Norwegian launches London Gatwick-Miami route

The European low fares airline, Norwegian, has launched its first-ever service from London Gatwick to Miami International Airport, on March 31.

With the new service, travellers will have a daily nonstop option between Miami and London Gatwick Airport. The service will be operated using Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft that seats 344 passengers in a two-class configuration.

Norwegian CEO and Founder, Bjorn Kjos, said: ‘South Florida is one of our most important markets in the U.S., and by moving our London service to Miami, we will become even more competitive and offer more South Florida residents more affordable flights to London and beyond, while we will also have access to many more opportunities, including cargo. We are very committed to this market, and look forward to increasing our presence at MIA in the future.’

Commenting on the new service, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, said: ‘I applaud Norwegian for adding Miami-Dade County to its global network. The United Kingdom is already our County’s fifth-busiest international travel market, and Norwegian’s new daily flights are sure to generate even more tourism from that region and from across Europe as well.’

‘We are honored by Norwegian’s decision to launch first-ever Miami service, which provides our passengers with yet another nonstop travel option to Europe. We proudly welcome their award-winning service to MIA, where nearly one million passengers already travel to and from the United Kingdom annually,’ added Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director and CEO Lester Sola.

Norwegian airline operates more than 500 routes to over 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Thailand, Caribbean, North and South America.

Dublin Airport announces new year-round services to Cyprus, Miami

Cyprus-based airline Cobalt Air will extend its summer service to operate year round flights between Dublin and Larnaca, according to a release by Dublin Airport.

The airline initially started a twice weekly service between July and September in 2016.

Welcoming the decision, Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘Dublin-Larnaca was one of Cobalt Air’s first routes and today’s announcement that the route will be a year round service is testament to its success and popularity.’

‘Cyprus is a very popular destination for Irish holidaymakers seeking a sunshine break. We will continue to work with Cobalt Air to ensure its continued success,’ he added.

A Cobalt Air spokesman said, ‘This continues our commitment to the Irish market which has flocked to Cyprus in record numbers this summer. Irish visitors can look forward to a wider range of onward connections from Larnaca, including Tel Aviv so there’s never been a better time to book a flight on Cobalt Air.’

Dublin Airport also recently announced the launch of Aer Lingus’ new direct transatlantic service to Miami. Aer Lingus will operate its new three times weekly service – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – on a year-round basis.

‘We are delighted to welcome Aer Lingus’ new transatlantic service to Miami,’ said Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison. ‘This new route offers further choice and flexibility for both business and leisure passengers.’

Transatlantic traffic at Dublin Airport has increased by 67 percent in the past five years and Dublin is the fifth largest airport in Europe for North American connectivity after Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, Harrison added.

Dublin Airport has direct flights to over 185 destinations in 41 countries operated by a total of 47 airlines. More than 16.9 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in the first seven months of the year, which is a six percent increase on the same period in 2016, the airport noted.

As Oil Spill Fears Subside, Florida’s Tourism Industry Gains Ground

Florida’s tourism industry may be in better shape than many predicted. The gulf state, which brings in over $20 billion annually through tourism, has reported that visitors are coming in numbers that fall within traditional targets. Tourism spending throughout the state has actually grown by around three percent since the disaster, although analysts had expected greater growth before the oil spill.

The positive growth is being seen by many in the gulf region as evidence that local tourism will regain strength over the next year. With oil washed ashore on many Gulf of Mexico beaches, the region’s largest tour operators had previously questioned its ability to survive as a tourism spot in North America. While Florida’s industry leads that of other states, it’s certainly a good sign.

Tourism throughout the gulf is still relatively low, with Louisiana and other states reporting steady, albeit lower than usual, returns. The state’s capital – New Orleans – is aiming to continue is famous tourism and hospitality industry throughout the five-year Hurricane Katrina anniversary. Earnings have been down across the region compared to predictions, although growth may occur shortly.

For Florida’s tourism-dependent businesses, the surprising boost in tourist spending is certainly a welcome sign. The state had previously worried that its service-driven industry may suffer in the decline, with tight consumer spending and poor environmental conditions combining to eliminate the state’s lucrative tourism income.

Analysts have pointed to a number of events as reason for the sudden tourist surge. Some have used the President’s recent visit to the gulf as a reminder of its suitability as a family destination, while a range of leading newspapers have pointed to aggressive online advertising. It’s tough to know which cause was responsible, but both have certainly lead to a major re-brand for Florida’s tourism spots.?