Delta to expand US-London service next summer

The US-based airline Delta Air Lines has announced that it will increase the frequency of its flight service to London next summer from its Detroit hub and Portland, Oregon.

Starting from 13 May 2019, Delta will offer a twice daily service – increased from a daily service – between London-Heathrow and Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport. Effective 09 May 2019, the airline service will operate daily service between London-Heathrow and Portland International Airport, up from four times weekly in summer 2018.

‘We hear from customers all over the U.S. that access to London is very important to them,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President – Trans-Atlantic. ‘And Delta is happy to answer their needs by expanding additional choice through our Detroit hub with a second daily, and from the U.S. West Coast at Portland through daily service next summer.’

Delta Air Lines, a key player in the London-U.S. travel market, resumed the only nonstop services from Portland, Oregon, along with Salt Lake City, to London Heathrow in summer 2018. Earlier this year, Delta celebrated 10 years of service at London-Heathrow, marking growth from three daily flights to two US cities in 2008 to nine daily flights to seven cities presently.

The daily flight to Portland will depart Heathrow at 1230, arriving in the US city at 1513, and on return leave Portland at 1808, arriving London at 1205 the following day. The new second daily Detroit service will depart Heathrow at 1350, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1722; and on return will leave Detroit at 2233, arriving back into London at 1110 the following day. The first Detroit service will depart London Heathrow at 1035, arriving at Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport at 1358; and on return will leave Detroit at 1816, arriving back into London at 0640 the following day.

The expanded services to Detroit and Portland will be operated on a 210-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, with 35 fully flat-bed seats in the Delta One cabin, 32 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 143 seats in economy.

British Airways announces new service to Osaka

British Airways has announced a new service to Osaka next summer as the airline is launching direct flights to Japan’s second largest city.

Starting March 31, 2019, the UK airline will operate a four-per-week service, with flights departing from Heathrow Terminal 5 and landing at Osaka’s Kansai International Airport.

The new service to Osaka will depart from Heathrow at 14:20 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays arriving at Kansai at 09:50 hours the following day. On return, the flight will depart Kansai at 11:30 hours of Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays reaching Heathrow at 15:50 hours. All times are local.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: ‘Our partners Japan Airlines and Finnair have demonstrated that Osaka is a hugely popular route with leisure and business travellers alike, so we are excited to launch direct flights from London, giving customers another gateway. Japan is a highly sought-after destination for British tourists and many of the country’s key attractions are within easy reach of Osaka. This new route will also open up more opportunities for companies to explore and build business in the region so we’re expecting this new service to be well received by our customers.’

Hideki Oshima, Japan Airlines’ Executive Officer International Relations and Alliances, said ‘We are extremely excited with the announcement of British Airways’ new route. Not only does it provide more choices and greater convenience for our passengers traveling between Japan and Europe, but it is also great news for the Kansai region. We look forward to serving our mutual customers through our code share service and contributing to the regional economy in Osaka.’

The route will be operated by one of British Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with special return fares from £599 in World Traveller, £999 in World Traveller Plus and £2,499 in Club World available to book now on ba.com and jal.com.

With the new route, the number of daily flights between London and Japan offered as part of British Airways’ joint business with Japan Airlines will increase to 32 per week. British Airways is also adding four cities to its agreement with Japan Airlines, with the BA code being put on flights between Tokyo Haneda and Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Komatsu and Matsuyama. The airline’s Siberian Joint Business partner, Finnair, currently flies direct between Helsinki and Osaka with up to 10 direct services a week.

As part of its expansion plans, British Airways will launch 17 new routes across the globe this year including direct flights to Durban that start next month, the airline said.

British Airways announces new route to Kefalonia, other sun destinations for summer

British Airways has announced a new route to Kefalonia from Heathrow as well as more seats on its sunshine services, offering customers more choice of holiday destinations for summer 2018.

Starting May 15 until October 6, 2018, customers will be able to fly direct from Heathrow Terminal 5 to the island of Kefalonia, known for its beautiful beaches, traditional fishing villages and the idyllic setting featured in films such as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The Myrtos Beach located in the region of Pylaros, in the north-west of Kefalonia Island, is one of the world’s most photographed stretches of sand.

This will be the first time the airline will operate to the Greek island. Operated using A380 aircraft, the Kefalonia flights will depart on Tuesday and Saturdays, with return fares starting from £118 in Euro Traveller and £398 in Club Europe.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and chief executive, said: ‘We’re always developing our leisure offering from Heathrow so are incredibly pleased to be adding Kefalonia to our network. The launch of our new summer routes, which also include Figari in Corsica and Almeria, mean we will be flying 39 more routes in 2018 than we did in 2016 – an increase of 17 per cent. We’re also further improving our schedules and increasing the number of flights to European destinations such as Ibiza, Santorini and Split.’

In addition, British Airways said last month that it would start flying between Heathrow and Corsica, with direct flights to Figari airport operating every Sunday from May 27 until October 7, and return fares starting from £98. Additionally, a new route to the historic Spanish city of Almeria will start services from March 27, 2018, with fares starting from £66 return.

Further, for summer 2018, services to Ibiza will be increased to daily service from four per week presently, Mykonos will be served six times a week from four, while an additional weekly flight will be added to the airline’s schedules to Olbia and Split, the British airline said.

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.

Crossrail in legal wrangle over Heathrow stop

A legal row between the developers of London’s £15 billion Crossrail underground railway project and the operators of Heathrow Airport could result in trains not stopping at the nation’s busiest airport.

Currently, Heathrow Express trains run on 5 miles of track that the airport laid at a cost of £1 billion. Crossrails’ arrival means that that service will no longer be viable. The Times has reported that because of this, the airport’s investment fund owners are looking to recoup their investment by charging £570 for every Crossrail train that uses the track, in addition to standing fees of around £107 per train.

According to transport officials and the rail watchdog, such charges have no justification and they fear that their imposition would cost Crossrail £42 million per year and result in higher ticket charges. A decision on the wrangle is now with a High Court judge whose judgement is expected imminently.

If the decision goes against Crossrail, Transport for London have drawn up contingency plans to terminate the trains a few miles short of the airport, forcing travellers to change to alternative trains but meaning that Crossrail would avoid paying the fees. In fact, Crossrail is already believed to have earmarked a location somewhere near the airport where the trains could be turned around for the return journey or continue travelling west.

Heathrow told the Times: ‘We need to ensure that track access charges are fair, and are waiting on a ruling from the courts.’

Crossrail is expected to be ready to operate by December 2019.

 

Flybe to commence service from Heathrow with flights to Scotland

Flybe, the UK-based European regional airline, has become the first domestic carrier to begin operating at Heathrow Airport since 2013, according to a release by Aberdeen Airport.

The move comes after the UK’s hub announced a GBP10 reduction in domestic passenger charges in January in an attempt to enhance domestic connections at the airport. The move opens up a network of onward connections for travellers from Scotland globally and also enables inbound tourists and investors to visit Scotland’s capital and the Granite City. As per the plan, Flybe will operate up to four daily services to Edinburgh and three to Aberdeen, with fares starting from GBP29.99 and GBP34.99 one-way, respectively.

Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener, said: ‘We are so pleased to confirm further our commitment to Scotland by offering even more flights to London with our two new routes from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow’s Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, giving passengers greater choice and also linking them with our range of codeshare partners through our ‘One Stop to the World’ approach.

‘Passengers can, for example, fly onwards with Virgin Atlantic to Los Angeles or New York, or fly east with Singapore Airlines – all on one ticket from Edinburgh or Aberdeen. Early bookings show this is an increasingly important part of the booking profile for these two new routes and we look forward to adding even more codeshare partners shortly.

‘Flybe is the UK’s leading regional airline, with more routes connecting local communities than any other carrier. Our new flights offer the best value for money for those flying between Scotland and Heathrow and mean we can now better serve our passengers in both Scotland and the South East.’

Heathrow Operations Director Derek Provan added: ‘Earlier this year, Heathrow reduced domestic passenger charges by GBP10 and it’s great to see the benefits of that coming through with Flybe’s new services to Aberdeen and Edinburgh boosting choice for our passengers.

‘More airlines flying routes to Scottish airports means more flights, more competition and choice for families, and more visitors to Scotland. With Flybe operating from the award-winning Terminal 2, Scottish passengers and businesses now have direct access from Heathrow to over 180 global destinations including some of the fastest growing export markets around the world. We’re delighted to welcome them to the Heathrow family.’

Flybe services will operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, and will provide passengers with connections onto Star Alliance’s network of 44 global destinations served directly from Heathrow. Passengers will also have transfers onto flights from Flybe’s codeshare partners Emirates, Virgin, Etihad and Singapore Airlines from Terminal 3.

Conservative Minister urges Heathrow night flight ban

Chelsea and Fulham MP and chief secretary to the Treasury, Greg Hands, has urged transport chiefs to ban all night flights at Heathrow airport, LondonNewsOnline has reported.

Citing research from international health bodies, including the World Health Organisation and the British Medical Journal, regarding the damaging impact on people’s wellbeing of sustained sleep deprivation, the Conservative minister has called for a night-time flying ban between the hours of 11pm and 6am. He said that he was frequently woken up at night by noise from aircraft passing over west London, adding that people’s lives were being unfairly disrupted.

His concerns were laid out in a letter to Lord Ahmed, the parliamentary undersecretary of state for transport, in which he stated that there should be a ‘comprehensive’ ban on night flights at Heathrow. He reportedly added: ‘For the past 27 years I have lived beneath the Heathrow flight path and, like many hundreds of thousands of Londoners, I am frequently woken up by aircraft noise. These Londoners have jobs to do and families to look after, for which they require a good night’s sleep. Accordingly, not only are people losing sleep because of being disturbed by aircraft noise during the night, but their daily lives are being indirectly affected by it.’

Mr Hands said that banning night flights for a seven-hour period each day would ‘lessen the detrimental impact on hundreds of thousands of Londoners living beneath the flight path’. He cited the example of Frankfurt airport, Europe’s fourth busiest airport, which has banned night flights between 11pm and 5am since 2012.

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.

Multi-lingual advertising campaign launched by Heathrow Express

Heathrow Express, the airport rail link between London Heathrow Airport and Paddington, is joining the #LondonIsOpen campaign with the first advertising campaign to be translated into six languages.

 

Heathrow Express’ smart screens, which are situated in the baggage re-claim area at Heathrow and show live price and journey time comparisons between taxis and the airport’s train service to central London, now shows Cantonese and five European languages.

 

Fraser Brown, Heathrow Express director, said: ‘We want to extend a warm welcome to visitors from across the globe, for whom English is not the first language, by providing them with useful information in their own language to help them make the fastest and cheapest choice of onward travel. Heathrow Express is and always has been, an outward looking company, readily able to engage internationally. Our updated screens completely align with London mayor Sadiq Khan’s campaign that #LondonIsOpen and we are keen to support it.’

 

Heathrow Express analysed passenger arrival statistics into the airport and their own customer data and are using the top languages spoken by Heathrow Express passengers.

 

Five out of the six top languages are European, with an approximate 3.2 million German speakers flying into the UK on an annual basis, followed by Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Cantonese, and Finnish.

 

The service will be monitored and reviewed with the plan that more languages will be added in 2017.

 

The screens provide live journey time comparisons between taxis, tube and Heathrow Express from key locations including Kings Cross Victoria and Liverpool Street stations.