UK holidaymakers opt for staycations and pub visits this summer

With costs rising on foreign holidays and high temperatures this summer, Brits are looking to holiday closer to home and enjoy the Great British Pub as part of their staycation this summer.

As almost 50% of international tourists choose to visit a pub on their trips to the UK, pubs are showcasing their international draw to UK holidaymakers with diverse food menus, newly renovated accommodation and great British hospitality. The call from pubs comes as data shows that the average cost of a family holiday abroad has rocketed over the past few months, with everything from car hire to accommodation rising in price.

Even before the pandemic struck, pubs across the UK were a hugely popular destination of choice for UK holiday makers. In 2019 Brits took 1.7bn day visits, 50 million of which were to a pub, generating £2billion for the economy each year.

Kevin Georgel, Chief Executive of St Austell Brewery, which owns over 170 pubs across the Westcountry, said: ‘People can see the pub as a place for a pint and nothing else, but that couldn’t be further from reality. We’re really proud to serve our beers in our pubs, but we’re also proud to offer menus teeming with locally sourced ingredients and classic Westcountry fare, in stunning locations that need to be seen to be believed.

‘Over the past two years, we’ve really invested in our accommodation for overnight guests too. If people are travelling a few hours, by car or train, we want to make it easy and enjoyable for them to make the most of their staycation and give them a memorable experience. There are so many elements which make Great British Pubs the perfect boltholes for relaxing and exploring new areas across the UK.’

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: ‘We’re all feeling the pinch at the moment with rising costs all around us, but us Brits don’t need to spend money on travelling far, because we are lucky to have a world-renowned cultural institution on our doorstep.

‘We’re encouraging people to get out and explore the UK, and head for pubs not only for a pint but to eat and stay as well. And if you need some inspiration on where to go stayinapub.co.uk showcases pubs with accommodation in beauty spots across the country, from the highlands to the Cornish coast.’

easyJet announces new routes and holidays for winter 2022

easyJet has recently added three new routes to its UK network for winter 2022, with packages from easyJet holidays also available.

The new winter services are to some of Europe’s favourite city, winter sun and festive destinations including London Gatwick to Porto Santo, Bristol to Rovaniemi in Finland, and Manchester to Fuerteventura.

Additionally, for next winter the airline will re-establish daily flights from Liverpool to Paris, flights six times a week from London Luton to Madrid, and a twice-weekly service from Manchester to Rovaniemi in Finland.

Further, easyJet Holidays is also offering package holidays to book for this winter on all the new and returning routes, with a range of holiday types available from adult and family to luxury and undiscovered. All easyJet holidays include flights, accommodation, 23kg of hold luggage and transfers on winter breaks.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said: ‘We’re delighted to be adding new routes and resuming more services across our UK network for this winter, offering our customers more choice to enjoy an even greater range of destinations at fantastic low fares, across our unrivalled European network.’

Flights are on sale on easyJet.com or via the app with fares now available from £22.99 one-way, including taxes and based on two people on the same booking. Package holidays are available from £192 per person through easyJet holidays.

SWISS announces new service to Bristol from Zurich from February 2023

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is expanding its portfolio of destinations for the coming winter season with a new service to Bristol in Southern England, served from Zurich.

Bristol will be served once weekly starting from February 4, 2023. The new service will be operated with SWISS Airbus A220 equipment and the Embraer E190 aircraft of wet-lease partner Helvetic Airways.

‘Given this summer’s difficult operating situation throughout Europe’s air transport sector, we are focusing on further stabilizing our SWISS services in the coming winter schedules,’ said Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. ‘In doing so, we’ll be offering our customers a range of flights that’s actually more extensive than it was before the pandemic. In Europe in particular we’re providing an attractive choice of destinations for the colder season. At the same time, though, we’ve been conservative in our planning and have reduced our flight programme by a number of frequencies, to ensure that we can keep our schedules as stable as possible.’

Rupert Lawrie, Commercial Director, Bristol Airport said: ‘We are delighted with the announcement of SWISS offering customers their first ever direct service between Zurich and Bristol commencing February 2023. This is a major milestone in our business recovery in welcoming a new scheduled airline to Bristol Airport and shows consumer confidence is returning after the Covid impact the aviation industry has suffered in recent years. We look forward to working with SWISS and developing this important route in the future.’

The 2022/23 SWISS winter schedules are now available on www.swiss.com. The winter timetable period runs from October 30, 2022 to March 26, 2023.

Virgin Atlantic announces new daily service to Tampa, Florida

Virgin Atlantic has announced its transatlantic expansion with a new direct route from London Heathrow to Tampa, launching on November 3, 2022.

The new year-round Florida service will initially fly four times a week before increasing to daily from November 28. This latest addition follows the airline’s launch of direct flights between London and Austin, Texas in May 2022.

Tampa is known for its rich history and culture as well as being the home of the Superbowl winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ice hockey legends, Tampa Bay Lightning. With year-round beautiful weather and stunning Gulf Coast beaches, Tampa is a perfect gateway to Florida’s top attractions with the popular theme parks of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens all within easy reach.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘We are delighted to continue our expansion in the US with this new daily service to Tampa, Florida offering even more choice for customers on both sides of the Atlantic to connect between the US and the UK.

‘Florida is very much a firm favourite for our customers ever since our first flight to Miami back in 1986. With the popular theme parks and the stunning beaches of St Pete and Clearwater within easy reach, we know it’s an area our customers will love to explore.’

‘The region has a booming economy with high profile businesses moving to the area and many budding entrepreneurs registering start-ups in the city. We very much look forward to forging new relationships within the Tampa Bay community and cannot wait to welcome customers, both existing and new onboard, flying them safely to explore this exciting region.’

Joe Lopano, Chief Executive Officer at Tampa International Airport commented: ‘We at Tampa International Airport are thrilled to offer our first-ever nonstop route to Heathrow and launch this new partnership with Virgin Atlantic. Not only does this create another Tampa-London option for our leisure travellers, but there’s a huge upside for our thriving business community to now have a direct connection to the world’s premier business airport. We expect this to be a popular route during what we know will be a very busy winter travel season at TPA.’

Offering more than 190,000 seats each year, Virgin Atlantic will be the only airline to directly connect the Tampa Bay region with London’s hub airport, London Heathrow.

Flights are on sale from Wednesday July 13th at www.virginatlantic.com with return Economy fares starting from £436 per person, Premium from £937 per person and Upper Class from £2,256 per person.

Gatwick Airport announces new Hanoi route, operated by Bamboo Airways

Gatwick Airport has announced the addition of a new Hanoi route this autumn, operated by Bamboo Airways allowing passengers across London and the South-East to fly to the Vietnamese capital city.

From Hanoi, passengers will also be able to connect onwards with Bamboo Airways to destinations across Vietnam, as well as Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taipei.

Bamboo is one of several new airlines introduced to Gatwick in recent months. Passengers travelling on Bamboo’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft will have three classes of travel to choose from, including premium economy and business class flatbeds.

The service will initially fly once per week from 29 October, and Gatwick passengers will now be able to book direct flights to six destinations across Asia, including Dubai (Emirates), Bangkok and Singapore (Scoot), Doha (Qatar Airways and British Airways) and Islamabad (British Airways).

Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport said: ‘The arrival of Bamboo Airways at Gatwick provides a very welcome addition to our operation.

‘In the past 10 months, we have been able to significantly grow our connections across North America, so to also be able to continue to expand our routes across Asia is fantastic news for both leisure travellers and business passengers throughout London and the South-East.

‘Vietnam is a wonderful country, offering a wealth of beautiful sights including stunning beaches, national parks, temples and vibrant streets and night markets, so we are delighted Gatwick passengers can now connect to its capital city and beyond so easily, via Bamboo’s excellent network.’

Hoang Ngoc Thach, Deputy Chief Commercial Officer, Bamboo Airways said: ‘The nonstop Hanoi – Gatwick route is Bamboo Airways’ next effort in serving UK market in particular and Europe in general. We hope the sense of hospitality and international 5-star oriented services bearing Vietnam footprint of Bamboo Airways will win European passengers’ hearts as well as Vietnamese diaspora in the UK.’

The new service to Hanoi means passengers can now travel to 40 long-haul destinations from Gatwick, across the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

Jet2 expands services to Dalaman from London Stansted Airport

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, the UK leisure and holiday operator, has announced the expansion of flight services and package holidays to Dalaman from London Stansted Airport as the companies celebrate five years of service on the route.

When Jet2.com and Jet2holidays first launched flights and holidays to Dalaman from London Stansted Airport, the companies operated up to two weekly flights from the base to the Turkish sunshine.

With demand for flights and holidays to Dalaman increasing, Jet2.com and Jet2holiays have since expanded their Dalaman programme from London Stansted Airport to up to 12 weekly flights for Summer 22, with daily flights available and twice-daily services on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘We are delighted to be celebrating five years of operating our award-winning flights and package holidays to Dalaman from London Stansted Airport today. During this time, Dalaman has proved extremely popular, and we have seen strong demand from customers and independent travel agents in the South West looking to enjoy this Turkish hotspot. To meet with this demand, we have continued to expand our offering and have a huge programme on sale to Dalaman from London Stansted for Summer 22, giving customers and independent travel agents unrivalled choice when it comes to enjoying a holiday with our award-winning airline and tour operator. In addition to looking back over the years, we are also using today’s celebrations as an opportunity to look towards the future with confidence and positivity. We are extremely proud to have reached this important milestone and look forward to continuing to take many more happy holidaymakers to this destination for years to come.’

With the expansion, Jet2 has over 110,000 seats on sale for Summer 22 from London Stansted Airport to Dalaman, representing a capacity increase of over 1,000 percent compared to Summer 2017.

In addition to a choice of thousands of 2-5 star hotels through Jet2holidays, customers can take advantage of tens of thousands of Free Child Places this summer. The company has recently added a Free Child Place onto every single flight departing from the UK in June, July and August 2022.

Jet2 announces flights to Bodrum, Turkey

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, the leading leisure airline and UK’s leading tour operator, have announced the start of their Summer 23 season to Bodrum, with flights operating from the beginning of April from Birmingham, Manchester and London Stansted Airports for the first time.

The additional services mean Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are operating up to seven weekly services to Bodrum from the three London bases during April 2023.

Stretching from Turkey’s southwest coast into the Aegean Sea, Bodrum is situated amongst crumbling ruins, beautiful bays and yacht-filled marinas and provides the perfect blend of age-old tradition and modern attractions. A favourite for holidaymakers seeking sunshine, the region has retained its authentic side, with traditional Turkish cuisine and incredible ancient ruins at Bodrum’s heart.

The addition of these new flights, as well as a choice of hotels that are available to book from early-April onwards, comes in response to customers looking to grab a slice of early summer sun. Hotels on sale include the four-star family favourite Bodrum Holiday Resort & Spa, the four-star Maxeria Blue Didyma, the four-star Parkim Ayaz as well as the four-star Very Chic, amongst others.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘We are delighted to be bringing forward the start of the Summer season to Bodrum and offering flights and holidays to this popular destination from April 2023 from Birmingham, Manchester and London Stansted Airports. The earlier start to the season has been done in conjunction with our partners in Turkey who we have worked hard with to make this happen and is a result of a successful partnership. By working in conjunction with the Turkish government, hoteliers and our partners, we are able to extend the season to Bodrum by offering flights and holidays from the beginning of April for the first time ever and providing customers and independent travel agents with even greater choice when it comes to escaping the April showers. With a fantastic selection of hotels on sale too, we know this April programme will be enormously popular.’

Director of GoTurkiye office in London; Arzu Yilmaz, said: ‘Bodrum has long been popular with British visitors, and we are delighted with this vote of confidence by Jet2.com and Jet2holidays in one of Turkiye’s leading destinations. We welcome the additional flights they will be operating, and are confident they will prove popular with those seeking some early summer sun.’

Bournemouth Airport announces new year-round flights to Malta

Bournemouth Airport has announced the launch of year-round flights to the Mediterranean island of Malta starting July 2, with flights operated by Ryanair.

The latest addition to the airport’s schedule, the new twice-weekly flights with Ryanair follow the start of a new service to Zadar on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast two weeks ago.

Announcing the launch of its Malta services earlier this year, Ryanair’s Marketing Director, Dara Brady had said: ‘As Europe’s no. 1 airline, Ryanair is delighted to announce an exciting new Summer’22 route to Malta which will operate twice weekly starting this July.’

Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: ‘Malta is a very popular destination and we’re delighted to see its return from Bournemouth with Ryanair. We’re committed to increasing connectivity and it means our passengers have even more travel options this summer.’

With the new service, Ryanair has 17 routes from Bournemouth, with more than half operating year-round. Ryanair’s routes from Bournemouth include: Spain (Alicante, Girona (Barcelona), Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Malaga, Majorca, Murcia, Tenerife), Ireland (Dublin), Hungary (Budapest), Poland (Krakow and Wroclaw), Portugal (Faro and Lisbon), Croatia (Zadar), France (Bergerac) and Malta.

With the new flights, in total Bournemouth Airport is offering 34 destinations in 17 countries for 2022/23.

Cardiff Airport resumes service to Belfast with Aer Lingus

Cardiff Airport has announced the resumption of flights to the key UK domestic destination of Belfast in Northern Ireland, with services from Aer Lingus and its partner Emerald Airlines.

Emerald Airlines, the exclusive Aer Lingus Regional operator, will link the two capital cities five times weekly starting from July 7. Flights will operate Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, are now on sale and available to book at aerlingus.com, with fares starting from £39.99.

The key attractions of the City of Belfast include the recently opened Game of Thrones Studio Tour in nearby Banbridge, the Titanic Belfast and the natural beauty of the Giant’s Causeway near Coleraine. The Emerald Airlines opened its base at Belfast City earlier this year.

‘Thanks a million to Emerald Airlines for announcing that it will restart the critical connection between Cardiff and Belfast under the Aer Lingus banner,’ said Marc Watkins, Aviation Development Manager at Cardiff Airport. ‘It’s great that our customers looking to fly between Wales and Northern Ireland no longer have to travel via England. The schedule and days of the week that flights are being operated are fantastic – whether you’re catching up with friends and relatives, needing to travel between the two cities for work, or for tourists visiting Belfast to enjoy the craic.’

Commenting on the announcement, Ciaran Smith, Head of Commercial at Emerald Airlines said: ‘As we near the peak summer months, the launch of our Cardiff services will provide those travelling to Belfast with more choice when planning their holidays. When quick getaways are on the top of everyone’s mind, we are offering convenient timings and low fares, increasing connectivity to and from Northern Ireland.

We are extremely pleased with the feedback we have received since beginning our operations from Belfast City Airport and believe Cardiff is a great new connection that will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient and cost-effective flights to the Northern Irish capital.’

Southampton Airport announces new Belfast City route with Emerald Airlines

Southampton Airport has announced the introduction of a brand new carrier as Emerald Airlines is starting a new service to Belfast City Airport.

Operating under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, Emerald Airlines will operate daily flights from July 7, linking Hampshire’s airport directly to the heart of the Northern Irish capital.

Christopher Tibbett, Head of Airline Relations for Southampton Airport said: ‘We are really pleased that Aer Lingus Regional partner Emerald Airlines will now operate flights to Belfast City.

‘The airport is just a five-minute journey from the city centre, which makes it the best option for business and leisure travellers looking for a speedy and convenient commute between the south coast and the Northern Irish Capital.’

Ciaran Smith, Head of Commercial at Emerald Airlines said: ‘As the peak summer months are fast approaching, the launch of our Southampton services will provide those travelling to Belfast with even more choice when planning their holidays. When quick getaways are on the top of everyone’s mind, we are offering convenient timings and low fares, increasing connectivity to and from Northern Ireland.

‘We are extremely pleased with the feedback we have received since beginning our operations from Belfast City Airport and believe Southampton is another great new connection that will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient and cost-effective flights to the Northern Irish capital.’

Aer Lingus Regional flights will be operated by the ATR72-600, the latest generation of turboprop aircraft that emit up to 40% less CO2 on short, regional flights.

Customers who book onto these routes operated by Emerald Airlines through www.ba.com or www.aerlingus.com can also earn and spend Avios and Tier points as part of British Airways’ Executive Club and Aer Lingus’ AerClub programme.