Jurys Inn opens new hotel in Central London

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland has announced the addition of its newest hotel, Jurys Inn London Holborn, opening its doors to guests on April 9, 2019.

A hotel group in the UK and Ireland, Jurys Inn operates 37 hotels under the Jurys Inn brand and nine hotels under the Leonardo brand – 40 in the UK, four in Ireland, and one in Prague.

Located at 50-60 Southampton Row and formerly known as Grange Holborn Hotel, Jurys Inn London Holborn has over 200 bedrooms, meeting and events facilities, two bars, a restaurant, a Health & Leisure Centre and a Spa. The new hotel is located in the Midtown district between London City and West End, offering guests easy access to key city attractions. The hotel is near to the British Museum and Covent Garden, making it a central spot for guests visiting London for business or leisure.

Jason Carruthers, Managing Director of Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland, said: ‘We are thrilled to be expanding our UK portfolio with this incredible London property. Whether you are planning a weekend city break, a business trip or a relaxing afternoon at the spa, we are excited to welcome guests old and new to experience our newest hotel.’

Jurys Inn London Holborn offers a large range of food and beverage options – from Koto Japanese restaurant, serving speciality ethnic cuisine, to the Constellations Restaurant. The hotel also has a Hermes Bar and the Sky Bar and Lounge, with views of the city.

The hotel houses 14 meeting and event suites that can accommodate up to 450 people. Each space is adaptable for use for many different functions from conferences and seminars to galas and award ceremonies. Guests can relax at Ajala Spa, which features a 13- metre indoor pool, steam room, sauna and a selection of ambient treatment rooms. The hotel’s Health & Leisure Centre has a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art gym which guests can use free of charge, and is also open to private membership.

SWISS launches Bombardier C series service to and from London City

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national airline of Switzerland, has become the world’s first airline to offer commercial flights with the Bombardier C Series aircraft to and from London City Airport.

The sophisticated short- and medium-haul Bombardier CS100 will operate SWISS’s scheduled services to and from London City. Accordingly, the first commercial SWISS Bombardier CS100 flight to London City Airport arrived from Zurich at 17:47 (local time London) on August 8. SWISS will also use its Bombardier C Series aircraft on its Geneva-London City route starting next summer.

Commenting on the new service, Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer, London City Airport, said: ‘The inaugural commercial flight of the Bombardier C Series by Swiss International Air Lines is a landmark moment for London City Airport, and it is a pleasure to welcome the first passengers and crew from Zurich, following five years of preparation.’

‘This next-generation aircraft is one of the quietest in operation, with greater fuel efficiency and longer range, setting a new standard for SWISS operations and London City,’ he added.

With its short runway and its steep landing approach, pilots are required to undergo additional training for such operations at London City Airport. In addition, the aircraft itself is to be certificated to perform the steep landing approach at London City. The aircraft’s manufacturer, Bombardier of Montreal, Canada, obtained this in April of this year.

‘We have prepared our pilots down to the finest detail to perform our new scheduled Bombardier C Series flights to London City,’ said Peter Koch, SWISS’s C Series Fleet Chief. ‘And we’re delighted that we can now offer all the many attractions of the C Series, in inflight comfort and more, on this important route.’

SWISS is shifting to its C Series aircraft mainly to replace its Avro RJs, which were used to commence scheduled services to and from London City 25 years ago. The last commercial SWISS Avro RJ100 flight will be from Zurich to London City and back on Monday, August 14, the airline said.

London City Airport introduces real-time customer feedback system to improve airport experience

London City Airport has announced the launch of new real-time feedback system enabling passengers to express their level of satisfaction on the airport experience by pressing ’emoji’ buttons at 16 different locations in the terminal.

The advanced Feedback Now technology sends data to airport staff instantaneously, including alerts via text message to help them allocate resources effectively. With the new technology, passengers can provide live ‘smart’ feedback on their London City Airport experience – from the quality of customer information to cleanliness of toilets.

London City is the only UK airport that has this real-time functionality – without a 24-hour lag on data – enabling the airport staff to improve customer journeys on the spot. The airport has introduced Feedback Now consoles throughout the terminal this week, which allow customers to rate their satisfaction for different aspects of their journey.

Melanie Burnley, Director of Customer Experience at London City Airport, said: ‘As we continue to welcome record-breaking numbers of passengers through London City Airport, the real-time Feedback Now system will help our terminal team focus their efforts in the right places at the right time to give the best customer service possible.

‘Whereas other airports have customer feedback systems, most of these have a 24 hour delay. We are the first UK airport to receive the data as-it-happens, meaning we can use the technology to respond quickly and ensure the great customer experience, efficient check-in and arrival, and speedy security is maintained.’

The new feedback system is voluntary and requires passengers to choose from three ’emoji’ buttons denoting differing degrees of satisfaction. A total of 60 consoles have been installed in 16 locations across the airport, visible at key stages of the passenger’s journey, including check-in and information desks, security search, toilets, passport control and baggage reclaim.

In addition, any patterns or trends detected from the data can be further used to improve the customer experience, while the system may also be integrated with other metrics, the airport said.

More than half of London City’s passengers resort to online check-in

Research conducted at London City Airport has revealed that passengers are increasingly using technology with increased confidence for flight check-ins.

According to the research, in June this year, 53 percent of passengers checked in online and printed their boarding pass at home or downloaded it to their mobile phone – up from 43 percent the previous year, Luchtzak Aviation said in a release online.

The research also found that only one in five travellers – or 20 percent – used a manned-check-in desk at the airport – as compared to more than one in three, or 36 percent, who sought the assurance of a staff member handling check-in last year. Also, self-service check-in kiosks are becoming more popular as usage at the airport has increased from 10 percent to 21 percent in 12 months.

According to the airport, the findings demonstrate the impact of technology on the customer experience, the increased confidence of travellers in taking control of their journey, and the need to save time.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said: ‘These findings show that 4 out of 5 people catching a flight from London City Airport are now checking themselves in, whether online or via a self-service kiosk in the terminal.

‘What really stands out to me is the obvious confidence travellers now have. You can provide all the technology money can buy, but your customers must want to use it. Much like shoppers using self-service check-out tills, or even self-service check-in booths at hotels, technology in travel and aviation is giving people choice – choice to own your journey and the processes needed to complete it. It is clear that air passengers have found the confidence to take control of their journey, save themselves time and do it their way in this digital age – a kind of digital DIY.’

The research also found that business travellers were the most likely to check-in online. Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of business passengers at the airport printed their boarding pass at home or downloaded to their mobile, compared to less than half (45 per cent) of leisure passengers.

London City Airport has the highest proportion of business travellers of any UK airport – around 55 percent of passengers, the report noted.

As part of efforts to improve passenger experience, London City is currently investing GBP16m in redeveloping its Western Pier, which houses 70 percent of its departure gates. The new pier will be 74 percent larger, with a contemporary open-plan layout, 600 additional seats and space for new retail and food and drink outlets.


Business travel gains pace at London City Airport

The UK’s business travel is beginning to gain momentum as airlines including Flybe and British Airways are adding new routes and increasing frequencies to offer customers more choice, according to the latest figures from London City Airport (LCY).

The airport, which has the highest percentage of business travellers compared to any airport in the UK, recorded its busiest ever week this month.

During the week starting November 9, a total of 84,758 passengers travelled through LCY – a 27 percent increase on the same period last year and a 5.5 percent increase on the previous record, set in July 2013. Thursday – November 13 – was the busiest day ever at LCY, with 15,899 passengers flying through – 1.3% higher than the earlier record set on May 23, 2013.

More than 60% of London City’s passengers travel on business.

Declan Collier, CEO at London City Airport said: ‘The signs are very encouraging. Employers are growing in confidence, releasing travel budgets, and airlines are growing in confidence, adding new routes and increasing frequencies to offer customers more choice.’

‘Just last month, Flybe launched services out of London City, boosting connectivity to the UK regions in a move that was welcomed by the Government and illustrating the increasing appetite for airlines to pursue business travellers. Meanwhile, our largest airline partner British Airways is continuing to fill its planes with more and more passengers and expanding its offering to meet demand.’

‘It is now more important than ever that we are allowed to grow. Our current infrastructure is constrained and with demand continuing to increase, we must develop that infrastructure to continue to offer the convenience, speed and customer experience that we pride ourselves on and for which people choose to travel from LCY, in turn supporting more than 2,000 jobs on campus and driving investment in the Royal Docks and wider East London area.’

London City Airport serves more than 45 routes across Europe and New York. New routes launched this year include Hamburg, Guernsey, Belfast, Inverness and Exeter.

The only airport actually in London, London City Airport caters to around 3.4 million passengers (63% travelling on business, and 61% inbound) and 70,000 movements annually. The airport has permission to increase its operation to 120,000 movements per annum – carrying six million passengers – which it intends to do by 2023, it said.


London City Airport introduces Europe’s first Luggage Transfer service

London City Airport (LCY) has introduced a brand new service – AirPortr – for air travellers enabling passengers to travel lighter.

The first business of its kind in Europe, AirPortr provides a secure luggage transfer service for business as well as leisure travellers. Bookable in advance or on the day, the service incorporates features including applying tamper-secure seals on luggage, real-time GPS tracking and driver profiles.

International and domestic visitors can leave their bags with AirPortr’s on-site concierge on arrival at LCY and head straight to their meeting or event without the need to carry the heavy baggage around. The luggage is then delivered, and would be waiting for them, at their hotel, office or serviced apartment.

Matthew Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘Almost two thirds of passengers using London City Airport are business travellers, choosing LCY for the convenience it offers. The airport is within easy reach of Canary Wharf, the City and central London (all under 25 minutes by public transport), and departing passengers can transit from door to gate in no more than 20 minutes while arriving passengers can make it from tarmac to train in 15 minutes.

The new baggage collection and delivery service from AirPortr makes it even easier for business people to get the most out of their trip while enjoying a trouble-free journey outside the airport.’

Randel Darby, AirPortr CEO and Founder said: ‘Time is so valuable so not having to worry about taking your luggage from meeting to meeting, avoiding taking a taxi in rush hour traffic, not going to your hotel before your first meeting saves valuable time and enables you to be more focused.’

On an outbound journey, the luggage is collected beforehand and delivered to the airport ready for the passengers to arrive for check in. All outbound baggage is scanned off-site before delivery to ensure security, in addition to the usual airport checks.

AirPortr is being described as an affordable luxury, with two bags delivered from London City Airport to the West End for £30.


London City voted among world’s top 10 airport landings

London City Airport (LCY) is one of the world’s most stunning airport landings, according to a poll conducted by the private jet booking service, PrivateFly.com.

In its annual survey, PrivateFly asked international travel experts and travel fans for their most scenic airport landings. Major names in the travel industry who helped in creating the 2014 shortlist for public vote included Bill Prince, deputy editor of GQ magazine; Murdo Morrison, editor of Flight International; David Scowsill, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council; and Patrick Jephson – author, pilot and former equerry to Diana, Princess of Wales.

One voter praised LCY for the ‘the drama and beauty of flying through the heart of the world’s most vibrant and important city’. Another commented ‘When arriving from the west, the pivot around the Shard, the view of the city of London and of Canary Wharf is a superb way to see the city’.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport (LCY), said: ‘We are naturally very proud of having one of the top ten most awe-inspiring airport approaches in the world. LCY’s location – just three miles from Canary Wharf and seven miles from the City of London – means that passengers flying in can get an aerial view of their office or the place they’re visiting before they land and complete their journey via the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the London Underground.

‘The landmarks of one of the world’s greatest cities make for a breathtaking view, one which even the most jaded of frequent flyer would struggle to tire of.’

Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot, said: ‘The exciting approach into London City offers a bird’s-eye view of one of the world’s most iconic cityscapes, so it’s no surprise we have seen it consistently featured on our top 10 list.

‘The poll’s results give travel fans a checklist of global descents to experience at least once in a lifetime. It’s a fascinating mix of major city views, stunning island approaches; and tiny remote airstrips.’

Nice Cote D’Azur, France took top position with the most votes, followed by St Maarten, French Caribbean and Barra, Scotland, UK. London City, UK was in the ninth position, followed by Queenstown, New Zealand at tenth. London City has made it to the poll’s top 10 twice previously, in 2013 and 2012.


Diverse workforce strengthens international business, London City Airport

London City Airport (LCY) is not just an international business when it comes to operating airlines, but one of the most diverse workplaces in the UK, with a truly international workforce employing staff from 28 different nationalities, the airport has said.

It claims that the diverse workforce helps to strengthen its international business.

More than 2,000 people work at LCY, with over 500 directly employed by the airport. The staff includes nationals from all over Europe such as France, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands, as well as people from as far as Australia, Barbados, Brazil, South Africa and Uganda.

The most represented countries outside of the UK are Ireland, Portugal and Poland, followed by Nigeria, France, Germany, India and Lithuania.

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said: ‘Having an international workforce truly strengthens the business. Our workforce reflects the international make-up of the local area and the international make-up of our business, currently serving more than 40 destinations across Europe.

With passengers of many different nationalities travelling through our airport every day, the most obvious advantage is having foreign language speakers on-site to provide assistance. Our international employees also bring local knowledge of overseas markets, which can benefit both passengers travelling overseas and our business strategy more widely.’

Even so, London City Airport focuses on recruiting locally – 27 per cent of current employees are from the London Borough of Newham and 61 per cent live within five miles of the airport, it said.

The airport’s ‘Take Off Into Work’ scheme provides skills training and work experience for local adults, and has helped over 300 people get back into work since 2009.

Serving around 3.4 million passengers with 70,000 movements annually, LCY celebrated 26 years of operation in 2013. The airport has permission to increase its operation to 120,000 movements per annum, carrying six million passengers, which it plans to do by 2023.

LCY’s proposed City Airport Development Plan, which includes seven new stands, a parallel taxiway, a western extension to the existing terminal, and a new arrivals building, is expected to create 1,500 new full-time jobs by 2023 – bringing the total workforce to in excess of 3,500.


UK Airports May Lose Out To Foreign Airports Due To Capacity Constraints

The Board of Airline Representatives (BAR UK), a UK-based industry association of UK airline operators, has said that Heathrow Airport in London is operating under capacity constraints, which may cause global airlines to forgo fights to the UK.

A survey conducted by the association has revealed that around 53 percent of airlines surveyed will be increasing their services to other countries, instead of the UK, due to capacity constraints at UK airports. However, 86 percent of the airlines are interested in increasing their services to the UK, if Heathrow Airport was able to offer them more free slots.

The survey by Frontier Economics, supporting recent research, has found that around twenty-one emerging market destinations do not have a daily flight from Heathrow, but are connected with other European airline hubs.

This may have a direct effect on UK foreign trade, as around 20 times more trade is carried out with emerging market nations that have a direct daily flight to the UK than with those nations not having a direct flight. It is estimated that he UK economy may lose around £14bn in the next decade because of lack of trade with these emerging markets.

Mike Carrivick, the association chief executive officer, said, ‘UK business leaders should be very concerned about the restrictions on reaching new markets at such a critical time in the UK recovery effort. The survey’s results are a chilling reminder that the Government must act decisively, and soon, in the national interest. Restricting capacity at key airports to the same level as the last decade is actively encouraging airlines and trade to go elsewhere.’

Edinburgh consider introducing ‘tourist tax’

Tourists planning to travel to Edinburgh to catch a glimpse of what the city has to offer could soon be paying extra for the experience – after the city announced they are considering introducing a controversial ‘tourist tax’.


The city council this week have held discussions about bringing in the fee, which could bring in between £5 and £10million extra in revenue each year.


On top of their accommodation cost guests in the city would pay an extra ‘bed tax’ charge of either £1 or £2 a night.


Countries across the world, including Vancouver and Venice have also introduced tourist taxes.


Edinburgh Council officials are hugely in favour of the new idea, however Green councillor Steve Burgess has argued it would be “unlikely to discourage visitors or affect the hotel trade”.


He argued, “£1 or £2 will not make a big different when most hotel rates in Edinburgh start at £50 or £60”.


According to records of the discussion on the possible tax, it is noticed that it would require Scottish Parliament legislation to enable the City of Edinburgh Council to introduce a transient visitor levy.


Hoteliers in the city however, have reacted in a negative way to the proposed idea.


Colin Paton of the Edinburgh Hotels Association said, “This is a lose-lose initiative, and is completely anti-business. It would certainly put people off coming to Edinburgh and coming to Scotland”.


He added: “The City of Edinburgh wants to put itself at a competitive disadvantage to the rest of the UK. It is bad news for consumers, for business, for employees, for the city and for Scotland”.


Mr Paton also believes that the introduction of the change would lead to job losses.


However Italy’s great Renaissance destination has justified their tourist tax as a way of protecting the city’s heritage.


Sandro Simionato, Venice’s deputy mayor said: “This tax is a new and important opportunity for the city”.


“The fundamental objective, which will also involve tourists who visit and love Venice, is to save this unique city, which is precious and fragile”.


Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh