Wizz Air to launch Lublin service from Liverpool Airport

European low-fares airline Wizz Air has announced plans to commence new flights from UK’s Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) to the Polish city of Lublin in May 2017.

The new service will be the North West’s only flights to Lublin – the largest city in South East Poland. The announcement comes as the airline celebrated the first anniversary of its Lublin base. Lublin will be Wizz Air’s sixth destination from Liverpool, adding to the airline’s existing flights to Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Riga and Budapest.

Commencing May 21, 2017, the new twice weekly service will operate on Sundays and Wednesdays. With this new service starting next summer, Wizz Air’s weekly departures from Liverpool will increase to 17. Flights are now on sale with fares from £16.49 one way and can be booked on www.wizzair.com.

Paul Winfield, LJLA’s Air Service Development Manager, said, ‘We are delighted that Wizz Air are to further strengthen their presence at Liverpool by expanding their range of destinations to include Lublin and we look forward to continuing to work with them and explore further opportunities to operate more flights from Liverpool – the North West’s Fastest, Easiest and Friendliest Airport.’

Tamara Vallois, Head of Communications at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are thrilled today to announce our sixth route from Liverpool. The new service is our fourth low-fare connection from Liverpool to Poland and offers direct access to the picturesque city of Lublin in Lesser Poland. Lublin boasts a beautiful Old Town and is ideal for a short city break as well as a great value for money longer getaway. With tickets starting from only £16.49, we hope to see many happy customers on board our young fleet.’

Gabor Vasarhelyi, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, commented: ‘The first WIZZ flight took off from Lublin Airport in 2012 and since then, we carried over half million passengers on our low-fare Lublin routes. In 2015 we established base operations in the city creating a number of local jobs and bringing affordable travel to even more Polish customers. Today we celebrate the first anniversary of our base with an exciting announcement of the newest destination in our Lublin network. Liverpool is now available on our low fares from Lublin and we are sure customers will appreciate this connection to yet another attractive UK destination. We will remain committed to our Lublin customers and look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation with Lublin Airport as we bring more opportunities to Lesser Poland.’

Since its first flight in 2012, Wizz Air has constantly expanded its Lublin network, which now includes seven low-fare routes to four countries. In 2015, Wizz Air carried 175,000 passengers on its Lublin routes. In 2016 Wizz Air has over 300,000 seats on sale on its Lublin routes, which represents a 57 per cent growth year over year.

Wizz Air launches new Gdansk route from Aberdeen Airport

Wizz Air, one of the leading low-cost airlines in Central and Eastern Europe, has launched its inaugural flight to the Polish city of Gdansk from Aberdeen International Airport.

The airport staff led by Ben Dempster, newly appointed Operations Director at the airport, welcomed the arrival of the first flight and its passengers on June 19, with a host of activities organised within the terminal including Polish sweet giveaways and vodka tasting.

The new Polish service from Aberdeen International Airport will be operated twice a week, on Monday and Friday, using a 180 seat Airbus A320 aircraft. Booking is available on wizzair.com with prices starting from £25.99 per person, one way, the airport said.

Wizz Air’s Daniel de Carvalho commented: ‘Today’s flight marks a new milestone for WIZZ. We are happy to launch our first WIZZ flight from Aberdeen to Gdansk. We are excited to provide UK and Polish customers with the opportunity to travel on our comfortable and new Airbus A320 and explore both Gdansk and Aberdeen at very low fares. With a variety of flights offered from 7 UK airports we look forward to welcoming many passengers on board during 2015.’

Carol Benzie, MD of Aberdeen International Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Wizz Air to Aberdeen and are pleased to offer passengers our first direct polish route. This is great opportunity for both leisure and business passengers alike and we wish Wizz Air every success with the route’.

Wizz Air had announced its new scheduled service between Aberdeen and the Polish city in January this year, making it the first direct route between Aberdeen and Poland. Home to some of the oldest red brick churches in Europe, holidaymakers and visitors to the Baltic coast destination will find a thriving city packed with an assortment of sights, offering a wealth of culture and history.

Gdansk is also a key destination for the Aberdeen energy market, and the new service is expected to significantly benefit business travellers.

Wizz Air adds Bristol Airport to its network, to commence Katowice service in June 2015

Wizz Air, the budget airline specialising in Central and Eastern Europe, has launched services from Bristol Airport, announcing that will operate a twice-weekly service to Katowice, Poland from June 26, 2015, Bristol Airport said in a release.

With the addition of Bristol, Wizz Air will have 106 airports in its route network. Flights will operate every Monday and Friday. Besides offering city break destinations for visitors from the UK, the Wizz Air service will provide a convenient link for Poles from the region living and working in the South West.

Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Wizz Air to the South West of the UK. The Katowice service will be a popular addition to the route network available from Bristol Airport, further strengthening links with Poland.’

Wizz Air’s Daniel d Carvalho said: ‘With six UK airports, the Wizz low cost offer is a great opportunity for UK consumers explore Central and Eastern Europe and we look forward to carrying many passengers on our new Bristol-Katowice service.’

The principal city of the Upper Silesian region of Poland, Katowice is a centre for science and industry, as well as home to a diverse mix of architectural styles with Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings alongside Modernist structures from the Communist era, and a neo-Classical cathedral that is the largest in Poland.

Tickets are now on sale from £25.99 one way. Flights will be operated by a 180-seat Airbus A320.

Separately, Bristol Airport said that it is looking for a busy time during the Christmas and New Year period, with over 200,000 passengers expected to pass through the terminal over the course of the holiday starting December 19 until January 3.

While the airport is hoping to offer its customers a stress-free start to the festive period, it has advised departing passengers to allow ample time to complete check-in, bag drop, security and boarding processes, as well as taking holiday traffic into account when planning the journey to the Airport.

 

Ryanair offers Stansted to Poznan from £15.99, introduces customer service improvements

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low fares airline, has said that passengers can now book to fly from London Stansted to Poznan in January and February, from £15.99, as part of its weekly ‘Bargain Thursday’ promotion.

From midnight of November 28, passengers can book 100,000 ‘Bargain Thursday’ seats on over 1,000 European routes, including London Stansted to Poznan, at prices starting from £15.99, for travel from Monday to Thursday in January and February. The ‘all in’ low fares are only available until midnight of December 2.

Ryanair’s £15.99 sale fare includes all non-optional taxes, charges and fees, so that passengers who only travel with carry-on luggage and decline the priority boarding service can book, check-in online and fly for this advertised £15.99 fare on these ‘Bargain Thursday’ flights.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘Only Ryanair sells Europe’s lowest fares with no fuel surcharges guaranteed, across over 1,600 routes, connecting 183 destinations, while delivering Europe’s No 1 customer service, with the most on-time flights, fewest cancellations and least mishandled bags.

Separately, Ryanair said that starting from Sunday all Ryanair passengers may now bring a second small carry-on bag (35 x 20 x 20cm) aboard, in addition to a free 10kg cabin bag allowance, while its boarding card reissue fee has been cut from €70/£70 to €15/£15 for customers who have already checked-in online.

The latest customer service improvements are part of a wider plan that includes the launch of the new customer-friendly Ryanair.com home page. The airline has also introduced quiet flights and 24-hour grace periods for correcting minor booking errors. Other measures, such as reducing standard airport bag fees from €60/£60 will be introduced from January 3, and fully allocated seating from February 1, the airline said.

Emirates Announces New Service to Warsaw from February

UAE-based airline company, Emirates Airline, has announced that its inaugural service to Poland will be commencing from February 6, 2013.

Emirates has launched its service to Poland with a trade preview of the airline’s main A380 aircraft, with a reproduction of a First Class Private Suite on display.

The airline will be offering a daily service to Warsaw in Poland, from Dubai in the UAE, with a 237-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Richard Jewsbury, the airline senior vice president of commercial operations for Europe and Russian Federation, said, ‘Warsaw will be the first new route for Emirates in 2013 and our preparations for launch are currently in full swing. With less than a month to go we are ramping up our activities on the ground in Warsaw and around our global network, in order to increase tourism flows in both directions.

Poland continues to see significant economic growth and our new flights, connecting Poland with our destinations in the Far East, Africa, Middle East and Australasia, will play a pivotal role in further boosting the city’s projected fiscal growth’

The airline is also offering Emirates SkyCargo services, which will be carrying 238 tonnes of belly-hold capacity per week, to aid the increasing trade ties with Poland from the other destinations in the airline’s network.

The airline has recently launched a second daily flight to Dubai Airport from Glasgow Airport with a 364-seat Boeing 777 aircraft. The new service commenced from January 1, 2013. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft replaces the earlier Airbus A340-300 used on the same route. The new aircraft has added around 650 seats every week, as well as an extra 70 tonnes of cargo capacity.

LOT Airline Announces Route and Job Cuts

Polish airline, LOT, has announced that it is reducing its fleet and employee levels due to an impending financial crisis.

The airline will be downsizing its fleet by around 15 aircraft, and will be making job cuts to reduce its employee strength by 30 percent, to stem its loss making services.

The Polish government, which owns around 93 percent of the airline’s stock, has offered a €97 million emergency loan to the company to sustain its operations.

LOT airline has been running at loss since 2010. In the last quarter, passenger traffic has reduced by around 20 percent, leading to a predicted loss of €1 million for 2012.

The announcement to downsize comes immediately after an earlier announcement by the airline that it was taking delivery of its initial Boeing Dreamliner aircraft. The new aircraft will have fully flat beds on offer for business class passengers.

The airline will now be concentrating on flying its most economical planes on its most beneficial routes. It currently flies to four destinations in the UK, London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, and Edinburgh, and will continue to do so because of strong cultural and trade links between Poland and the UK.

Airlines from Eastern Europe have not been performing well in adapting to the latest technological upgrades, and LOT wants to be the exception to that rule. Most of these airlines face stiff competition from Air France, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa on long-haul routes, and from budget airlines for domestic traffic.

Poland’s treasury minister, Mikolaj Budzanowski, in a statement to Polish parliament, said, ‘At least 30 percent or much more of headcount will be restructured, which is already taking place in the first quarter. In addition, there will be a fleet restructuring, with the focus on the most effective planes-some 25 of about 40 airplanes LOT has. The rest that are generating losses will be returned. Leasing agreements were signed years ago and it’s not profitable to be using those planes anymore.’

Ukraine: A Football Fan’s Travel Guide

With the start of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship now only six weeks away, England supporters will be anticipating their team’s opening game against France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday June 11. But how prepared are travelling fans for navigating around a country that is not yet a regular tourist destination?

Those supporters intending to stay in Ukraine, at least for the duration of England’s three group-stage matches, will have to contend with a serious amount of travelling within a country that is close to two and a half times larger than the UK. The second England game is against Sweden in the Olimpiysky Stadium, Kiev, on June 15. Kiev is 369 miles from Donetsk, but it is a journey that ardent supporters will have to make twice, as they must return to the Donbass Stadium, Donetsk for the final group game against the home nation on June 19.

There are several options for travelling between Donetsk, a city in the west of the country that owes much of its development to the mining industry, and Kiev, the country’s centrally located capital. Rail is an obvious choice that offers a relatively comfortable and cost effective means of travel, but has a typical overnight journey time of twelve hours. The ticket price, one way, is approximately £38 for second class. A high-speed train was due to be operating in time for the championships, cutting the journey time to five and a half hours, but there currently appears to be no format available for booking this.

Another cheap option is to take one of the frequent bus services between the cities at less than £20 one-way, but again, be prepared to sit back and enjoy the scenery with a journey time that is also likely to take twelve hours or more. There are regular flights between the cities but they are considerably more expensive and seats could be difficult to come by at this late stage.

Driving between the cities, either in a rental car picked up on arrival or your own car if you have decided to bite the bullet and drive across most of Europe, is an option with plenty of pros and cons. On the plus side, you can sample more of the ‘real’ Ukraine by travelling across country at your own pace, and accommodation in towns that are a distance away from the championship venues is almost certain to be less expensive. However, on the down side, the standard of some of the country’s roads is poor to say the least, while the city roads are congested, and populated by motorists that drive with a ‘spirit of adventure’ that make them not for the faint-hearted. Also, while experiencing Ukraine’s backwaters might provide you with more of an insight into an intriguing country that few of your social group are likely to have visited, it is worth remembering that once away from the major cities you will be exposed to locals whose inexperience with tourists is likely to make them suspicious, off-hand, or even downright rude. Non-white visitors in particular could find a level of prejudice in some quarters that they would be unlikely ever to experience in Western Europe. And on the subject of personal security, whether in a major city or a smaller town, try to avoid flashing expensive jewellery or wads of money, Ukraine is still a relatively poor country and being seen as a rich Westerner will not earn you any more respect and could make you a target for scammers and thieves.

Basic medical facilities in Ukraine are not to Western European standards, either in the proficiency of medical staff, or in terms of facilities and equipment. Should you need medical attention while visiting the country you will be best served at one of the Private Clinics. These tend to cater for Ukraine’s middle class, so you will have to pay for the care that you receive, keep the receipts and make a claim on your travel insurance on your return.

By applying some pre-planning and common sense, experiencing a football tournament in Ukraine should certainly provide for a more memorable event than those hosted by nations that we are more familiar with . If England progress past the group stage, possibilities open up for travel to other cities in Ukraine or into Poland, all the way to the final in…but this is England that we are talking about, so perhaps we should take one step at a time!

Colin Gibson

Ryanair Adds Liverpool to Warsaw Flights

Ryanair, the Ireland-based low cost airline, has announced a new route from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in Liverpool, England, to Warsaw, in Poland.

The new route will be launched in October 2012, with the initial three times-weekly flights service commencing from October 28.

The airline will be landing at a newly converted military base in Poland, Warsaw-Modlin Mazovia Airport, about 35km from the city. The new airport has been converted to cater for visitors to the country for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, hosted by Poland and Ukraine, and is scheduled to open for business on July 16, 2012. Currently the route between Liverpool and Warsaw is served by Hungary based airline, Wizzair; and LOT Airline from Poland.

Introductory fares for the new route commence at £20.99 per person, one way.

Previously, Ryanair announced eight new routes from Warsaw to Brussels (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Dublin (Ireland), London (England), Milan (Italy), Oslo (Norway), Rome (Italy) and Stockholm (Sweden). The new routes commence from July 2012.

Recently the airline also entered into an agreement with isango, a UK-based travel company, to offer low cost tours and travel to passengers. Ryanair passengers may book discounted tours and attraction tickets online, or on flights, with the help of the isango platform.

The company head of communications, Stephen McNamara, said, ‘Ryanair delivers Europe’s lowest fares and passengers can continue to save by snapping up great value discounted tours and attraction tickets online or on-board Ryanair flights. Ryanair is delighted to partner with isango! to ensure that passengers can enjoy tours and attractions and save time and money by bagging yet another bargain with Ryanair and isango!’

Introduction of Ryanair May Lower Ukraine Hotel Prices for UEFA Championship

Hotel prices in Ukraine are expected to fall for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, with the introduction of Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, said the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister, Borys Kolesnikov.

Ukraine is hosting the UEFA Football Championships, along with Poland, from June 8 to July 1, 2012. Ryanair intends to offer services to the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Donetsk from its hub in France from May 2012. Fans will able to attend matches with Ryanair on a round-trip basis, removing the need to pay for hotel accommodation, and it is expected that hotel room rates will come down in price due to the decreased demand.

In an interview, Ukrainian minister, Borys Kolesnikov, said, ‘I think that this problem will be resolved by the end of April. First, we are completing an agreement with Ryanair on its entry to the Ukrainian market, and all fans will be able to calculate the cost of a flight for every match and stay in Ukraine. And the price will be in favour of aviation. I think that price will significantly fall from that moment. It takes three-and-a-half hours to fly from London to Donetsk, and a round-trip ticket will cost $300. England will play three group stage matches in Ukraine. That is, total expenditures would be $900, if you just fly for every match. If the price of a hotel room costs more than $200, then it would be a lot more expensive to live here for ten days. I think that this will quickly cool the ardour of our hotels.’

Earlier, reports have said that UEFA president and former footballer, Michel Platini, has expressed his concern at high prices for accommodation at Ukrainian hotels during the Euro 2012 European Football Championship.

Krakow soars in popularity for stag do’s

Demand for Krakow stag weekend packages has soared in recent months as football fans from across the UK look to tie their stag weekends to the forthcoming Euro 2012 tournament, with the England and Dutch teams confirmed to be using the city as a base during the games.

Managing Director of the Stag Company Rob Hill explained that whilst Krakow has always been one of the organisation’s most popular destinations, the demand in light of the summer tournament has been unprecedented.

“The majority of our customers love football and even those who don’t are keen to experience the same kind of ambience that was in evidence at the 2006 World Cup, with outdoor beer tents and sausage vendors and a great atmosphere all around. People are getting excited about the concept of a Krakow stag do in the summer,” he states.

The Brighton based organisation promotes sporting activities in and around the Polish city perhaps more so than other locations on offer, with white water rafting and clay pigeon shooting on offer. Hill senses that this mix has appealed further to those seeking an active Krakow stag weekend to tie in with the Euros.

“Absolutely. Our groups have expressed an interest in going white water rafting or paint-balling in the morning and then relaxing back in the city with some beers and watching the football on big screens in the afternoon. Then at night they are able to go to a casino, nightclub or on one of our guided bar crawls.”

The Stag Company are also actively promoting trips to another Polish city, Wroclaw, in the run up to June and are seeking to add 5-a-side football matches as an activity in these locations. They currently do so in a number of European destinations, including Barcelona and Prague.

The Stag Company offer custom-made stag weekends in approximately 80 locations across the UK and Europe and was founded in 2003. They are based in Brighton, Sussex.