easyJet to resume flights to Sharm el Sheikh this summer

easyJet, the UK-based low fares airline, has said that it will resume flights to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt for the first time since November 2015.

The announcement follows the recent lifting of government restrictions on UK flights to Sharm el Sheikh. easyJet will offer two flights a week to the popular Red Sea destination commencing on June 7 from Manchester, and September 30 from London Gatwick. Both year-round services are on sale at www.easyjet.com.

In addition to Sharm el Sheikh, easyJet has also announced two new routes from Manchester. Flights to the Italian capital city Rome will operate three times a week starting on June 7 along with twice-weekly flights to Menorca with the first flight departing on June 4. The airline will also extend its winter flights to Hurghada to operate year-round three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays with the first flight departing on June 1.

Customers can book the new routes from across the UK including: Manchester to Sharm el Sheikh from £160.07 return; Manchester to Rome from £58.46 return; Manchester to Menorca from £46.29 return and London Gatwick to Sharm el Sheikh from £244.16 return. The fares are per person.

Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager, easyJet, said: ‘easyJet has seen significant growth at Manchester Airport over the last two years and has now carried 22 million passengers since operations began in 2008. In the past year alone, we have grown more than 17% driven by the basing of seven new aircraft which have enabled the introduction of popular new routes.

‘We are looking forward to operating these flights this summer and adding them to an ever growing range of great destinations for our customers. The resumption of services to Sharm el Sheikh and year-round flights to Hurghada are both fantastic destinations for both summer and winter sun, with stunning beaches boasting crystal clear waters and great diving and marine life to explore, we know they will once again be a popular choice for our customers.’

Stephen Turner, Commercial Director at Manchester Airport, said: ‘We are thrilled that easyJet is bringing these additional services to Manchester Airport, which will enhance the choice available this summer to the 22 million people across our wider catchment area.

‘The return of easyJet’s route to Sharm El Sheikh is very welcome and we are sure it will prove immensely popular with sunseekers all year round.’

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays expands summer programme from Birmingham Airport

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, the UK-based leisure airline and package holiday specialist, has announced its latest expansion at Birmingham Airport, with over 2.2 milion seats on sale for Summer 2020.

The company has introduced ten new destinations for Summer 2020 and announced the addition of a fourth additional aircraft into its fleet from mid-July, meaning it will have 14 based aircraft at Birmingham Airport this summer.

With the announcement, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays is also adding more flights to popular destinations across Greece, Turkey and Spain during the peak summer season. The extra flying announced includes Skiathos – a brand new destination for Summer 2020, with a new Saturday service offering two services every week; Corfu – with new Monday and Thursday services offering up to six services every week; Kos – with a new Thursday service offering up to four services every week; Rhodes – with up to six weekly services with the addition of new Wednesday and Saturday flights; Zante – with new Wednesday with up to five weekly services; Bodrum – a new Friday service means up to three services every week; Dalaman – with a new Tuesday service, offering up to nine weekly services; Fuerteventura – with a new Tuesday service offering up to five services every week and Ibiza – with new Friday and Sunday services offering up to nine weekly services.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has recently announced expansion of its Summer 20 programme from Birmingham Airport, including ten brand new destinations, four of which are in Greece. These new destinations are Skiathos, Preveza, Kefalonia, Santorini, Murcia, Barcelona, Lisbon, Budapest, Nice and Innsbruck. This is in addition to the popular sunspots such as the Canaries, Balearics, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Italy, France and Malta.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: ‘This hugely expanded programme has come in response to the continued demand for our award-winning flights and holidays from customers in Birmingham and across the West Midlands. Over half a million extra seats, four additional aircraft, and ten brand new destinations represents significant growth at Birmingham Airport, and we are delighted to be offering holidaymakers so much choice and flexibility.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director, Birmingham Airport said: ‘Over half a million extra seats for summer 2020 from Birmingham Airport to popular sunshine destinations with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays is fabulous news for our customers. This is a key booking time for holidaymakers, so to have this extra capacity on destinations ensures that our customers have both choice and flexibility when booking their holidays. Jet2.com and Jet2holidays is a trusted brand and we are delighted that they are expanding and growing with additional aircraft and routes from Birmingham Airport.’

Aegean Airlines to commence new route to Athens from Birmingham for summer

Aegean Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance group, is set to commence a new direct flight from Birmingham Airport to the Greek capital of Athens starting June 3, 2020.

During the summer season, Aegean Airlines will operate a twice-weekly service to Athens from Birmingham Airport on both Wednesdays and Saturdays. The new service offers increased choice of connections for passengers travelling to surrounding Greek Islands via Athens, including to Corfu, Mykonos and Rhodes. Onward connections can also be made to destinations in the Mediterranean, including Larnaca, Cyprus and Cairo, Egypt.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We’re excited to see the return of Aegean Airlines to Birmingham Airport with the launch of this new route to Athens. Whether you’re looking for a city break, or more of a beach holiday, the city of Athens has so much to offer. The connectivity out of Athens Airport is a real advantage for Aegean and will allow holidaymakers the opportunity to explore and enjoy more of the Greek islands, as well as destinations slightly further afield. We look forward to working with Aegean Airlines once again, and hope to see further routes from them in the coming years.’

Roland Jaggi, Chief Commercial Officer at Aegean Airlines, said: ‘We are delighted to be returning to Birmingham and with a new route to Athens, which will provide UK passengers with even greater ease, convenience and accessibility to visit Greece via Midlands’s largest airport. We consistently create new destination options for our passengers, along with the offer of new services.’

The Aegean Airlines service will be operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft with 174 seats on board.

Austrian Airlines launches new route to Vienna from Birmingham Airport

Austrian Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, has announced new direct scheduled services to the Austrian capital of Vienna and onward connections across Asia and Europe.

The new service offers further choice of connections for passengers travelling to Asia, particularly those looking for services to Beijing and Tokyo. Launched on January 1, the winter schedule operates four-weekly service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. From the summer, this will increase to a daily schedule.

Referred to as the ‘City of Music,’ Vienna is home to rich imperial architecture, its museums and coffee shops. The city is a favourite of both summer and winter tourists, with the winter markets taking place in November through to December, along with temperatures in summer months ranging in the 20 degrees.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Austrian Airlines first flight to Vienna. With services initially operating four times a week Austrian Airlines will then grow to daily flights by summer 2020 and we look forward to welcoming yet another Star Alliance carrier to Birmingham Airport which will provide more choice to onward destinations across Asia and Eastern Europe.’

Andreas Otto, Chief Commercial Officer at Austrian Airlines, said: ‘We are very pleased about the launch of our Birmingham-Vienna route. Passengers will benefit from a closer connection to our hub and an increased number of flights.’

The Austrian Airlines service, which will replace the current point to point Eurowings flights, will be operated using an Embraer 195 aircraft.

The flights will depart from Vienna at 11:05 hours, arriving at Birmingham Airport at 12:30 hours. Flights will then depart from Birmingham Airport at 13:15 hours, arriving in to Vienna at 16:35 hours.

Jet2 expands New York programme from Manchester and Newcastle Airports for next winter

Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks, the UK-based travel and holiday company, has expanded its number of direct New York flights operating from Manchester and Newcastle Airports for next winter.

In total, there are seven additional trips now on sale from Manchester Airport, timed for holidaymakers looking for a Christmas experience in New York. The new trips announced from Manchester Airport will depart on November 29, December 2, December 9, December 13 and December 16, in addition to a Christmas in New York special on December 22 and New Year in New York trip on December 28.

These extra services are in addition to the existing programme of trips and services from Manchester Airport, which include a Black Friday trip departing on November 27, as well as Christmas Shopping and Winter in New York trips on November 30, December 4, December 7, December 11, December 14 and December 18.

From Newcastle Airport, there are now five trips on sale, timed for holidaymakers looking to celebrate Thanksgiving, as well as experience the festive season in the city. The full programme of four-night trips means flights depart from Newcastle Airport on November 22, November 26, December 3, December 6 and December 17.

Further, Jet2 has introduced a total of 27 New York trips from across six of its UK bases for Winter 20, with over 8,500 departing seats on sale in total. In addition to the flights with Jet2.com, there are package city-breaks for sale with Jet2CityBreaks across 3-5 star hotels in central New York locations.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks said: ‘Next winter’s programme of once-in-a-lifetime specials to New York are proving to be extremely popular, so we have responded to that by doubling the number of trips on sale from Manchester Airport, and adding another fantastic trip from Newcastle Airport. This means we have 14 magical trips to New York on sale from Manchester next winter, and five trips on sale from Newcastle. With Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Black Friday and Thanksgiving covered, holidaymakers have never had so much choice when it comes to getting to the Big Apple at this special time of year.’

Cardiff Airport to provide electric vehicle charge points

Cardiff Airport has said that it has introduced a number of electric vehicle charge points across its sites, as part of its vision and efforts to provide a sustainable airport business for Wales.

In total nine chargers will be installed across the staff car park, Meet & Greet and the Short Stay car park. Installation is complete within the staff car park and Meet & Greet, with the final phase due to begin in early 2020, it said. The airport has been working with electric vehicle charging experts, Franklin Energy, to install the chargers.

Mark Bailey, director of Airport Planning and Development at Cardiff Airport, said: ‘The introduction of electric vehicle charge points is an exciting next step in our Environmental Flight Path, which is our timeline of immediate and short term environmental goals.

‘We’re delighted to be able to offer this facility to team members and customers with electric and hybrid vehicles, we’ll be working with Franklin Energy into the new year to increase the number of EV charge points across the site and enhance the experience for our customers.’

Robert Byrne, managing director at Franklin Energy added: ‘This is a brilliant contract win for us. Cardiff Airport is embarking on a large project to roll out EV charging and we’re delighted that we’ve been selected as the preferred partner.

‘We look forward to delivering first phase of this install and moving forward supporting the estates management team, planning, advising and implementing their charge point installation strategy now and in the future.’

On its course to become a ‘Carbon neutral Airport’, Cardiff Airport said that the project is the next step in its recently unveiled Environmental Flight Path – a timeline of immediate and short term environmental goals.

Jet2.com commences special flight from Birmingham Airport to Grenoble for ski season

Jet2.com has commenced services for the Grenoble ski season with a special flight from Birmingham Airport.

Jet2 will operate three weekly services to Grenoble from Birmingham Airport. With two Saturday services and a Sunday service, the British low-cost leisure airline offers skiers and snowboarders increased choice and flexibility to get to the Grenoble slopes this winter.

Jet2 has recently announced an additional Saturday service from the base this winter starting from December 21 until April 18. The additional service is in response increased demand from holidaymakers looking for a skiing experience in the slopes of Les Portes du Soleil and Les Trois Vallees.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com, said: ‘Today marks the start of the ski season in Grenoble, and we were delighted to wave customers off on this special flight from Birmingham Airport. We are looking forward to a successful winter in this fantastic region, which offers some of the best skiing in the Alps, and we have no doubt that our award-winning flights and 22kg of baggage and ski allowance will prove popular with both skiers and snowboarders alike in the Midlands.’

In total, Jet2 will operate to five ski destinations from Birmingham Airport including Innsbruck, Geneva, Grenoble, Salzburg and Turin, providing direct access to the French, Austrian, Swiss and Italian Alps. More information and bookings at www.Jet2.com/ski.

What is expected to become standard for travelling this coming decade?

Agoda, an online travel booking platform, has revealed what travellers expect to become the ‘norm’ over the next decade, following a global survey carried out by YouGov Singapore.

The top three expected developments to become standard practice are single apps for all travel needs, passport free travel, and mobile app check-in. This is particularly true among respondents in SE Asia, of whom half listed these as the expected standard over the next decade. Only a third of UK and US respondents expect this to be the new norm, with both countries also less optimistic on the likelihood of passport-free travel, with only 20% expecting this to be the norm. China (44%) and Australia (41%) – along with SE Asian countries – were more positive over this development.

The study also found that exploring more of their own country was cited by 40% of respondents, with international travel anticipated at 35%, and more than 25% wishing to make more eco-friendly choices going forward. UK, South Korea and Australia were the only countries omitting a domestic destination on their wish lists, with New York being the top desire for British travellers.

Kyoto rated the top most-anticipated destination overall, being popular with respondents all around the world, followed by Bangkok and Bali.

Timothy Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Development at Agoda, said: ‘It is a technology golden age for travellers, as technology is developed to simplify the way anyone, anywhere can search, book and pay for flights, hotels or holiday accommodation. The 2000s was defined by the mouse and the computer, putting online travel booking just a click away. The 2010s, was defined by the smart phone and app, and put a travel agent in the pocket of every phone owner, and the 2020s will be defined by the power of data and Machine Learning (AI). This will enable companies like Agoda to provide personalized, more relevant recommendations to make booking travel even easier. Asian travellers, in particular, are enthused by, and expectant of, technology developments that enhance and simplify their travel experience. Asian based companies are now leading the world in technology adoption and development to achieve this. I expect to see Asia press ahead with that lead in the 2020s – especially in areas such as video and augmented reality, improved mobile services with more chat and voice solutions, and payments to help bring the ‘unbanked’ online’.

The study took information from over 16,000 respondents earlier this month.

United Airlines to start year-round Dublin-San Francisco service

United Airlines has announced that it will start operating a new, year-round, daily nonstop service between Dublin Airport and its hub at San Francisco from next summer.

The new daily service will depart Dublin at 11.50 arriving in San Francisco at 14.20. The return flight will depart San Francisco at 15.55 and arrive in Dublin Airport at 9.45 the following day. The airline will operate its new route with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, starting June 6, 2020.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘United is a valued customer serving Dublin Airport for more than two decades and we are particularly delighted to see it adding a fourth destination to its route network next summer.’

‘San Francisco is the global tech centre of the world and many of the companies based there have offices in Ireland. This new route will further grow tourism and trade between Ireland and the US and provide greater choice and flexibility for both business and leisure passengers. We will work closely with United’s management team to ensure this new service is a success in both directions.’

‘Dublin and Silicon Valley are two regions synonymous with big tech,’ said United’s Vice President of International Network Patrick Quayle. ‘Many global tech companies have a major footprint in both regions, and they need a carrier with an extensive worldwide network to help conveniently connect their business. As the only US airline to serve Ireland from the West Coast, United is uniquely suited to provide the connectivity these companies and economies need to continue thriving.’

From Dublin, United Airlines also operates services to Chicago, Newark, and Washington D.C. Currently, Dublin Airport has flights to 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by 50 airlines.

Turkish Airlines to expand its Birmingham-Istanbul service

Turkish Airlines is planning to increase its services between Birmingham Airport and Istanbul to twice daily, according to a report by Birmingham Post.

The airline has announced that it will move from 12 flights a week to double daily from the end of May. Initially, flights will increase to 13 per week from March 27 and then to double daily from May 30. The double daily service will add more than 600 extra seats a week, offering both business and leisure travellers increased flexibility and choices.

Selim Ozturk, general manager for Turkish Airlines in Birmingham, said: ‘Birmingham Airport is a hugely successful base for us and we have grown significantly over the past eight years.

‘This double daily announcement gives passengers even more choice and, with 283 onward destinations via Istanbul throughout the Middle East, the Far East and Africa, Birmingham Airport really is the gateway to the world with our award winning airline.’

Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe added: ‘Turkish Airlines is a fantastic carrier and partner to have here at Birmingham Airport.

‘Starting eight years ago, the service has gone from strength to strength carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers.

‘The Turkish Airlines in-flight product is award winning and extremely popular which is demonstrated by more and more people choosing to experience the service, reliability and affordability it offers.

‘I congratulate the Turkish Airlines team on doing a great job here in the region and increasing passenger numbers year-on-year, and for further committing to Birmingham Airport.’

Turkish Airlines started its Birmingham Airport – Istanbul service with five flights a week in December 2008, and later increased the number of flights to seven weekly departures in January 2012. Later that year, the service was increased to ten flights per week and in December 2014 the airport announced the programme would expand to 12 weekly flights.