Thomas Cook announces summer 2018 programme from Bristol Airport

Thomas Cook has launched its summer 2018 programme for Bristol Airport, with a range of new destinations for travellers.

The new destinations for summer 2018 include the Preveza in Greece and Hurghada in Egypt – both the routes being exclusive to Thomas Cook from Bristol. The other new destinations added to the programme include Bourgas in Bulgaria, Gerona on Spain’s Costa Brava, Kos and Paphos.

In addition to the new destinations, Thomas Cook is also offering customers three new own-brand hotels to choose from including new smartline and Sunconnect resorts. Thomas Cook Airlines will also introduce 11 additional flight routes from Bristol Airport, both to existing destinations and to new destinations, with flights starting from £49.99, according a release by Bristol Airport.

Chris Mottershead, Managing Director at Thomas Cook UK said: ‘Our new destinations for summer 2018 from Bristol offer a good mix of holiday types. We’re expecting a revitalisation in the traditional package holiday destination of Costa Brava and we’ve worked hard to secure some of the best quality hotels for our customers.’

Shaun Browne, Head of Aviation Relations, Bristol Airport said: ‘We are delighted with Thomas Cook’s exciting Summer 2018 programme from Bristol. The new flights including Hurghada and Preveza are particularly welcome as these routes have been high on passengers wish-list of flights from Bristol Airport. The improved range of destinations in 2018 will help ensure Thomas Cook offers customers throughout the South West and Wales a great choice and options of holidays available from their regional airport.’

Costa Brava, which was first offered to Thomas Cook customers in 1949 for travel by steamer and rail, was re-introduced in 2018 with one flight per week from Bristol. The new product range includes four hotels in the resorts of Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar which are exclusive to Thomas Cook in the UK. The Thomas Cook offer will commence with seven nights at the Evenia Olympic Park Hotel in Lloret de Mar on an all-inclusive basis, from £679 per person, departing from Bristol on May 19, 2018 on Thomas Cook Airlines.

Bristol Airport introduces assistance card to help passengers with hidden disabilities

Bristol Airport has announced the introduction of a hidden disabilities assistance card as part of its efforts to improve the airport and travel experience of passengers with hidden disabilities.

Designed to be the size of a business card, the hidden disabilities assistance card serves as a discreet sign to airport staff to identify passengers in need of support and assistance as they travel through the airport. The card can be handed discreetly to airport staff along with the passenger’s boarding pass or passport.

The special assistance card, which will be introduced by March-end, advises airport staff on any additional needs of a passenger, such as needing more time to process information, or extra assistance in reading departure boards or flight information. The card also encourages airport staff to use clear language when giving instructions. Airport staff are also informed that passengers carrying a card may need to remain with a family member or companion at all times.

Bristol Airport has worked with OCS Group, the special assistance provider at the airport, and local Dementia, Autism and Alzheimer charities in developing the card in addition to the lanyard scheme. The OCS Group also worked with Thumbs Up World Limited to produce a small colour booklet containing useful information for passengers with hidden disabilities using Bristol Airport. The booklet provides a clear guide on what to expect at the airport with photographs of each area including check-in, security, retail and catering outlets, boarding, arrivals and baggage reclaim. The booklet also contains space for passengers to record their own specific needs or any questions they may have along with emergency medical and contact information.

Phil Holder, Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to work with OCS and listen to feedback from families and various charities in the development of the hidden disabilities special assistance card. For families it will remove and reduce some of the stress knowing that staff are aware and understand the challenges they may face.

‘The booklet will also be a great help to families and provides information in advance of their visit and allows the family to complete the booklet together not only before they visit, but during their time at the Airport also.’

All airport staff in customer-interface roles have been given a full training and awareness programme in preparation for the introduction of these new initiatives on March 31, 2017.

The hidden disabilities assistance card, lanyard or booklet are available on request at the OCS special assistance desk in the main terminal prior to check-in, the airport said.

Ryanair commences Bucharest flights from Bristol Airport, expands summer 2017 schedule at Luton

Irish low-fares airline Ryanair has commenced new flights between Bucharest and Bristol on Wednesday, November 9 2016 – the first ever scheduled service between the South West and Romania.

Peter Downes, Bristol Airport’s Head of Aviation, said: ‘Today is a special day as we celebrate the inaugural flight to Bucharest from Bristol Airport. This is the first ever scheduled service to Romania from the South West & Wales region, reflecting our continued growth at Bristol and our mission to offer greater travel possibilities to our passengers. This latest launch brings the number of European capital cities we now serve to 16, further opening up the region for inbound tourism opportunities.’

‘The route is already proving extremely popular with customers, with plans in place to double frequency to twice-weekly from April 2017 as part of Ryanair’s biggest ever summer schedule from Bristol Airport.’

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘We are pleased to launch our new route from Bristol to Bucharest, offering a great city break destination for customers in the South West. The good news is that this route will continue into the summer 2017 season, and with even lower fares this winter, there’s never been a better time to book a low fares getaway from Bristol.’

Separately, Ryanair said that it has expanded its London Luton summer 2017 schedule with a new route to Dusseldorf Weeze, starting in March, in addition to a new Faro route, which will deliver two million customers per annum. Ryanair’s summer 2017 schedule will also see more frequencies to sun and city destinations.

Ryanair has also released its ‘Rate My Flight’ statistics, which show that 94 percent of surveyed customers were happy with their overall flight experience in October. Over 17,000 customers used the ‘Rate My Flight’ function in the Ryanair app in October – an increase of 7,000 from September – ranking their overall experience, boarding, crew friendliness, service onboard and range of food and drink, on a 5-star rating system, the airline said.

Ryanair launches summer 2017 schedule at Bristol airport

European low fares airline, Ryanair, has announced its summer schedule at Bristol Airport for 2017, with a total of 30 routes as the airline expands its Bristol traffic by five percent in 2017.

The new Bristol schedule offers more frequencies to sun destinations, including two new routes to Bucharest (twice weekly) and Venice Marco Polo (four times a week) as well as extra flights to Warsaw (four times a week). With the schedule, the airline expects to deliver over 1.7m customers per annum at the airport.

Ryanair will also continue to connect Bristol with popular sun destinations including Alicante (10 weekly), Malaga (8 weekly) and Palma (10 weekly). Ryanair continues to improve its customer experience, as it rolls out year three of its ‘Always Getting Better’ customer experience programme.

To celebrate the launch of its Bristol summer 2017 schedule, the airline has released seats for sale, at fares starting from £19.99, which are available for travel between November 2016 and March, 2017. Seats are available for booking until Monday (October 31) at www.ryanair.com .

Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robin Kiely said: ‘We are pleased to launch our 2017 Bristol summer schedule (our biggest ever), which includes two new summer routes to Bucharest and Venice and extra flights to Warsaw, with 30 routes in total, which will deliver over 1.7m customers p.a. at Bristol Airport.

‘Customers can look forward to even lower fares when they make advance bookings for summer 2017, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight on Ryanair and we urge all customers who wish to book their summer 2017 holidays to do so now on the Ryanair.com website, where they can avail of the lowest fare air travel to and from Bristol.’

Pete Downes, Head of Aviation, Bristol Airport said: ‘We are delighted that Ryanair has chosen to add two new summer routes to the network available from Bristol Airport. Whether measured by total seats on sale or number of destinations featured, this is the most extensive schedule Ryanair has ever operated from Bristol Airport and offers customers living in the South West and Wales a wider range of choices than ever before.

‘Our new service to Bucharest in Romania represents the first time this destination has ever been served from the South West, demonstrating the important role regional airports continue to play in offering choice and connectivity with the added convenience of flying locally.’

easyJet launches new Bristol-Gran Canaria route, three new routes at London Luton

easyJet, a leading British low fares airline, has launched new flights from Bristol Airport to Las Palmas airport in Gran Canaria.

The inaugural flight took-off last week, with the airline scheduled to fly up to twice a week through autumn and winter. The route is aimed at families looking for an escape to warmer climes in October and through winter. UK travellers and holidaymakers can also choose to travel to other winter sun destinations from Bristol Airport such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Funchal in Madeira.

Travellers and holidaymakers from across the South West and Wales will be able to travel to Gran Canaria’s winter sun starting from GBP26.99 per person. Fares are for one-way, including taxes and based on two people on the same booking. Flights can be booked at www.easyjet.com.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, commented: ‘We’re really pleased to launch yet another great route from Bristol Airport which is already proving extremely popular with our passengers. Gran Canaria has a something for everyone – from enduring beaches to the sand dunes in Maspalomas, the shopping in Las Palmas to the night time entertainment in Playa del Ingles.

‘We’re absolutely committed to making travel easy and affordable for our passengers in the South-West and Wales – we now fly to 60 destinations from Bristol Airport and it’s one of the biggest bases in our network.’

The UK budget airline has also recently launched new routes from London Luton Airport including the twice-weekly service to Tenerife South (TFS), which departed on September, 20. Across the new routes, which also included the recent launches to Gran Canaria and Toulouse, easyJet is expected to fly an extra 1,100 passengers a week from the airport, with over six million passengers expected to travel from Luton this year, an increase of 500,000 in the last 12 months.

Simon Harley, Head of Business Development at London Luton Airport, said: ‘The new routes launched by easyJet are a great addition to the growing list of over 130 destinations available from London Luton (LLA). The announcement comes at an exciting time for LLA against a backdrop of record passenger numbers and the largest development in the airport’s history, which will transform the passenger journey and increase capacity from 12 million to 18 million passengers per year. We look forward to working with easyJet to further develop its network from LLA.’

easyJet announces new flights from Bristol Airport to Las Palmas

easyJet, the UK-based low fares airline, has announced a new route on sale from Bristol Airport to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria.

Las Palmas, officially Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is the capital of Gran Canaria, located in the northeast part of the Spanish island, about 150 kilometres off the north-western coast of Africa. Locally known as the ‘Eternal Spring,’ Las Palmas enjoys a very mild desert climate with mild to warm temperatures throughout the year.

From September 28 through autumn and winter, passengers from across the South West and Wales will be able to fly directly to Las Palmas once a week at prices starting from £25.49 per person with easyJet. The new route is aimed at holidaymakers and families looking to escape to warmer climates over the October half term, or for those looking for a city break.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said: ‘We’re delighted to be adding Las Palmas to our network from Bristol Airport. Gran Canaria has a bit of everything – from enduring beaches to the sand dunes in Maspalomas, the shopping in Las Palmas to the night time entertainment in Playa del Ingles. We are confident this will be a popular choice for families and holidaymakers over the winter season.

‘easyJet now flies to 59 destinations from Bristol Airport meaning our passengers have a great choice of some of Europe’s best city, ski, summer and winter destinations to choose from, including Amsterdam, Innsbruck, Porto and Reykjavik in Iceland.’

Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport said: ‘We are delighted to welcome this additional route to the easyJet network. This will offer customers flights to all of the four key Canary Islands and further extends the choice of destinations available. We look forward to working with easyJet on developing the route network available from Bristol Airport.’

Tickets for the new Bristol to Las Palmas route are available for booking at www.easyjet.com.

WOW Air commences flight service from Reykjavik to Bristol

WOW Air has commenced its Reykjavik-Bristol route, with the first flight from Reykjavik to Brsitol launched on May 13, 2016.

The route will be operated three times a week all year round. With the new service, WOW air becomes the second airline to link Bristol to Iceland with a direct service, after British airline EasyJet.

Skuli Mogensen, founder and CEO of WOW air, said: ‘Today is a momentous day for us at WOW air as we launch our Bristol service, our second route between Iceland and the UK. This is a reflection of our continued growth in Britain and our mission to offer greater travel possibilities on either side of the Atlantic. We’re delighted to be bringing ultra low-cost travel to Iceland and beyond to the South West of England and we look forward to welcoming travellers from the region onboard.’

Robert Sinclair, Bristol Airport’s Chief Executive said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome the first WOW air flight from Reykjavik to Bristol Airport. The airline not only provides direct flights to Iceland but also affordable onward connections via the world-class hub of Reykjavik to North America.

‘The response from customers in the region since WOW air’s flights first went on sale has been fantastic, highlighting the growing demand for travel to the USA, Canada, and of course the breath-taking landscapes, natural wonders and unique charm of Iceland. We are delighted to be the first UK region to host WOW flights and look forward to working with the airline to grow passenger numbers on the route.’

On board the first flight were guests of Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus, looking to build stronger links with the region for inbound visitors.

John Hirst, Chief Executive, Destination Bristol said: ‘The North American market is critical to the success of Bristol’s visitor economy, and both the USA and Canada are consistently within our top feeder markets generating an estimated 42,000 plus visits a year. The WOW network opens up further connections across the continent to improve access and so allowing us to welcome new as well as returning visitors to the region.’

David James, Chief Executive for VisitBath said: ‘Bath certainly has the ‘wow’ factor. Combining history, contemporary culture and world-class tourist attractions, Bath is a fantastic all-year round city break destination, all within easy reach of Bristol Airport.

The introduction of new WOW Air flights has the potential to bring thousands of visitors to the West of England, and it is estimated could generate millions to the local visitor economy.’

Hilton Worldwide to develop its first modular hotel at Bristol Airport

Hilton Worldwide has announced plans to open the first hotel at Bristol Airport under its economy Hampton by Hilton brand, the Airport said in a release.

The 201 guest room property is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2016 and will be the first hotel at the airport. The move comes as Bristol Airport saw record volumes last year when 6.7 million people passed through the terminal, making it one of the UK’s busiest passenger airport.

In developing the modular hotel, Hilton Worldwide has entered into a strategic partnership with modular building provider CIMC. Financed and owned by CIMC, the hotel will be managed by Hilton Worldwide.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide said, ‘CIMC’s capacity to deliver modular sections of the building to the final hotel site offers an incredible opportunity to overcome many of the challenges faced during construction.

‘Alongside potential time and cost efficiencies, CIMC’s ability to provide senior debt to developers using its modular building technique underpins its robust growth model, and we are seeing more and more opportunity for this structure in mature markets such as the UK, and developing economies, most notably in Africa.’

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said: ‘The development of a high quality on-site hotel to be operated under such a world-renowned brand will be a very welcome addition to our facilities for the growing number of passengers choosing to fly to and from Bristol Airport. Alongside the terminal extension currently under construction, this is another statement of our ambition to be a world class regional airport serving the South West of the UK.’

CIMC’s innovative modular technique reduces construction time by manufacturing and assembling parts of the hotel, including guest rooms and hallways, in China, before transporting them to the final site for assembly. The model ensures consistent quality and accelerates the on-site schedule.

 

bmi regional expands key business routes from Bristol Airport

bmi regional has announced additions to its schedule for summer 2016 from Bristol Airport, with the addition of extra rotations and improved schedules.

The new 2016 summer schedule will add an additional ten flights to bmi regional’s existing seven routes, offering more flexible and convenient business travel from Bristol. As per the revised schedule, bmi regional will increase service and offer changed timings to Paris, improved connectivity via Frankfurt, a new double daily service to Dusseldorf and an additional Munich rotation.

The airline has announced a new evening rotation from Bristol to Paris (CDG), offering increased flexibility for business and leisure travellers. The summer 2016 schedule offers up to twice daily flights direct from Bristol to Paris, at fares starting £49 one way.

The new summer schedule from Bristol to Frankfurt will feature three daily weekday rotations with up to twice daily rotations on weekends. The improvements will also see improved connectivity with code-share partner Lufthansa, enabling links to and from a further 200 onward destinations. bmi regional fares from Bristol to Frankfurt start from GBP81 one way.

The airline has further increased services to Dusseldorf on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to twice daily, with the new timings enabling passengers to travel the city and back in the same day. Fares to Dusseldorf cost from £79 one way.

In addition, Bristol to Munich – one of bmi regional’s most popular routes – will now have a new Monday morning rotation. The new flights depart Bristol at 06.30am, arriving in Munich at 09.30, conveniently timed for early Monday meetings. The return flight departs Munich at 10.40, arriving in Bristol at 11.40. Fares cost from £81 one way.

Commenting on the service improvements, Chief Commercial Officer Jochen Schnadt said: ‘Bristol Airport is a key UK hub for bmi regional and one which we are continually growing and developing. With our convenient, comfortable and quality product we are all about connecting businesses and regions and these changes and additions to our network and schedule from the South West are a direct response to our customers’ requirements for improved connectivity.’

Shaun Browne, Bristol Airport’s Aviation Director said: ‘We are delighted with bmi regional’s expansion of its Bristol services. In particular the improved benefits of the additional flights to Dusseldorf which will offer a day return product on key days of the week. The new schedule on Paris Charles de Gaulle is also welcome as it provides improved connectivity for business and leisure passengers from both the UK and France.’

Falcon coach service connecting South West locations launched

Bristol Airport has said that Stagecoach South West has launched a new service – Falcon, the first dedicated 24/7 coach service connecting major locations across the South West.

Claimed as a cost effective alternative to the train, the Falcon service will start on Sunday, February 14 and will operate 19 journeys a day, seven days a week between Plymouth, Exeter, Taunton, Bristol Airport and Bristol City Centre, both day and night.

In celebrating the launch, single and return journeys will initially cost just £1 from February 14 to 27. From the end of February, normal fares will apply, which include £5 return journeys anywhere along the route for under 25’s and OAP’s and adult returns from £7.50. All return fares are valid for up to 28 days. Weekly and monthly ticket options for regular commuters will also be available, with prices starting from £20 a week.

Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: ‘Falcon is a bold new step in making it easier for people to travel across the region. It’s a ’round the clock’ service between the main towns and cities across the South West plus Bristol Airport.

‘I am confident this new 24/7 connection will prove extremely popular with commuters, University students, shoppers, day trippers and, of course, holidaymakers flying from Bristol.’

Liz Macnaughton, Commercial Manager – Ground Transportation, Bristol Airport said, ‘We are delighted to welcome the Falcon coach service which will give customers from key catchment areas easy access to and from Bristol Airport.

We are committed to working with transport partners on improving surface access to the Airport now and in the future. This is the first time a service will be available to customers from Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton and I am sure it will be a success.’

Falcon will operate up to every hour during the day and at various times overnight, connecting the South West’s main towns and cities as well as a 24 hour service to Bristol International Airport, the region’s busiest transport hub. Journeys are timed to serve the needs of commuters, leisure and holiday travellers. The eight new coaches will all feature free Wi-Fi as well as air conditioning, leather seats and charging sockets.

Tickets, including weekly season tickets, can be bought in cash direct from the driver. A select number of tickets will also be available to pre-book via www.megabus.com, and four week season tickets will be available to buy online at www.stagecoachbus.com, the airport said.