Air India resumes six direct weekly services to India from Birmingham airport

Air India has said that it has resumed its six weekly direct flight schedule to Delhi and Amritsar on August 15 – Indian Independence Day from Birmingham Airport, following a short period of reduced frequency due to airspace restrictions.

Direct services are available three times weekly to Delhi and onwards to Amritsar each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, and three times weekly to Amritsar and onwards to Delhi each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The flights are operated by Air India’s Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’, with 18 seats in the business class cabin and 238 in economy, and customers have access to a further 42 onward destination across the Indian-subcontinent via the airline’s Delhi hub. Flight tickets to either Delhi or Amritsar can be booked at http://www.airindia.in/.

Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, Birmingham, commented: ‘The Midlands has emerged as an area of robust growth in the UK, and Birmingham is a city which is equipped with vast opportunities in both commerce and economic areas. To have direct flights operating out of Birmingham for the British-Indian community is just great and is a further step towards the UK and India collaborating to strengthen our trade and investment relationship further.’

Mr Debashis Golder, Regional Manager, Europe and UK for Air India, said: ‘The resumption of flights, coincides with India’s Independence Day making today a special day for multiple reasons. Air India is committed to not only support the region’s Indian diaspora, but also the need for direct connectivity for business travel in our business class product. Not only do we serve Delhi and Amritsar direct from Birmingham, Midlanders also have access 42 onward destination across the Indian-subcontinent via our hub in Delhi, including Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.’

Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport said: ‘Air India provides the vital connectivity for business and leisure travellers needing direct access to two of India’s most important cultural cities. There is a strong demand in the Midlands to Delhi and Amritsar, particularly for those travelling to visit family and friends in the Punjab region which is why Air India’s Birmingham operation has grown from strength to strength. We’re therefore delighted that the full schedule has resumed today, on India Independence Day.’

Air India first began operating from Birmingham Airport in 2013, with direct flights to Delhi. The airline expanded its Birmingham operation in 2018 with non-stop services to Amritsar serving the Midlands. With the resumption of this six weekly schedule, there are 3,000 seats available between India and Birmingham each week on the non-stop flights, the airport said.

easyJet announces new Glasgow route from Birmingham Airport

easyJet, the UK-based European regional airline, has said that it will introduce a new route from Birmingham Airport to Glasgow, starting in spring.

easyJet’s new domestic route will start on March 29, 2020 and will operate 13 times a week between the two cities. The flights from Birmingham to Glasgow will operate all year round.

The short flight is expected to be suitable for those travelling between the two major UK cities on business or on pleasure. easyJet expects to carry 180,000 passengers in the first year alone operating on its A319 and A320 aircraft, with the route due to go on sale in the coming weeks.

Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager, easyJet, said, ‘We’re delighted to announce a new route from Birmingham to Glasgow providing even more great value and convenient domestic connectivity for our customers. The connection of two major UK cities is great for the Midlands region and the positive benefits it will bring in supporting the UK economy.

‘This news underlines easyJet’s continued commitment to our passengers and supports our ambition of always providing a great service and low fares – and we are sure the route will be a success.’

Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport said, ‘This announcement is great news for travellers as it gives more capacity and choice between Birmingham and the popular city of Glasgow. easyJet is an incredibly strong brand that offers both great service and fares so I’m extremely pleased that the airline has chosen to expand its presence in the Midlands. We look forward to welcoming the additional 13 Glasgow services a week from March 2020.’

easyJet started flying from Birmingham in December 2007 with its route to Geneva and has since added services to Belfast.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays launches six new routes from Birmingham Airport for summer

Airline and package holiday specialist Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has announced the launch of six new routes from Birmingham Airport for this summer, including services to Bourgas, Bulgaria; Chania, Crete; Izmir, Turkey; Verona, Italy; Pula, Croatia; and Bergerac, France.

Starting May 6 until September, Jet2 will operate twice-weekly flights and holidays on Mondays and Thursdays to the Bourgas region from Birmingham Airport. With a range of 2-5 star hotels on sale, holidaymakers can soak up the Balkan sun in resorts such as Sunny Beach, Nessebar, Obzor and St Vlas.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport said: ‘Welcoming a new route to the airport is always exciting, but in this case, this is the first of six! Jet2.com and Jet2holidays’ inaugural flight to Bourgas in Bulgaria marks the start of the six new routes giving passengers the chance to visit Chania, Izmir, Verona, Pula and Bergerac from their local Airport. This added to the other 36 destinations on sale from Birmingham Airport this summer marks the beginning of the biggest ever programme from Jet2.com and Jet2holidays providing passengers with a variety of destinations and packages to suit their needs.’

In addition to Bourgas, between May and September, the travel and holiday company will operate to Chania once a week on Tuesdays. Chania is a popular spot among local holidaymakers looking to enjoy the northwest coast of Crete, with its fine beaches and attractive resorts like Rethymnon, Aghia Marina, Chania Town, Kalyves, Stalos and Kolymbari.

From May through to the end of October, Jet2 will operate every Wednesday to Izmir, another popular destination with beautiful beaches and Dilek National Park located within easy reach.

The company will operate weekly Saturday services from Birmingham to Verona, from May 11 until October, offering city break options as well as holidays in the Lake Garda area.

Further, Jet2 will operate weekly Sunday services to Pula from May 12 until September, offering further choice of sun destinations. Starting from May 25 to late September, Jet2 will operate weekly services to Bergerac every Saturday, providing access to the Dordogne region of south-west France.

With the launch of the six new routes, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays is offering nearly 40 destinations from Birmingham Airport this summer.

Wizz Air launches new low-fare services from Birmingham to Krakow

European low-cost carrier airline, Wizz Air, has said that it has expanded its low-fare UK network with the launch of a new service from Birmingham to Krakow.

Starting 17 September 2019, the new flights from Birmingham to Krakow will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with fares starting from £17.99. Following the introduction of a new Krakow base in September 2018, Wizz Air’s Birmingham service will be the third route to operate from the UK to one of Poland’s oldest cities.

Owain Jones, Managing Director, Wizz Air UK, said: ‘Our aim at Wizz Air is to create the opportunity for UK travellers to enjoy low airfares to exciting destinations, coupled with a great travel experience. I am sure that our customers will love exploring all that the unique Polish cities of Gdansk and Krakow have to offer.

‘Our base in Krakow has gone from strength to strength since opening in September, providing passengers with the chance to travel to one of Europe’s most fascinating cities, steeped in culture and history with a vibrant culinary scene. Our friendly cabin crew look forward to welcoming travellers onboard one of the youngest and most efficient aircraft fleets in Europe very soon.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘Welcoming a new route to the airport is always exciting. Krakow in particular, is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination for its scenic architecture, as well as its history. To be able to serve this route, adding to the existing Wizz Air network at Birmingham is great.

‘Wizz Air now operate six routes from Birmingham Airport with destinations including Budapest, Bucharest, Wroclaw, Cluj and Warsaw.’

Tickets for the new routes can already be booked online at wizzair.com, or by using the Wizz Air app, available for Android and iOS users. With this new route, Wizz Air now offers 96 routes to 27 countries from nine UK airports.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays launches free Twilight Check-In at Birmingham Airport

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, the UK’s travel and Holiday Company, has launched its free Twilight Check-In service at Birmingham Airport.

The Twilight Check-In free service was introduced in May 2015, and is now being expanded to Birmingham Airport. It is aimed at customers staying at a hotel or who live near the airport as it saves time the morning of the flight.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: ‘Jet2.com and Jet2holidays prides itself on giving customers a unique VIP experience from the very start of their holidays. Our Twilight Check-In is a smart and secure service and really adds to our customers overall holiday experience. We are delighted to be expanding it to Birmingham Airport, meaning customers can start their holiday with us luggage-free and breeze through the airport to catch their flight.’

The customers would need to check in online at least 24 hours before their flight, for flights departing before 12 noon the following day. They can then visit the Twilight check-in where they can drop their bags at the Jet2.com check-in desks between 3pm and 8pm the day before.

They can then arrive at the airport the following morning and head straight to security, bypassing check-in, giving them more time free before catching their Jet2.com flight.

The move comes as Birmingham Airport handled almost 12.5 million passengers in 2018 and welcomed additional routes and airlines to its existing offering. The additional routes introduced in 2018, include: Amritsar, Agadir, Langkawi, Bodrum, Marsa Alam and Montenegro, in addition to more frequency to Belfast, Geneva and Antalya.

In November 2018, the Airport announced a self-financed investment of GBP500 million to improve, modernise and extend facilities, delivering increased passenger capacity as well as enhancing the passenger experience.

Marella Cruises offer new Asia programme with direct flights to Langkawi, Malaysia

Marella Cruises has announced the launch of direct flights to Langkawi, Malaysia from Birmingham as part of offering UK holidaymakers a new Asian holiday programme.

TUI Airways is operating flights to the homeport of Langkawi for Enchanting Far East and Eastern Sunsets itineraries, as part of Marella Cruises’ new Asia programme. The cruise-only flight will be operating fortnightly until the end of March 2019.

Managing Director of Marella Cruises, Chris Hackney said: ‘We’re really excited to be launching inaugural flights from the UK to Langkawi in Malaysia. We’re always looking at ways we can offer our customers even more flexibility and choice when it comes to choosing a cruise and the TUI Airways flights mark the next step in our continued effort to give our customers the best holiday experience. As part of our new Asia programme, our itineraries from Langkawi offer customers amazing destinations to some of the most sought out corners of the world, all alongside nothing but the best service onboard our ships with the friendliest staff at sea.’

Tom Screen, Acting Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, commented: ‘To have the UK’s first ever direct flights to Langkawi operate from Birmingham Airport is just fantastic. Creating varied packages is key to providing our customers with ease of travel. A package like this allows our customers to experience a range of exotic climates and cultures across multiple destinations, all in one trip.

‘To celebrate the momentous occasion, employees from both the Airport and TUI gathered at the departure gates, along with passengers due to board the flight. The atmosphere was great – every seat was filled.

‘The cruise-only flight will be operating fortnightly until the end of March 2019. We hope all passengers enjoy this fantastic cruise experience on its very own exclusive airline.’

Wizz Air announces new direct service to Cluj Napoca from Birmingham Airport

Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has announced the relaunch of a direct route to Romania’s Cluj-Napoca from Birmingham Airport.

The new service will operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Tom Screen, Acting Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘Officially welcoming this new Wizz Air route to Cluj-Napoca from Birmingham Airport is fantastic news. We are constantly working with airlines to ensure that where there is demand for a route we can provide enough choice to be able to meet it – whether this involves the introduction of additional direct services or an increase in the frequency of services.

‘Cluj-Napoca is an exciting addition to our growing variety of direct services. Home to incredible architecture and gothic-style landmarks dating back to Saxon and Hungarian rule, vibrant nightlife and a wide range of forests and parks, Cluj-Napoca has something to offer everyone.

‘We are pleased this route has been reintroduced and look forward to making the route a success for Wizz Air.’

Tamara Vallois, Head of Communications at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are happy to celebrate the commencement of an exciting new route at Birmingham Airport. Our newest route from Birmingham connects the city with Romania’s second largest city, the lively Cluj-Napoca, which brings an outstanding opportunity for the travellers who seek adventure to explore real Romanian hospitality and the vibe of Transylvania.

‘Cluj-Napoca offers bubbling nightlife and historical sites, a perfect combination for a weekend trip to Central and Eastern Europe. We are sure that our UK customers will enjoy visiting this special city as well as Birmingham will get even more cosmopolitan with tourists visiting the region.

‘We would like to thank Birmingham Airport and look forward to welcoming many passengers on board our sixth route from Birmingham.’

Birmingham Airport opens new executive ‘Clubrooms’ lounge

Birmingham Airport has said that it has opened its fifth executive lounge, which will complement the existing No. 1 Lounge at the airport.

Opening under the Clubrooms brand, the new lounge will offer premium experience to passengers flying from Birmingham Airport. The Clubrooms offers full table service, a la carte dining, wines, cocktails and runway views. Located on the main concourse, nearest to most of the departure gates, the Clubrooms offer interconnecting rooms available to guests aged 12 years and over.

Entry is £35 for a stay of up to three hours pre-flight. Guests can also upgrade their visit with Moet & Chandon or Veuve Clicquot champagne packages for an additional £15, when booking online.

Richard Gill, Acting Commercial Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We have had a successful and longstanding relationship with No1 Lounges, and we’re delighted to announce the addition of the Clubrooms to our existing lounge offer. The new lounge is located on the international pier near to the gates – a perfect location prior to boarding.

‘Customer service is a top priority for us. We have already invested significantly into the Airport’s facilities and will continue to do so, to ensure our customers have a great experience when travelling with us. Customers desiring a premium airport experience now have the Clubrooms as an additional lounge to choose from.’

Opened in 2012, the existing No1 lounge is located in the Departure Lounge adjacent to Next, and is priced at £28 for adults and £18 for children. In addition to the Clubrooms and No1 Lounge, Swissport operate two Aspire lounges. Prices start at £20.99 for adults and £15.99 for a child (aged 2-11), and both lounges offer a quiet zone and charging facilities for laptops, tablets, mobile phones and iPads. Guests can also enjoy a wide range of complimentary food, wines, beers and spirits.

The fifth lounge at the Airport is the Emirates Lounge – an executive lounge for First Class traveller, Business Class travellers or Skywards Gold members, located near gates 40-68. The Emirates Lounge offers guests complimentary fresh food, a full bar service and shower facilities. Business Class passengers are also offered a complimentary Chauffeur-drive within 70 miles of Birmingham Airport, the Airport said.

TUI UK announces winter 2019 programme from Birmingham Airport

TUI UK, one of the UK’s leading holiday makers, has announced its winter 2019 programme at Birmingham Airport, with new weekly routes to Agadir, Morocco and Marsa Alam, Egypt and additional flights to Hurghada, Egypt.

The winter 2019 season will offer an increased capacity of nearly 21,000 additional seats at Birmingham airport. Customers will also have the option of 10 and 11 night holidays to Orlando Sanford from April. There will also be an additional day added to the flight programme for flights from Birmingham airport to Hurghada in Egypt.

TUI UK’s Director of Aviation Planning, Karen Switzer, said: ‘Adding more choice and flexibility for demonstrates our commitment to Birmingham airport and the local area, as we continue to focus on expanding access to our amazing range of holidays through an extended flying programming concentrated on the core destinations that we know our customers want to visit.’

Birmingham Airport’s Acting Aviation Director, Tom Screen, added: ‘We are pleased TUI has announced that it will be introducing a direct route to the Moroccan city of Agadir this winter. We have seen the popularity of Agadir growing during the colder months as it’s a destination which enjoys warm climates all year round so for TUI to serve this demand from Birmingham is fantastic. What’s more, TUI will also be offering ten and eleven-night holidays from Birmingham Airport to Orlando Sanford Airport Florida, as well as additional flights to Hurghada departing on Tuesdays. We look forward to continuing to work with TUI on popular destinations like these in the future.’

For the first time ever, TUI will also be selling summer 2020 holidays from early November – the earliest the tour operator has sold a summer programme. For summer 2020, Birmingham airport will see the launch of additional long haul flights to Sanford Florida, offering customers the choice of two flights per week and 10/11 night holiday durations.

TUI customers will be offered several free kids places and offers on all TUI favourite hotel concepts including Family Life, Sensatori, Splashworld, Holiday Village and Suneo Club, the airport said.

Birmingham Airport offers new flight update service via Facebook messenger

Birmingham Airport has announced the introduction of its new flight update service – Flight Smart – for departing passengers via Facebook messenger.

The Flight Smart flight update service was originally offered via Twitter, having launched in summer 2017. Following the success of the programme, Birmingham Airport will now add Flight Smart to Facebook messenger as well. Passengers can send their flight number to the Flight smart messenger page and instantly receive live flight updates direct to their mobile and tablet devices.

Jo Lloyd, Business Development Director – Birmingham Airport said: ‘In this digital age we live by our mobiles, so to be able to see where to check in, what gate to use and which restaurant to choose from, all from your phone or tablet, takes the stress out of travelling. The twitter Flight Smart has been heavily used by our passengers since its inauguration, but we were conscious that not everyone uses twitter, with the addition of Facebook messenger Flight Smart all passengers can have up to date information on their journey at their fingertips.

Paul Brugger, C.E.O of TIC said: ‘Birmingham Airport has been running BizTweet under the Flight Smart brand for eighteen months, due to its phenomenal success they will be launching our complementary Facebook Messenger service. At a touch of a button the airport will be able to provide even more passengers with real-time, high personalised operational and customer service messages directly to passengers via these two platforms.’

Facebook messenger also offers more detailed content, allowing passengers to access maps and directions, information about restaurants and contact details, enabling them to plan ahead of their trip. Flight Smart was developed in collaboration with Cork -based technology company, TIC for Facebook Messenger.

Passengers using Flight Smart on Facebook messenger may type @flybhx into the search tab on the Facebook app or the Birmingham Airport facebook page to get live updates. This service helps passengers get constant flight updates until departure and also allows family and friends to track the flight, the airport said.