Jet2 announces more flights to Canaries from Belfast International Airport

The UK-based travel and holiday company Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has announced more seats and holidays for Summer 2020 in the Canary Islands from Belfast International Airport in response to extra demand from Northern Ireland holidaymakers.

Jet2 said that it has added 10,000 departing seats to Tenerife and around 10,000 departing seats to Lanzarote. The latest expansion would mean that nearly 130,000 seats will be on sale to the Canary Islands from Belfast International Airport in Summer 2020, an increase of 33 percent on Summer 19.

With 11 weekly flights to the Canary Islands, the expansion includes additional weekly Monday services to Tenerife from May through to October, as Jet2 will operate up to four weekly services to Tenerife during this period. An additional Tuesday service will be added to Lanzarote from May through to October, offering up to three weekly flights to this popular Canary Islands hotspot.

In addition to the services to Lanzarote and Tenerife, Jet2 will also offer two weekly services to both Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura from Belfast International Airport for Summer 2020.

Other key highlights on Jet2’s Summer 2020 programme include: over 50 departing weekly flights during peak periods, increased seats to sunshine favourites Palma (Majorca), Malaga, Malta and Reus (Costa Dorada); weekly services to Antalya and Izmir on top of twice weekly services to Dalaman, Turkey.

Further, over 10,000 seats will be on sale to Cyprus, weekly services will be operated to the Greek sun spots in Crete (Heraklion), Rhodes or Zante, increased choice and flexibility to hotspots such as Costa de Almeria, Alicante, Girona (Costa Brava), Ibiza and Menorca; up to five weekly services to Faro (Algarve, with flights on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; services every Sunday to Naples, from April until November; and a weekly Tuesday service to Bourgas (Bulgaria) operating on larger aircraft.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘We have responded quickly to extra demand for flights and holidays to Tenerife and Lanzarote, by adding more of our award-winning flights and ATOL protected package holidays for Summer 20 from Belfast International Airport. This means holidaymakers in the region now have even more choice and flexibility when it comes to getting some summer sun.’

Loganair announces new Carlisle route to Belfast

Loganair has announced plans to commence a new service from George Best Belfast City Airport to Carlisle Lake District Airport starting July 2019, an online report said.

The Belfast – Carlisle route will operate five flights per week on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting July 4, 2019. The service will be operated on a 33 seat Saab 340 aircraft.

Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, said: ‘There is significant demand from both business and leisure passengers in Northern Ireland for an affordable air link to the Lake District and southern Scotland, and we are therefore delighted to welcome both a new route and a new airline.

‘The route will connect the local market with major businesses in Cumbria and provide a gateway to the stunning Lake District.

‘The Loganair service will accommodate affordable and convenient access to the region whilst being of strategic importance to Belfast City Airport where developing our route network remains a primary aim.’
Kay Ryan, Commercial Director at Loganair said:’ We’re extremely pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale linking Belfast City Airport and Carlisle Lake District.

‘With journey times of less than one hour, the Lake District is a fantastic holiday destination so the schedule is designed to offer flexibility when choosing travel plans. Equally, we anticipate strong interest from passengers in Carlisle and the Scottish Borderlands eager to spend time in Northern Ireland.

‘The region’s economy is also thriving, and this new route provides the opportunity to do business in Carlisle’s lucrative engineering, manufacturing and logistics industries.’

Flights can now be booked at www.loganair.co.uk with one way fares starting at £39.99, including taxes and charges as well as a 20kg checked baggage allowance, the report said.

Jurys Inn transforms Belfast city hotel for enhanced customer service

Jurys Inn has completed a GBP9.1m major renovation programme at its Belfast city hotel.

As part of the programme, Jurys Inn Belfast completed major bedroom and public area upgrades, including a new look bar and restaurant and improvements to the check-in experience.

The hotel received an 80-bedroom extension, increasing hotel capacity by 42 percent with the hotel now offering 270 bedrooms in total. The new bedrooms have each been decorated with an individual wall mural of iconic Northern Ireland landmarks. All bedrooms now feature the exclusive Dream bed by Jurys Inn, and also include a flat screen TV, large workspace with an ergonomic chair, en suite bathroom, complimentary toiletries and more. Upgraded technology has also been introduced to the bedrooms, allowing for contactless key card entry.

Ryan Foster, General Manager of Jurys Inn Belfast, said: ‘We’re very excited to announce the completion of our refurbishment following a massive £9.1 million investment. We have completely transformed the hotel while also adding a brand new 80 bedroom extension. We look forward to welcoming guests and locals alike, and hope they love the hotel’s new look as much as we do. Whether it’s for a weekend away or a business trip, we’re certain you will find everything you need here at Jurys Inn Belfast.’

The hotel’s new-look bar and restaurant offers contemporary dining. ‘The Kitchen’ menu includes a wide range of food options served throughout the day ranging from artisan pizzas and burgers to steaks and salads. Guests can enjoy a rich, freshly brewed coffee from the hotel’s all-day Costa Coffee bar.

The hotel’s lobby, restaurant and bar areas have been refurbished to offer new decor with contemporary furnishings. Further, new self-check-in kiosks and a new connectivity area have also been introduced to the hotel lobby. Guests can now easily set-up their laptops in the area to work remotely, while availing of the hotel’s complimentary high-speed WiFi. The lobby area has also been revamped with a brand new ‘Off the Shelf’ shop that stocks a selection of drinks, snacks and travel necessities.

easyJet to operate three new routes from Belfast in winter

easyJet is planning to commence flight services on three new routes – Fuerteventura, Prague and Salzburg – from Belfast for this winter, according to a report by Irish News.

easyJet’s new service to Fuerteventura will commence on October 31, 2018. Flights will operate on an A320 aircraft twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with fares starting from £26.70 one way per person. The new flights to Prague will commence on October 29, 2018, and will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays on an A319 aircraft, with fares starting from £24.68 one way per person. The new flights to Salzburg start on December 13, 2018. They will operate twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays on an A320 aircraft with fares starting from £24.68 one way per person. The new services will go on sale from July 12, 2018.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘As Northern Ireland’s largest airline we are pleased to further strengthen our network at Belfast with these three new routes which we believe will prove popular additions to our existing network.

‘We have operated flights to and from Belfast International Airport for over eighteen years and remain committed to expansion at the Airport. In support of this, last month we based an additional aircraft at the airport enabling us to deliver long term, sustainable growth and provide passengers with a greater range of destinations, all with low fares and great service.’

In June, easyJet has announced the expansion of its Belfast base with the addition of a third A320 aircraft – its sixth aircraft – to be positioned at the airline’s Northern Ireland base. Alongside the expansion, easyJet had also announced the launch of new routes to join easyJet’s Belfast network with first flights to the Isle of Man, Venice Naples and Valencia.

The airline currently operates up to 624 flights a week across 32 routes and eight percent more flights compared to summer 2017.

easyJet announces four new routes from Belfast

easyJet, one of Europe’s leading airlines, has announced the launch of four new routes on its Belfast network, with flights to the Isle of Man and Venice launched on June 22, followed by flights to Naples and Valencia on June 23, 2018.

The new easyJet flights to the Isle of Man will operate twice a week throughout the year, with fares starting from £22.66; flights to Venice will operate twice a week throughout the year, with fares starting from £27.71; flights to Naples will operate twice a week throughout the summer season, with fares starting from £18.70; and the flights to Valencia will operate twice a week throughout the summer season, with fares starting from £26.70. The fares are all one-way, including taxes and based on two people on the same booking.

easyJet also announced the expansion at its Belfast base, with the addition of a third A320 aircraft – the sixth aircraft it has at its Northern Ireland base. The 186-seat aircraft will remain based in Belfast throughout the year and joins three 156-seat Airbus A319 and two 186-seat A320 aircraft. With the introduction of the new routes, easyJet now operates up to 624 flights a week across 32 routes, with eight percent more flights compared to summer 2017.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating further expansion at Belfast Airport. The addition of another aircraft and even more routes will help us to deliver long term, sustainable growth at the base providing passengers with a greater range of destinations, all with low fares and great service.

‘Our ongoing growth demonstrates the airline’s long-term commitment to Northern Ireland, and with fares as low as GBP18.70*, that’s 37% cheaper than when we launched our first route for GBP29.99 from Belfast over 18 years ago. easyJet is the largest airline in Northern Ireland and we are proud to have carried over 55 million passengers in that time.’

Graham Keddie, Managing Director at Belfast International Airport, said: ‘Belfast International Airport welcomes the new easyJet routes to Naples, Venice, Valencia and the Isle of Man. The addition of a sixth easyJet aircraft to the five already based at the airport is a huge boost. In a year that we expect will be record-breaking for the airport, this enhances our route offering for passengers and also shows the value that easyJet places upon its operation at Belfast International Airport and the importance of the Northern Ireland market.’

Doncaster Sheffield announces new route to Belfast, return of Palma de Mallorca flights in summer

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has announced a new Flybe route to the Northern Ireland capital Belfast, adding to its range of over 40 destinations across Europe.

The new service is set to start in summer 2018. Besides tourists and holidaymakers, local businesses will also benefit from the new route. Tickets for the route are available for booking now, and the first flight will take off on June 15, 2018.

In addition to the Belfast route, Doncaster Sheffield Airport will also see the return of Palma de Mallorca flights in summer 2018. The route was introduced in July 2017, and operated through to October. A major city and seaport located in the southwest of Majorca, Palma is the capital of the Spanish island of Mallorca. The twice weekly flights will be operated from May 28 until September 24, offering customers a chance to plan a seasonal break to the Baleari island.

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director at DSA, comments: ‘We are always pleased to introduce more routes to DSA’s repertoire but know this route to Belfast is one that our customers have been keen to see and so are delighted to be able to make it a reality. Being able to extend our route to Palma de Mallorca is again through listening to our customers and ensuring we are the easy and obvious choice for their travel needs.’

Flybe Interim Chief Commercial Officer Ronnie Matheson, said: ‘We are pleased to announce an expansion to our 2018 Summer schedule from Doncaster Sheffield. The brand new route to Belfast offers a flexible schedule ideal for those who want to make a short business trip or a longer break to really see what Belfast has to offer, especially as Belfast City airport is just 10 minutes from the heart of Belfast. The return of flights to Palma de Mallorca offers a key summer holiday route for families and we look forward to welcoming everybody on-board in the summer.’

Jet2 announces new destination to Turkey from Belfast International

British travel and holiday company Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has announced a new route from Belfast International Airport for Summer 2018, with weekly flights to Dalaman in Turkey.

The new flights to Dalaman, popularly known as ‘Turquoise Coast,’ will depart every Tuesday from June 26 until September 25, 2018. Dalaman is the second new Turkish destination from the airport for next summer, with a new route to Antalya also planned.

Earlier this year, Jet2 launched its Summer 18 programme with eight new destinations. This has now increased to nine brand new destinations with the addition of Dalaman, a sought-for holiday destination for its pristine beaches and coastal scenery. Other new destinations for Summer 18 include Almeria, Crete, Madeira, Malta, Naples, Paphos and Rhodes. With the addition of the new routes, Jet2 will operate to 23 destinations from Belfast International Airport next summer. Tickets are available to book at www.jet2.com or www.jet2holidays.com.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: ‘The Dalaman region offers something for everyone thanks to its stunning coastline and beaches, its array of fabulous resorts, and its rich history. We are confident that Dalaman will be very popular with Northern Ireland holidaymakers, just as our other Turkish destination of Antalya is already proving to be. Turkey is the perfect holiday hotspot and is seeing a huge surge in popularity thanks to its great weather and culture, as well as the fantastic value it offers.

‘This latest new destination is part of our biggest ever summer programme from Belfast International Airport. Next summer we will operate to 23 destinations and increase capacity by 41%, and to support that growth we are investing in 30 new jobs and the addition of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Such success is only possible by looking after customers, and our continued focus on offering a VIP customer service, great value package holidays and family friendly flights is clearly paying off, as evidenced by the fact that Jet2holidays became the second largest tour operator in the UK just last month.’

Graham Keddie, Managing Director, BIA, said: ‘Turkey has always been a great destination from Belfast International Airport and we are confident the addition of Dalaman, alongside Antalya, will be extremely popular with local holidaymakers.’

As part of the expansion, Jet2 will add a new Boeing 737-800 aircraft to the fleet at Belfast International to support a 41 percent increase in capacity, which represents over 400,000 seats on sale for Summer 18, the company said.

Icelandair commences new Belfast- Reykjavik service

Icelandair has said that it has commenced offering a new year-round service from Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Reykjavik (KEF), starting June 1, 2017. 

The new service will operate up to three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flight time is 2:55 hours to and from George Best Belfast City Airport.

The new Belfast route is operated by Air Iceland Connect on its 72 seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft in a code sharing partnership with Icelandair, offering connections at Keflavik International Airport. The Belfast-Reykjavik flight provides connections with Icelandair’s wide network of destinations in the US and Canada.

Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, said: ‘This is a hugely exciting period for Belfast City Airport following our recent co-hosting of the Routes Europe conference, and the launch of our new three-times weekly flight to Reykjavik will help continue the positive momentum.

‘There has been strong demand for the flights since they were announced in December, with the route offering passengers an extremely convenient connection to a host of destinations in the USA and Canada, and we are confident this will continue to grow.’

‘Icelandair is proud to welcome Belfast on board as our latest UK gateway, working again in partnership with our sister airline Air Iceland Connect who will operate the service. This addition improves our connectivity and enables us to carry even more passengers to our 18 gateways across the US and Canada, via our hub in Reykjavik,’ said Birkir Holm Guonason, Icelandair CEO.

Gerry Lennon, Visit Belfast Chief Executive, added: ‘Air connectivity is critical to us welcoming more international visitors to Belfast and achieving the city’s ambition of doubling tourism spend by 2021.

‘Icelandair’s new service and extensive global network enables Visit Belfast and our tourism partners to proactively engage with potential visitors, from not only Iceland but other key markets including North America.’

Icelandair is also offering flights to a new US destination – Philadelphia – starting May 30 2017, operating four times a week from Reykjavik (KEF) to Philadelphia (PHL) until September 20, 2017. Flights from all seven UK gateways will connect to this. The airline will also begin flights to Tampa, Florida on September 7, 2017, it said.

Ryanair opens a new base at Belfast with six routes

Irish low-fares airline Ryanair has announced its plans to open a new base at Belfast International Airport, starting in March, with one based aircraft and a four times daily service to London Gatwick.

The base will expand to three aircraft with five more new routes to follow starting October 2016. With the expansion, the airline will operate 28 weekly flights, deliver over 1 million new customers p.a. and support 750 ‘on-site’ jobs at Belfast International Airport. To celebrate the opening of the new Belfast International base, the airline has announced over 100,000 seats on sale at prices from  £9.99 for travel in March, April and May, which must be booked latest today (January 11).

In Belfast, Ryanair’s David O’Brien said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to open a new base at Belfast International Airport from March, as we invest $300m, in 3 based aircraft, and a high frequency daily route to London Gatwick, and 5 other new routes from October 2016, which will deliver over 1m customers p.a. at Belfast International Airport and support 750 jobs.

‘Our 4 x daily Belfast – Gatwick service will be ideal for both business and leisure customers and we look forward to growing routes, traffic, jobs and tourism in Belfast in the coming months and years. Our customers can look forward to further improvements in the coming months, including our personalised website, with exciting new digital features such as real customer destination reviews, under our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme, as we continue to offer so much more than just the lowest fares.’

Graham Keddie, MD of Belfast International Airport said: ‘This is a significant and far-reaching announcement by Ryanair. The Gatwick slots given up by Aer Lingus as part of the IAG takeover, are being safeguarded and used for the benefit of Northern Ireland. Gatwick is growing in popularity, and it was crucial to retain them.

‘In addition, the promise of three based aircraft and 5 more new routes to be announced later in the year increases Northern Ireland’s ‘reach’ and gives Belfast International a competitive edge. This very positive news is the equivalent of a major inward investment without the strain on public finances. It will deliver thousands of new visitors and hundreds of welcome new jobs. Despite the damaging Air Passenger Duty (APD), this announcement shows Belfast International can defy the odds. Just imagine what we could achieve if the ‘yoke’ of APD were removed (as it has been in the Republic of Ireland)?’

easyJet launches mobile boarding passes at Belfast International Airport

Passengers at Belfast International Airport (BIA) will now be able to board their easyJet flight using their phone, as the airline becomes the first European carrier to introduce mobile boarding passes.

From yesterday, passengers flying from Belfast International (BIA) with easyJet will be able to download their boarding pass via the airline’s app, and scan it to access to their flight. The airport has installed special scanners at bag drop desks, security and departure gates to help expedite queues and boarding times.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s head of Northern Ireland, said: ‘We’re pleased to introduce mobile boarding passes across all easyJet flights from Belfast to make travel easier for our passengers. The service will be offered in addition to printed boarding passes and will allow customers to check in and download their pass via the easyJet app.

‘Mobile boarding passes can be saved on the easyJet app and accessed without network coverage or roaming charges wherever you are. Customers can check in for their flight as early as 30 days ahead of the departure or as little as two hours before.’

Uel Hoey, business development director, Belfast International Airport, said, ‘This is another great initiative from easyJet and with the growth of mobile devices it makes sense that this service is in place for all of easyJet’s Belfast passengers. With around 50 percent of the air travel market in Northern Ireland using easyJet we are sure passengers will welcome this new development.’

Over 100,000 passengers at Belfast International Airport are expected to download mobile boarding passes over the next year. Since the introduction of the technology in September 2013, over 2.5 million mobile boarding passes have been downloaded across Europe by easyJet customers.

Passengers using the easyJet app can also receive live information about every flight. The Flight Tracker tool enables customers to search for their departure and see real time information direct from easyJet’s Operational Control Centre.

The tool, which is also available at www.easyjet.com/en/flight-tracker, displays scheduled departure and arrival times as well as vital real time information in times of disruption.

The easyJet app enables passengers to book a flight in less than 30 seconds. Adding mobile check-in and boarding passes is claimed to make the process even quicker and more seamless.