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.

EasyJet to introduce new flights from Belfast to Jersey and Bordeaux

Budget airline EasyJet has announced the launch of two new routes from Belfast to the Channel Islands and to France.

Starting summer 2014, easyJet, Northern Ireland’s largest airline, will introduce new flights to Jersey in the Channel Islands and Bordeaux in south west France. There is currently no direct flight from Northern Ireland to the Channel Islands. Seats for both routes go on sale next month.

The announcement marks the carrier’s 15th anniversary at Belfast International Airport (BIA) on September 9. Besides announcing the two new routes, easyJet staged a water arch salute for arriving aircraft as part of its celebrations.

‘Since we launched our first flight to Belfast in 1998 over 32 million people have chosen to fly with us,’ said Ali Gayward, the airline’s head in Northern Ireland, adding: ‘Belfast was one of our first bases outside Luton and we look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries here.’

According to John Doran, BIA managing director, the no-frills airline carries more passengers into and out of Northern Ireland than any other.
‘One of the main reasons for their success is that easyJet provides low fares to the destinations to which both business and leisure passengers want to travel,’ Doran said.

‘It was not uncommon in the mid-90s to be charged fares of over GBP300 to travel between Northern Ireland and significant UK cities such as Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol. EasyJet singularly changed all of that, as well as adding direct access to European cities from Belfast, and for that alone the Northern Ireland public owe them a huge debt of gratitude,’ he added.

Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive of Visit Belfast, said: ‘In continually investing in its services from Belfast International Airport, easyJet has played a pivotal role in assisting us in our strategic efforts to drive this tourism growth over this period and I would like to pay tribute to its longstanding commitment to Belfast and for its contribution to the city’s tourism success.

We wish easyJet continued success and we look forward to greeting thousands more visitors over the years to come.’

EasyJet has six aircraft based permanently at Belfast International Airport and employs over 200 crew and pilots there. More than three million people fly to and from the Belfast hub with easyJet annually.

Crystal Cruises to offer Belfast and Berlin excursions

Crystal Cruises, a Japan-owned cruise ship company with its headquarters in Los Angeles, USA, is to offer two new excursions this summer on its Northern European itinerary.

The company is adding outings to Belfast and Berlin to the portfolio of ‘Boutique Adventures’ that it has on offer. The tours are claimed to be unique to Crystal and to include access to exclusive venues in the two cities. The excursions will comprise a maximum of 15 guests and will take place during 5 voyages on the company’s ship, Crystal Serenity, between June and August this year.

The Belfast excursion will include a behind the scenes look at Northern Ireland’s seat of power, Stormont Castle. The visit will be followed by lunch with members of Northern Ireland’s assembly at a 19th century manor and working farm. It is on offer to guests aboard the August 26, 7-day Dublin to London British Isles cruise.

The Berlin excursion will be of particular interest to film buffs. It will take them from the port of Warnemunde to Berlin, accompanied by a local film expert who will point out locations in the city that have been used for films including The Bourne Supremacy and Run, Lola Run. Guests will then be taken to the Red Room inside Berlin’s members-only Soho House, for a champagne party and a private screening of One, Two, Three, a Billy Wilder film. The excursion is available on 10-day Baltic sailings from Copenhagen to Stockholm, on departure dates June 15 and 25, and July 20 and 30.

All inclusive cruise rates commence from $4,145, and excursion prices vary.

easyjet to Expand Services from Belfast to Birmingham

easyJet, the UK based airline, is increasing its flights between Belfast International Airport and Birmingham, in keeping with an increase in demand.

The airline is offering a second Sunday flight from Belfast to Birmingham, which will be added to the airline schedule from March 31, 2013. The airfares for the new flights are currently on sale at www.easyJet.com, with prices commencing from £22.99 one way.

The service to Birmingham from Belfast was only launched from October 28, 2012, and around 14,000 passengers have flown on the route since then.

Ali Gayward, the airline head for Northern Ireland, said, ‘We only launched our Birmingham route in October and due to an overwhelming demand for affordable fares, we are delighted to announce the doubling of our Sunday flights. This additional frequency will see an increase from 12 to 13 flights per week.

Our aim has always been to make travel easy and affordable and we’re delighted to be able to show further commitment to Northern Ireland by responding to demand and adding the extra service.

Sunday is a strong travelling day for both business commuters and people on weekend breaks, therefore doubling our Sunday offering will give our passengers further choice in flight times at affordable prices.

Earlier this month easyJet introduced allocated seating on all Belfast flights from 27 November. This, along with our Flexi fares reinforces easyJet’s position as Belfast’s leading airline for business passengers.’

The airline had earlier announced its allocated seating initiative on all flights from November 27, 2012, and the service will be available on all new and expanded routes.

The allocated seating includes a priority boarding system against a payment of a minimum of £3 per person. Passengers that purchase Speedy Boarding will be the first to board the airplane, followed by passengers requiring special assistance and families. All other passengers will only board the aircraft after these groups have embarked.