British Airways announces new route to Alicante from London City

British Airways has announced plans to launch a new leisure service to Alicante from London City Airport this summer.

The new flights to the popular holiday destination on Spain’s Costa Blanca will operate four times a week for 10 weeks from the end of June.

The new Alicante route will be the seventh Spanish route for British Airways at London City, where already operates flights to Madrid, Malaga, Palma, Ibiza and Menorca. In addition it also operates services to Granada, which is the only direct air-link from the UK to the Andalucian airport.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, London City, said: ‘The Spanish Costas are still one of the most sought after holiday destinations for British holiday makers and our new service means they can travel from the heart of London to Alicante in just two and a half hours.’

With the launch of the new service, British Airways will serve 33 destinations direct from the Docklands, where the airline is also launching new services to Berlin and Hamburg this summer.

During July and August, British Airways will offer over 170,000 leisure seats to Europe from London City, 40,000 more than last summer, and will operate extra 433 flights. The busiest days are expected to see more than 20 leisure flights a day.

British Airways will add a new 98-seat Embraer 190 jet at London City in June, which will be the 20th Embraer aircraft to join its fleet there. All British Airways flights include a choice of two cabins, Club Europe and Eurotraveller, complimentary refreshments and drinks on board and no debit card charges, the airline said.

British Airways adds new German routes from London City Airport

British Airways has announced plans to expand its German network and aircraft fleet at London City Airport this summer with two new routes and an additional Embraer 190 jet.

As per the plan, the British airline will launch new thrice-a-day flights to both Berlin and Hamburg. Together with the existing services to Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, the airline will operate more than 70 flights each week to Germany direct from the Docklands.

This is the first time that British Airways has operated to Berlin from London City. The new route will commence on June 19 on an Embraer jet and each way hand baggage only fares are available from GBP49. While Hamburg is currently served by British Airways’ franchise partner SunAir, starting May 8 British Airways will serve the route using larger Saab 2000 aircraft, more than doubling the number of seats available. Each way hand baggage only fares are available from GBP79.

The new 98-seat aircraft, which will arrive in June, will be the 20th Embraer to join the British Airways fleet at London City, and will create 20 new jobs at the airport as well as additional roles for the companies that supply the airline.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer, London City, said: ‘Germany is a very important market for us and these new routes give both our business and leisure customers a much wider choice of destinations with a well-timed schedule. As the largest airline operating at London City we are giving customers what they want, excellent network and frequencies, a choice of 32 destinations in the UK, Europe and the USA and low all-inclusive fares.

‘We are also delighted to take delivery of our 20th Embraer, an aircraft which is very popular with our customers for its comfort, style and low noise and emissions levels.’

With the extra routes, British Airways will have its busiest ever summer at London City Airport where it will operate over half the flights. The airline has recently announced more seats to European holiday hotspots this summer from Heathrow (to Athens, Lisbon and Gibraltar) and from Gatwick (to Tenerife, Lanzarote and Funchal).

 

British Airways announces new summer schedule from Heathrow and Gatwick

British Airways has expanded its services from both Heathrow and Gatwick, offering more seats to European holiday destinations this summer.

During the peak summer season, from May to September, the British airline will operate one additional flight a week to Athens and Lisbon from Heathrow and two additional weekly flights to Gibraltar. Holiday-makers looking for a break to the Cote d’Azur will benefit from the schedule to Nice, with the airline adding five flights a week to the French coastal city.

Customers flying from Gatwick can benefit from the extra weekly flights to Tenerife, Lanzarote and Funchal.

Commenting on the new additions, Lynne Embleton, British Airways’ director of strategy and managing director Gatwick, said: ‘More flights to favourite holiday destinations is fantastic news for families wanting to get away for some summer sun. We’ve added extra flights to Canary Island favourites Tenerife and Lanzarote and to Funchal, adding up to a great summer schedule offering a brilliant choice for customers who need a summer break to the best destinations.’

As part of its expanded summer schedule, British Airways Holidays is offering holiday packages to Verona, for travel between May 1 – May 31; Tenerife for travel between May 1 to June 8; Lanzarote for travel from June 2 to June 30; Dubrovnik – for travel between May 1 to May 31; Funchal for travel between June 1 to June 30; and Athens, Gibraltar and Lisbon for travel between May 1 to May 31. Tickets are available for booking until March 31, at ba.com.

This year, British Airways will also be introducing 18 new routes, including four new long-haul services to San Jose, Lima, Costa Rica and Tehran. The new ‘sunshine spots’ include Mahon, Palermo, Biarritz, Chania and Kalamata from Heathrow, Bergerac from London City and Ibiza, Malaga and Palma from Stansted.

All British Airways flights include baggage allowance, free online check-in and seat selection 24 hours prior to departure as well as complimentary in-flight refreshments.

Passengers travelling on short-haul services can also benefit from hand baggage only fares, family travellers can board first, while children on flights longer than two hours will receive a complimentary Skyflyer activity pack, the airline said.

British Airways offers direct flights from London to Lima

British Airways has announced the launch of direct flights from London to the capital city of Lima starting summer 2016, bringing back South America on its route map.

Starting May 4, 2016, the thrice weekly service from Gatwick will operate a three-cabin British Airways Boeing 777, offering holiday-makers and business travellers the only direct flights between London and Lima.

During the summer months the three flights will depart on Wednesday from Gatwick at 13:50, arriving in Lima at 20:25; while on Friday and Sunday, flights will depart Gatwick at 11:55 and arrive in Lima at 18:30. From October 30, 2016, the twice-weekly winter flights will depart on Wednesday and Sunday, leaving Gatwick at 10:15 on a Tuesday and landing in Lima at 17:55.

Lynne Embleton, British Airways’ managing director at Gatwick, said: ‘With the world-famous Inca Trail and the incredible citadel of Machu Picchu, there’s nowhere quite like Peru. Its rich cultural heritage makes it one of the most popular places in South America to visit and explore.

‘It is great to be the only airline to offer direct services between London and Peru. Lima is a fantastic gateway to some of the most dramatic places to visit in South America and will also provide a new link for British business seeking to invest in Peru’s growing market.’

Year-round prices start from £765 for those flying in World Traveller, £1,185 in World Traveller Plus and £2,549 for those in fully-flat Club World seats. All fares are inclusive of taxes and charges.

Lima is the latest destination offered by British Airways, following the introduction of Costa Rica from Gatwick earlier this month. Other new holiday routes started by British Airways from Gatwick this year include Cagliari, Madeira and Seville, with flights set to start soon to Sharm El Sheikh, Valencia and Vienna, the airline said in a recent release.

 

British Airways adds more flights between Dublin and London City

British Airways is planning to add a sixth daily service between London City and Dublin to benefit both business and leisure customers.

Just six months ago British Airways launched the new route direct from the Docklands to the heart of Ireland. The new flights between the major capital cities – London and Dublin – are aimed at increasing choice for customers, who presently fly from Heathrow to the Irish capital with British Airways up to eight times a day.

Presently British Airways has an aircraft based in Dublin overnight for an early morning departure, allowing customers to do a full day’s business in London or to connect onward to British Airways’ 29 domestic, European and international destinations from the Docklands airport. The schedule also allows passengers to do a full day’s business in Dublin.

Starting June 1, an extra weekday service will be added for a month, which will resume permanently from September 1. It will depart from London City at 2.40 pm with the return flight from Dublin at 5.15 pm. The single hand-baggage only fares start from £45 and are available to book on ba.com/londoncity.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ commercial general manager at London City, said: ‘We are very pleased with our customers’ response to this important new route and delighted to have the opportunity to add an extra frequency so soon giving customers more choice and flexibility. Our current schedule allows us to operate the extra flight in June, which is a particularly busy month, then we will add the additional frequency permanently from September.’

The extra new flight will operate on a 98-seat Embraer 190 jet. All British Airways fares include free seat allocation and on line check-in 24 hours before departure, complimentary refreshments and drinks and no debit card charges.

Separately, British Airways has said recently that customers flying between London City Airport and Edinburgh, Dublin and the Isle of Man could collect double Avios points during the months of April and May.

British Airways prepares for busy Easter break; over 700,000 passengers expected

British Airways is expecting to see almost 700,000 people travel around the world on its flights during the 2015 Easter break set to start next week.

Starting Thursday April 2, families and holidaymakers are expected to travel to destinations of their choice across the globe for a pleasurable getaway. The single busiest day for travel will be Monday, April 6, with 142,000 people set to fly with British Airways. More than 135,000 people are expected to travel with the airline on Sunday, April 12 to return home.

The top long-haul destinations for travellers this Easter are mainly to the US, with New York in the lead, followed by Los Angeles and Miami, with strong bookings also to Hong Kong and Boston. Other popular long haul destinations include Johannesburg, San Francisco, Cape Town, Dubai and Tel Aviv, the airline said.

Edinburgh is the top choice for short-haul travellers, followed by Barcelona, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Rome. Other favourites include Geneva, Manchester, Nice, Madrid and Berlin.

Stephen Humphreys, British Airways’ head of UK&I sales, said: ‘Like many parents, I’d like a break away with the children to shake off the last of the winter weather and recharge by soaking up some much needed sun before the onset of spring. Fortunately there are some brilliant deals still on offer from British Airways Holidays to exciting city destinations like New York, Paris and Milan.’

British Airways offers priority boarding for those travelling with children. Skyflyer activity packs are also available to keep children engaged and entertained. Child meals can be pre-ordered with British Airways’ ‘feed families first’ policy.

The getaway packages offered by the British Airways include: three nights at the Doubletree by Hilton Metropolitan – New York City, from £899 per person, travelling on April 3; two nights at Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile from £229 per person, for travel between March 28 and April 12, 2015; two nights at Aspect Hotel Parkwest, Dublin from £119 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015; two nights at Innside Berlin from £159 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015; and two nights at Raffaello from £149 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015.

Etihad Holidays launches services in UK

Etihad Holidays, a division of Etihad Airways, has said that it is planning to launch in the UK as it seeks to serve the increasing leisure travel demand to Abu Dhabi, one of its key global markets, Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Etihad Holidays’ first venture outside the Middle East, the UK service reflects its expertise in providing customers with the ideal package of accommodation, excursions, transfers and Etihad Airways flights.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: ‘Etihad Holidays has expanded considerably in our home market and regionally, with popular retail centres across the UAE and preferred distribution partnerships in the Middle East. It is a proud moment to now take our established Holidays brand internationally to further boost growing tourism numbers into Abu Dhabi and the UAE and to ensure a growing market can benefit from our attractive range of packages.’

‘Etihad Airways has a strong customer base in the UK, using our three times a day service from Heathrow and double daily from Manchester as well as regions served by our codeshare partners, so international expansion of our Holidays operation to this market makes perfect sense,’ he added.

Etihad Holidays offers an extensive range of packages in the UAE, as the airline seeks to attract more business and leisure travellers to Abu Dhabi and the other emirates. The new operation provides fully secure and dynamic online booking of holiday packages and exclusive offers at the new website, www.etihadholidays.co.uk.

Prospective UK travellers can now book packages at a full range of hotels in Abu Dhabi city, Saadiyat Island, and Yas Island, with a comprehensive range of tours and excursions including desert safaris, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, as well as boat and ferry trips.

In addition to holidays in the UAE, Etihad also offers its UK customers more than 300 breaks in China, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

British unable to locate their holiday destination on a map

Millions of British holidaymakers who book summer trips overseas have no idea where their holiday destination is located on the map, or where exactly they are going, according to new research by British Airways Holidays.

According to the research conducted on 2,000 people who travelled out of the country for their holiday last year, over a quarter of those who travelled to Spain do not know where it is on the map. Many survey respondents selected an assortment of other countries, but not Spain, with France being the most commonly chosen error.

Respondents also commonly chose France when asked to locate Germany and Greece, which 22 percent and 29 percent of them failed to place. The Netherlands was another destination that caused confusion, as 36 percent of people who holidayed there chose Denmark as its location.

Around 53 percent of the travellers who went to Cyprus chose mainland Greece when asked to pinpoint their destination. And, over 30 percent of adults who travelled to Portugal failed to place its location on the map, opting again for France. Brits are even perplexed with the position of Ireland; a disappointing 24 percent of those who visited the UK’s neighbouring country last year thought that they were in the UK or Spain instead.

‘This research shows people are going to all the effort of booking themselves a lovely holiday abroad, and yet so many have absolutely no idea of where they are actually going,’ said Claire Bentley, the spokeswoman for British Airways Holidays, which carried out the research by asking holidaymakers to pinpoint where they went on a map of Europe. ‘It is surprising to think that people are prepared to spend their hard earned wages on a holiday, without researching something as important as its location. We know that cost and temperature is often the most important factor for adults wanting to book a holiday, but 23 percent of our respondents admitted they would never think to look at where it is on the map before booking.’