British Airways launches new Chambery route from Stansted

British Airways has announced the launch of new flight services starting December 17 to the French Alpine city of Chambery from Stansted, offering winter sports a direct access to some of Europe’s top snow resorts tomorrow.

The winter only flights from Stansted to Chambery will operate until April 16, 2017. Flights depart from Stansted at 07.20 hours returning at 10.50 hours am on Saturdays and at 08.20 hours returning at 11.50 hours on Sundays.

The weekend flights will give customers access to snow and ski resorts like Val d’Isere, La Plagne, Meribel and Courchevel. Each way fares are available for £49 on www.ba.com. Other fares that include ski carriage are also available.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘British Airways has enjoyed a very successful first summer at Stansted and we are delighted to launch Chambery, our first winter-only service offering skiers and winter sports enthusiasts a gateway to one of the best Alpine snow regions direct from their doorstep.’

Mats Sigurdson, Stansted’s Aviation Director, said: ‘It’s fantastic news for passengers that British Airways is launching an exciting new route to Chambery to serve the Alpine ski resorts of France. The announcement is a real vote of confidence in Stansted and recognition of the strong demand that exists across the region and will provide passengers with even more opportunities to fly from their local airport this winter.’

The new twice-weekly service to Chambery is in addition to the British Airways service from London City Airport that operates three times a week, which is expected to increase to a daily service over the Christmas holiday period. All British Airways flights include a choice of two cabins, Club Europe and Euro Traveller.

British Airways started flying from Stansted for the first time in May this year, adding a fourth London airport to its network. The airline currently operates from the three other major London Airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.

Brittany Ferries announces sale of 2017 holidays with a 20% off sale

Brittany Ferries, the passenger car and freight service, has announced the sale of its 2017 holiday collection, available for booking immediately. For a limited time, the company is also offering reductions of 20 per cent on its range of cottage, hotel, apartment and campsite holidays in France and Spain.

The sale, which ends at midnight on November 29th, is applicable to ferry travel-plus-accommodation packages. The holiday collection features over 2,000 locations in holiday regions of western France and northern Spain. The offer is available for travel throughout 2017, including the Easter and summer school holiday periods.

Christiane Barker, Brittany Ferries’ general manager holidays, said: ‘Despite all the upheaval in the world, when it comes to breaks and holidays, France and Spain remain firm favourites with the Brits. We’re already seeing strong demand for sail and stay holidays in 2017.’

‘With 20 per cent off all holidays booked before 29th November and just a [£40.00] deposit per person required now, our message is: book soon. You’ll not only enjoy the best choice of locations, dates and ferry crossings, but you’ll also make substantial savings-and give yourself something to look forward to over the winter months.’

Holidaymakers eyeing a vacation in France in 2017 can book a week’s stay for four in a Loire gite for £388.00 in low season – or £97.00 per person. During the summer school holidays a family of four can spend a week in a Breton cottage for £676.00, or £169.00 per person. The prices are inclusive of return ferry sailings with car.

Meanwhile, holidaymakers can enjoy a week’s self-catering in Spain, with prices starting from £774.00 for a family of four (£194 per person), staying in a casa in the holiday regions of Cantabria. The price also includes two additional nights cruising from the UK to Spain and back, with an en-suite cabin.

Families can also select from nearly a hundred campsites in western France and northern Spain, with many now offering a choice of premium accommodation. A week’s holiday in April starts from £351.00 for a family of four (£88.00 per person), including ferry crossings.

In addition, seven-night ferry-plus-hotel packages are available for vacationing in France, starting from £272.00 per person per week, for a couple taking their car, and from £393 per person in Spain.

Bookings can be made online at brittanyferries.com/holidays. The 20 per cent discount applies to the basic holiday cost only and does not include weekend and seasonal supplements and on board accommodation when travelling to France, Brittany said in its release.

Flybe to operate new route to Toulouse from Birmingham in winter

Flybe, the UK-based low fares airline, has recently announced a new route between Birmingham and Toulouse-Blagnac airports with daily flights starting on October 30, providing the only direct service between the two destinations.

The city of Toulouse, which is only one hour 50 minute flight away from Birmingham, is one of France’s most historic cities featuring medieval architecture and pink terracotta buildings. It is also the centre of the European aerospace industry and of leading companies within the technology sector.

The new Birmingham-Toulouse route will be available for travel daily, from October 30, 2016 to March 25, 2017. Tickets are available for booking now at www.flybe.com with one way fares from £29.99 including taxes and charges.

Flybe also celebrated the 30-year anniversary of its popular Belfast City service at Birmingham, which has covered some 22 million miles over the past three decades, carrying over six million passengers on 100,000 flights.

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer, said: ‘Today marks a very special milestone in Flybe’s long established commitment to both Birmingham and Belfast City airports – and at the same time we are announcing yet another new route to regional France. Our clear focus is on providing short, affordable regional flights, delivering unrivalled regional connectivity for local communities.’

Commenting on the Belfast City anniversary, Paul Kehoe, CEO of Birmingham Airport, said: ‘Happy anniversary to Flybe, our largest carrier here at Birmingham Airport. To operate a reliable and consistent service between Belfast City and Birmingham for the past 30 years is impressive, proving the high demand for this service for both leisure and business travellers.

‘The airport is proud to have Flybe as a major partner and we look forward to continuing to work together to make its other 31 routes from Birmingham have similar longevity, including of course the Toulouse flights announced just today.’

The latest new route will expand the airline’s winter schedule to regional France along with its flights to Chambery and Lyons routes. In total, Flybe will operate 22 routes from Birmingham for winter, including the new services to Rotterdam and Luxembourg and offering a choice of up to 424 flights a week. The airline also recently added summer service to Nantes that will also operate daily.

Flybe launches new French routes from Birmingham Airport

Flybe has launched flights to three new French routes from Birmingham Airport: Nantes, Rennes-Saint-Jacques and Limoges, as part of the airlines expanded summer 2016 flying programme, the Airport said in a release.

The new French routes come after Polish airline Wizzair announced the three new routes of Sofia, Bucharest and Wroclaw from Birmingham.

As per the plan, Flybe will operate five flights per week to the port city of Nantes on the Loire River in western France, until October 29, 2016. Nantes serves as a gateway to the beaches of the Atlantic coast and attractions of the Loire Valley, including Muscadet wine, cycling and river tourism.

Rennes, the capital city of Brittany with over a 2,000 year history, offers tourists a base to discover Brittany, including the Forest of Broceliande – the mythical home of Merlin, King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake. Flights to Rennes-Saint-Jacques will operate four times a week until September 25, 2016.

Limoges and the Limousin region in west-central France are a popular spot for fishing, horse-riding, golf and mountain biking, due to attractive and diverse scenery. Flights to Limoges will operate twice a week until October 29, 2016.

William Pearson, Aviation Development Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are confident that these new French routes will be extremely popular with our business and leisure passengers over the summer months. Regional France was relatively unserved from Birmingham until these flights started and so we think there will be high demand for seats.

‘Flybe is a very popular carrier here at Birmingham Airport, serving 30 destinations and offering passengers great service and fantastic value.’

Paul Willoughby, Flybe’s General Manager UK South, said: ‘Time saving, affordable and punctual travel to a wide choice of attractive destinations is what we will be delivering to our customers this summer.

Our French regional routes open up a multitude of holiday destinations which are often overlooked by British travellers, due to their relative inaccessibility. We look forward to welcoming all of our passengers from Birmingham on board this summer.’

The new summer routes are a boost to Flybe’s existing high frequency schedule from Birmingham Airport. Seats are on sale from £32.99 one-way including taxes and charges, the Airport said.

Brittany Ferries offers two night Spring break in France

Leading car ferry service Brittany Ferries will offer UK holidaymakers a selection of 26 short breaks to France in April and May.

Starting from £109 upwards per person, the holiday package includes ferry crossings and two nights in selected hotels in Normandy and Brittany, destinations which are served by five ports of arrival in France. The package includes a variety of destinations in France such as the medieval town of Dinan, Bayeux and the historic city of Orleans.

For those looking to relax and enjoy coastal walks, the package offers the seaside resort of Dinard or the fishing village of Cancale, known for its oysters.

The offer is available for trips taken between April 1 and May 27. In addition to crossings with a car and hotel accommodation, breakfast is included in the package. A 15 percent discount on on-board accommodation is also offered.

‘For the price of a meal for two in London, we are offering a two night Spring break in France at some truly gorgeous locations,’ said Christiane Barker, Brittany Ferries Holidays Manager. ‘Many of the deals are for carefully selected hotels close to our ports of arrival, such as in St Malo and Roscoff, so travellers can choose to stay close to the coast, or perhaps venture further inland with their cars.’

A two-night stay will be provided at Hotel de l’Univers in St Malo, and at Hotel du Centre in Roscoff. The Hotel de l’Univers is Brittany Ferries’ most popular hotel with British guests. Located only 1km from the ferry terminal, the hotel is also near to the attractions of Intra Muros (the old city), golden beaches as well as fine restaurants.

Situated in one of the central spots in Roscoff, Hotel du Centre faces the old harbour, offering guests a panoramic view of yachts and al fresco dining, with seafood served as a speciality.

Both St Malo and Roscoff are served by direct sailings from Plymouth.

Birmingham Airport announces new summer routes to France

European regional airline Flybe has expanded its 2016 Summer programme from Birmingham Airport with the introduction of three new routes to regional France, namely Nantes, Rennes-Saint-Jacques and Limoges, the Airport said in a release.

Under its expanded summer schedule, Flybe will operate five times a week to Nantes – the historic port city on the Loire River in western France. The new service to Rennes-Saint-Jacques – the capital city of Brittany – will operate four times a week, offering holidaymakers a chance to explore Brittany, including the Forest of Broceliande and cobbled streets and corners of historic significance. Finally, flights to Limoges – a town in west-central France known for its art and history – will operate twice a week. The Limousin Region is a popular destination for fishing, horse-riding, golf and mountain biking.

Commenting on the new route, William Pearson, aviation director, Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that Flybe will be offering flights to these currently unserved cities in France giving passengers more choice to these business and leisure destinations. Flybe serves 30 destinations from Birmingham offering great service and fantastic value. Flybe is Birmingham Airport’s largest airline and we welcome its expanding route network.’

The new summer routes to Nantes will be effective for travel from May 21 to October 2016, and will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Birmigham-Rennes route will be effective for travel between May 21 and September 25, 2016 and will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Birmingham-Limoges route will be effective for travel from May 21 to October 29 and will be operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Seats on all the three routes are available for booking at www.flybe.com from £32.99 including taxes and charges.

With the new routes, Flybe’s 2016 summer schedule from Birmingham now offers a total of 30 routes offering passengers a choice of up to 413 flights a week to a range of holiday destinations.

 

Brittany Ferries offers long weekend break to France, announces late booking deal

Brittany Ferries, a provider of ferry-inclusive motoring holidays to France and Spain, is offering UK holidaymakers a long weekend break in France this spring, at a special return fare of £79 per person.

The special offer is available for travel until June 18, but must be booked by April 21. The price is based on two people sharing and travelling together in a car.

The new service will start Thursday overnight from Plymouth to Roscoff, and return on Sunday or Monday. The service is on board Brittany’s flagship cruise-ferry, Pont-Aven, and the price includes a two-berth en suite cabin. The ferry service is equipped with two cinemas, a la carte restaurant, self-service restaurant, boutiques, choice of bars and entertainment, spa treatment room and a swimming pool.

Mike Bevens, Group Commercial Director, commented: ‘With our flagship, Pont-Aven, scheduled to leave Plymouth for Roscoff every Thursday evening, we have taken the opportunity to offer this very special fare before the busy period arrives. This gives West Country residents the chance to take advantage of the best euro exchange rate for many years and enjoy a long weekend trip to France at a bargain price this spring and early summer.’

Separately, Brittany Ferries also announced a late booking deal on its properties, allowing holidaymakers to save up to 25 percent on cottage holidays in France & 10 percent on casas in Spain, even during school holidays. A cottage or casa is self-contained, fully equipped and situated to explore the surrounding area, and to enjoy outdoor pursuits such as walking, golf, fishing, cycling or horse riding.

Christiane Barker, Brittany Ferries’ General Manager Holidays, said: ‘These self-catering properties are especially suited to families because having your own base and your own car brings enormous freedom and flexibility to explore the surrounding countryside. What’s more, customers can be confident of quality as each one has been inspected by one of our expert team to ensure they conform to the highest standards.’

 

Brittany Ferries announces holiday package to St Malo, free entry to Grand Aquarium

Brittany Ferries is offering families a holiday break to St. Malo – the walled port city in Brittany in north-western France on the English Channel this spring and early summer.

The holiday package, which start at £74.00 per person, includes an overnight crossing with car from Portsmouth to St. Malo with a four-berth en-suite cabin, free entry to the town’s Grand Aquarium, one night stay in a family room at the Hotel Escale Oceania in St Malo with breakfast; daytime return crossing from St Malo to Portsmouth and 15 per cent discount on board accommodation if required.

The free entry to the Grand Aquarium included in the package offers a saving of nearly £40.00 for two adults and two children.

One of St Malo’s major attractions, the Grand Aquarium features a large tank containing 10-foot sharks, over 600 species of fish, a touch pool and a ‘Nautibus’ submarine allowing visitors to observe the fish from under water.

Christiane Barker, Brittany Ferries’ General Manager Holidays, said, ‘The St Malo aquarium has a well-deserved reputation as a great day out for families and the hotel is ideally located, just a short stroll from the beautiful walled city of St Malo where there are many reasonably-priced places to eat. This is a marvellous great-value family break, and being able to take your own car means you can use the trip to bring back some wine, cheese, or whatever takes your fancy.’

Prices are based on four people sharing. The offer is available until June 30 and from September 1, 2015. Customers can book online at www.brittanyferries.com/holidays.

Offering ferry-inclusive motoring holidays to France and Spain, Brittany Ferries is a car ferry service operating from eleven ports and linking four countries: UK – France, UK – Spain and Ireland – France.

 

Eurostar reports 2014 growth in revenue and passenger numbers, new e320 trains in service this year

Eurostar, the high-speed railway service that connects the UK with mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel, has today reported growth in both revenue and passenger numbers for 2014.

For its 20th anniversary of operation, the company has reported year-on-year growth of three percent in passenger numbers, while business travel increased by four percent year-on year. Eurostar also announced its new e320 trains during 2014, and they will be entering service by the end of the year.

Last year 10.4 million passengers travelled on Eurostar, taking the company’s total passenger number since the start of services in 1994 to over 150 million. 2014 sales revenues increased by one percent, to GBP867 million.

Eurostar stated that this performance was underpinned, in particular, by the strong recovery in the UK economy, which also led to an increase in business travel bookings throughout the year.

In 2014, Eurostar also unveiled its state of the art new e320 train at St Pancras International station. With the e320 due to enter commercial service at the end of this year, the company says that passengers can look forward to an unparalleled level of style, comfort and service.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: ‘2014 was a pivotal year for our business as we celebrated our 20th anniversary and unveiled our new fleet. Our new e320 trains are now in the final months of testing and on schedule to come into commercial service at the end of this year. As we introduce new trains, upgrade our stations and invest in our service, passengers can look forward to a complete transformation of their travel experience.’

 

Brittany Ferries offers more ‘economie’ sailings to Le Havre and Bilbao

Ferry and holiday company Brittany Ferries has announced it has chartered a vessel, which will operate under its ‘no-frills’ Brittany Ferries economie brand, starting May 2015.

The additional ship will serve the Portsmouth to Le Havre route (four times a week) and the Portsmouth to Bilbao route (once a week).

Launched last March, the economie brand is aimed at customers who wish to travel to France or Spain without the cruise-style experience typically provided by Brittany Ferries. One-way fares for a car plus two this May start from £79 to France and £209 to Spain. Bookings for the additional ship will open in early February.

The new vessel is currently named ‘Sirena Seaways,’ although she will be renamed on entering service with Brittany Ferries. Facilities and space on board are limited compared to Brittany Ferries’ cruise-ferry services, but will include a cafe, bar, boutique and restaurant, as well as free Wi-Fi internet access and a reading lounge.

Brittany Ferries also said that customers can mix and match economie sailings with the company’s other cruise-ferry and high speed sailings to Normandy, Brittany and northern Spain, travelling out by one route and returning by another. In total there are 10 routes and up to 142 weekly sailings, giving customers a degree of added flexibility and choice.

Mike Bevens, Group Commercial Director, said: ‘We have been really pleased with the demand for our new no-frills service so this additional ship will provide a welcome boost in capacity and provide our customers with an even wider range of sailing times. Furthermore, it now brings the total number of services to Spain to seven a week, again providing more choice.’

The ship is certified to carry 610 passengers, but Brittany Ferries has said that it will restrict the numbers well below so that passengers have enough space to enjoy the journey. There are 196 cabins, of which 14 will be pet-friendly. Portsmouth-Le Havre remains the only route between the UK and France to offer this feature, aimed at meeting the rising demand for cross-Channel pet travel.