Super Break announces new service to Seville for Welsh holidaymakers

Super Break has announced the launch of a new route from Cardiff Airport to Seville in 2018, offering Welsh holidaymakers a chance to experience the Spanish city of Andalucia, according to a release by Cardiff Airport.

The new chartered service by Super Break will be the first direct flight from Cardiff Airport to Seville, and is Super Break’s second chartered flight service from Cardiff Airport following the launch of a Northern Iceland service that went on sale earlier this year.

Starting from £629 per person, the Seville Super Break will depart on March 26, 2018. The break will include four nights’ accommodation at a four-star hotel with breakfast, one full day excursion to Jerez and Cadiz, complimentary entry to many of Seville’s key attractions, 48-hour hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus ticket, and transfers.

Travellers can also choose to add a guided tour of Moorish Granada, or an evening of authentic flamenco and tapas.

Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport commented: ‘This exciting and unique package is the second and very welcome announcement made by the Super Break recently. It’s great to see the popular tour operator tailoring packages for our customers offered at convenient times.

The Easter break is an ideal time of year to explore and experience everything this stunning Andalusian region is known around the world for. We look forward to more exciting announcements from Super Break in future.’

Katherine Scott from Super Break added: ‘At Super Break we take pride in providing travel experiences out of the ordinary, and this new break to Andalusia means that customers can go straight to the heart of Spanish culture that is Seville and Andalusia. We’ve also made sure there are plenty of experiences included in the price so that our customers can get the most out of their tailored trip. The traditions, cuisine and culture of this beautiful region really does mean holidaymakers can have it all.’

The £629 per person price is based on five days’ in Seville, including accommodation at the four-star AC Hotel Sevilla Forum Hotel with breakfast, a full-day excursion to Jerez and Cadiz, a city sightseeing tour of Seville, plus return flights from Cardiff Airport, the airport said. Tickets are available to book at http://www.superbreak.com/, it added.

Monarch announces last minute package deals to Europe’s best beaches

Monarch, an UK-based travel and holiday company, has announced package deals from major UK airports to a number of top Spanish beach destinations for holidaymakers and families looking for a summer holiday.

The announcement comes after a Twitter poll by Monarch revealed that Spanish beaches were rated as the best beaches in Europe. Nearly 35 percent of voters said that Spanish beaches were the finest in Europe – more attractive than the sandy shores of Portugal and Greece. The Twitter poll was conducted with 1,145 Monarch followers this month.

Monarch’s last minute package deals start from £495 per person for seven night holidays and £209 per person for two-night holidays, available for travel later this month and early September. The UK-based holiday company is offering:

A seven night holiday to Costa del Sol with rates starting from £545 per person with return flights and seven nights half board accommodation based on two adults sharing a twin or double room. The flight will depart Manchester on August 30 with stay arranged at the four star Almunecar Playa Spa Hotel.

A seven night package deal to Costa Almeria from £385 per person with return flights and seven nights bed and breakfast accommodation based on two adults sharing a double room. Flights will depart Manchester on August 29, with stay at the four star Cabo de Gata Hotel.

A seven night holiday to Lanzarote from £535 per person with return flights and seven nights half board accommodation based on two adults sharing a twin room. The flight will depart London Gatwick on September 25 with stay at the four star VIK Hotel San Antonio.

A seven night holiday at Tenerife from £529 per person with return flights and seven nights half board accommodation based on two adults sharing a twin room. The flight will depart Manchester on September 6, with stay arranged at the four-star Tigotan Hotel.

A six night holiday to Majorca from £655 per person with return flights and six nights half board accommodation based on two adults and two children sharing a suite. The flight will depart London Gatwick on August 23 with accomodation arranged at four-star Puerto Azul Suite Hotel.

A two night holiday to Valencia from £209 per person with return flights and two-nights bed and breakfast accommodation based on two adults sharing a twin or double room. Flights will depart Birmingham on August 24 with stay arranged at the four star SH Florazar Hotel.

In addition, Monarch is offering thousands of seats at £30, to a selection of sun and city break destinations. £30 flights include a number of Spanish destinations in Majorca and Alicante, the airline added.

Monarch announces new flights from Birmingham Airport for summer 2017

Budget airline and holiday company, Monarch has announced the addition of four new routes – Split in Croatia, Valencia in Spain, Naples in Italy and Rhodes in Greece – to its network from Birmingham Airport for summer 2017.

With the move, Monarch will be the only airline flying to both Split and Valencia from Birmingham Airport. While Split and Valencia are new destinations added to the Monarch network for summer 2017, Naples and Rhodes are already on the Monarch network but new to Birmingham Airport for summer 2017.

The Birmingham – Split route will operate twice weekly on Tuesday & Sundays, starting June 25, 2017 with fares starting from £39 one way. The Birmingham – Valencia route will operate twice weekly on Saturdays and Thursdays, starting June 22, 2017 with fares starting from £39 one way. The new Birmingham – Naples route will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays, starting June 23, 2017, also with fares starting from £39 one way. And the Birmingham – Rhodes route will operate weekly once on Wednesdays with fares starting from £69 one way, starting June 21, 2017. Flights are available to book at www.monarch.co.uk .

Marjan Schoeke, Monarch’s head of Network Development, said ‘We are delighted to be announcing four new routes to the network from Birmingham Airport for this summer. With the introduction of these routes we now have 30 destinations on offer to customers flying from Birmingham Airport this summer. Monarch has more destinations to choose from than any other airline when flying out of Birmingham this summer.’

David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer, at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We continually monitor our route network and feel that these destinations will be a popular choice with our customers who fly from Birmingham and are looking for sun this summer.

‘It is fabulous news that Monarch will be adding these new routes for summer 2017 offering more choice of destinations from Birmingham Airport. Both Split, in Croatia and Valencia, in Spain are unserved from the Airport so passengers will have the chance to visit these beautiful cities. While the routes to Naples and Rhodes offers extra capacity to passengers travelling from their local airport. Monarch has been a partner airline for many years and provides an excellent service for both leisure and business passengers.’

Besides being the only airline to fly direct to Split and Valencia, Monarch is also the only airline to fly directly to seven other destinations from Birmingham Airport, including Lisbon, Nice, Stockholm, Preveza, Gibraltar, Venice and Rome. As previously announced, Monarch will be also commencing a new flight service to Stockholm on April 28, 2017 – the only airline flying directly to the Swedish capital from Birmingham.

Ryanair commences new services from Aberdeen, new Bristol-Cologne route for winter

Irish low fares airline Ryanair has commenced its first flight to Malaga from Aberdeen International Airport on February 8, 2017.

The new year-round service to the popular Spanish destination will operate twice-weekly from Aberdeen. Ryanair also said that a second new route to Alicante will commence on February 9, 2017.

Carol Benzie, Managing Director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: ‘We’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Ryanair to the airport since we announced these fantastic new routes last July and I’m delighted to welcome the airline back to the North-east after a six-year hiatus.

‘These routes are particularly exciting for us, as Alicante and Malaga were the two most requested destinations in a leisure survey we carried out with the local community early last year. It’s brilliant to know that Aberdeen holidaymakers can now easily reach their favourite destinations direct from their local airport, without the inconvenience of long car journeys or multiple flights. Furthermore, with two flights to Alicante and Malaga per week, passengers have the choice of either a quick, three-day getaway or a longer break in the sun.’

In addition to the new routes launching this week, Ryanair is planning to extend its Aberdeen schedule in May by introducing year-round flights to Faro in Portugal’s Algarve region.

Robin Kiely, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, said: ‘We are pleased to return to Aberdeen and launch our new routes to Alicante and Malaga, with Faro set to follow in May, and our low fare routes will deliver 75,000 customers through Aberdeen Airport this year.’

Separately, the Irish airline announced that it will commence a new winter route from Bristol to Cologne, with a four times weekly service, as part of its Bristol winter 2017 schedule.

Ryanair celebrated the new Bristol – Cologne route by releasing seats across its European network for sale at prices starting from EUR9.99. These low fare seats are available for booking on the Ryanair.com website until midnight of February 13, 2017.

Vueling announces summer 2017 schedule from Cardiff Airport

Spanish airline Vueling has said that it has expanded its capacity on all of its services from Cardiff for summer 2017, following increased demand at Wales’ national airport.

Following the increase, the airline is now offering 190,812 seats on flights to Alicante (up to five weekly), Barcelona (up to four weekly), Malaga (up to five weekly) and Palma Majorca (up to four weekly services) for travel between April and October -an increase of 16 per cent compared to summer 2016. These flights will follow the winter 2016 schedule, which is currently offering flights to Alicante and Malaga.

Barcelona offers holidaymakers an ideal city break while also being the gateway to the Costa Brava; Majorca is a stunning holiday island, while Alicante and Malaga serve popular holiday resorts such as the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical.

Debra Barber, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at Cardiff Airport, said: ‘We welcome Vueling’s decision to increase flights from Cardiff again this summer and view this boost in capacity as a direct response to the increased demand from Welsh passengers to fly to popular Spanish destinations from Wales’ national Airport, a fact which has also been reflected in our recent passenger growth.

‘The airline has been flying passengers to and from Cardiff since 2012 and in that time we’ve seen the routes go from strength to strength. We look forward to a continued successful relationship with the airline which will, in turn, lead to more choice for both Welsh passengers and visitors to Wales.’

Vueling has also announced the addition of special rugby flights to Rome and Paris Orly in February and March 2017 respectively, enabling Welsh rugby fans to see Wales play against France and Italy in the RBS 6 Nations 2017. Flights are available to book now.

Vueling and British Airways recently announced an agreement under which British Airways can apply its flight codes to a number of Vueling’s flights. Welsh passengers can benefit from the Avios points system in the same way when they book on BA’s website, Cardiff Airport said in a release.

Brittany Ferries announces sale of 2017 holidays with a 20% off sale

Brittany Ferries, the passenger car and freight service, has announced the sale of its 2017 holiday collection, available for booking immediately. For a limited time, the company is also offering reductions of 20 per cent on its range of cottage, hotel, apartment and campsite holidays in France and Spain.

The sale, which ends at midnight on November 29th, is applicable to ferry travel-plus-accommodation packages. The holiday collection features over 2,000 locations in holiday regions of western France and northern Spain. The offer is available for travel throughout 2017, including the Easter and summer school holiday periods.

Christiane Barker, Brittany Ferries’ general manager holidays, said: ‘Despite all the upheaval in the world, when it comes to breaks and holidays, France and Spain remain firm favourites with the Brits. We’re already seeing strong demand for sail and stay holidays in 2017.’

‘With 20 per cent off all holidays booked before 29th November and just a [£40.00] deposit per person required now, our message is: book soon. You’ll not only enjoy the best choice of locations, dates and ferry crossings, but you’ll also make substantial savings-and give yourself something to look forward to over the winter months.’

Holidaymakers eyeing a vacation in France in 2017 can book a week’s stay for four in a Loire gite for £388.00 in low season – or £97.00 per person. During the summer school holidays a family of four can spend a week in a Breton cottage for £676.00, or £169.00 per person. The prices are inclusive of return ferry sailings with car.

Meanwhile, holidaymakers can enjoy a week’s self-catering in Spain, with prices starting from £774.00 for a family of four (£194 per person), staying in a casa in the holiday regions of Cantabria. The price also includes two additional nights cruising from the UK to Spain and back, with an en-suite cabin.

Families can also select from nearly a hundred campsites in western France and northern Spain, with many now offering a choice of premium accommodation. A week’s holiday in April starts from £351.00 for a family of four (£88.00 per person), including ferry crossings.

In addition, seven-night ferry-plus-hotel packages are available for vacationing in France, starting from £272.00 per person per week, for a couple taking their car, and from £393 per person in Spain.

Bookings can be made online at brittanyferries.com/holidays. The 20 per cent discount applies to the basic holiday cost only and does not include weekend and seasonal supplements and on board accommodation when travelling to France, Brittany said in its release.

British Airways announces flights from London City to Alicante

British Airways has announced new flights from London City Airport to Alicante, one of the more popular tourist destinations in Spain.

British Airways will operate the new four-times-a-week service from London City to Alicante throughout the summer on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Each way hand baggage only fares from London City-Alicante are available from £55 on www.ba.com/londoncity.

Commenting on the timing, Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, London City, said: ‘While everyone is still getting over our exit from the football finals this is a fantastic opportunity to escape the disappointment – and the British weather – and head off to sunny Spain. We are delighted to be able to provide direct services from London City to one of the most popular tourist regions of Spain for the first time.’

Matthew Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘Alicante is the gateway to a stunning part of the Spanish Mediterranean and an excellent addition to our offer of leisure destinations this summer. From the conveniently located London City Airport, passengers can escape on this British Airways service to the buzz of balmy nightlife and cafe culture or the relaxation of Costa Blanca beaches and a round of golf.

‘With flights four times a week, our quick check in, close proximity to central London, and a flight time of just two and a half hours, it’s never been easier to get to this popular sunny getaway.’

With the addition of the Alicante route, British Airways will fly up to 63 flights a week to seven Spanish destinations from London City this summer. The seven Spanish British Airways’ destinations from London City are Alicante, Madrid, Granada, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma and Mahon.

Birmingham Airport announces twice weekly flights to Palma De Mallorca

Birmingham Airport has said that Spanish airline AlbaStar has launched twice weekly flights between Birmingham and Palma de Mallorca.

The route will be served by a Boeing 737-400 aircraft containing 170 seats and will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tickets are available for booking at the airline’s website as well as through online travel agency ‘On the Beach’, the airport said.

William Pearson, Birmingham Airport’s Aviation Director, said: ‘We are very pleased to be welcoming Alba Star – our twelfth new airline in the space of just over a year, to Birmingham Airport.

‘Palma de Mallorca is a very well-known and extremely popular holiday destination from Birmingham Airport. When this is combined with the great on board service and very reasonable seat prices AlbaStar and ‘On the Beach’ offer, we are sure this will be a popular route and carrier and we look forward to seeing it flourish at Birmingham Airport.’

Michael Harrington, Managing Director of AlbaStar, added: ‘We are very pleased to start this new initiative at Birmingham Airport which we now hope becomes the central platform for our UK AlbaStar operations. Birmingham is ideally geographically situated and the airport has an excellent rail link which allows the airport to have an extended catchment area.’

Birmingham Airport recently reported that it handled over one million passengers in the month of May – the first time that the airport has reached this milestone this year. In total 1,005,861 people travelled through the airport in May, up by 11.1 per cent compared to the same month last year. Long-haul routes registered the greatest rise in demand with 16.5 per cent passenger growth compared to the same month last year. Meanwhile, short-haul routes recorded a 10.5 per cent growth rate year-on-year.

Commenting on the passenger growth, Paul Kehoe, chief executive officer at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘To be hitting the one million passenger mark in May is fantastic news for the airport. It shows us that the new airlines and routes we have recently introduced are proving popular with our passengers.’

Last month, leading regional airlines including Flybe, Wizz Air and Turkish Airlines have announced expansion to their services from Birmingham.

British Airways commences summer-only services from Stansted

British Airways has announced its first flights from Stansted Airport, with all the summer sun destinations fully booked for this weekend.

Holiday travellers have a choice of four popular summer destinations – Faro in Portugal and Malaga, Palma and Ibiza in Spain from Saturday, with flights to Berlin launching in June. In addition, the frequency of flights to Malaga has been doubled to two flights every Saturday during August to meet customer demand. Fares start from £49 each way based on a return fare with hand baggage only, inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer at BA CityFlyer, said: ‘This is a great start to our Stansted operation with customers quick to book our inclusive competitive fares with an excellent schedule and the choice of some of the most popular summer destinations.

‘We are really looking forward to working with Stansted and giving our customers the choice of flying with British Airways from a fourth London Airport.’

Andrew Cowan, Stansted’s CEO, said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted that every seat on the first ever British Airways flights from Stansted completely sold out this weekend. We were confident these new services to Faro, Malaga, Palma and Ibiza would prove popular with passengers and this really positive start is a clear demonstration of the strength of demand that exists across the region.

‘We now look forward to welcoming the addition of a new Berlin service next month and working closely with British Airways over the summer to build on this strong start and ensuring these exciting new flights continue to be a great success.’

British Airways is operating from Stansted for the first time – the fourth London airport on its network with the summer-only services running until the end of October. Currently the airline operates from the three other major London Airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.

The Stansted flights are operated by the wholly owned British Airways subsidiary BA CityFlyer on 98-seat Embraer 190 jets. All British Airways flights include a choice of two cabins, Club Europe and Euro Traveller, free on line check-in 24 hours before departure and no debit card charges.

‘Returnerism’ trending among UK holidaymakers, ATOL research

‘Returnerism’ is common among UK holidaymakers, with nearly a third of people (30 per cent) returning to the same holiday destination every single year, new research from ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License) has found.

According to a release by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s specialist aviation regulator, from survey results an average person has been to the same holiday resort four times, and more than a tenth of UK holidaymakers (11 per cent) have returned to the same holiday spot ten or more times. ‘Returnerism’ also signals that holidaymakers eliminate middlemen as they become more familiar with holiday booking and destinations. Two fifths (40 per cent) of travellers book their flights, hotel and transfer all independently, rather than booking them together through a travel company.

However, a common side effect of ‘returnerism’ is that tourists fail to check for ATOL protection – potentially putting their holiday at risk, the release said. Booking an ATOL protected holiday through a UK travel company would mean holidaymakers are protected even if the company ceases trading, it added.

Commenting on the research, Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL said: ‘Our research shows that many of us in the UK are creatures of habit who love the comfort of taking our well-earned summer breaks in familiar surroundings that we know inside out.

‘But with so many UK tourists returning to the same holiday destination year after year, they may be tempted to book their own arrangements rather than use a travel company. If you book a ‘DIY’ holiday in this way you will not be ATOL protected – losing out on that important protection for your holiday and money if something happens to the companies you book with.

‘So even when people know their destination really well, it’s important to remember to pack peace of mind when booking, by checking for ATOL protection. Booking flights and accommodations together with a UK travel company means you will be ATOL protected, your money will be safe and you can concentrate on looking forward to that well-earned holiday.’

According to the research, the most popular country for tourists to return to is Spain, with The Canary Islands, The Balearic Islands, Costa del Sol and Benidorm all featuring in the list of top holiday resorts most commonly returned to. Also long distance destinations do not deter tourists from returning, with both Orlando and California also featuring in the top ten.

Holidaymakers are likely to follow their usual travel traditions at the destination too. Nearly a third of people (31 per cent) said they book the same hotel and a tenth (nine per cent) will even look for the same room. Over a third of the tourists (34 per cent) will dine at the same restaurant and over a quarter (26 per cent) will go to the same pub or bar on every trip, the release noted

The ATOL survey was conducted, in February – questioning 2,000 UK adults who holiday abroad. ‘Returnerism’ has been defined as ‘an ‘illness’ which UK holidaymakers find themselves suffering from when they return to the same holiday destination year in year out.’