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.

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.

Flybe launches first phase of 2019 summer schedule from Cardiff Airport

Flybe, the European regional airline, has announced the first phase of its 2019 summer schedule from Cardiff, offering a range of destinations for both leisure and business customers, Wales’ national airport said in a release.

As part of the first phase of Flybe’s summer 2019 schedule at Cardiff Airport, the airline will increase its services to Paris Charles de Gaulle to 10 return flights a week, and five return flights a week to Glasgow; extend ski flights to Chambery and Geneva until the end of April for Easter; and introduce popular routes to Faro, Venice, Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino and key business routes including Belfast City, Dublin and Edinburgh. The announcement of extra flights to Paris and Glasgow comes after increased demand for these destinations, and further capacity will be added when the second phase is released in the coming weeks, the airline said.

Allowing customers to plan early, seats are now on sale at flybe.com and are currently available for travel to and from Cardiff between March 31 and June 16, 2019. All routes will be operated on three aircraft now based at Cardiff Airport. Details of schedules will be available at www.flybe.com.

Flybe CCO, Roy Kinnear, commented: ‘We have listened to our customers’ feedback and know that many like to plan their travel far in advance. Our new schedule features many of our most popular high frequency services and also highlights Flybe’s ongoing commitment to unparalleled connectivity from regional airports to destinations across the UK, Europe and beyond.’

Cardiff Airport’s CEO, Deb Barber, added: ‘It’s great to see Flybe adding flights for Summer 2019 on sale early, giving our customers that extra time to plan, book and benefit from great fares.’

Flybe, which opened its Cardiff base in 2015, offers multiple opportunities for onward travel either with its own services or via its 11 code share partner airlines. The options are available via the ‘One Stop to the World’ link at http://onestop.flybe.com/en-GB/flights.

Flybe connects Cardiff with Rome for first time ever

Flybe, the UK-based European regional airline, has started its first ever service between Cardiff Airport and Rome, with the first flight taking off on March 28, 2017.

The service to the Italian capital is part of Flybe’s 2017 summer schedule from Cardiff, which features 15 routes, offering a total choice of up to 73 flights a week.

Flights to Rome will operate twice a week, with flights scheduled on Tuesdays and Saturdays into Leonardo de Vinci-Fiumicino airport. The service is currently available for travel through to October 28, 2017. Seats are available for booking at www.flybe.com, with fares starting from £24.99 one way including taxes and charges.

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s chief revenue officer, commented: ‘We are delighted to include yet another new route from our Cardiff base this summer. Rome is an exciting new destination both for Flybe and for the airport. We are committed to connecting people and communities and offering the widest choice of destinations possible with time saving, punctual and affordable travel. We look forward to welcoming many more new passengers on board.’

Debra Barber, Chief Executive Officer of Cardiff Airport, added: ‘What an exciting start to Flybe’s summer season! We’re delighted that the airline has chosen Cardiff to launch its first ever service to Rome. This route has been in great demand by our customers for some time so this is a welcome addition to the airline’s growing network of services.’ 

Flybe’s summer schedule from Cardiff also includes flights to other country capitals including London City, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast City, Berlin and Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and scheduled for business and leisure travellers. Available for travel March 26 to October 28, 2017, Flybe’s 2017 Summer Schedule from Cardiff serves 15 destinations – including Belfast City, Berlin Tegel, Cork, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Faro, Glasgow, Jersey, London City, Milan, Munich, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Rome and Verona – with a choice of up to 73 flights a week.

Flybe announces new route to Rome from Cardiff, announces initial summer 2017 schedule

European budget airline Flybe has announced a new route from Cardiff to the capital city of Rome starting March 2017.

Located in the Central Western part of the Italian Peninsula, the city of Rome has plenty of cobbled streets and side-street cafes, trendy restaurants, museums and art galleries, as well as the tourist attraction of the Vatican. The city is expected to attract both leisure and business passengers travelling from Wales’ national airport.

Departing twice a week, on Tuesday and Saturday from Cardiff Airport, flights to the Roman cultural centre are available for booking at www.flybe.com with fares starting from £24.99, one way including taxes and charges.

Debra Barber, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Cardiff Airport, said: ‘It’s fantastic to be able to welcome another totally new route to the Flybe network. Our Welsh customers have consistently asked for Rome to be added to our route network and we are delighted that this key service to another major capital city is now on offer from Cardiff Airport.

‘Flybe now flies to five capital cities from Wales’ national airport and we will continue to work closely with them and all of our other airline partners to offer our passengers more choice of leading destinations.’

In addition to Rome, currently available for travel between March 26 and October 28, 2017, Flybe’s initial summer schedule at Cardiff includes 12 routes with a choice of up to 53 flights a week. Other routes featured include the extension of the winter route to Geneva, operating on Saturdays, through to April 15, 2017; to Berlin on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; to Cork on Tuesdays and Saturdays; to Dublin and Edinburgh with up to twice daily services; to Faro with four services a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; to Jersey on Monday and Friday; four services a week to Milan on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; thrice weekly service to Munich operating on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; daily service to Paris Charles de Gaulle and twice weekly service to Verona on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the airport said.

Vincent Hodder, Flybe Chief Revenue Officer, commented: ‘We are delighted be releasing this initial phase of our Summer 2017 schedule from Cardiff today. These services connect Wales to key business centres all over Europe as well as to some fantastic destinations that are ideal for short breaks or even longer summer holidays.

‘In providing a ‘One Stop to the World’, Flybe’s codeshare partners also offer regional customers extensive opportunities to enjoy seamless long haul travel. This benefits those looking for onward connections meaning there is now no need to go anywhere near the large hectic London hub airports!’

Flybe offers over 50 direct routes from Cardiff Airport with more than 900 destinations available with connections.

Taxi drivers in Paris and Rome named the world’s rudest

British holidaymakers have voted taxi drivers in Paris and Rome as the rudest in the world.

According to the survey by airporttransfers.co.uk, cab drivers in the capital cities of France and Italy are seen as the most unhelpful. Their counterparts in holiday destinations such as San Antonio on the Spanish island of Ibiza, Dubai and Magaluf on the island of Majorca are also not polite with their customers, it said.

The survey ranked taxi drivers in Pefkos on the Greek island of Rhodes and the Turkish resort of Marmaris as some of the friendliest in the world. Cabbies in Playa de las Americas in Tenerife, New York and Palma Nova in Majorca are also polite and helpful, it said.

The survey was based on responses from 2,162 UK holidaymakers who had taken an overseas holiday in the last 12 months.

For the question on what they thought made a taxi driver ‘friendly’, 86 per cent of respondents said that it was a ‘talkative’ driver, while 42 per cent also said that a friendly taxi driver would give them advice or knowledge about the local area. When asked who they considered a ‘rude’ taxi driver, 51 per cent said it was someone who was ‘unhelpful.’

‘Taxi rides around the world can be totally different experiences, depending on the time and the place,’ comments Airporttransfers.co.uk managing director Chris Clarkson.

‘You could stumble upon the most helpful taxi driver in the world, who gives you a guided tour of the area you’re in on the way to your end destination, or you could have someone that just grunts in response to anything you say,’ he adds.

Ibis launches fixed rate summer offer for key European destinations

Ibis, a worldwide economy hotel brand and member of the Accor Group, has launched a fixed rate summer offer for the three key European travel destinations of Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Regardless of the format used to book accommodation at any Ibis hotel in any of the three participating countries, the price will be fixed at €45 (£38). The promotion, believed to be the first of its kind for any hotel group, is available to book immediately and will run until May 31. It allows for bookings of one or two people between the offer dates of June 1 and August 31 this year.

The offer is for all 74 Ibis branded properties across the three countries and includes those in the major cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan and Rome.

Ibis claims to offer competitively priced, well-equipped rooms, welcoming staff that are available 24 hours a day, an uninterrupted bar and snack service daily, breakfast from 4 o’clock in the morning until noon, and free Wifi. The company is also offering its new bedding concept, Sweet Bed by Ibis, which it says has involved a thorough analysis of beds and bedding to arrive at a sleep comfort package to suit the whole family.

The terms of the fixed price offer state that it is subject to availability, that bookings are not cancellable and that it must be prepaid. A list of full conditions for the offer can be found at www.ibishotels.com and at www.accorhotels.com.

Established in 1974, Ibis now has more than 107,000 rooms and 900 hotels in 48 countries around the world.

Tourists warned to beware of rip-off traders abroad

With the new holiday season comes a warning to tourists travelling abroad to beware of rip-off traders.

Failing to acquaint themselves with the price that they are about to be charged for typical holiday extras that are generally expected to be inexpensive, could result in tourists staring down the barrel of an eye-watering bill once the deal is done.

The Daily Telegraph has highlighted one particular case where not confirming the price of a holiday ice cream prior to ordering left four British tourists stunned at the expense that they had incurred. Brothers Roger and Steven Bannister were visiting Rome with their wives when they decided to purchase four ice cream cones to take away from ice cream bar, Antica Roma, near the Piazza di Spagna. No doubt expecting to pay a small premium for purchasing the treat in the capital city’s tourist area, they were still stunned to receive a bill for €64, approximately £54.00.

Roger Bannister told the Telegraph that the server at the bar had not even thanked him for his payment. However, a local councillor, Matteo Costantini, happened to be passing at the time and engaged with the group to hear their complaint. He told Sky News, ‘They were justifiably outraged at what they had been asked to pay. It’s scandalous and should not be allowed to happen. This is not the first time tourists have been caught out like this and it sadly won’t be the last. There needs to be a clamp down on places like this that charge extortionate prices to unsuspecting tourists.’

Commenting to the Telegraph, the bar’s managers justified the price charged by saying that it was for large portions and cheaper options were available with prices clearly labelled.

Jet2com Announces Expanded Schedule to Rome and Barcelona from Glasgow

Jet2.com, a UK-based low-cost airline operating out of Leeds Bradford Airport, is expanding its services to Barcelona, Spain; and Rome, Italy.

The services from Glasgow Airport to Barcelona and Rome have been extended for all year round from the summer of 2013. Fares commence from £38 one way for a twice weekly service to Rome; while airfares commence from £37 one way for services to Barcelona.

Steve Heapy, the chief commercial officer of Jet2.com, said, ‘Rome and Barcelona are two of our most popular destinations and so we want to ensure customers can visit at any time of year. With our generous 22kg baggage allowance people can take their winter woollies or summer gear and really make the most of their trips.’

Amanda McMillan, managing director at Glasgow Airport, said, ‘This yet more positive news from Jet2.com which is clearly committed to continually improving its service for customers.

The extension of its popular Barcelona and Rome routes will provide passengers with greater flexibility and choice and it follows the airline’s recent decision to introduce flights to Murcia, Pula and Menorca.’

The airline – in August 2013 – will be adding a fourth aircraft based out of its hub at Glasgow Airport, extending its services from the area. The airline’s additional capacity from the airport will add around 50 new jobs, and increase the frequency of service to destinations such as the Canaries, Majorca, Ibiza and Turkey.

The airline had earlier announced new services, with flights to Murcia departing from Glasgow Airport twice a week, from May 24, 2013, with fares commencing from £41 per person; weekly flights to Pula will commence on June 18, 2013, with fares from £49 per person; and weekly flights to Menorca commence on May 25, 2013, for fares starting from £41 per person.

Rome Suffering Tourism Theft of Ancient Hardware Say Authorities

Tourism authorities in Rome are being plagued by a unique problem, that of tourists, mainly Europeans, and including some British travellers, stealing cobblestones, marble mile markers and pieces of mosaic that are artefacts from ancient Rome, and taking them home with them as souvenirs.

Travellers are being apprehended at the customs desks of two Italian airports, Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino, for trying to smuggle 2,000 year-old hardware and artefacts taken from the streets of Rome, said the security officials and Roman police.

Italian police chief, Antonio Del Greco, told the Daily Mail, ‘It’s a particularly unusual theft and at the same time it’s one that we are finding is on the increase and happening more and more often.

Those primarily responsible are northern Europeans who have simply picked up a loose cobblestone or piece of mosaic they have found while wandering around Rome.

They then put it in their luggage and take it home with them as a souvenir of their holiday – we have also found large milestones made from marble in suitcases that have been taken from the Appian Way.’

Umberto Broccoli, the superintendent of culture for Rome city council, said in an interview, ‘I should warn all tourists that the city’s rich heritage should not be touched. What these people do by stealing these items is show their ignorance.

I can understand the legend and splendour that is Rome but that does not mean bits of it should be stolen by all means tourists should take as many pictures as they like but they should not help themselves to cobblestones or other items even if they appear to be discarded. If they want a souvenir of their visit then they should buy something from a shop.’