British Airways announces new flights to Rome from London City Airport

British Airways has recently announced the launch of new flights to the capital city of Rome from London City Airport.

The year-round service is the fourth Italian city to be served by British Airways direct from the Docklands and will operate every day except Saturday. Each way hand baggage only fares to Rome from £70 are available on www.ba.com

British Airways’ airport manager, Andrea Sperini, said: ‘I’m very proud to see the Italian capital becoming part of our network. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and a treasury of art, history, traditions, politics and local food – almost anyone can find something to explore and enjoy. ‘

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘We are delighted to add another capital city to our schedule taking the number of routes we fly from London City to Europe up to 34. Rome is a destination that will be welcomed by both our leisure and business customers and alongside Florence, Milan and Venice will be our fourth route to Italy.’

Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘By adding another major European city to its network, British Airways is creating further choice for tourists and business travellers who want to use London’s most central airport as their bridge to the continent.

‘Like London, Rome is an iconic destination, bursting with culture, history, and home to an international business district, and the route is an attractive addition for customers to and from Italy’s capital city. Ahead of a 20 per cent boost in capacity during 2019, this new service further underlines British Airways’ continued investment in their London City operation.’

British Airways is investing £4.5 billion over the next five years for improving customer experience. As part of that investment the airline recently unveiled a brand-new lounge at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. Spread over 460 square metres, the space can host almost 140 customers.

In addition, British Airways will offer WiFi and power in every seat, fit 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and take delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline will also be introducing new Club World seat with direct aisle access next year, it said.

Gatwick announces more flights to Lapland for winter

London Gatwick has said that it will offer more flights to Lapland compared to UK airport this winter – with a total of 120 flights bound for the home of Father Christmas in December.

Six destinations in and around the Lapland region – Enontekio, Ivalo, Kittila, Kuusamo, Tromso and the capital, Rovaniemi – can all be reached direct from Gatwick. In comparison, the UK airport with the second highest number of Lapland services in December is offering a third fewer flights than Gatwick.

The expansion of services comes in response to growing demand from British tourists to visit Lapland in the northernmost region of Finland.

Last December, the number of British visitors to Rovaniemi was up 13.9 percent on the previous year. In October 2018, the number of passengers heading to Rovaniemi from Gatwick almost tripled year-on-year.

The airport has also launched several new winter routes offering more choice for their Christmas market destination. easyJet has already launched new flights to Aarhus and Warsaw, while British Airways will start operating new services to Cologne and Lyon in the coming weeks.

In addition, in December, Gatwick will offer more flights than ever before to the European cities with some of the most renowned Christmas markets in the world – with 315 flights going to Amsterdam, 306 to Geneva and 227 to Copenhagen.

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, Gatwick Airport said: ‘It’s fitting that Gatwick now offers more flights to Lapland than any other UK airport, as this winter wonderland is the ultimate family destination and Gatwick is widely recognised as the ultimate family airport. The number of Brits travelling to Lapland for a winter escape is rapidly increasing every year and we’re pleased to be responding to that demand.

‘If meeting Father Christmas or going on a sleigh ride doesn’t tick the winter holiday box, Gatwick’s short-haul network of over 160 routes offers something for everyone, with new services to breath-taking destinations like Aarhus and Cologne and more flights than ever before to many of our passengers’ old favourites.’

London Gatwick opens sensory room for departing passengers

London Gatwick has become the first UK airport to open a sensory room for its passengers, offering a relaxing, private and interactive environment to calm people who may feel in busy and unfamiliar airport surroundings.

Located in the North Terminal, the new sensory space is designed for passengers with autism, dementia, cognitive impairment or other special needs to help them feel at ease before their flight. Passengers using the sensory room can transform the space from a calming and relaxing environment to a stimulating interactive space full of light and sound with the flick of a switch.

The ‘chill-out zone’ for those needing calm includes floor cushions, bean bags and digital display panels, which generate colourful visual wall features. The separate ‘interactive zone’ stimulates the senses through tactile panels, textures and a game to improve memory, motor skills and encourages learning. The free to use room is available only to departing passengers and their families or carers who can book a 45-minute session at the North Terminal’s special assistance desk after the security check.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Terminal Operations, Andy Pule, said: ‘We recognise airports can be stressful environments for some passengers, which is why we are extremely proud to offer this new space for them to relax in and enjoy before their flight.

‘Gatwick is committed to providing passengers who have a disability of any kind with the support and services required to ensure their time at the airport is as comfortable as possible and this remains a key area of focus for the airport.’

Autism Ambassador for Gatwick Airport, Maria Cook, said: ‘I cannot thank the whole team involved in this project enough for making it a reality. Working closely with Gatwick I explained the vast benefits of having such a wonderful facility available and the positive impact it has for people with complex conditions and their families and they did not hesitate to create something very special indeed. It is the most amazing Sensory Room I have ever seen.’

Specific activities to experience in the room include: the Catherine Wheel Panel with colour and sound displays including firework effects; Abstract Tactile Panels featuring raised and recessed fluid shapes in contrasting textures; Colour Match Panel with classical music, mood lighting, and game to improve memory, colour recognition and motor skills; Sound to Light Showtime; Waterless Rainbow Tube with a colour wheel offering calming and stimulating effects; Interactive Giant Causeway which can activate colourful lights; Activity Board encouraging motor movement, coordination and sensory skills and Infinity and Beyond Panel offering visual and auditory effects using range of shapes, sounds, patterns and speeds.

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 launch of Munich flights from London City

British Airways has announced the launch of a year-round service from London City Airport to Munich starting February next year.

The new thrice-a-day service will start on February 16, 2018. With the new service, British Airways will offer four German routes from London City, with each-way hand baggage only fares to Munich from £59.

In addition, British Airways will also add extra winter frequency on Berlin, Dublin and Prague routes from November 10 this year and to Geneva from December. Return flights to Berlin will go up to 18 a week, Dublin to 38 a week, Prague to seven a week and Geneva to 16 a week from December.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘As promised we are adding more choice for our customers at London City Airport with a new route and extra frequency to four of our most popular destinations.

‘The addition of Munich to our schedule complements our existing flights to Berlin, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt and means that we will be flying 82 return flights a week to Germany direct from the Docklands this winter. The new route will increase the number of British Airways’ destinations from London City Airport to 34.’

Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘A three-times-a-day Munich service is a further commitment to London City Airport operations by our home carrier, hot on the heels of the recent Rome announcement and BA CityFlyer’s fleet investment.

‘Munich is a German powerhouse for business, with Siemens a case in point for how this new route will expedite trade and investment between the cities. It is also an attractive leisure destination, evidenced right now as Bavarians and tourists celebrate the height of Oktoberfest. With the introduction of Munich to LCY’s route map, we are continuing to keep London connected to major European cities that we know passengers will love.’

British Airways announced in August that it will be adding four new aircraft to its fleet based at London City, as well as starting a new daily service to Rome and adding a fifth daily year-round service to Zurich in October. The year-round Rome route will commence on November 11, with one-way hand baggage only fares from £55.

Jet2 announces 100,000 more seats at London Stansted for Summer 2019

The UK-based flight and holiday company, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, has recently said that it will add an extra aircraft and put another 100,000 seats on sale for Summer 19 from London Stansted, following increased demand for its package holidays from customers in the South and South East of England.

The addition of a new aircraft will increase the seat capacity at London Stansted next summer to over 1.85 million, an increase of 24% on Summer 2018. With the latest expansion, Jet2.com will now operate 12 aircraft from London Stansted next summer.

Jet2 will operate to 36 sun and city destinations in Summer 2019, and the additional capacity means more flights and holidays to popular destinations including Cyprus, Turkey, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Portugal and Mainland Spain.

The new additions include daily services to both Larnaca and Paphos in Cyprus; up to 20 weekly services to Turkey, including daily flights to Antalya and Dalaman as well as four weekly services to Bodrum and two to Izmir; Nearly 30 weekly flights to Canary Islands, including daily and double-daily services to Lanzarote and Tenerife, as well as five weekly services to Gran Canaria and three weekly services to Fuerteventura; almost 60 weekly flights in total to mainland Spain and Balearic Islands, including daily and double-daily services to Alicante, Ibiza, Malaga, Menorca and Majorca, and over 30 weekly services to eight Greek destinations of Crete (Heraklion and Chania), Corfu, Rhodes, Kefalonia, Zante, Halkidiki and Kos.

In addition, Jet2 will be the only operator to Madeira from London Stansted with weekly services increased to four, while the number of services to Faro, Portugal has been increased to 12 per week.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘This is great news for customers in the South and South East of England who are looking to enjoy a great value package holiday in the sunshine next summer.

‘Continued demand means we are adding extra aircraft and increasing capacity by over 100,000 seats, giving local holidaymakers even more choice and flexibility with our award-winning airline and package holiday business. As the leading tour operator out of London Stansted, we are delighted to be adding more choice to a number of fantastic destinations including Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and Spain.’

Ryanair announces London schedule with 23 new routes

Ryanair, the Irish low fares airline, has launched its biggest ever London S 2019 schedule, with 23 new routes and over 180 routes in total, from Ryanair’s four London airports – Stansted, Luton, Southend and Gatwick.

As part of the London S19 schedule, Ryanair will introduce a new three-aircraft base at Southend and two more aircraft at Luton, adding to a total of six aircraft. The airline has also announced 23 new routes including three at Stansted, viz. Kiev, Lviv and Nantes; and six at Luton, viz. Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Bologna, Cork and Malaga. At Southend, Ryanair introduced 14 routes including to Alicante, Bilbao, Brest, Copenhagen, Cluj, Corfu, Dublin, Faro, Kosice, Malaga, Milan, Palma, Reus and Venice.

In total, the London S19 Schedule will operate over 180 routes, expected to carry over 26 million customers per annum, up five percent over the previous year.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to launch our biggest ever London S 2019 schedule with over 180 routes from our 4 London airports, including 1 new base at Southend and 23 new routes to exciting destinations such as Barcelona, Bilbao, Copenhagen and Kiev. Our S2019 schedule will deliver 26m customers p.a. through Stansted, Luton, Southend and Gatwick, all at the lowest fares, as we continue to grow London traffic, tourism and jobs.

We remain concerned at the increasing risk of a hard (no-deal) Brexit in March 2019. While we hope that a 21-month transition agreement from March 2019 will be agreed, recent events in the UK have added uncertainty, and we believe that the risk of a hard Brexit (which could lead to flights being grounded for a period of days or weeks) is being underestimated.’

Separately, Ryanair also announced a new route from Cardiff to Malta, with a twice-weekly service commencing in April 2019, which will be a part of Ryanair’s summer 2019 schedule.

Commenting on the new Maltese route, Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, said, ‘Our customers have been asking for the return of flights to Malta for some time, so we’re absolutely thrilled with today’s announcement that Ryanair will operate regular, low-cost services to this popular Mediterranean destination from early 2019.

‘South Wales is home to a thriving Maltese community and so this service makes it easier to travel between both destinations, whilst also serving as another access point for European visitors seeking to explore Wales.’

British Airways announces more routes from London City

British Airways has announced an expansion plan at London City Airport saying that more aircraft, more routes and more frequencies will be added to the network this winter.

Starting November 11, a new year-round service will be launched to Rome from the Docklands airport, with one-way hand baggage only fares from GBP55. In addition, the airline will add a fifth daily service to the Zurich route on week days. Rome is the first of a number of new routes and extra flights to be announced for next year, the airline said.

Further, four additional Embraer E190 aircraft will join the BA CityFlyer fleet during 2019, bringing the total fleet number to 26 aircraft. These aircraft will add nearly 20 per cent more seats from London City Airport in 2019 and enable the launch of new destinations.

Tom Stoddart, managing director BA CityFlyer, said: ‘It is an exciting time for us at London City Airport. The four new aircraft shows our commitment to giving our customers an even bigger range of destinations and flight times. This growth will see the number of job opportunities in East London increase with direct employment opportunities for pilots, cabin crew and engineers, as well as indirect roles for our various suppliers in and around the airport.’

Luke Hayhoe, general manager commercial and customer, said: ‘It is very positive to continue the year-on year-expansion at London City Airport. We added 13 per cent more capacity in 2018 and will add nearly 20 per cent in 2019. The new route to Rome will increase the number of British Airways’ destinations from London City Airport to 33.’

Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘BA CityFlyer is London City Airport’s largest airline partner and this investment in four additional E-Jets demonstrates absolute commitment to its base at London’s most central airport, and continued growth as we enter 2019.

‘An enlarged fleet will mean more choice for tourists and business travellers alike, giving customers more flights to the destinations they love, under the British Airways brand. Introducing a Rome service and adding frequency to Zurich, already one of our busiest routes, keeps London connected to major European cities, and is a real endorsement of the London City proposition by our home-based carrier. We look forward to further new route announcements in the near future.’

British Airways is undertaking £4.5 billion investment for customers over the next five years, which includes the installation of WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and the acquisition of 72 new aircraft.

London Gatwick announces new direct route to Shanghai

London Gatwick has announced a new long-haul connection to Shanghai – China’s largest city – as Gatwick recorded year-on-year long-haul growth of 20.8 percent in July.

The new service will be operated by China Eastern and will connect the UK to one of the world’s leading business centres, providing over 70,000 seats and more than 3,700 metric tonnes of new cargo capacity each year. The new China Eastern Airlines service to Shanghai will begin on December 7, 2018. The Airbus A330-200 will depart from Gatwick on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 12:00 and will fly to Shanghai Pudong Airport.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome China Eastern to Gatwick and look forward to the start of this vital new link to Shanghai which, like London, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most important cities and business hubs. Starting from such a strong position gives this new route every chance of success, as it will be popular with business passengers travelling between the two economic centres, as well as leisure passengers keen to sample the excitement of China’s largest city.

‘July’s traffic figures demonstrate that Gatwick’s long-haul network is driving the airport’s growth. These connections to China and other non-European countries will take on extra significance in a post-Brexit Britain as we become more reliant on them to generate vital growth through trade and by exploiting the other business opportunities that they provide.’

A global financial centre like London, Shanghai is at the centre of China’s economic growth. It is also the leading city driving the Yangtze River Economic Zone – a region accounting for 20 percent of China’s GDP and responsible for a third of the country’s imports and exports, the airport said.

The launch of the new route follows one of the busiest Julys in Gatwick’s history, with cargo handled by the airport growing by 28.8 percent year-on-year. In October, the airport will also see the launch of new Norwegian flights from Gatwick to the Florida city of Tampa, it added.

Gulf Air commences new Dreamliner service from Bahrain to London

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the introduction of a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner double daily service to and from London.

Gulf Air’s new twice daily nonstop flights connecting Bahrain and London Heathrow Terminal-4 will reportedly be suited to both business and leisure travellers. Regional passengers will be able to connect via Bahrain to London, while UK-based travellers can fly non-stop to Bahrain, with onward connections to key cities throughout the Middle East, Africa, India Subcontinent and the Far East.

Commenting on the new service, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. KreSimir Kucko said, ‘Gulf Air has had strong ties with the United Kingdom since we commenced our operations to London in 1970. London is a key destination for our customers travelling for either business or leisure, and I am delighted to introduce our newest 787-9 Dreamliner double daily service on this route. I look forward to receiving passenger feedback on this exciting addition to our fleet, which allows our UK travellers to travel across Gulf Air’s expanding network in superior comfort. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our key industry partners in UK who are integral to the growth and success of our London operations.’

The new state-of-the-art aircraft offers 26 Falcon Gold Class seats and 256 Economy Class seats with improved onboard services and greater entertainment choices. It boasts large overhead bins, LED lighting, and technology that senses and counters turbulence.

In 2018, Gulf Air’s network will serve 49 cities in 26 countries. Gulf Air operates double daily flights or more to select destinations across the GCC, MENA region, Indian Subcontinent and Europe while its network spans the GCC, MENA region, Indian Subcontinent, Europe and the Far East.