Bristol Airport to promote the city’s attractions at World Route Development Forum

Bristol Airport has partnered with Destination Bristol to promote the city’s attractions to airlines from across the globe at the World Route Development Forum, an annual aviation industry event.

The World Route Development Forum, which is taking place from October 5 to 8 in Las Vegas, provides airports and tourism authorities with the opportunity to meet with airlines to make the case for new air services. More than 3,000 delegates from over 100 countries are expected to attend, enabling airlines to evaluate a range of new route opportunities.

The partnership comes after Destination Bristol had teamed up earlier this year with Bristol Airport at the Routes Europe event in Budapest. Bristol will also feature prominently on Visit England’s stand, which will promote regional airports as convenient gateways to the UK.

Shaun Browne, aviation director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘Competition for routes is intense, with airports and cities across the world recognising the value air links deliver to local economies by encouraging trade and facilitating inbound tourism.

‘Tourism and aviation are inextricably linked. By working closely with Destination Bristol we can ensure we make the best case for new services, demonstrating how the city’s attractions, and those of the surrounding region, can attract tourists and help fill flights.’

Kathryn Davis, head of tourism at Destination Bristol, said: ‘Developing new routes and maintaining existing routes into Bristol Airport are critical for the long term success of Bristol’s visitor economy, worth over GBP1 billion. Bristol has continued to maintain its position as one of the UK’s top ten cities for international travellers with overseas visitors contributing over GBP143m to the local economy.

‘At the same time, Bristol is gaining a reputation as a great short break destination as well as having the potential to deliver more international conferences and events. By working in partnership, we are able to deliver a really strong message about the city’s ambition to be one of Europe’s key destinations for business and leisure travel.’

The promotional efforts come as Bristol Airport has been experiencing a rise in foreign passengers over the last decade, with Bristol and the South West emerging as a key destination for both pleasure and business. Foreign nationals using Bristol Airport have almost trebled in the last decade, with over a million journeys made by overseas visitors from 82 different countries in 2012. According to the Civil Aviation Authority Passenger Survey data, 18 percent of the Airport’s 5.9 million passengers in 2012 were resident outside the UK.

Destination Bristol and Bristol Airport have teamed up at trade shows for conference and business tourism in the last twelve months, attending the IMEX and EIBTM events. The two organisations have also worked closely to promote Bristol to the travel trade and tour operators in Germany, following the launch of new routes by bmi regional.

Gloucestershire Airport tops Bristol and London City for flight frequency

During May, Gloucestershire Airport has handled more flights than London City and Bristol airports.

In its list of the 15 busiest airports in the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority has ranked the Staverton-based airport 10 places behind Heathrow, using figures that are based on the number of flights as opposed to the number of passengers.

Gloucestershire airport handled slightly fewer than 7,000 flights in May, making it the 11th most active airport in the UK, and the airport has handled more than 42,000 flights so far this year.

Head of operations, Darren Lewington, said: ‘The airport has had an exceptionally busy few months. The fine weather has helped in recent weeks, but there’s also a noticeable increase in business aviation traffic, which is encouraging for us and the county as a whole. Commercially, our marketplace is still exceptionally challenging.

‘It will take us longer than we anticipated to reach the increased profitability we forecast in our business planning but this is hardly surprising in the face of the global economic downturn, record fuel prices and the lengthy delays to our runway safety project,’ he said, adding: ‘These latest CAA figures are encouraging and we are beginning to see consistent signs of recovery that will help to deliver our long-term business goals.’

The airport also had to deal with complex legal agreements relating to the land it uses, which also resulted in delays to its safer runway project, which had led to increased costs. ‘The political processes associated with the runway project took longer than the airport or councils anticipated,’ Mr. Lewington said.

The airport contributes about £250 million to the local economy every year.

Bristol Airport hosts Concorde visual experience

Bristol Airport is showcasing a Concorde visual experience for summer passengers.

The airport has unveiled a lighting feature in the departure lounge based on the iconic ‘delta’ wing shape of Concorde. Passengers can new admire the acclaimed, locally built aircraft while waiting to board their flights.

Lighting Services and SSE Contracting have worked on the design and installation of the lighting feature, based on the brief by Bristol Airport’s head of engineering, Fraser Dury, who commented, ‘We wanted to enhance the passenger experience within the departure lounge by increasing the lighting levels. The location we chose is above the main seating area and visible from both the first floor and mezzanine level, so the idea of doing something a bit different and creating a talking point for passengers developed. Taking the iconic shape of Concorde for inspiration made sense because of the strong links between the aircraft and Bristol.’

The lighting feature measures 9.2 metres by 3.7 metres and weighs 120kgs, with LED coloured lighting following the distinctive style and shape of Concorde.

Mike Littleton, Bristol Airport’s community relations manager and former chairman of the Concorde Trust, said: ‘We are very proud of Bristol’s aviation history and the new lighting feature emphasises the links between design, manufacturing and commercial aviation. Not only will the lighting feature be practical, it will also remind passengers of the wealth of aviation history attached to the city of Bristol.’

An additional visual enhancement has been included in the walkway connecting the terminal to a number of departure gates, where new artwork showcases various visitor attractions in the region. The new imagery complements a 57m mural that aims to capture the spirit of the South West for inbound visitors, and a 40m long display showcasing the Airbus aircraft and local employees involved in its design and manufacture.

Bristol Airport is preparing for a busy summer holiday season and has already recorded its busiest June ever with over 625,000 passengers travelling through the terminal. This is a 3.4 percent increase over June 2012, and also surpassed by 15,000 the previous record set in 2008.

Passenger Traffic Increases at Bristol Airport

For the third year in a row, passenger traffic at Bristol airport in the UK is on a high, with the number of people passing through the terminal up by 2.8 percent in 2012, compared to the preceding year.

A total of 5.9 million passengers used Bristol Airport in 2012, and the rising passenger traffic makes the airport the only one of the UK’s top ten airports to report continuous passenger growth every year since 2009.

Robert Sinclair, the chief executive officer at Bristol Airport, said, ‘These figures are a very positive signal that the South West economy is moving in the right direction. The resurgence in business travel has been particularly strong with several airlines, including KLM and Brussels Airlines, adding capacity on routes to major European hub airports. We expect this growth to continue throughout 2013, with further route announcements in the pipeline.’

The airport is reporting a rise in passenger numbers despite having handled 7.3 percent fewer flights than in 2011, as a result of airlines operating larger aircraft with increased load factors.

In October 2012, the airport became a hub for the newly launched Bmi Regional airline, which will be offering five times weekly flights to Hamburg from February 11, and a six times a week service to Frankfurt from late March.

easyJet is also offering new routes from the airport, including services to Copenhagen and Naples, while Ryanir is offering a new three-times-weekly flight to Warsaw Modlin.

The airport has completed the first phase of its development to convert into a hub capable of handling 10 million passengers, with three new aircraft stands inaugurated by the then Transport Secretary, Justine Greening. The development will also include construction of a supplementary immigration facility, and an extended security search area.