes are available for booking at www.flybmi.com.

Ryanair mulling transatlantic connection for Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has stated that transatlantic connections from Liverpool John Lennon Airport could be available from later this year.

Ryanair’s chief executive has been in Liverpool to talk to airport bosses with regards to new routes from the airport. He has pledged ‘two or three new routes’ for the north west airport from this winter, and said that he is in talks with Aer Lingus to offer onward connections to the US.

That would enable passengers to check their bags in at Liverpool, fly Ryanair to Dublin, clear US customs at Dublin, and then transfer to an Aer Lingus flight to any of its American destinations. Aer Lingus launched a Dublin-Liverpool flight in 2016, allowing it to offer transfers to the US, but that service closed late last year. Dublin is one of two Irish airports to offer ‘pre-clearance’ to those travelling to the US. It means travellers can clear US customs at Dublin and avoid the often huge queues to clear customs in the US.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, O’leary said: ‘We’re talking to Aer Lingus about connecting into their transatlantics at Dublin. You can see a much better operation with Ryanair carrying people from Liverpool to Dublin and then they’re connecting in Dublin going transatlantic clearing Customs. It would be the fastest and certainly the cheapest way to fly from the North West to the US.’

He added that the airlines had signed a provisional ‘heads of terms’ agreement and that talks were ongoing.

He said: ‘There’s a lot of logistical issues to be resolved, mainly reservation systems talking to each other and our computer system. Hopefully we can get those resolved in the next couple of months. I’d like to see it happen by sometime in the summer of 2017. But if not, winter of 2017 will do fine.’

Monarch announces new city breaks to Zagreb for summer 2017

Monarch, a British low-cost airline based at Luton Airport, has announced new city break holidays to Zagreb for summer 2017.

The new city break holidays follows Monarch’s plans to start flights to Zagreb on April 28, 2017. The holidays are available for booking at rates starting from £179 per person and deposits of £59 per person. Return flights to Zagreb with Monarch start at £84 return for summer 2017, including taxes and charges.

Croatia is a popular summer destination, and for summer 2017 Zagreb joins Dubrovnik on the Monarch network. Year round flights operate from London Gatwick airport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from Manchester airport on a Monday and Saturday. In addition to the direct flights from London Gatwick and Manchester, tourists and holidaymakers are also offered a selection of accommodation across Zagreb.

Kim Barber, Product and Commercial Manager at Monarch said: ‘Ahead of the flights launching in April we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a choice of city break holidays to Zagreb.

‘With a collection of impressive museums and art galleries the Croatian capital city is growing in popularity. Monarch has a range of city centre hotels perfect for exploring this vibrant city. Customers now have the choice of new city breaks with Monarch to Zagreb and Porto for summer 2017.’

The holiday offerings include a two night stay at the four star International on a bed and breakfast basis, departing on May 20, 2017 with fares starting from £165 per person; a four night stay at the four star Panorama Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis departing on June 12, 2017, with fares starting from £239 per person, and a two night stay at the three star plus Arcotel Allegra Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, departing on September 27, 2017, with fares starting from £179 per person.

Aer Lingus Regional announces new service from Cornwall to Cork Airport for summer

Aer Lingus Regional has said the airline will operate a service from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Cork Airport, for summer 2017.

Situated in southern Ireland, Cork is one of Ireland’s most scenic Irish cities and tourist destinations. The airline currently operates flights from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Dublin Ireland.

The new service, which will commence on May 6, will be operated twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday, with fares from GBP35.49 each way including taxes and charges. Aer Lingus’ services are operated by flying partner Stobart Air.

Seats are available for booking on www.aerlingus.com.

Al Titterington, Managing Director at Cornwall Airport Newquay, said: ‘The Irish market is a key target for growth and our partnership with Aer Lingus Regional continues to flourish with the addition of Cork this summer. Cork is an exciting development in our route network offering 2-way access between Cornwall and southern Ireland and will boost both regions’ tourism industries which is great news, especially for the UK’s #1 tourism destination.’

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, added: ‘Today’s news is great for anyone from the South of Ireland planning their summer getaway. Cornwall is a stunning part of the UK, renowned for its surf and scenery with an abundance of things to see and do. The county is home to some unique attractions such as the Eden Project, as well as some delicious traditional British cuisine, making it ideal for families, surfers, sailors and walkers alike, who are seeking a destination closer to home.

‘Furthermore, when you consider that the UK is Ireland’s largest market for inbound tourism, the new route enables more opportunity to showcase Ireland’s Ancient East and Wild Atlantic Way’.

Martin Saxton, Chief Commercial Officer at Stobart Air, commented, ‘The addition of Cork reflects the ongoing success of our route network and our services from Cornwall. We’re keen to provide value, choice and key connections for our customers and are confident this route will be a very popular destination for summer 2017.’

Aer Lingus Regional currently flies up to 640 flights per week across its 26 routes throughout the UK, Ireland and France. Stobart Air is the franchise flying partner to Aer Lingus and Flybe, operating its services from London’s Southend Airport to some European destinations.


Flybe partners with Virgin Atlantic to offer new destinations for Scottish travellers

Leading European regional airline Flybe has announced a partnership with Virgin Atlantic to offer Scottish travellers new flight services to international destinations including Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai.

Under the partnership, new Flybe flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh will connect customers onto Virgin Atlantic flights to the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In this connection, the two airlines have extended their codeshare agreement to include London Heathrow. The new Flybe codeshare flights to London Heathrow will operate starting March 26, offering four services per day from Edinburgh Airport, and up to three services per day from Aberdeen Airport.

Passengers will be able to book tickets to travel from Edinburgh and Aberdeen with Flybe, and connect onto Virgin Atlantic flights at London Heathrow. The agreement will allow passengers to connect between Flybe and Virgin Atlantic with a single check in and bag drop.

The new flights are now on sale at www.virginatlantic.com.

Erik Varwijk, Executive Vice President, Commercial, Virgin Atlantic commented: ‘Our partnership with Flybe will bring the world a little closer to Scotland with exciting new Virgin Atlantic destinations available across the US, Asia, and Africa. The extended codeshare agreement builds on the partnership we announced last year which has proved popular with customers across the UK.

‘We look forward to offering easy connections to some of our most popular destinations such as the US cities of San Francisco and Boston, as well as helping to boost business and investment with access to major hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai.’

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, added: ‘Flybe is especially delighted that this extension of our valued codeshare partnership with Virgin will enable us to better serve Scottish travellers and global visitors, further realising our ambition of being a ‘One Stop to the World’ for the UK regions.

‘We greatly look forward to cementing our commitment to Scotland and welcoming even more Virgin passengers on board our new Heathrow flights from Aberdeen and Edinburgh when they start at the end of March.’

The new destinations on offer from Aberdeen and Edinburgh via London Heathrow include Los Angeles with fares starting from £498 return, San Francisco from £498 return, Boston from £398 return, Washington from £418 return and Hong Kong from £445 return, Flybe said.

Heathrow cuts domestic passenger charges by over a third

London Heathrow has announced a discount of £10.00 to domestic passenger charges to support affordable domestic routes starting January 1, 2017- the highest cut ever by the airport.

Scheduled to last up to twenty years, the discount is part of Heathrow’s plan to promote growth outside London by making it cheaper to travel beyond the capital. The new domestic charge of £19.10/passenger is over a third cheaper than 2016.

In September 2016, Heathrow also announced a plan to get UK regions connected to give all of Britain a ‘Brexit boost’. With the move, domestic passengers flying from Heathrow will be able to collectively save nearly £500m over the next 20 years, it said.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: ‘Earlier this year Heathrow promised to do more to help Britain’s economy grow stronger. This morning I’m delighted that we’re able to come good on that promise with our new £10 domestic discount. Putting over £500 million back into the pockets of British families and businesses will help to spur growth in every part of the UK.’

Airlines have already expressed interest in launching services at Heathrow’s cheaper domestic charges. Starting from March, Flybe will start operations from Heathrow for the first time. The UK-based European regional airline will add 40 new weekly flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. In addition, Flybe and easyJet have also expressed interest in using the additional capacity to serve additional domestic destinations – including Newquay, Liverpool and Dundee.

Heathrow’s move to discount domestic charges will also reduce pressure on airlines operating existing domestic services by making their routes more commercially attractive, it added.

Hyatt Place opens in London Heathrow Airport

Hyatt Place has opened in London Heathrow Airport recently, marking the second Hyatt Place hotel in the city.

Following an extensive renovation of the existing building, Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport is located at the entrance of Heathrow Airport. The hotel offers casual hospitality and service in a high-tech and contemporary environment.

The 358-room hotel, managed by Cycas Hospitality, joins four Hyatt Place hotels in Europe, including Hyatt Place Jermuk and Hyatt Place Yerevan in Aremnia; Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport in The Netherlands; and Hyatt Place London Heathrow/Hayes in the U.K.

‘We are delighted to collaborate with Cycas Hospitality and M&L Hospitality to bring the second Hyatt Place hotel to the U.K.,’ said Peter Fulton, group president – Europe, Africa and Middle East and Southwest Asia for Hyatt. ‘The opening of this hotel marks a significant milestone for Hyatt as the Hyatt Place brand continues to expand worldwide and offer more choices to our guests in key gateway cities like London.’

‘We are proud to welcome the first guests to Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport, a hotel that truly reflects the needs of the modern traveller,’ said Ingrid van Veen, regional manager for Cycas Hospitality. ‘We believe Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport will exceed guest expectations while visiting or passing through London.’

Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport will offer 358 guestrooms, including media and work centre with a 42′ flat-panel HDTV; meetings spaces offering seven flexible, high-tech meeting/function space that can accommodate 2-100 delegates; Free Wi-Fi and public computers with remote printing throughout the hotel; a 24-hour StayFit Gym featuring fully stocked exercise equipment; Coffee to Cocktails Bar featuring specialty coffees and premium beers, as well as wines and cocktails among other conveniences and luxuries.