Monarch Airlines offers new Hurghada route from Birmingham

Monarch Airlines, a UK-based scheduled leisure airline, has announced plans to launch a route to Hurghada on Egypt’s Red Sea coast from Birmingham Airport, UK, for the summer of 2014.

The brand new route will operate a twice-weekly service (Tuesday and Friday) from Birmingham Airport starting May 2, 2014, and flights are available to book now with fares starting from £150.49 one way.

An international centre for aquatic sports and known as a party town, particularly among Europeans, Hurghada has grown to become the most visited tourist destination in Egypt, with more than 100 hotels and first-class snorkelling and diving opportunities, as well as windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing and swimming.

‘We are delighted to be able to offer this further expansion of our route network,’ said Kevin George, managing director of Monarch Airlines. ‘The addition of this new destination offers a wider range of quality, service and value and I am certain it will become an established favourite with our passengers.’

William Pearson, aviation development director for Birmingham Airport, added: ‘The launch of this new service to Hurghada with Monarch is great news for Midlanders, who can now fly to this popular year-round sunshine destination from their local airport. We’re delighted that the airline has continued to expand its route network from Birmingham, where it is now one of our largest airlines.’

A British airline based at Luton Airport, Monarch Airlines operates scheduled flights to destinations in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, with additional charter services to Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, India and Africa. Owned by Globus Travel Group, the airline also has bases at Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, Gatwick and Manchester airports.

Birmingham Airport receives BS OHSAS 18001 health and safety certification

The UK’s Birmingham Airport (BHX) has received the BS OHSAS 18001 certification, the international standard for occupational health and safety management.

The UKAS accredited certification body, ISOQAR, part of the Alcumus Group, has conducted the audit and assessment for certification. The BS OHSAS 18001 certification verifies that the airport has structured processes to manage and mitigate health & safety risks across its diverse operations. The certification further confirms BHX’s commitment to assuring the safety and welfare of its 500-plus employees and the nine million passengers who use the airport annually.

The health and safety risks at BHX include incidents from aircraft turn-round activities, hazards associated with baggage handling, risks of personnel working at height and within confined spaces, machinery and plant equipment as well passenger slips, trips and other incidents within the airport premises.

BHX’ compliance with the OHSAS standard will help in the reduction of accidents and incidents, improved reporting of risk assessments, reduced risk of legal claims and penalties and improve its reputation as a responsible employer and service provider.

Nikki Samme, director of Group Marketing at Alcumus Group, said: ‘By formalising processes and systems in line with this internationally recognised standard, BHX is outwardly showcasing its commitment to continual improvement. I highly commend the team’s engagement and drive to achieving certification to this standard within such a demanding time frame of just eight months.’

Russel Drakeley, Health & Safety manager at BHX said: ‘The achievement of BS OHSAS 18001 certification builds upon our existing best practice management processes and our commitment to protecting people within such a potentially hazardous environment. The focus on employee engagement, common goals and effective communication has cemented the ‘one team’ ethos shared by our staff in maintaining our impressive safety record.’

The accreditation comes as Birmingham Airport celebrates a major milestone. Over the past year, nine million people have passed through its doors, making use of its world-class facilities and growing network of flights. BHX also enjoyed the second busiest month in its history in August 2013, handling over one million passengers, and recorded the busiest day of the year so far on August 23, with 36,781 people passing through the terminal.

BHX is also looking to evolve its management system to meet the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management).

Flybe Announces New Route from Birmingham

Flybe, a UK-based airline company, has launched its newest service from Birmingham Airport in the UK.

The airline is offering daily weekday flights to Lyon in France from May 1, 2013, the flight will be operated by a new 88-seat Embraer 175 jet aircraft.

Simon Lilley, the airline director of marketing, said, ‘Flybe is committed to developing its route network out of Birmingham. We have every confidence that this additional new service will prove successful in offering an attractive and affordable way for travellers to access this major business and popular leisure destination.

Our new weekday service to Lyon will further complement our already extensive schedule to and from Birmingham Airport that now features a total of 23 routes and a total choice of up to 598 flights each week. Flybe aims to ‘Make flying better’ for its customers and we look forward to welcoming our first Lyon passengers on board our new jet service in May.’

The airline is offering special introductory fares from £39.99 one way on the new route, which may be booked online.

The airline is also offering a New Economy fare bundle for a package price, which includes seat fares, as well as add-on benefits of 10kg hand bag allowance, a complimentary standard sized hold bag, complimentary advance seat selection at time of booking and a complimentary itinerary change.

The airline company has previously announced job cuts as it struggles to improve its financial situation.

As a part of the financial restructuring plan, the airline intends to reduce its workforce in the UK by around 10 percent, which may result in the jobs of around 300 employees being cut. The majority of the redundancies will be at the airline’s hubs in Exeter, Manchester and Newcastle.

Monarch Airlines announces new development at Birmingham Airport

Monarch Airlines, a UK-based airline with its main headquarters at London Luton Airport, has announced major construction work at Birmingham Airport in the West Midlands.

The airline has said that it will create up to 300 jobs at Birmingham Airport with the development of a new hangar and engineering facility that is large enough to accommodate two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, or ten narrow body aircraft. It has also said that there is the likelihood of the project creating a further 150 jobs at a later stage.

The company currently has five bases at airports in the UK, and operates flights from Manchester, Birmingham, London Luton, Gatwick, East Midlands and, from March 23, 2013, it will have a sixth base with the commencement of operations at Leeds Bradford. The East Midland operation is also a recent addition to the company’s operational base, with the company stepping in to operate some of the routes previously flown by Bmibaby, which ceased its operations at the airport when the company closed on September 9, 2012.

Monarch offers cheap and last minute flights to destinations in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, and offers charter services to Europe, the Caribbean, India, Africa and the United States.

Since the company commenced operations in April 1968, it has grown its workforce to a present day level of around 3,000 employees, and carried approximately 5.9 million passengers in 2011.

Monarch Airlines intends its new hangar at Birmingham Airport to be finished and operational by the end of 2013.

Birmingham Airport Operations Back To Normal After Aircraft Skid

Birmingham Airport operations are back to normal after an aircraft skidded off the runway on September 21, 2012.

The Monarch Airlines aircraft, ZB467, from Nice veered off the runaway on Friday and came to a halt with all of its 135 passengers and crew unharmed, while taxiing to the terminal.

The airport was closed straight away after the incident, initially for emergency services offered to the affected crew and passengers onboard the Boeing 737-300, but later was opened to regular passengers.

The airport statement said, ‘Passengers left the aircraft by the steps; no one was hurt. The airport is open with flights arriving and departing. Some departing flights may still be subject to delay. Passengers should contact the airline directly.’

The aircraft was being operated by Aurela Airlines, under a charter agreement with Monarch Airlines.

The Monarch Airlines statement on its website later reported, ‘It is understood that the flight operating on an Aurela Boeing 737-300 aircraft registration LY-SKA with 135 passengers onboard left the runway whilst taxiing to the terminal, bringing the aircraft to a stop. Passengers safely disembarked from the aircraft and were coached to the terminal where they were cared for by Monarch Airlines staff. At this time we understand that no passengers or crew have sustained any injuries.

Monarch apologizes to all passengers on-board and is offering them all possible assistance. Monarch is working with Birmingham Airport to move the aircraft and is fully assisting with the authorities. As a standard precaution emergency services attended the aircraft.

We have suspended the use of Aurela Airlines who we had been using on a temporary basis to provide extra flights for the late summer period.’

Several passengers on the flight have reported that there was no panic at the scene, and ‘It was all very British’, as was reported in the Daily Mail’s news website.

Monarch Airlines Announces New Winter Service from UK Airports

Monarch Airlines, a UK-based airline company, will be launching twelve new routes for winter 2012 from Leeds Bradford International Airport, in the UK.

The company is planning to offer new routes to ski destinations including Grenoble airport in France, the Friedrichshafen and Munich airports in Germany, and to tourist resort destinations including Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

The new services include flights from London Gatwick Airport to Friedrichshafen, Funchal (Madeira), and Munich; from Manchester Airport to Friedrichshafen, Grenoble, and Munich; from Birmingham Airport to Funchal (Madeira), Grenoble, and Munich; and more routes planned to Sharm el Sheikh Airport on Egypt’s Red Sea.

Kevin George, the airport managing director, said, ‘The launch of these routes for winter 2012/13 marks an exciting new era for Monarch as we introduce our first programme of scheduled ski flights and target a new customer base of skiers looking to fly to Grenoble, Friedrichshafen, Munich as well as via our numerous Italian destinations. The network will also be further strengthened by the addition of services from Leeds Bradford International Airport, which will be launching this winter, and we are delighted to be able to bring our high levels of care and service to customers travelling from West Yorkshire in the future.

This news comes on the back of our announcement last week regarding Monarch’s expansion in the Midlands through the introduction of additional frequencies and routes from Birmingham Airport, and the launch of a new base at East Midlands Airport from late summer 2012. The addition of expanded services in the Midlands, combined with 12 new winter routes will add almost one million seats to the Monarch programme over the next 12 months and supports our growth plans for the airline over the coming years.’

Birmingham Airport Displays Olympic Rings

Birmingham Airport, located close to the city of Birmingham in England, is displaying the Olympic Rings on its Air Traffic Control Tower in celebration of the London 2012 Games.

The airport is the first in the UK to display the Olympic symbol on its premises. The unveiling of the rings was accompanied by an evening of performances from a string quartet from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project, Dance Sansaar, a local Punjabi folk arts group.

The airport has also installed special decor, which includes displayed pictograms representing the Olympic and Paralympic sports.

Two sets of Olympic Rings are located to either side of the Air Traffic Control Tower, and are visible to all visitors flying in, as well as being visible from the adjacent main road that runs between Coventry and Birmingham.

Paul Kehoe, the airport chief executive officer, said, ‘The Olympic Games are for the entire country, not just London. Every visitor, passengers and passer-by will see our welcome spectacular, and we’re really proud to be part of such a historic occasion.

Both the Jamaican and US Olympic Track and Field teams are training in Birmingham prior to the Games, and the neighbouring city of Coventry will host several football matches.

The Midlands region will have a big role to play during the Olympic and Paralympic Games so we want everyone flying into Birmingham for the occasion, whether they’re athletes, spectators, officials or member of the world’s media, to have a special welcome.’

Deadly weapons seized at airport

THESE are just some of the fearsome weapons seized by customs officials at the UK’s borders from holidaymakers who bizarrely thought they could bring them back into country as souvenirs.

The chilling collection of knives, knuckle dusters and imitation firearms were on display at Birmingham Airport on Thursday.

And UK Border Agency officers say most of the weapons are brought in to the country by unwitting Brits looking for unusual souvenirs.

But they risk prosecution by doing so.

Even if the items are brought in to the country innocently, passengers could fall foul of strict laws governing weapons possession.

Among the  deadly discoveries were butterfly knives,  police batons and a stungun disguised as a torch.

Many holidaymakers are caught out because the weapons are freely available to buy in foreign countries.

Items from Bulgaria and Turkey accounted for a large percentage of the 230 weapons seized since June.

And weapons purchased as souvenirs from market stalls in Eastern Mediterranean countries also featured in the bumper crop of offensive items.

But items from further  afield, such as a lethal-looking pair of machetes, had also been seized.

Alex Lawther,  assistant director for the UK Border Agency in the Midlands, said: “Most of these items are freely available on sale at the market in Bulgaria, Turkey, Cyprus and parts of the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Many people mistakenly think they can bring one home as a souvenir.

“Those caught trying to smuggle these dangerous weapons into the country or simply unaware of the controls in place should be warned that these weapons will be found and taken off them and they could face prosecution.”

Even if there is no criminal intent, Mr Lawther said that the deadly weapons could fall in to the wrong hands.

He said: “The weapons get more and more sophisticated, some of them are really vicious and could have terrible consequences.”

Mr Lawther said that weapons are often brought in by young people, unbeknownst to their parents.

He said: “A lot of the time when you find one it’s in an adolescent’s suitcase.

“They’re often surprised when we find it, but there has been the occasional argument with a parent who claims it’s just a souvenir.”

Confiscated weapons are either sent to a special warehouse to be disposed of, while some are put on display at the UKBA’s ‘Seized’ museum in Liverpool.

From 1 April 2010 until 31 March 2011, 2,477 offensive weapons were seized from people travelling through UK ports.