Birmingham Airport announces Birmingham – Belfast City route from September 14

Birmingham Airport has announced the introduction of a service to Belfast City Airport from September 14, 2020.

Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport with fares starting from £29.99 one way including taxes. Flights are on sale now at www.aerlingus.com.

Aer Lingus Regional operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City. Stobart Air will also open a new base at Belfast City Airport, locating five ATR72-600 aircraft at the airport.

In line with the guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers. New measures include enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures for the aircraft cabin, which are in addition to the existing aircraft cleaning schedule. Each aircraft, including seats, armrests and tray tables will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses for 24 hours.

Further, on board measures include mandatory face coverings or masks on all flights operated by Stobart Air for customers and cabin crew respectively, with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons. In addition in-flight service will be suspended to reduce interaction between crew and passengers.

At the airport, Stobart Air has introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures to reduce passenger interaction. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the staff member, making this process contactless.

Commenting on the announcement, Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: ‘As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stobart Air has been challenged and we have worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline and to position us for the future, once restrictions ease and passenger demand increases.

‘Working with Belfast City Airport and Birmingham Airport, along with our partners, Aer Lingus we are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City to service flights to Birmingham.

‘We continuously strive to provide our passengers with frequent, convenient and affordable services. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route from Birmingham from 14 September.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director for Birmingham Airport, said, ‘This is really fantastic news for Birmingham Airport and the Midlands region. Belfast City has always been a popular route due to the location of the airport and strength of business and leisure traffic between the two cities. After such a challenging year, we are delighted to receive the news that Stobart Air has chosen to expand its network into Birmingham, and we look forward to welcoming the fights starting in September.’

Air France resumes operations from Birmingham Airport

Air France has recently said that it is resuming operations from Birmingham Airport to assist with essential travel and repatriation to and from the Midlands.

Starting June 15, Air France will operate the Birmingham – Paris route twice a week using an Embraer 190 aircraft. Frequencies will increase weekly with the daily service resuming on July 6. As the peak summer season approaches, Air France passengers will have the opportunity to connect to up to 150 destinations worldwide via Paris CDG.

Benedicte Duval, General Manager for UK & Ireland, said, ‘As borders reopen and travel restrictions begin to ease, we are fully focused on the safe and gradual resumption of air travel. After this challenging period, we are delighted to be able to welcome our Midlands based customers back on board. As we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all Air France staff, both on the ground and on board, are committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health & safety.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director of Birmingham Airport said: ‘We are delighted that Air France will resume flights from Birmingham Airport on the 15th June. Air France has been a partner airline of Birmingham for many years and offers passengers direct access to Paris and onward connections to up to 150 destinations.

‘We want to reassure customers that their safety is our number one priority, and as we restart operations we advise all to please follow the health and safety guidance available on our website. We look forward to welcoming the return of Air France, and its customers, to the airport from Monday.’

In line UK government guidelines, Air France requires customers to wear a mask throughout their journey. This is in addition to a range of health and safety measures implemented by Air France in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, which include compulsory wearing of masks for all airline crew members and airport handling agents in contact with customers.

In addition, Air France has introduced temperature checks using contactless infrared thermometers for departing passengers. The customer channels on the ground have been modified with the implementation of physical distancing along the journey at the airport and the installation of Plexiglas protection screens at airports whenever possible.

Further, Air France aircraft will feature an air recycling system fitted with ‘High Efficiency Particulate Air’ or HEPA filters that extract some 99.99 percent of the smallest viruses, including those no larger than 0.01 micrometres. The airline will reinforce daily aircraft cleaning procedures and introduce a specific procedure for the periodic disinfecting of aircraft by spraying an approved virucidal product effective for 10 days. On domestic flights and short flights in Europe, meal and beverage services have also been suspended.

Loganair resumes passenger flights from Birmingham

Loganair has resumed passenger flights at Birmingham Airport on June 1, after the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown was lifted and the collapse of Flybe, with the re-establishment of non-stop jet services to Aberdeen.

The Birmingham-Aberdeen services will initially operate four times each week – on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays – which will increase to two flights each way per weekday from August 31. Loganair’s flights between Birmingham and Inverness will resume on July 6, and will also fly on four days per week initially before building to a daily service during August. The Glasgow-based airline is also planning to restore the former Flybe route linking Birmingham with the Isle of Man in the coming weeks.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director, Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to see Loganair returning to flying from Birmingham, serving these key routes to Aberdeen and Inverness. The team at Loganair have placed significant emphasis on safety and we look forward to welcoming them and their customers through Birmingham in the coming week.’

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: ‘With many businesses turning their thoughts to re-starting work after the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s regional air connectivity will be more important than ever. For the sake of the recovery of the UK economy, we must enable key workers across the oil & gas, construction, service and healthcare sectors to travel swiftly, comfortably and safely throughout the country. As well as providing travel guidance on which basis businesses can plan, we believe today’s announcement will also lend confidence to people looking forward to visiting families and friends once social restrictions permit.’

All flights will be operated under the ‘Safe Steps to Healthy Flying’ protocols which Loganair announced on May 14 – becoming the first UK airline to set out detailed plans on how customer safety will be attained and maintained whilst Covid-19 is present. Loganair’s advice, which is in line with the guidelines announced by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is available on its website.

Aegean Airlines to commence new route to Athens from Birmingham for summer

Aegean Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance group, is set to commence a new direct flight from Birmingham Airport to the Greek capital of Athens starting June 3, 2020.

During the summer season, Aegean Airlines will operate a twice-weekly service to Athens from Birmingham Airport on both Wednesdays and Saturdays. The new service offers increased choice of connections for passengers travelling to surrounding Greek Islands via Athens, including to Corfu, Mykonos and Rhodes. Onward connections can also be made to destinations in the Mediterranean, including Larnaca, Cyprus and Cairo, Egypt.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We’re excited to see the return of Aegean Airlines to Birmingham Airport with the launch of this new route to Athens. Whether you’re looking for a city break, or more of a beach holiday, the city of Athens has so much to offer. The connectivity out of Athens Airport is a real advantage for Aegean and will allow holidaymakers the opportunity to explore and enjoy more of the Greek islands, as well as destinations slightly further afield. We look forward to working with Aegean Airlines once again, and hope to see further routes from them in the coming years.’

Roland Jaggi, Chief Commercial Officer at Aegean Airlines, said: ‘We are delighted to be returning to Birmingham and with a new route to Athens, which will provide UK passengers with even greater ease, convenience and accessibility to visit Greece via Midlands’s largest airport. We consistently create new destination options for our passengers, along with the offer of new services.’

The Aegean Airlines service will be operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft with 174 seats on board.

Austrian Airlines launches new route to Vienna from Birmingham Airport

Austrian Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, has announced new direct scheduled services to the Austrian capital of Vienna and onward connections across Asia and Europe.

The new service offers further choice of connections for passengers travelling to Asia, particularly those looking for services to Beijing and Tokyo. Launched on January 1, the winter schedule operates four-weekly service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. From the summer, this will increase to a daily schedule.

Referred to as the ‘City of Music,’ Vienna is home to rich imperial architecture, its museums and coffee shops. The city is a favourite of both summer and winter tourists, with the winter markets taking place in November through to December, along with temperatures in summer months ranging in the 20 degrees.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Austrian Airlines first flight to Vienna. With services initially operating four times a week Austrian Airlines will then grow to daily flights by summer 2020 and we look forward to welcoming yet another Star Alliance carrier to Birmingham Airport which will provide more choice to onward destinations across Asia and Eastern Europe.’

Andreas Otto, Chief Commercial Officer at Austrian Airlines, said: ‘We are very pleased about the launch of our Birmingham-Vienna route. Passengers will benefit from a closer connection to our hub and an increased number of flights.’

The Austrian Airlines service, which will replace the current point to point Eurowings flights, will be operated using an Embraer 195 aircraft.

The flights will depart from Vienna at 11:05 hours, arriving at Birmingham Airport at 12:30 hours. Flights will then depart from Birmingham Airport at 13:15 hours, arriving in to Vienna at 16:35 hours.

Turkish Airlines to expand its Birmingham-Istanbul service

Turkish Airlines is planning to increase its services between Birmingham Airport and Istanbul to twice daily, according to a report by Birmingham Post.

The airline has announced that it will move from 12 flights a week to double daily from the end of May. Initially, flights will increase to 13 per week from March 27 and then to double daily from May 30. The double daily service will add more than 600 extra seats a week, offering both business and leisure travellers increased flexibility and choices.

Selim Ozturk, general manager for Turkish Airlines in Birmingham, said: ‘Birmingham Airport is a hugely successful base for us and we have grown significantly over the past eight years.

‘This double daily announcement gives passengers even more choice and, with 283 onward destinations via Istanbul throughout the Middle East, the Far East and Africa, Birmingham Airport really is the gateway to the world with our award winning airline.’

Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe added: ‘Turkish Airlines is a fantastic carrier and partner to have here at Birmingham Airport.

‘Starting eight years ago, the service has gone from strength to strength carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers.

‘The Turkish Airlines in-flight product is award winning and extremely popular which is demonstrated by more and more people choosing to experience the service, reliability and affordability it offers.

‘I congratulate the Turkish Airlines team on doing a great job here in the region and increasing passenger numbers year-on-year, and for further committing to Birmingham Airport.’

Turkish Airlines started its Birmingham Airport – Istanbul service with five flights a week in December 2008, and later increased the number of flights to seven weekly departures in January 2012. Later that year, the service was increased to ten flights per week and in December 2014 the airport announced the programme would expand to 12 weekly flights.

TUI UK announces new destinations for winter 2020

TUI, the UK-based holiday company, has announced its winter 2020 programme from Birmingham Airport with the addition of new destination The Gambia and the reintroduction of holidays to Sharm El Sheikh.

The new direct flights to The Gambia from Birmingham are now on sale with weekly flights operating on a Thursday, with the first flight departing on November 5, 2020. TUI also said that eight hotels are now on sale in The Gambia including in Kotu and Kololi.

Long haul flying from Birmingham airport for winter 2020 will see flights added to the popular winter destination of Goa (India) and new weekly flying days to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) giving customers more choice.

TUI has holidays to Sharm El Sheikh, with new flights departing from February 2020 to continue to operate on a Wednesday from Birmingham. From May 2020, TUI will offer both 10 and 11 night holidays to Sharm El Sheikh with an extra flight also available on a Sunday. Known for the red sea and beautiful sandy beaches, Sharm El Sheikh boasts hotels including the exclusive 5T TUI Magic Life and the 5T Reef Oasis Blue Bay.

Further, for the winter 2020 programme TUI has added additional flying days across five of its current destinations that depart from Birmingham Airport, including customer favourites Lanzarote (Canaries), Tenerife (Canaries) and Hurghada (Egypt) giving customers from the West Midlands more choice of holiday destinations.

For summer 2021 Birmingham airport will see a further 46,000 additional seats, and the programme will also include additional flying days to Orlando Sanford (Florida).

TUI UK&I’s Director of Aviation Planning, Karen Switzer, said: ‘Earlier this month TUI announced its winter 2020 and summer 2021 holiday programme which has since expanded with more destinations and added flights. We are delighted that the additional flights provide holidaymakers departing from our regional airports with even more choice when deciding where to go away. With additional flying capacity and more than 1,000 hotels already on sale for summer 2021 it gives those planning ahead the opportunity to choose the most suitable airport, destination and hotel.

‘The customer is at the heart of everything we do and this additional growth to some of our customer’s favourite holiday hotspots from Birmingham airport demonstrates our continued commitment for people to discover their smile with us.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director of Birmingham Airport said: ‘We are delighted to see TUI growing its long-haul route network from Birmingham, with the return of Sharm El Sheikh from February and new services to The Gambia, Goa, Punta Cana next winter. TUI is such a popular and respected brand amongst customers and the travel industry and we are proud to be able to serve these new flights as well as the existing 53 destinations available with TUI from Birmingham.’

Jet2.com announces new summer flights to Innsbruck from Birmingham

The UK-based Leisure airline Jet2.com has announced summer flights to Innsbruck for the first time, with services on sale from Birmingham Airport for Summer 20.

The airline will operate flights to the Tyrolean capital between June and September for the first time. The announcement comes after the company’s first ever programme of ski services to Innsbruck, which start in December this year.

With the announcement, Jet2 has put 10,000 seats on sale from Birmingham Airport for its first programme of summer services to Innsbruck. This includes weekly Wednesday services which run from June 3 through to September 16.

Innsbruck is a beautiful Austrian city surrounded by high mountain ranges, alpine meadows stunning glittery lakes, and is popular among holidaymakers looking for wellness, adventure and sport. Medieval Innsbruck is also an attractive city break option, small enough to get around on foot, with a blend of modern cosmopolitan with tradition. The key attractions include museums such as Audioversum and the Grassmayr Bell Foundry, cafes serving traditional fare such as schnitzel and strudel, and the cobbled streets lined with bars and restaurants.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘Innsbruck is the perfect fit for the growing number of people who are looking for adventure, scenery, and wellness on their holidays. Located in the heart of the Austrian Alps, local holidaymakers can choose from a whole host of activities from mountain biking and paragliding through to hiking, whilst being able to enjoy the unique blend of modern and old in Innsbruck itself. With perfectly timed flights and our award-winning service, we are expecting this programme to be hugely popular with holidaymakers from Birmingham Airport.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said, ‘It’s great that Jet2.com will be offering flights to Innsbruck throughout the summer months as well as winter, recognising the many wonderful things that customers can experience in this city in the Alps all year round. Once again, we applaud Jet2.com for growing the choice available for Midlands travellers.’

TUI expands capacity for summer 2020 from Cardiff, Newcastle and Birmingham airport

TUI, the UK’s largest holiday company, has announced its holiday programme for summer 2020 with the addition of 30,000 seats from Cardiff Airport, 98,000 seats from Newcastle Airport and 194,000 seats from Birmingham Airport.

TUI UK&I’s Director of Aviation Planning, Karen Switzer, said: ‘Earlier this month TUI announced an additional two million seats to many holiday destination favourites and today the majority of these seats go on sale for summer 2020. We are delighted that our new additions launched today provide holidaymakers departing from our regional airports with even more choice when deciding where to go next summer on holiday. The customer is at the heart of everything we do and this additional growth to some of our customer’s favourite holiday hotspots demonstrates our continued commitment for people to discover their smile with us.’

TUI said that it will introduce new 10 and 11 night holidays to mid-haul hot spots Antalya, Turkey and Gran Canaria in the Canaries. Cardiff Airport will also see additional flying days to Dalaman, Turkey and Tenerife in the Canaries.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, said: ‘We want to thank TUI for recognising the opportunity to add an extra 15,000 holidays from Cardiff next summer. The news demonstrates TUI’s commitment to delivering even more choice for Welsh customers in addition to this year’s passenger growth at our national Airport.’

At Newcastle, TUI has added new destinations including Santorini and Skiathos in Greece, and Hurghada in Egypt. The new routes are on sale with Santorini flights operating on Tuesdays, Hurghada on Fridays and Skiathos on Wednesdays. TUI will also introduce new 10 and 11 night holidays to mid-haul hotspot Antalya in Turkey, increased frequency to Dalaman in Turkey on Mondays as well as additional flying days to Orlando Sanford, Florida; Tenerife, Canaries; Palma, Spain and Larnaca, Cyprus.

Leon McQuaid, Head of Aviation Development at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘We have received countless requests for services to be restored to Hurghada, Skiathos and Santorini, so we are extremely pleased that TUI is putting these routes on sale for summer 2020.’

As well as the three new routes, TUI has also added more flying days to some of its existing destinations including additional direct flights to Florida on its state-of-the-art Dreamliner.

At Birmingham, TUI has added new destinations including Almeria in Spain and Split in Croatia, with Almeria flights operating on Sundays and Split on Fridays. TUI has added 16 additional flying days across 11 of its current destinations from Birmingham Airport, including to Antalya, Tenerife and Rhodes. The summer 2020 programme will also see an increase in the frequency of flights operating to Ibiza and Palma in Spain and Mahon in Menorca.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director from Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that TUI has added even more capacity and two new routes to its portfolio from Birmingham Airport during summer 2020. These new routes by TUI means that Midlanders have over 40 direct destinations to choose from with the UK’s largest holiday company.’

Austrian Airlines launches new route from Birmingham Airport

Birmingham Airport has said that Austrian Airlines is planning to launch direct scheduled services to the Austrian capital of Vienna, and onward connections across Asia and Europe.

Starting from January 1, 2020, the new service will enhance the choice of connections for passengers travelling to Asia, particularly those looking for services to Beijing and Tokyo. Austrian Airlines will also provide greater onward connectivity to many capital cities such as Budapest, Sofia and Zagreb, plus regional connections to Graz, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt.

Known as the ‘City of Music’, Vienna is home to rich imperial architecture, a vast range of museums and coffee shops. The city has much to offer those travelling in both the summer and winter, with the winter markets taking place in November through to December.

During the winter season, Austrian Airlines will operate a four-weekly service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. From summer 2020, this will increase to a daily schedule. The flights will depart from Vienna at 11:05, arriving at Birmingham Airport at 12:30. Flights will then depart from Birmingham Airport at 13:15, arriving at Vienna at 16:35.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘It’s great news that Austrian Airlines will become our newest carrier in January with services to Vienna, Austrian’s beautiful capital city. With services initially operating four times weekly, the carrier will grow to daily flights by the summer 2020 and we look forward to welcoming yet another Star Alliance carrier to Birmingham Airport which will provide more choice to onward destinations across Asia and Eastern Europe.’

Andreas Otto, Chief Commercial Officer at Austrian Airlines, said: ‘We will remain number one in Austria – in five, six or ten years’ time. Austrian Airlines will coordinate the flights from the Vienna hub, while Eurowings will handle the decentralised traffic. We will connect high-demand routes such as Birmingham more closely to our hub and increase the frequency of flights.’

The Austrian Airlines service will replace the current Eurowings flights, and will be operated by an Embraer 195 aircraft with a capacity of up to 120 seats. The aircraft is equipped with eight business class seats, and 112 economy seats.

Austrian Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, which is part of the wider Star Alliance group, and joins six Star Alliance airlines already operating from Birmingham Airport, including Lufthansa, Air India, Brussels Airlines, SAS, SWISS and Turkish Airlines.