Ryanair launches record schedule for winter 2017

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has launched its biggest-ever winter schedule for 2017 from three London airports: London Stansted, London Gatwick and London Luton, operating a total of 140 routes, which will deliver 23.8m customers p.a. in total.

From London Stansted, the Irish airline has announced three new routes to Aalborg, Oradea and Pardubice, all operating thrice weekly. The airline has also announce six new winter services: a thrice weekly service to Cagliari, Copenhagen and Oslo Torp, and weekly service to Naples, Nice and Ponta Delgada. In addition, Ryanair has announced extra flights on 13 routes: Billund (twice daily), Bratislava (twice daily), Budapest (thrice daily), Cologne (twice daily), Baden (nine weekly), Lublin (four weekly), Marseille (daily), Stockholm Skavsta (twice daily), Plovdiv (thrice weekly), Poznan (nine weekly), Prague (twice daily), Sofia (16 weekly) and Toulouse (twice daily). The airline will operate a total of 124 routes, from the airport with over 1,100 weekly flights carrying over 20.5m customers p.a.

From London Gatwick, Ryanair has announced five routes to Alicante (six weekly), Belfast (five daily), Dublin (eight daily), Cork (daily) & Shannon (six weekly), operating 110 weekly flights and expected to carry 1.7 m customers p.a.

From London Luton, Ryanair has announced 15 routes including twice weekly services to Fuertaventura, Lanzarote and Tenerife and four times weekly flights to Malta. Ryanair will operate 72 weekly flights from the airport, and is expected to carry 1.6m customers p.a

Ryanair will also continue to connect London with major business centres including Berlin (four daily), Dublin (18 daily), Edinburgh (four daily) and Madrid (four daily) on high frequency, low fare services with better timings. The new routes will go on sale in February 2017, it said.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘We are pleased to launch our biggest-ever London winter schedule, with 9 new London Stansted winter routes and extra flights on 13 existing routes, which will deliver 23.8m customers p.a. and support over 17,000 jobs at Ryanair’s three London airports. We are also pleased to report record bookings on our London summer 2017 schedule, and customers can look forward to even lower fares, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair. We urge all customers who wish to book their holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website or mobile app, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from London.’

Ryanair added that its London summer 2017 schedule is attracting record bookings, with increased frequencies and lower fares to sun destinations for family holidays, as well as enhanced customer experience as it continues to roll out its ‘Always Getting Better’ improvements.

Brittany Ferries to launch Barfleur Club Lounge on Poole to Cherbourg ferry services

Brittany Ferries, a passenger car and freight service operating from eleven ports, linking four countries: UK – France, UK – Spain and Ireland – France, has said that it will launch a new, exclusive lounge on Barfleur, its cruise-ferry operating from Poole to Cherbourg this summer.

Besides the high-speed services operating from Portsmouth, the Poole to Cherbourg ferry route is the fastest way to get from the UK to France on the western Channel. The new Barfleur Club Lounge is expected to offer more premium travel experience. Accessed by boarding card, it will include USB charging points, newspapers, complimentary tea, coffee and cold drinks, as well as a sleep kit for overnight crossings.

The new 20-seat lounge will open from July 1, 2017 and customers can book a reclining seat for GBP18 during the day time and GBP25 for overnight sailings. The announcement comes as Barfleur is completing its 25th year of operation in 2017.

‘We’re excited to launch this premium service on crossings between Poole and Cherbourg in response to demand from our passengers,’ said Gareth Bewley, customer services manager. ‘They will soon be able to relax in a luxurious, reclining seat within an exclusive lounge and enjoy complimentary services throughout the sailing. Wi-fi, nespresso coffee and newspapers are just some of the things that will come as standard for travellers.’

Brittany Ferries was set up by a collective of French farmers as a freight-only operator in the early 1970s, with the aim of bringing French agricultural products to a wider British market. Today Brittany Ferries is the market leader on the Western Channel for passengers and for freight. It is also a provider of ferry-inclusive motoring holidays to France and Spain.

Monarch announces new flights from Birmingham Airport for summer 2017

Budget airline and holiday company, Monarch has announced the addition of four new routes – Split in Croatia, Valencia in Spain, Naples in Italy and Rhodes in Greece – to its network from Birmingham Airport for summer 2017.

With the move, Monarch will be the only airline flying to both Split and Valencia from Birmingham Airport. While Split and Valencia are new destinations added to the Monarch network for summer 2017, Naples and Rhodes are already on the Monarch network but new to Birmingham Airport for summer 2017.

The Birmingham – Split route will operate twice weekly on Tuesday & Sundays, starting June 25, 2017 with fares starting from £39 one way. The Birmingham – Valencia route will operate twice weekly on Saturdays and Thursdays, starting June 22, 2017 with fares starting from £39 one way. The new Birmingham – Naples route will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays, starting June 23, 2017, also with fares starting from £39 one way. And the Birmingham – Rhodes route will operate weekly once on Wednesdays with fares starting from £69 one way, starting June 21, 2017. Flights are available to book at www.monarch.co.uk .

Marjan Schoeke, Monarch’s head of Network Development, said ‘We are delighted to be announcing four new routes to the network from Birmingham Airport for this summer. With the introduction of these routes we now have 30 destinations on offer to customers flying from Birmingham Airport this summer. Monarch has more destinations to choose from than any other airline when flying out of Birmingham this summer.’

David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer, at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We continually monitor our route network and feel that these destinations will be a popular choice with our customers who fly from Birmingham and are looking for sun this summer.

‘It is fabulous news that Monarch will be adding these new routes for summer 2017 offering more choice of destinations from Birmingham Airport. Both Split, in Croatia and Valencia, in Spain are unserved from the Airport so passengers will have the chance to visit these beautiful cities. While the routes to Naples and Rhodes offers extra capacity to passengers travelling from their local airport. Monarch has been a partner airline for many years and provides an excellent service for both leisure and business passengers.’

Besides being the only airline to fly direct to Split and Valencia, Monarch is also the only airline to fly directly to seven other destinations from Birmingham Airport, including Lisbon, Nice, Stockholm, Preveza, Gibraltar, Venice and Rome. As previously announced, Monarch will be also commencing a new flight service to Stockholm on April 28, 2017 – the only airline flying directly to the Swedish capital from Birmingham.

Flybe announces new DSA-Palma route for summer, to restart weekly Dusseldorf service from Cardiff

Flybe, the UK-based low cost airline, has announced a new route from Yorkshire’s Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) to Palma, this summer.

Palma, in the western Mediterranean, is the capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca. A popular sun destination, the city boasts trendy restaurants, cafes and shops. Tourists and holidaymakers can also enjoy a relaxing beach break as the city offers a range of resorts.

Tickets for the twice weekly flights from DSA to Palma are on sale at www.flybe.com, with summer flights taking off from July 7. In total, Flybe’s 2017 summer schedule from DSA features 11 routes with a choice of up to 46 flights a week.

Chris Harcombe, head of aviation development at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to be adding more options to fly to this fantastic Mediterranean destination. We’ve listened to feedback asking for more low cost flights to popular holiday spots and we’re pleased to deliver this route with Flybe.

‘Flybe is offering a range of great sun destinations with us, with a really good schedule at great prices, so to add even more is a real boost for the region.’

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer, added: ‘We are pleased to be extending our 2017 Summer schedule from Doncaster Sheffield Airport with the additional choice of yet more sun flights to such a popular summer holiday destination.

Flights are scheduled to give customers flexibility and the choice of either a long weekend or a full week away so Yorkshire based sun seekers can be as flexible as possible with their holiday plans.’

Separately, Flybe has announced the return of its weekly Saturday service between Cardiff and Dusseldorf starting April 1, 2017. Flights are available to book now with one way fares from £45 including taxes and charges. In total, 16 routes feature in Flybe’s 2017 summer schedule from Cardiff offering a choice of up to 84 flights a week.

Ryanair to carry over 22,000 racing fans for Cheltenham Festival

Ryanair, Irish budget airline and the official carrier of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival, has announced that it will carry over 22,000 racing fans to and from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival due next month.

Cheltenham is a regency spa town and borough located on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. Home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup is the main event of the Cheltenham Festival, held every March.

Ryanair has scheduled 38 extra flights and over 120 flights in total to and from Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands for Cheltenham week, set to start on Tuesday, March 14. The highlights include the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase on Thursday, March 16, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup which takes place on St Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘We’re under starter’s orders for the 2017 Cheltenham Festival with just four weeks to go and racing fans are booking Ryanair flights in record numbers once more. We’ll carry over 22,000 punters to and from Cheltenham, all on the lowest fares, and we’ve scheduled over 120 flights to and from Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands, including 38 extras.

All eyes will be on the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, which takes place on Thursday, 16th March and as the official airline of the Cheltenham Festival, we’ll be hoping for even more Irish winners this time around. Racing fans can snap up the last seats to Cheltenham on the Ryanair.com website.’

Ryanair added that it is giving away race day tickets on its social media pages – Facebook and Twitter – in the build-up to the festival, and racing fans can book their Cheltenham seats on Ryanair.com.

British Airways returns to Birmingham and Bristol, announces four summer-only routes

British Airways has announced plans to start flying from Birmingham Airport again with the launch of four new summer-only routes to popular European sun destinations.

Starting in May, the airline will begin direct flights from Birmingham and Bristol to the popular Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence. Basic each way fares from Birmingham to Ibiza start from GBP45 and to Florence, Malaga and Palma from GBP49, while basic each way fares from Bristol to Palma start from GBP45, to Florence and Ibiza from GBP49 and to Malaga from GBP59. Seats are available to book on www.ba.com.

The new return flights from both airports will operate once a week at weekends. They will operate on 98-seat Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with two abreast seating offering all customers either an aisle or window seat.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘We are very excited to be returning to Birmingham with four very popular routes. Customers can once again enjoy competitively priced flights to the sun direct from their doorstep with British Airways to those destinations they tell us they want to fly to. We look forward to a busy summer at Birmingham.’

David Winstanley, chief operating officer for Birmingham Airport, said, ‘Having British Airways return to Birmingham is not only great news for the airport but also the Midlands region and we are confident this is the beginning of a long-term growth plan with the airline. Launching these four routes, of which Florence is currently unserved, means British Airways and Avios card holders as well as leisure travellers looking for a two-class cabin product can travel from their more convenient airport than those further afield. We look forward to welcoming one of the world’s most recognisable and trusted brands back to Birmingham in May.’

F Robert Sinclair, chief executive officer, Bristol Airport, added: ‘We are delighted with today’s announcement which will see the iconic British Airways brand returning to Bristol Airport. It will be the first time an airline has operated a scheduled service between Bristol and the Italian historic city of Florence which we are sure will prove very popular. These additional flights to Palma, Florence, Ibiza and Malaga offers passengers in the South West and Wales region further choice of scheduled flights for the summer season. We look forward to working with British Airways on the new routes and further enhancing the services available from Bristol. ‘

British Airways last flew from Birmingham and Bristol in 2007, when the regional airline business was sold to Flybe.

Ryanair commences new services from Aberdeen, new Bristol-Cologne route for winter

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has commenced its first flight to Malaga from Aberdeen International Airport on February 8, 2017.

The new year-round service to the popular Spanish destination will operate twice-weekly from Aberdeen. Ryanair also said that a second new route to Alicante will commence on February 9, 2017.

Carol Benzie, Managing Director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: ‘We’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Ryanair to the airport since we announced these fantastic new routes last July and I’m delighted to welcome the airline back to the North-east after a six-year hiatus.

‘These routes are particularly exciting for us, as Alicante and Malaga were the two most requested destinations in a leisure survey we carried out with the local community early last year. It’s brilliant to know that Aberdeen holidaymakers can now easily reach their favourite destinations direct from their local airport, without the inconvenience of long car journeys or multiple flights. Furthermore, with two flights to Alicante and Malaga per week, passengers have the choice of either a quick, three-day getaway or a longer break in the sun.’

In addition to the new routes launching this week, Ryanair is planning to extend its Aberdeen schedule in May by introducing year-round flights to Faro in Portugal’s Algarve region.

Robin Kiely, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, said: ‘We are pleased to return to Aberdeen and launch our new routes to Alicante and Malaga, with Faro set to follow in May, and our low fare routes will deliver 75,000 customers through Aberdeen Airport this year.’

Separately, the Irish airline announced that it will commence a new winter route from Bristol to Cologne, with a four times weekly service, as part of its Bristol winter 2017 schedule.

Ryanair celebrated the new Bristol – Cologne route by releasing seats across its European network for sale at prices starting from EUR9.99. These low fare seats are available for booking on the Ryanair.com website until midnight of February 13, 2017.

British Airways announces new Skiathos route from London City, two million seats for summer

British Airways has announced two million seats from London City Airport for this summer, and also the launch of a new three-times-a-week service to the Greek Island of Skiathos.

The new Skiathos route will start on June 26 and operate during the peak summer weeks until September. Flights to Skiathos will depart at 7.10am, arriving at 12.30pm local time, with the return flight at 1.15pm arriving at London City at 2.55pm local time. Basic each way fares start from £79.00, and are available for booking at www.ba.com/londoncity.

This is the first time British Airways has operated to Skiathos, a popular tourist destination with its rich pine forests and over 60 beaches. Skiathos is the airlines’ third route from London City, alongside Mykonos and Santorini. In addition to the new service, flights to Mykonos will increase from four to five flights a week, the airline said.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager customer and commercial, London City, said: ‘This is the busiest year yet for British Airways with 1.9 million seats on sale from London City Airport. We are delighted to include Skiathos in our summer sunshine routes as well as increasing the number of flights to Mykonos. With a good mix of leisure and business destinations we are providing an excellent choice of network and schedule direct from the Docklands for our customers.’

British Airways has also recently announced the launch of a new weekly service between London City and Manchester starting from May, which will go on sale on February 21.

With the new routes, British Airways will operate 29 destinations from London City Airport this summer. During summer 2017, British Airways will operate services from London City to destinations including Amsterdam, Bergerac, Berlin, Billund, Bremen, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Faro, Florence, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Granada, Geneva, Ibiza, Isle of Man, Mahon, Malaga, Manchester, Mykonos, New York, Nice, Palma, Quimper, Rotterdam, Santorini, Skiathos, Venice and Zurich. Flights from London City to Angers in France will stop due to air traffic control restrictions and flights to Hamburg are also being withdrawn for commercial reasons, the airline said.

Monarch offers half term holidays from UK airports

British low cost airline Monarch has announced the launch of half term holidays in February to popular winter sun destinations such as Lanzarote and Tenerife-Canary Islands, and Costa del Sol from Birmingham, Manchester and London Gatwick, at reduced fares.

For holidaymakers seeking snow, Monarch offers a traditional winter holiday to Lapland with its ‘Arctic Experience’ trips. Winter sun or Lapland holidays are offered at prices starting from £299.00 per person.

The holiday service to Lanzarote – Canary Islands will depart Birmingham on February 12, for a seven night stay at the four-star Occidental Lanzarote Playa. The offering starts from £479.00 per person, and includes return flights and seven nights all-inclusive accommodation based on two adults and one child sharing a twin room.

The airline also offers a holiday service to Tenerife – Canary Islands from Manchester. The flight will depart on February 11, 2017 for a seven night stay at the five star Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife. With prices starting from £695.00 per person, the package includes return flights and seven nights bed and breakfast accommodation based on two adults and one child sharing a deluxe room.

From Birmingham, the holiday service to Tenerife – Canary Islands will depart on February 12, for a seven night stay at the five-star Gran Tacande Hotel. Priced from £935.00 per person, the package includes return flights and seven nights bed and breakfast accommodation based on two adults and one child sharing a twin room with a sea view.

Meanwhile, the holiday service to Costa del Sol, Spain will start from £299 per person. The flight will depart Birmingham on February 12, 2017 for a seven night stay at the four star Puente Real. The service includes return flights and seven nights half board accommodation based on two adults and one child sharing a one bedroom apartment.

The airline also offers its ‘Arctic Experience’ holidays to Lapland. The flight will depart London Gatwick on February 14, 2017 for a three night stay at the three star Lapland Hotel Akashotelli. Priced from £325.00 per person, the holiday package includes return flights and three nights bed and breakfast accommodation based on two adults and two children sharing a one bedroom apartment with a sauna.

Monarch’s All Flights Reduced sale has 100,000 seats. In addition to a selection of sun, city and ski destinations, the airline is also offering 60,000 seats for the Canaries, Madeira and Dalaman.

Germany’s Eurowings to launch Vienna service from Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport has announced the launch of new service to Vienna operated by German low-cost carrier, Eurowings, commencing March 26, 2017.

The home city of Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud, Vienna is located in the east of Austria on the Danube River. Austria’s cultural and political centre, Vienna’s attractions include several imperial buildings as well as museums showcasing works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt as well as other artists.

Eurowings’ new six times weekly flight service will arrive Birmingham from Vienna at 1845 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and depart Birmingham at 1930. On Tuesdays, the flight will arrive from Vienna at 1905 and depart Birmingham at 1945 hours; and on Sundays, the flight will arrive from Vienna at 1430 and depart Birmingham at 1510 hours. All services will be operated using an A320 aircraft with 180 seats.

The new service to Austria’s capital city is in addition to Eurowings’ current programme to Dusseldorf and Hamburg. Headquartered in Cologne, Eurowings is part of the Lufthansa Group.

William Pearson, Aviation Director for Birmingham Airport, said: ‘Eurowings is an important partner of Birmingham Airport as it already serves two routes to Dusseldorf and Hamburg which are hugely important to the Midlands Engine and the region’s leisure market.

‘We’re therefore very pleased that the airline will be launching a brand new route from Birmingham to Vienna this summer and I’m sure that it will be welcomed by customers looking for somewhere exciting to explore for leisure, as well as offering a convenient schedule for passengers travelling on business.’

‘We are pleased to announce a new Birmingham link to Vienna’, said Ivan Orec, Manager Network Development & Airport Relations for Eurowings. ‘The new route will operate six times a week from the end of March 2017, in addition to our 18 weekly services to Dusseldorf and three weekly services to Hamburg. We will continue to grow our network and to bring more passengers through Birmingham Airport’.