Gatwick adds new double daily service to Qatar, expands service on transatlantic routes

London Gatwick is planning to increase the global connectivity it provides for passengers with the introduction of a new route to Qatar operated by Qatar Airways, starting May 2018.

In addition, Norwegian has announced plans to offer passengers more choice with additional frequencies, on transatlantic routes, adding 150,000 extra seats from Gatwick this summer. The airline also starts new routes to Austin and Chicago this March – adding to its new Buenos Aires service that was launched in February.

Gatwick Airport Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Qatar Airways – one of the world’s premier airlines – to Gatwick for this exciting new double-daily service to Doha. Our existing airlines are also providing even more choice for passengers with Norwegian starting routes to Austin and Chicago this month while also adding 150,000 extra seats on their transatlantic services from Gatwick this summer.’

Gatwick, which was named London Airport of the Year at the London Transport Awards in February, registered its 60th month of consecutive growth in February. The airport marked five full years of month-on-month growth as 3.0 million passengers travelled through last month, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to 2017.

Commenting on the continued growth at the airport, Wingate said: ‘Our February traffic figures mark five consecutive years of growth and during this time Gatwick has been transformed by our ongoing GBP2.7 billion investment programme. Our passengers now have a wealth of choice through an extensive route network – including over 60 long haul routes – a variety of airlines plus world-class airport facilities.’

‘February’s passenger figures are the latest demonstration of Gatwick’s importance as a vital piece of UK infrastructure providing global connectivity at a time when the country needs it most. We have exciting plans for growth maximising the use of our existing facilities whilst we also offer the country the prospect of a financeable and deliverable new runway scheme,’ he added.

Gatwick announces new peer-to-peer car rental scheme, partners with Car & Away

London Gatwick has announced plans to host a new peer-to-peer car rental scheme that allows people to rent out their vehicles to others while they are away.

Gatwick is the first UK airport to introduce such a scheme. The airport is partnering with a start-up company, Car & Away, to provide a new ‘Rent & Earn’ service for passengers, in addition to the other existing long stay parking options at Gatwick.

Vehicle owners looking to participate in the scheme may register the service, via the Gatwick parking website, where they are provided with information about Car & Away’s qualifying criteria and the renting process. Their vehicle will also receive a mini valet service. Small vehicle owners can expect to earn up to GBP80 per week in rental income, while owners of larger cars can expect to earn up to twice that amount.

Renters can find Car & Away’s available vehicles via when searching for rental cars from Gatwick. On finding a suitable service, the vehicle is available for collection from Car & Away parking bays located in the valet arrivals area of the South Terminal, the airport said.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Car Parking, Gary Wallace, said: ‘We are always searching for ways to provide new, innovative and ground breaking services so we are pleased to be hosting this exciting new scheme with Car & Away. The new service offers passengers an alternative option when it comes to renting vehicles from the airport and gives them a chance to offset their parking costs.

‘Our goal is to help as many people as possible to travel for less, in a convenient way, and airport peer-to-peer car sharing services are another way of achieving this.’

Car & Away will ensure that all vehicles are fully insured, cleaned and meet RAC approved vehicle roadworthiness checks before being offered to renters. Octo Telematics systems will be installed to monitor the vehicle driving patterns. When the renter returns, the vehicle passes through the same checking processes and will then wait in the Car & Away parking bays for the owner’s return, the airport said.

Norwegian announces new route to Buenos Aires

Norwegian, a low-cost long-haul airline, is planning to launch a new direct service from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires.

The airline will operate a year-round service of four weekly flights from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport, with fares starting from £259.90 one-way to Buenos Aires.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: ‘Today we have marked the start of our new expansion into South America by bringing a taste of Argentina to London Gatwick. I am delighted to bring our high quality long-haul flights to another continent as we launch the only direct flight from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires, giving leisure and business passengers affordable access to South America.

‘Our first flight to Buenos Aires from the UK marks another milestone for Norwegian. As our first South American route takes off, it is also a first step towards ambitious plans for international and domestic growth in Argentina, ahead of flights to Chicago and Austin from London Gatwick next month.’

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: ‘The launch of Norwegian’s first ever South American route is another exciting landmark in Gatwick’s ongoing mission to connect the UK to more and more long-haul destinations. The airport now offers 63 long-haul connections – with many, including Buenos Aires, operated by low-cost carriers – making Gatwick the busiest departure airport for low-cost long-haul services in the world.

‘We’re going to continue breaking new ground this year and remain focused on strengthening Gatwick’s global reach at a time when worldwide connections are crucial for the UK. In fact, two new Norwegian routes to Austin and Chicago will follow the Buenos Aires service into Gatwick’s schedules next month alone.’

Norwegian’s long-haul flights from London Gatwick will be operated by a fleet of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The new 56 seat cabin configuration will offer passengers more than a metre of legroom, complimentary meals, baggage allowance and airport lounge access, with Premium fares available from £699.90 one way.

Buenos Aires will be Norwegian’s 11th route from London Gatwick in the past four years and by the end of March, Norwegian will operate 13 direct long-haul routes following the launch of Singapore in September, Buenos Aires in February and Chicago and Austin in March 2018, the airline said.

South African Airways introduces A330-300 on Johannesburg – London route

South African Airways (SAA) has said that it will introduce the new A330-300 on the London route from March 2018, and will also adjust frequencies on the route to a single daily service.

As part of its network optimisation plan, effective from April 20, 2018, SAA will operate a single daily flight from Johannesburg to London Heathrow replacing the double daily service operating on the route currently.

‘We have decided to focus on those areas of our business that will enhance our efficiencies, bring more value to our customers and produce improved overall performance of the airline. Network optimisation is one such area that can contribute towards containing our costs and we introduced some initiatives that must yield dividends to return the business to commercial sustainability in the shortest time possible,’ said SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana. ‘We have also decided to upgrade the service operating between Johannesburg and London Heathrow to the new Airbus A330-300 with effect from Sunday, 25 March 2018. This will afford customers a significantly improved on-board Business and Economy product, with state-of-the-art technology, increased comfort and capacity,’ added Jarana.

The new Airbus A330-300 offers the latest technology, are eco-friendly , quieter, equipped with advanced avionics and navigation systems, and have Rolls-Royce Trent engines, resulting in lower fuel burn and in turn, lower carbon emissions. SAA took delivery of five new A330-300 aircraft last year.

The A330-300s offer more Business Class seats than any aircraft in the SAA fleet currently. In total, the aircraft has capacity for 249 passengers, with 46 in Business Class and 203 in Economy Class. Seating in Business Class cabins is in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, offering all customers a forward facing, lie-flat seat, increased privacy and direct access to the aisle. SAA has also introduced an app where customers can download additional entertainment before their flight.

Seating in the Economy cabin will be in the 2-4-2 configuration. Economy Class on the A330-300 feature a 10.1′ high-resolution screen, individual USB charging ports, and access to shared PC power points.

Primera Air to launch new London Stansted to Washington route in August

Icelandic budget airline Primera Air has announced plans to launch five direct flights a week from London Stansted to Washington Dulles from August 22, 2018.

The fares to Washington will start from £199. The airline, which is set to start its new flights from Stansted to New York and Boston in April and Toronto in May, is also increasing planned flight frequency to Toronto from August.

‘Andri M. Ingolfsson, Primera Air President and owner of Primera Air, said: ‘We’ve been planning to add Washington from the beginning of the transatlantic flight project. We see a strong demand for this route and we are the first low-cost airline to start operations between both cities, offering people an affordable way of transatlantic travel.’

Ken O’ Toole, London Stansted’s CEO, commented, ‘We’ve already seen a very positive response from passengers to Primera’s previous announcement of new services to New York, Boston and Toronto, and the addition of Washington will provide even more choice and connectivity to the east coast of the USA.

‘We have made clear our ambition is to provide more services to the USA, and add routes to China and India, so this is another step towards that goal. We look forward to the launch of these exciting new services in the coming months.’

Following increased demand for flights from London Stansted to Toronto, Primera Air has decided to increase flight frequency from three to five flights per week. The airline has previously announced plans to open a new base at London Stansted for flights to New York, Boston and Toronto along with new routes to Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Barcelona and Chania.

Primera Air, which has 20 new Boeing MAX9-ER aircraft on order, will also expand its presence on current bases and add new transatlantic routes and bases over the next two years, it said.

WestJet announces new daily direct service to London from Halifax

Canadian airline WestJet has announced plans to launch a daily direct flight service between Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Gatwick Airport in London.

The new route is part of WestJet’s 2018 summer schedule, and also includes a new route from Halifax to Paris. Starting April 29, WestJet will begin daily service between Halifax and London (Gatwick), while the service to Paris will begin on May 31, 2018. One-way introductory fares from Halifax to London or Paris are available for 199 Canadian dollars all inclusive.

‘As the carrier with the most transatlantic flights from Halifax, we are thrilled to announce our first foray onto the European mainland,’ said Ed Sims, WestJet Executive Vice-President, and Commercial. ‘Venturing to London and now Paris is an indication of our ambitious growth plans as we move towards becoming a global network carrier.’

‘We look forward to working with WestJet to launch this exciting new long-haul route, which will further enhance Gatwick’s position as the world’s busiest departure airport for low-cost, long-haul services,’ said Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport. ‘Halifax has lots to offer visitors from the U.K., with its rich maritime history, year-round festivals and buoyant nightlife making it a must-visit global city. With Halifax also being one of Canada’s main economic hubs, these new flights will provide an important link between the two countries’ business communities at a time when worldwide connections are vital for the U.K.’

‘We’re delighted with WestJet’s new routes to and from Halifax, as France and the U.K. are among the largest tourism markets and most important trading partners in Europe. Strengthening ties with strategic markets in Europe is good for inbound tourism, trade, investment and immigration,’ says Joyce Carter, President and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority. ‘This announcement demonstrates confidence in our community, our region and our future as Halifax Stanfield connects travellers to and from Europe and beyond.’

The new flights will be operated on the airline’s new and guest-friendly aircraft, the Boeing 737-8 MAX, the airline said.

Emirates to launch London Stansted service from June 2018

Dubai-based Emirates has recently announced plans to launch a new daily route from Dubai to London Stansted, starting June 8, 2018.

The outbound flight will depart Dubai at 09:30 hours, and will arrive in London Stansted at 14:10 hours. On its return, the flight will depart London Stansted at 21:10 hours and arrive in Dubai at 07:05 hours the following day.

The daily service will be operated by the airline’s new three-class Boeing 777-300 ER, offering customers six seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 306 in Economy Class. The aircraft features fully enclosed private suites in First Class, as well as refreshed Business and Economy Class cabins.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, said: The introduction of the new London Stansted-Dubai service underscores our commitment to serve London, with operations soon to three different airports in the city. There is a clear demand for this service from both business and leisure travellers and we anticipate that this news will be warmly received both across our global network, as well as by the business community based in the Stansted catchment area. We look forward to facilitating even more tourism and commerce opportunities to and from London with these new air transport links, and to providing our customers with the award-winning Emirates experience.’

Ken O’Toole, London Stansted’s Chief Executive, added: ‘We’re delighted that Emirates has recognised the strength of London Stansted’s catchment and the opportunity that our available runway capacity gives them to continue growing in the South East of England over the next decade.

‘At this crucial time, the new Emirates services will provide an important boost to the UK economy by strengthening international connectivity and offering greater choice and convenience for passengers travelling to long haul destinations. London Stansted has seen significant capital investment and growth since its acquisition by MAG in 2013 and we’re looking forward to working with Emirates as we move forward with the next phase of development of the airport and its network of destinations.’

With the new London Stansted daily service, Emirates will operate 10 flights daily, connecting Dubai and London. Passengers can also fly to London Heathrow and Gatwick. London Stansted Airport is connected to London via the Stansted Express, which operates a regular daily service to London Liverpool Street Station. The train service allows passengers to reach London city in 47 minutes, where they can connect to regional trains and the London Underground.

Wizz Air announces new routes from London Luton

Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air has announced further expansion of its operations at London Luton Airport with the addition of three new routes to the Greek capital Athens, the Icelandic town of Keflavik, and the Italian port city of Bari, starting in spring 2018.

The airline will operate a daily service to Athens, Greece starting April 29, 2018; to Keflavik, Iceland from April 29, 2018 until September 16 on, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays until September 16, 2018. Starting September 17, 2018, the service will be operated daily. Wizz Air will also operate a flight service to Bari, Italy on Wednesdays, Sundays from March 25, 2018 until April 18, 2017. Starting April 19, 2018, the Bari service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

In addition, the airline is also increasing its frequency on the route to Larnaca in Cyprus to 10 flights per week, starting September 17. Seats on the new routes are available on sale and can be booked at for fares from £26.99/EUR29.99.

Wizz Air chief executive officer, Jozsef Varadi, said: ‘2017 has been a milestone year for WIZZ at London Luton and we continue to invest in our operations there. The new routes announced today expand our network from London Luton to 45 routes to 22 countries, giving our customers the opportunity to travel to a wide variety of destinations at the lowest prices. Those lowest prices mean we continue to stimulate inbound and outbound traffic and allocate capacity to cover unserved routes, further diversifying our network and consolidating our position at London Luton. We look forward to welcoming ever more passengers onboard one of Europe’s youngest fleets in 2018. 

With the new additions, Wizz Air’s total number of new London Luton routes announced this year will increase to 11, including the services to Larnaca, Tirana, Tallinn, Bratislava and Lviv.

The new routes are part of Wizz’s expansion plans following the establishment of Wizz Air UK and the increase of its fleet at London Luton in 2018, from one to seven aircraft, including two Airbus A321. Following the investment in 2018, Wizz Air will offer more than 7.4 million seats on sale on 45 routes to 22 countries from London Luton airport, the airline said.

Jet2 commences inaugural ski flight to Grenoble from London Stansted

Jet2 has commenced its inaugural ski flight from London Stansted to Grenoble, offering skiers and snowboarders more choice and flexibility.

Jet2’s ski programme includes weekly flights and over 6,000 seats to Grenoble, where skiers and snowboarders have access to over 170 ski resorts, including Morzine, Chamrousse, Chamonix, Avoriaz, Prapoutel, Autrans, all accessible from the city. With the introduction of Grenoble, Jet2 will operate four ski destinations from London Stansted this winter, providing skiers access to some of the finest slopes in the French and Austrian Alps.

Jet2’s flights from London Stansted to Grenoble will operate weekly and start at £37 per person including taxes. Tickets are available to book at

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays, said: ‘We are thrilled to be launching our new London Stansted to Grenoble route. We know that skiers want choice and flexibility, so that’s exactly what we are providing from London Stansted, with weekly flights to Grenoble now in operation alongside three other top ski destinations. On top of that, customers can take advantage of our friendly low fares and 22kg of baggage and ski allowance, whilst enjoying our award winning service as they head to the snow.’

Martin Jones, London Stansted’s Commercial Director, said: ‘The launch of’s new service to Grenoble from London Stansted is fantastic news for skiers and snowboarders from across the region looking to hit the slopes early this season as well as providing even more choice for passengers wanting a fantastic winter city break with the added convenience of flying from their local airport.’

Basma Jarbouai, Grenoble Airport Director, said: ‘We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with and to welcome this new flight from London Stansted, offering our passengers more flexibility to join the Alps ski resorts through Grenoble Airport. We are the first step of their holidays and it is really important for us to offer them an excellent quality of services. Celebrating this first flight and offering them chocolates at arrival is a little gift before Christmas!’

British Airways expands services at London City

British Airways has said that it is expanding its services at London City and regional operation with three new routes and increased frequencies.

The UK-based airline, which has recently announced plans to increase flights from Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol in summer 2018, said that it will double its weekday services between London City and Milan Linate and add a new weekday service to Frankfurt from January.

In addition, British Airways will operate new summer services from Manchester and Edinburgh to Florence and a weekly service between Manchester and Dublin.

According to the plan, London City to Milan Linate flights will be increased from 11 to 23 flights a week, Frankfurt from 20 to 24 flights a week and Dublin from 32 to 36 flights a week. The new weekly summer only flights from Manchester to Florence and Dublin and from Edinburgh to Florence will start in May 2018. Tickets are available to book on, with Manchester-Dublin at fares from £25 each way; and Manchester-Florence and Edinburgh-Florence at fares from £59.

The extra flights are introduced following the arrival of two new 98-seat Embraer 190 aircraft in January and April 2018, bringing the total fleet number to 22.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager customer and commercial, said: ‘The new Embraer 190 jets will be a welcome addition to our fleet as we continue to grow our route network and frequencies both from our home base at London City and from other UK regional airports. It enables us to expand both our business and leisure routes, with much improved schedules and timings to Milan Linate and Frankfurt.

‘This year we have almost doubled the number of routes we operate compared to last year and the winter season brings a further five new routes, London City to Paris Orly, Prague and Reykjavik and Manchester to Chambery and Salzburg ahead of the new routes next summer.’

This year, British Airways has announced dozens of new flights from London City, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol airports, the airline said.