Eastern Airways to restart Cardiff-Belfast route in January

Eastern Airways is set to introduce its first ever service from Cardiff Airport to Belfast City Airport in January, as Wales regains its air service connection to Northern Ireland.

The UK-based regional airline will commence services from January 11, 2021 between the two cities, which will be the only air service linking Wales with Ireland, and is a former route operated by Flybe. The airline will operate daily weekday and a Sunday service, with fares starting from £79.99 one-way, including taxes and charges. The flights are now available to book at www.easternairways.com and include 15kg of hold baggage.

Roger Hage, General Manager Commercial & Operations for Eastern Airways, said: ‘The introduction of a Belfast City service from Cardiff is one so many have been asking for so connectivity between Wales and Northern Ireland is in-place as the appetite for travel increases. Eastern Airways is all about supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places, so adding further services at hubs we already serve is another crucial part in the economic recovery and prosperity of Wales and Northern Ireland.’

Spencer Birns, Interim CEO at Cardiff Airport said: ‘Today’s announcement is a hugely positive step and we are delighted that Eastern Airways has stepped in to re-instate a regular service between Cardiff and Belfast, offering vital connectivity between Wales and Northern Ireland.

‘Belfast has been one of our most in-demand routes since Flybe entered administration for both customers travelling for work, or to visit friends and family. We’d like to thank Eastern Airways for their continued confidence in regional connectivity from Cardiff.’

Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, added: ‘Today’s announcement that Belfast City Airport will once again operate flights to Cardiff is not only a positive development for the airport itself, but also extremely welcome news for passengers who regularly travel to Wales..

‘Despite the challenging aviation environment of recent months, we continued exploring options to secure connectivity with the Welsh capital, and we’re very happy that our partner Eastern Airways has committed to this service.’

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays expands capacity to Corfu, Kos, Rhodes and Madeira for October

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, the UK-based travel and holiday company, has said that they have expanded their services for October, by adding more flights to Corfu, Kos, Rhodes and Madeira – an addition of over 70 new flights.

The company has added flights to four destinations that are all experiencing increased demand during October, representing over 13,000 additional seats. The new flights added include: the addition of over 25 additional flights to Rhodes, with extra flying from Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle and London Stansted; 20 additional flights to Kos, with extra flying from Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle; over 15 additional flights to Corfu, with extra flying from East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle; and nine additional flights to Madeira (Funchal), with extra services added from Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: ‘There has been a significant spike in demand to Corfu, Kos, Rhodes and Madeira and, as ever, we are the first to step in and meet that demand so that holidaymakers can travel to the places where they want to be. Customers are telling us loud and clear that they want to escape the gloom and enjoy a well-earned break, and we know these extra flights will book up very quickly.

‘With great choice and value, not to mention our award-winning customer service and industry-leading response to recent events, customers know that they can trust us to look after them and deliver a fantastic experience so that they can enjoy a lovely holiday.’

Jet 2 has measures in place for the safety and well-being of customers and employees, including HEPA filters on aircraft, onboard cleaning and compulsory face masks throughout the flight.

To assure customers further, the company also launched a 5* Defaqto rated insurance product, which includes added Covid-19 cover for cancellations and medical claims abroad, as well as cover for travel to destinations where the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises ‘against all but essential travel’ as a result of Covid-19.

Wizz Air announces two new Romanian routes

Wizz Air, a European low-cost airline based in Hungary, has announced two new routes from Iasi and Craiova to Birmingham in Great Britain, starting from October 23 and 24, 2020.

The flights from Iasi, Romania to Birmingham will commence on October 23 and be operated twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday, while flights from Craiova to Birmingham will start on October 24 and will be available on Tuesday and Saturday. This is the second route from Craiova to Great Britain and the eight in the WIZZ network from Craiova, while from Iasi the new service is the third connection to Great Britain, taking the entire network of routes from Iasi to 20.

Paulina Gosk, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are delighted to add two new routes from Iasi and Craiova to Birmingham, while keeping ourselves to the highest standards of our sanitizing protocols. Thanks to implemented health and safety measures for passengers and crew on board, travelling with Wizz Air remains worry-free experience matched with low and attractive fares. Our dedicated crew looks forward to welcoming each WIZZ passenger with a smile on board of our young fleet.’

Tickets are available on wizzair.com or the WIZZ mobile app, with fares starting from EUR19.99, one-way, including administration fee and one carry-on bag. Trolley bag and each piece of checked-in baggage will be subject to additional fees.

Passengers who choose Birmingham as an accessible destination in the Wizz Air network can add WIZZ Flex to their booking. This allows passengers to rebook any Wizz Air flight of their choice, in case of any change of plan to travel on a different date, or to a different destination.

British Airways launches daily flights from London Heathrow to Bermuda

British Airways has said that it will operate daily flights from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Bermuda, starting from March 28, 2021.

The flights will depart from London Heathrow at 14:55, landing in Bermuda at 18:25. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200, which will soon feature the airline’s new Club Suite. Tickets are now on sale, with return fares from £510.

Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda’s islands boast fantastic reefs for scuba diving or snorkelling, along with luxury accommodation options selected by British Airways Holidays. This will be the first time the airline has flown from London Heathrow to Bermuda since 1989.

BA’s Director of Network and Alliances, Neil Chernoff, said: ‘We are delighted to launch flights from Heathrow to Bermuda. This is the first time we have flown to Bermuda from London’s biggest airport for over three decades. We look forward to welcoming customers to experience our world class facilities at Heathrow Terminal 5.

‘Whether our customers are travelling on business, visiting friends and family or taking a holiday, Bermuda is now even more accessible from the UK’s largest airport – a gateway for many of our destinations worldwide.’

‘We are delighted to continue our partnership with British Airways, an airline connecting Bermuda to London for more than 85 years’, confirmed Bermuda’s Minister of Transport the Hon. Neville Tyrrell. ‘The island’s leading industry groups see clear benefits for international business and tourism as a result of this decision, which should prove pivotal in the island’s pandemic recovery.’

British Airways has introduced a range of measures to keep its customers safe and is asking customers to abide by the new measures to help manage the wellness of everyone travelling. These include checking-in online, observing social distancing and using hand sanitisers placed throughout airports; wearing a facemask at all times, asking customers not to travel if they think they have any symptoms of Covid-19; mandatory PPE for cabin crew and a new food service, and asking customers to carry their necessities in hand luggage before departure, and where possible, storing their carry-on bag under the seat in front of them.

Ryanair announces new route to Oradea, Romania from London Stansted

Ryanair, the Irish low fares airline, has announced a new London Stansted route to Oradea in Romania, with a twice weekly service commencing in December 2020, as part of Ryanair’s London Stansted Winter 2020 and Summer 2021 schedules.

British consumers and visitors can now book a getaway to Oradea until October 2021.

Alongside the announcement, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from £14.99, for travel until the end of January, which must be booked by midnight Thursday (October 1) on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Director of Commercial Jason Mc Guinness said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to launch a new London Stansted route to Oradea (Romania), commencing in December, which will operate twice weekly as part of our London Stansted Winter 2020 and Summer 2021 schedules. Customers in London can now book flights to Oradea as far out as October 2021.

‘To celebrate this new Oradea route, we are launching a seat sale with fares available from just £14.99, for travel until the end of January 2021, which must be booked by midnight Thursday (1 Oct). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

Last week, Ryanair announced that it will open a new base at Paris Beauvais, from December 3, 2020, with two based aircraft and 32 routes, including one from Manchester.

easyJet holidays to provide further customer protection on holidays

As holidaymakers demand increased security and flexibility, easyJet holidays has launched its new Protection Promise, providing protection in the event of travel disruptions amid Covid-19 risks.

According to new research, more than 33 million Brits have had their holiday plans disrupted this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, while more than half (53%) of Brits are only willing to book a holiday abroad if they feel confident their money is protected. However, despite ongoing travel restrictions, a report from easyJet holidays into consumer travel trends has revealed that almost a quarter (24%) of Brits plan to still go on holiday abroad in the next three months, rising to 37% in the start of next year. Almost two in five (38%) are even willing to quarantine for two weeks on their return in order to get away, with just over one in five (21%) saying that not having a holiday or break away has affected their mood.

In response these consumer needs, easyJet holidays is launching its new Protection Promise, a guarantee of flexibility and protection for customers. The new, long-term customer policy is in addition to the short-term commitments the company has in place to support customers’ bookings impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included a promise to cancel any holidays where there is a known quarantine or self-isolation requirement in the destination and any customer refunds have been processed in an average of 12 days.

Matt Callaghan, Customer Director at easyJet holidays, said, ‘Consumer confidence in booking a holiday abroad has taken a huge hit this year and travellers have different priorities so at easyJet holidays we know, given the restrictions continue to change, we must adapt to this new reality. That’s why we’re launching our new Protection Promise, setting a benchmark for customer flexibility in the industry and encouraging travellers to book their holidays with the reassurance that if things change they are protected. And this isn’t a short-term move, this is a fundamental change to what customers can expect whenever they book with easyJet holidays.’

The report from easyJet holidays also revealed that COVID-19 has made Brits reconsider their priorities, four in ten (40%) proactively look for destinations that have a low rate of infection, while three in ten (31%) said they now prefer self-catering or self-contained holidays.

easyJet holidays’ Protection Promise offers customers: a Refund Guarantee in the event of a change of travel plans, offering a full refund, including their deposit in credit, up to 28 days before departure and free of fees; a chance to pay for their holiday in instalments with no fees and only pay in full 28 days before they travel, Best Price Guarantee; Freedom to Change until 28 days before departure and ensure a return of deposit, if plans change, up to 28 days from departure.

Blue Islands launch extended summer schedule

Blue Islands has recently extended its on-sale schedule for next summer to cover the whole of the summer school holiday period for 2021.

With the extension, Channel Islanders can now plan and book their travel choosing the airline’s Blue Plus fare which includes flexibility, seat choice and a two-suitcase allowance as standard.

In Summer 2021 Blue Islands will operate direct services from Jersey to Southampton, Birmingham, East Midlands, Bristol, Exeter, Newquay and Guernsey. Southampton and Guernsey will be served up to five times a day, with twice a day services in the peak season to Birmingham. Services to Bristol, Exeter and East Midlands will fly daily; and Newquay will operate three times a week.

The airline will increase services from Guernsey to up to five times a day on both Guernsey to Southampton and the Inter-Island service to Jersey.

Commenting on the extension and additional flights for summer 2021, Rob Veron, Blue Islands CEO, said: ‘The latest schedule release means that flights are on sale through to the end of the school summer holidays in 2021. Customers can now plan and book next summer’s holiday, securing great fares by booking early. You can also make reservations with confidence in the knowledge of flexibility when choosing our Blue Plus fares where there are no change fees (although fare difference may apply) plus 2 x 23kg hold luggage, complimentary seat selection and double frequent flyer points. And finally, you will also be booking with the island’s only home-based carrier airline that also has the financial support of the Government of Jersey. We are looking forward to once-again serving Jersey and Guernsey with high-frequency flights.’

Prices start from under £50.00 one-way, including hold luggage. In addition to direct destinations, Blue Islands now offers connecting services on its network and via its codeshare partner Loganair; to Dublin, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Ryanair launches new Leeds Route to Vilnius, Lithuania

Ryanair, the Ireland-based low fares airline, has announced a new Leeds route to Vilnius, flying three times per week from October 26, 2020 as part of Ryanair’s British Winter 2020 schedule.

With the announcement, British travellers and tourists can book a winter getaway to Vilnius until March 2021, with a new set of health measures introduced by Ryanair. As part of the announcement, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from £19.99, for travel from October 26 until December 2020, which must be booked by midnight Thursday 24th September on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Director of Commercial Jason McGuinness said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to launch a new Leeds route to Vilnius, from 26th October 2020, which will operate 3 times every week as part of our British Winter 2020 schedule. Customers in Leeds can now book flights to Vilnius as far out as March 2021.

‘To celebrate this new route, we are launching a seat sale with fares available from just £19.99, for travel from now until December 2020, which must be booked by midnight Thursday (24th September). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

The new route at Leeds comes after Ryanair announced on September 15 that it would add more flights from Liverpool to Vilnius. In response to increased customer demand from both British and Lithuanian consumers, Ryanair will now fly three times weekly (+1) from Liverpool to Vilnius from October 25 as part of its Winter 2020 schedule.

Further, Ryanair said that it will extend the waiving of its flight change fee for all customers who book to travel in October and November 2020, offering more flexibly in case of any change in travel plans.

Virgin Atlantic announces flight services to Pakistan from London Heathrow and Manchester

Virgin Atlantic has said that it is launching flights to Pakistan from London Heathrow and Manchester.

Subject to applicable regulatory approvals, the UK airline will fly three new routes from London Heathrow to Lahore, London Heathrow to Islamabad, as well as from Manchester to Islamabad. The new services will operate on one of Virgin Atlantic’s newest, most fuel efficient aircraft, the 787-9, boasting 31 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium and 192 Economy seats. The flights are on sale now with return Economy fares starting from £504 per person, Premium from £756 and Upper Class from £1,986.

The new services include Manchester to Islamabad operated four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) starting on December 10 2020, with return economy fares starting from £562 per person, Premium from £779, and Upper Class from £2,051; London Heathrow to Lahore, operated four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday) starting on December 13 2020, with return economy fares start from £519 per person, Premium from £756 and Upper Class from £1,986; and London Heathrow to Islamabad, operated three times a week (Mon, Wed, Sat) starting on December 12, 2020, with return economy fares start from £504 per person, Premium from £756 and Upper Class from £1,986.

These new services will open up over 290,000 seats between the UK and Pakistan annually while also offering connections for customers travelling from destinations throughout North America, including New York JFK, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston and San Francisco via London Heathrow onwards to Pakistan. Connections from European destinations will also be available through code-share and interline partners.

Aer Lingus Regional announces new service to Belfast city from Birmingham

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, has announced the launch of its new route from Birmingham to Belfast.

Starting September 14, the airline will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport. Flights from Birmingham to Belfast start from £29.99 one way including taxes and are on sale now at www.aerlingus.com. Stobart Air will also now base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City Airport.

Aer Lingus Regional currently operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that Stobart Air has given customers the chance to fly to Belfast City Airport again direct from Birmingham Airport. This much needed domestic route comes under the Common Travel Area, ensuring customers can move easily and freely between England and Northern Ireland. The convenience of this route will appeal to both business and leisure customers needing direct access to the Emerald Isle.’

Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: ‘We are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City Airport and to work closely with Birmingham Airport, Belfast City Airport and our partners Aer Lingus to operate flights to and from Birmingham.

‘Stobart Air has worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline during challenging times and to position us for the future. The launch of this service is part of that.

‘This new Aer Lingus Regional route will facilitate key links and connectivity between these cities and ensure we provide choice, value and convenience for our customers. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this Birmingham-Belfast route from today.’

In accordance with the guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air has implemented enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers from the risks of Covid 19.