Doncaster Sheffield Airport adds new TUI routes for summer 2018

Doncaster Sheffield Airport has said that it will add two new routes – Naples, Italy and Hurghada City, Egypt, operated by holiday company TUI, as the airport continues to expand its range of over 40 destinations across Europe and beyond.

TUI’s first flight to Naples will take off on May 7, 2018, leaving every Monday throughout the summer months, with services operational until the end of October 2018. The new routes will add nearly 20,000 new seats of capacity. The new flights to the Italian city are on sale currently.

TUI will also be operating a new weekly route to Hurghada, Egypt for those looking to book a holiday for winter 2018/19. Hurghada City is the second largest Egyptian city on the Red Sea and, with its world-renowned coral reefs, is one of Egypt’s leading holiday destinations.

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘We are thrilled to introduce this summer time route to Naples and a brand new route to DSA, in Hurghada City, Egypt. It is fantastic news for the local area, and for the wider Yorkshire region – with DSA now being even more convenient and well connected, thanks to the Great Yorkshire Way motorway link road and new direct bus services from Doncaster and Sheffield.’

Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning for TUI UK & Ireland, said: ‘We’re excited that one of our first steps as TUI, a truly global brand, is to offer greater choice for our customers in Yorkshire. Introducing the new routes from Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a key part of our strategy to offer all our customers as much choice as possible to give them the holiday experience that best suits their individual needs. Holidaymakers in the local area will now have wider access than ever before to our diverse collection of destinations and hotel concepts.’

The two new routes – Naples and Hurghada – are in addition to the new TUI route announced in August from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to the Greek island of Kefalonia. The once a week package holiday flights will take off on Thursday May 3, 2018 and continue through until the end of September 2018, allowing customers to stay at the luxury TUI Sensimar Hotel located on the south of the Island. Flights to the Greek island are already on sale providing extra 4,500 seats for holiday makers flying from DSA, the airport said.

Primera Air announces new route to Toronto from London Stansted, Birmingham

Danish airline Primera Air has announced plans to launch a new transatlantic route from its new bases at London Stansted Airport and Birmingham with direct flights to Toronto, starting next summer, reports said online.

Starting June 2018, the Danish airline will offer three flights a week all year round from Stansted to Toronto, Canada’s top destination. Primera Air has also announced a direct flight to Toronto from its new base in Birmingham. The new Birmingham-Toronto route will also be served three times per week on a year-round basis and will commence in May 2018.

The Toronto service is in addition to Primera Air’s recently announced daily services to New York’s Newark Airport, which will begin in April 2018, and the four departures a week to Boston Logan Airport from May next year.

Andri M. Ingolfsson, Primera Air president and chairman, said: ‘Yet again, we are very proud to announce our new direct routes from our European bases to Canada.

‘With our brand new Airbus321NEO aircraft, we are opening routes previously traditionally served only by wide-body aircraft. With unmatched efficiency of these new-generation aircraft, we will be able to offer unprecedented prices to our passengers from the UK to USA and Canada. At the same time, we are very proud to be offering a low-fare/high quality product and service concept, that will be perfect both for leisure and business travellers.’

Ken O’ Toole, London Stansted’s chief executive, said: ‘The announcement of Primera Air’s new service to Toronto is yet another fantastic addition to Stansted’s rapidly growing route network and comes hot on the heels of the airline’s exciting news it will launch direct flights to both New York and Boston next year.’

William Pearson, aviation director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘It is welcome news that Primera Air is expanding its choice of popular Transatlantic destinations from Birmingham by adding a new route to Toronto.

‘Demand for travel to US and Canadian destinations from the West Midlands is high and Primera Air is offering fantastic seat prices meaning it is likely Toronto will be very popular.’

The new Toronto flights will be operated using Primera Air’s new Airbus A321NEO aircraft that offers a choice of two cabins – full-service premium and low-fare economy – along with free Wi-Fi and onboard charging points.

British Airways announces expansion to Inverness-Heathrow service

British Airways has announced recently that it is planning to expand its Inverness – Heathrow service from seven to ten flights a week, from March next year.

As per the plan, the airline will operate a double-daily service between Inverness and Heathrow on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from the week beginning March 25, 2018.

Phyllis Stuart, British Airways’ manager at Inverness said, ‘We’re delighted to be able to offer our customers more flights from the highland capital, offering more seats on the route after a successful first 18 months operating the route.

‘Our new schedule, which will come into operation at the beginning of the summer 2018 flying programme, will mean that on three days of the week, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, British Airways will offer customers a double daily service between the capital of the highlands and islands and London.

‘We, and our partners at Inverness Airport and the business communities in Inverness and the highland region, have worked tirelessly to encourage business and leisure travellers to use the new route for the benefit of the businesses and individuals in the region.

‘The increased frequency on the route is the result of that partnership and further demonstrates British Airways’ long-standing commitment to the highlands and islands of Scotland.’

Inglis Lyon, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) said: ‘This announcement is excellent news for the highland community and Inverness Airport.

‘We have worked closely with British Airways to further improve connectivity and the new schedule provides additional two-way connectivity with destinations such as Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, Berlin and Mexico City.

‘We can also anticipate more than ten per cent additional inbound passengers to the highlands and islands to experience all the north of Scotland has to offer.’

The new Inverness-Heathrow schedule, which will see a 30 per cent increase in capacity on the route, comes after the airline’s agreement with Scottish airline Loganair of an extended code share agreement, which came into effect at the beginning of September.

Loganair to restart services to Durham Tees Valley and Aberdeen from Norwich Airport

Scottish airline Loganair has said that it has restarted flight services between Norwich and Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) for the first time in two decades.

Starting October 15, the regional airline is providing a six-day, direct service from East Anglia to England’s North East. Passengers from Norwich will also be able to travel onward from DTVA to Aberdeen. The same-plane service will operate on six days per week from Sunday to Friday. The new routes mark the beginning of Loganair’s presence in Durham Tees Valley, and add Aberdeen to Loganair’s network of services from Norwich.

Kay Ryan, Loganair’s commercial director said: ‘It’s fantastic to commence services on these two routes, acting as an important gateway for the region’s energy sector.

‘Our team has been working hard to build relationships with corporate and agency partners, which are essential to the long-term sustainability of the operation.

‘For anyone looking to venture further north, the daily link to Norwich is by far the fastest way to travel between Aberdeen and the South East of England. Land transportation takes up to five and a half hours or a number of different rail connections so we’d strongly encourage anyone in the business community with links to either destination to opt for aviation next time they are making the trip.’

Customers looking to travel further north can also connect to Loganair’s network across Scotland’s Highland’s and Islands from Aberdeen, or through it’s code-share agreement with the airline’s sister company bmi Regional, which provides routes to the Danish seaport of Esbjerg and Norway’s capital Oslo.

The new services will be operated using a 34-seat Saab 340B aircraft. Flights from Norwich will depart at 16:00 from Sunday to Friday, arriving in DTVA at 17:00 and then in Aberdeen at 18:20 hours. Flights will leave Aberdeen at 13:00 from Sunday to Friday and will leave DTVA at 14:20 for the one-hour flight south to Norwich. Lead-in fares from Norwich to DTVA commence at £49.99 and £89.99 between Norwich and Aberdeen, Norwich Airport said.

All Loganair fares include a complimentary 20kg checked baggage allowance and in-flight refreshments.

Thomas Cook announces weekly flights from Norwich

Thomas Cook, one of the UK’s leading holiday companies, has said it will restart its services from Norwich Airport starting summer 2018, with the launch of the city’s only direct flight to Turkey.

The new service comes following an increase in demand for holiday breaks to Turkey. It was the third most popular destination for British holidaymakers, after Spain and Greece, and package holiday bookings were up 10 percent compared to last year, Norwich Airport said in a release.

Starting May 23, 2018, Thomas Cook will operate a weekly flight on Wednesdays from Norwich to Dalaman, giving holidaymakers in the Norfolk area more choice for summer break next year. Dalaman is a cultural hotspot located on the Turquoise Coast, with attractive beaches and hidden coves, and near to traveller attractions such as Butterfly Valley and the crenulated walls of 16th-century Marmaris Castle.

Christoph Debus, Chief Airlines Officer at Thomas Cook Airlines, said: ‘We are delighted to once again be offering holidaymakers in the Norwich area the ease of flying from their local airport. Whether you’re travelling as a family, couple or with friends, Turkey offers something for everyone and we look forward to making sure our customers have a holiday to remember next summer with the launch of our new weekly flight to Dalaman.’

Richard Pace, managing director of Norwich Airport, said: ‘It’s great to have Thomas Cook back at Norwich with such a brilliant offer for package holidays and flights to Turkey. I’m sure this will be a popular destination for summer 2018 and gives local people even more choice for a sunshine getaway.’

Thomas Cook is offering package holidays from Norwich to Dalaman for seven nights with prices from £407 per person, staying on a bed and breakfast basis at the SunConnect Liberty Hisaronu, departing from Norwich on May 23, 2018. Flight only services are available with prices starting from £49.99 per person based on a one way journey and excluding luggage and other optional extras. The service will be operated from May 23, 2018 until October 3, 2018.

Flight-only and package holiday options are available to book now at https://www.thomascook.com/, the airport said.

British Airways announces new Heathrow- Almeria service starting March 2018

British Airways has announced its plans to operate a new service from London Heathrow to the southern Spanish city of Almeria, starting March next year.

Located in the southeast of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, Almeria is known for its Spaghetti Western film sets, medieval history and pristine beaches. The rocky coastline is punctuated with 40 designated sites around the Cabo de Gata Unesco marine reserve, and travellers can explore the coves of Cabo de Gata-Nijar nature reserve, or drive to the nearby Tabernas desert, the locale of Sergio Leone’s classic movie ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’. The city also offers a vibrant night life with its tapas bars, and the clubs on Calle de las Tiendas.

British Airways will start a new twice-weekly service to Almeria on March 27, 2018. Flights will depart on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Heathrow Terminal 5 and operate until October 27, with hand baggage only return fares starting from GBP66 per person.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ director of network and alliances, said: ‘We’re extremely happy to start flying to Almeria, situated on part of Spain’s most unspoilt shores. If you want to jump into crystal clear water, explore the volcanic cliffs of the Wild West and drink sangria in the desert, then this stunning part of Andalucia is a dream holiday destination.

‘British Airways already operates 36 flights a week from Heathrow, Gatwick, London City and Stansted to nearby Malaga and two flights a week to Murcia, so holidaymakers now have even more choice to explore this diverse part of Spain.’

Flights include free online check-in and seat selection 24 hours prior to departure. British Airways customers will be able to choose from seats in Club Europe and Euro Traveller cabins, when it begins flights, using Airbus A320s, with each aircraft offering up to 143 seats and up to 168 seats, respectively.

British Airways currently operates flights from the UK to 17 Spanish destinations, including Alicante, Barcelona, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Granada, Ibiza, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia and Seville. Later this month the airline will also launch direct flights from Heathrow to Tenerife for the winter season, it said.

Wizz Air protects against Brexit by registering UK company

Wizz Air, a Hungary-based budget airline, has confirmed that it has registered a UK company in order to protect its future operations in the nation from any adverse effects of Brexit.

The company was concerned that if the Brexit negotiations fail to agree an aviation deal, its flights between Britain and EU nations could have been affected. It said that it registered Wizz Air UK Ltd on September 26, with its chief executive, Jozsef Varadi, named as the new company’s director. The budget airline also said that it is interested in obtaining a UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

A spokesperson for the company, said: ‘We can confirm that Wizz Air has established a company in the UK and we are reviewing the process for a UK Air Operator Certificate, which will allow us to continue operating flights to and from Britain in the event that no aviation deal is agreed. Wizz Air’s main concern is to protect the interest of its customers, investors and employees. While the Brexit outcome remains uncertain for all, and the aviation industry is no different, Wizz Air stays committed to the UK and believes in enhancing connectivity of the UK with destinations in Europe and beyond.’

The spokesperson also said that in the past 12 months, the airline had carried more than seven million passengers on UK routes, which was an increase of 14 percent on the previous year.

Wizz Air was established as a company in 2003 and its inaugural flight was from Katowice to London in May 2004. Today it operates 79 UK routes from 9 airports to 41 destinations.

Thomson Cruises undergoes name change and expands Asia itineraries

Thomson Cruises, a UK-based cruise line and a part of the TUI Group of companies, is to change its name from later this month, as it also adds more new cruises to its Asia itineraries for winter 2018/19.

The business is currently undergoing its rebrand to Marella Cruises, and the new routes were included as part of that announcement. The fly-cruise holidays will be available from 22 UK regional airports and will include 18 new destination ports across Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.

Southeast Asian itineraries will include ports in Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia, while Indian sailings will call at ports in Mumbai, Mangalore, Murmugao, Cochin and the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Middle East sailings will be stopping off at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.

Certain sailings, totalling 14, will be designated as adult only. Launch dates and prices for all of these sailings have yet to be announced.

As well as a new name, the company is also introducing a new ship to its fleet. Marella Explorer is to replace Thomson Spirit, which will be going out of service by October 2018. Four other ships that currently have Thomson branding are to receive new corporate names this month.

Speaking to Telegraph Travel, Richard Sofer, managing director of Marella Cruises, said, ‘We are committed to offering our customers choice and flexibility and these destinations [in Asia], along with new ships, famously friendly staff and value for money make this is the perfect time to look ahead.’

Marella is Celtic for shining sea.

Ryanair executive leaves following flight cancellation crisis

Michael Hickey, Ryanair’s chief operations officer, has quit his job with the Irish airline following the flight cancellation crisis that has overwhelmed the company.

The airline has announced that Hickey will leave his position at the end of the month, after 20,000 flights had to be cancelled due to a pilot scheduling error. The rostering problem caused 700,000 passengers to change their travel plans and will have repercussions on the airlines flights until March next year.

Hickey has been with Ryanair for around 30 years and the company’s head, Michael O’Leary, said that he will continue to have an association with it in an ‘advisory role’. In a statement O’Leary said, ‘Over the past 30 years, Mick Hickey has made an enormous contribution to Ryanair, especially the quality and safety of our engineering and operations functions. He will be a hard act to replace, which is why we are grateful he has agreed to continue in an advisory role to smooth the transition to a successor and to complete a number of large projects he is currently working on, including a multiyear engine maintenance contract and new hangar projects in Seville and Madrid.’

The crisis began in mid-September when the company announced that it would be cancelling 50 flights a day due to a problem with pilot holidays, with a further 18,000 flights cancelled at the end of the month.

In an effort to placate and retain pilots, O’Leary has also announced a EUR12,000 loyalty bonus for captains and half of that for first officers for the achievement of certain performance targets.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays adds over 100,000 winter seats from UK airports

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has announced that following extra demand at Birmingham, London Stansted, Manchester and Leeds Bradford airports, the leisure airline and package holiday company is adding thousands of seats and holidays to some of the most popular winter sun and city hotspots.

Jet2 said that it is adding over 100,000 winter seats across the three bases, with a total of more than 2.5 million seats on sale this winter – representing a 54 percent capacity increase.

At its new Birmingham Airport base, the company is adding over 55,000 seats, with over 300,000 seats now on sale for its first ever winter programme from the airport. The announcement will see Jet2 add more flights and holidays to a number of its most popular winter sun and city destinations, including: Alicante, Faro, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Malaga, Majorca, Rome and Tenerife. The company will add an extra aircraft and will operate more weekly services to these popular destinations, it said.

At Leeds Bradford Airport, Jet2 has added extra Tenerife services, starting next weekend, October 14. The company has announced an additional 15,000 Tenerife seats, with up to six weekly winter services that are currently operating.

At Manchester Airport, Jet2 has added an extra 45,000 seats. At Manchester, the company has added more flights and holidays to Alicante, Faro, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Malaga and Tenerife.

In addition, following increased demand for flights and holidays in October and November from London Stansted, Jet2 is also introducing 14 extra services, representing more than 5,000 seats. These additional services will operate to Tenerife, Lanzarote, Alicante, Majorca and Faro.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: ‘A number of factors have resulted in increased demand for our award-winning flights and ATOL protected package holidays right across the UK. To meet that demand we have added extra capacity from Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and London Stansted airports so that holidaymakers can continue to reach their favourite winter sun and city destinations from their local airport. We won’t be stopping at these winter flights, so keep an eye out for further announcements about additional Summer 18 capacity very soon.’