Norwegian announces million seats in summer 2020 schedule from London to USA

Norwegian has announced the release of more than one million seats to the USA, in launching its summer 2020 flight schedule.

Consumers planning next year’s summer holidays can now book nonstop flights from London Gatwick to nine US cities including Boston, New York, Orlando, Tampa, Denver, Miami, Austin, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Tickets, with fares starting from £157 one way, are available to book at

Matthew Wood, SVP Long-Haul Commercial at Norwegian said: ‘Brits love a bargain which is why we are giving consumers plenty of time to start planning next year’s summer holidays with early access to our lowest fares to the USA.

‘We will be releasing more flights in phases that make up the rest of our summer 2020 flight schedule but until then, we recommend that consumers book early to secure the best fares and their preferred seats on board our modern environmentally-friendly aircraft to the USA’s top cities.’

Norwegian is a low-cost European transatlantic carrier. The flights are operated using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with free Wi-Fi.

Norwegian added that it will release the remainder of its summer 2020 programme in phases over the coming weeks. The airline currently operates more flights to the USA than any other carrier from London Gatwick and is the only carrier serving Brazil and Argentina nonstop from the airport.

Norwegian also announced the launch of a new ‘gate-to-gate’ Wi-Fi which gives passengers access to the airline’s Wi-Fi network as soon as they step on board the aircraft. Customers travelling on any route across Norwegian’s global network will now be able to stay connected for the entire duration of the flight.

Thomas Cook to launch new US route from Manchester

Thomas Cook Airlines, one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, has announced direct flights from Manchester to San Francisco, as part of expanding its long-haul offering and its US network.

The San Francisco route joins flights to Los Angeles and Boston launched in 2016, and New York and Miami in 2015. In addition to the new route, the airline has increased frequencies to Los Angeles from two to three flights per week, while Boston services has been increased from two to four flights per week. Thomas Cook’s agreements with partner carriers also enable customers to connect to around 90 North American and Caribbean cities.

The new direct flights to San Francisco from Manchester Airport will start on May 14, 2017 with departures from Manchester on Thursdays and Sunday. Economy seats are available from £489.98 return for economy and £689.98 Premium class.

Thomas Cook’s chief airlines officer, Christoph Debus, said: ‘It’s never been so easy for our customers to reach top US destinations. With seven direct US routes from Manchester, five of which we have launched in the last 3 years, we’re making good progress with our strategy to grow our long-haul network.’

‘It’s also great news for the North of England as not only can passengers reach the stunning scenery of Northern California direct, they are also connected with the booming business hub of Silicon Valley.’

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: ‘We are pleased that Thomas Cook Airlines continues to grow from Manchester Airport and look forward to working closely with them in future as they expand further.

‘The addition of a new San Francisco service and increased frequency on the existing Los Angeles and Boston routes means there will be more than 2.2m seats on sale between Manchester and the States in the coming year.

‘That represents growth of more than 25% over two years, with more seats added at Manchester than at any of the other top 25 airports in Europe, cementing our position as the global gateway for the North.’

The expansion in US services comes as passenger numbers to the US on Thomas Cook’s UK airline have more than trebled in the last two years. Almost one million Thomas Cook customers will have travelled to the US from across Europe during the winter and summer seasons this year – an increase of 40 per cent year-on-year, the airline said.

Thomas Cook Airlines will also launch London Gatwick-Cape Town flights in December 2016, while its sister airline, Condor, has expanded its direct flight to the US from Germany in the last two years to include Austin, Portland, New Orleans and San Diego, it added.

Aer Lingus offers Bristol passengers fast track to Washington via Dublin

Aer Lingus Regional has announced plans allowing its Bristol-based passengers to fast track their journey to the United States through Dublin.

As part of the new transatlantic strategy, starting May 1, 2015 passengers flying out of Bristol Airport will be able to travel by Aer Lingus to Washington-Dulles Airport via the Dublin Airport transatlantic hub.

With the new pre-clearance at Dublin Airport, operated by US Customs and Border staff, Bristol passengers travelling to North America via Aer Lingus Regional can save up to two hours at security checks as they will be treated similarly to domestic passengers. Aer Lingus Regional is operated by Stobart Air.

Simon Fagan, Chief Commercial Officer at Stobart Air, said: ‘We are very pleased to continue facilitating our Bristol-based customers with alternative routes to the United States. This service is designed to save passengers from Bristol time on their transatlantic travel. Now local business and leisure passengers can travel to the American capital of Washington with greater speed and ease.’

Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted with this announcement. Washington is mentioned time and time again by passengers as a required destination to be added to the Bristol Airport route network. This is great news, particularly for defence-related industries in the region and the benefits of US pre-clearance via the Dublin transatlantic hub, saving passengers time on arrival in America.’

Across Europe, Ireland is the only country to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to destinations in the United States. The Dublin-Washington route will operate four times weekly. Passengers will be able to fly in the airline’s newly launched Business Class, featuring reclining sleeper seats.

Effective from summer 2015, Aer Lingus will also operate daily flights from Dublin to San Francisco and four weekly flights from Dublin to Orlando, offering increased flexibility for passengers travelling from Bristol.


The Hunger Games set to increase tourism

It’s one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year and comes from the best selling books its not surprising that The Hunger Games is set to provide a major tourism increase in North Carolina.

The movie, which took $155m (£98m) in its opening weekend in the US, focues on a post-apocalyptic world where teenagers are forced to fight to the death which was filmed entirely on the American State.

This is the first book from the trilogy to be made into a film, the books written by Suzanne Collins’ were brought to life in North Carolina.

Asheville forest became the backdrop for much of the film, and locations such as an abandoned town and the city of Charlotte have also been used in the filming.

The abandoned Henry River Mill Village near Hildebran was the setting for the hometown of the main characters, named District 12. Many buildings remain is this deserted town, but the mill burned town in 1977 – the property’s 83-year-old owner as received lots of attention since the filming began.

Mr Shepherd told Associated Press: ‘I’m getting too many visitors. Day and night, they’re driving through, taking pictures, getting out and walking. I’m just bombarded with people.’

The local tourism industry has been quick to jump on the movies success, offering special hotel packages, guided tours and tutorials in survival.

The state’s official tourism website has created a four-day self-guided tour for fans, which includes visits to Charlotte, Hildebran, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Shelby.

A company solely created to offer tours for fans has also popped up, Hunger Games Fan Tours, offering day and weekend long trips based around the movie.

The end of the weekend experience sees tourists take part in an enactment of the Hunger Games, however the games see participants receive prizes at the end rather than being killed.

The end of an era: say goodbye to the famous NYC taxi

The classic New York yellow taxicab is being phased out.Making way for the modern and more comfortable Nissan mini van.This new addition to the New York city image is far less cool than the iconic yellow taxi, which have featured in many classic movies over the past century.From Breakfast at Tiffany’s staring Audrey Hepburn to Taxi Driver featuring Robert De Niro, the classic taxi has been an iconic of New York for a century.

Classic New York Hotels

Nothing can compare to New York hotels. From rooftop gardens to superior personal service and palatial rooms, New York hotels are the standard hotels are judged by. They seamlessly blend respect for personal privacy with a commitment to providing the most pleasure possible. ‘What you want, when you want it, the way you want it ‘ seems to be the guiding principle behind good New York hotels. The best chefs in the world work in New York hotels. Each night you can choose from several gastronomic masterpieces and the best late night libations. The city that never sleeps has set the bar very high with the quality of its hotels.

The name Waldorf Astoria conjures up images of class, culture, comfort, quality and luxury. It was the first hotel to offer room service and it continues to be an industry leader in meeting the needs of its guests. It combines old world charm and attention to detail with all the latest amenities and conveniences to create the world’s most prestigious hotel. Period furniture, handmade rugs and indulgent beds and bathrooms compliment immense beautiful rooms.

Kings, queens, world leaders, movie stars and captains of industry have found rest in its spectacular rooms. Ex-President Herbert Hoover and General Douglas Macarthur both lived at the Waldorf Astoria. Bertie Charles Forbes, (Forbes Magazine), Marilyn Monroe, Cole Porter and Linda Lee all lived in the Waldorf Astoria. Frank Costello, Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano lived there too.

The Hudson Hotel New York is a gem often overlooked among New York hotels. The Hudson Hotel New York is an upscale boutique hotel that is adventurous in concept, bold in design and imminently affordable. Opened in 2000 the Hudson Hotel New York draws on all the influences, cultures and styles in this great metropolis to be at once avant-garde and familiar. What is familiar is the high quality of service, superb meals, immaculate, comfortable rooms and stunning views of the park.

The Hudson Bar was an instant success, drawing the city’s best and brightest with its minimalist style, quality drinks and great atmosphere. Its use of modern furniture styles in soft, rich tones serves to relax the guests while their staff fulfills their every wish.

The Waldorf-Astoria and the Hudson Hotel New York epitomize the range of establishments the city has to offer. They continue to ensure that New York hotels are the best and most innovative in the world.

Virgin Holidays has been arranging holidays since 1985 and are the largest, most successful transatlantic tour operator, and market leader for travel to the USA and the Caribbean.