Heathrow cuts domestic passenger charges by over a third

London Heathrow has announced a discount of £10.00 to domestic passenger charges to support affordable domestic routes starting January 1, 2017- the highest cut ever by the airport.

Scheduled to last up to twenty years, the discount is part of Heathrow’s plan to promote growth outside London by making it cheaper to travel beyond the capital. The new domestic charge of £19.10/passenger is over a third cheaper than 2016.

In September 2016, Heathrow also announced a plan to get UK regions connected to give all of Britain a ‘Brexit boost’. With the move, domestic passengers flying from Heathrow will be able to collectively save nearly £500m over the next 20 years, it said.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: ‘Earlier this year Heathrow promised to do more to help Britain’s economy grow stronger. This morning I’m delighted that we’re able to come good on that promise with our new £10 domestic discount. Putting over £500 million back into the pockets of British families and businesses will help to spur growth in every part of the UK.’

Airlines have already expressed interest in launching services at Heathrow’s cheaper domestic charges. Starting from March, Flybe will start operations from Heathrow for the first time. The UK-based European regional airline will add 40 new weekly flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. In addition, Flybe and easyJet have also expressed interest in using the additional capacity to serve additional domestic destinations – including Newquay, Liverpool and Dundee.

Heathrow’s move to discount domestic charges will also reduce pressure on airlines operating existing domestic services by making their routes more commercially attractive, it added.

Flybe receives ‘Airline of the Year’ Award, launches extra seats for summer 2014

Flybe, Europe’s largest independent regional airline and the biggest operator at George Best Belfast City Airport, has been named ‘Best UK Domestic Airline’ at the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards.

This is the second consecutive year that Flybe has won the award ahead of BA, Aer Lingus, easyjet and Jet2. The award was based on independent voting by travel agents throughout Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the award, Ken Harrower, Flybe regional sales manager, said: ‘We are delighted to have won this Award, made all the more special because it is determined by our peers across the local travel and tourism industry.

‘It is especially significant that we have won in this particular year which not only marks our 30th anniversary operating out of George Best Belfast City Airport, but also sees us take major strides towards the next three decades. In reference to these, the personal touch remains a key element as it remains a critical part of our commitments to customer satisfaction and congratulations must go to all of the staff at Belfast who made winning this award possible.’

Over 400 representatives of the travel and tourism industry in Northern Ireland attended the ceremony at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle.

In other Flybe news, the Stornoway Gazette reported that Flybe’s franchise carrier, Loganair, would offer 1,000 extra seats for summer 2014, operating extra rotations between Stornoway and Glasgow every Saturday and Sunday.

Phil Preston, Loganair’s chief operating officer, said: ‘We are very happy to be launching our summer 2014 schedule, and to be adding weekend frequency on our Stornoway to Glasgow route.

‘Scotland will be in focus in 2014 with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Homecoming and the Ryder Cup. We hope our network of routes will encourage tourists to extend their visit to include a trip to the Western Isles as well as giving island residents the opportunity to fly south and enjoy the sporting events in Glasgow.’

Services until September 9 are available for booking, with subsequent flights being made available in early December.

 

Virgin names new domestic airline ‘Little Red’

The aviation interests of UK-based Virgin are set to increase with the launch of a new domestic airline at the end of this month.

The company has announced that the new airline, which will make its first flight on March 31, will be known as Little Red. Following the airline’s launch in Manchester on the last day of this month, it will be rolled out in Edinburgh on April 5 and Aberdeen on April 9.

From its inception the airline will operate four round trips per day between London Heathrow and Manchester, six round trips per day between Heathrow and Edinburgh, and three round trips per day between Heathrow and Aberdeen.

Virgin has long been a rival to British Airways, particularly on trans-Atlantic routes, and now it hopes to be as effective in taking on BA in the domestic market. The company also sees the new services as providing lucrative short-haul connections to its long-haul routes.

Little Red is not a no-frills service; passengers will have pre-assigned seats, a 23kg check-in luggage allowance, hot breakfasts provided on early morning flights and complimentary snacks and drinks.

The president of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, said, ‘Virgin Atlantic has been on an incredible journey since we started with a single plane 29 years ago.

‘Little Red represents the next step on that journey as we go head to head with British Airways to provide domestic flights that deliver Virgin Atlantic’s rock and roll spirit as well as real value for money.

‘The European Commission recognised that a British Airways monopoly would be undeniably bad for consumers, and Virgin Atlantic Little Red will stop British Airways dominating routes and driving higher prices.’

 

British Airways Increases Domestic Services for Winter 2012

British Airways has reported that the recent acquisition of British Midland International (bmi) airline has benefited it in strengthening its domestic service.

The airline, while unveiling its winter 2012 schedule, reported an increase of 32 percent in the number of seats to Scotland, against last year’s schedule. The new schedule is also offering new routes from London City Airport to Aberdeen, and from London Heathrow Airport to Leeds Bradford Airport, and Belfast Airport.

The airline is offering more flights and bigger aircraft to Scotland, adding around 27,000 more seats per week between London airports and Scotland destinations. The additional flights include two more daily flights between London Heathrow and Edinburgh, and two additional flights per day between London Heathrow and Aberdeen, as well as three daily flights between London City and Aberdeen.

New routes are also being offered from London Heathrow to Seoul (South Korea) and Zagreb (Republic of Croatia); from London Gatwick to Las Vegas (US) and Barcelona (Spain); and from London Heathrow to Bologna (Italy) and Marseille (France), which have been transferred from London Gatwick airport for the new season.

Keith Williams, the airline chief executive officer, said, ‘bmi’s integration into British Airways is really enabling us to grow our network as we promised, giving customers more flights to destinations we know they want to fly to.

We’re focusing on new routes such as Seoul, Leeds Bradford and Zagreb, more flights to popular destinations and creating more connections for the UK regions to our global network of flying.’