British Travellers Remain Unfazed by Recession

The latest research from Kantar Media, a UK-based media company, shows that leisure travel in the UK still continues unabated in spite of an economy that is slowing down.

Around 90 percent of adults in the UK are planning a holiday in 2012, which is more than the 82 percent that vacationed last year. The Kantar Media Compete’s Online Shopper Intelligence Report indicated that although budget and luxury holidays remain equally favoured by British consumers, holiday costs are a concern to them.

Around 49 percent of the UK online population visited the website of UK-based low cost airline, Easyjet, in the first quarter of 2012, making it the most popular airline, while Travelodge and Premier Inn remain the most popular UK hotels, visited by 54 percent and 52 percent of online visitors respectively.

According to the report, price is the biggest factor to impact on the travel decisions of UK holidaymakers, and they have shown a growing trend towards booking their own individual holiday components, Including airline, hotel rooms, and car rental, separately online, rather than employing the services of an online travel agent (OTA)to construct a package on their behalf.

John Thekanady, the company client services director, said, ‘One issue clearly flagged up by the report is that OTAs would benefit from taking a closer look at the needs of their audience and how they can meet them. This is particularly pertinent in view of the high reach of EasyJet that, with hire cars, hotels, package breaks, etc, is fulfilling the role of an OTA. The findings also indicate that there are untapped opportunities online for bus and rail companies. They could boost their digital sales significantly by improving their online marketing and distribution channels, particularly as the price of petrol continues to rise.’

Easyjet Announces Extension of Allocated Seating Trial

Easyjet, a UK-based low-cost airline, is to extend its trial of allocated seating to more routes, following the initial introduction of the allocated seating option in April of this year.

The allocated seating is available in three price ranges, £12 for extra leg room in front row and exit seats, £8 for seats at the front of the aircraft, and £3 for any other seat.

Allocated seating will be offered on all flights to destinations including Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, Malaga, Istanbul, Alicante, Amsterdam, Glasgow, and Zurich, for all days of the week, during the extended trial period.

The allocated seating option can also include a priority boarding incentive from a minimum payment of £2.50 per person, and passengers who purchase ‘Speedy Boarding’ will be the first group to board the aircraft, followed by passengers requiring special assistance and families with young children. All other passengers will then board the aircraft in a final group.

In a statement on its website, the airline said, ‘We launched our allocated seating trial on selected routes in April and following positive feedback from our customers, we have added more routes to the trial. In response to passenger feedback, this trial is aimed at testing whether allocated seating makes travel easy, affordable and provides a better experience for our passengers.

Passengers already booked on flights which are part of the allocated seating trial will receive a communication ahead of their flight to let them know what they need to do.’ The communique also provides a list of questions that passengers may have in relation to Allocated Seating.

UK Airlines Announce Passenger Traffic Increases in April 2012

International Airlines Group (IAG), the UK-based airline holding company that owns British Airways, has announced a growth in traffic in April 2012.

The company has reported that premium traffic increased by 4.8% in April 2012 compared to the same month in 2011. Premium traffic has outgrown the company’s traffic for economic fares, which increased by 2.6% in April 2012, from that in April 2011.

Total traffic for the company increased by 2.9% in April 2012, compared to April 2011, while capacity increased by 0.5% for the month compared to that for April 2011. Passenger load factor in April 2012 has increased by 1.9 point to 81.6% over the prior year period.

The company has reported that the results are not inclusive of its newly acquired Bmi airline from Dutch airline, Lufthansa. The airline acquisition was completed on April 20, 2012.

Earlier, Easyjet, a UK-based airline, reported growth in passenger traffic by 8.6% in April 2012, to 5.1 million, compared to 4.7 million in April 2011. The airline load factors increased from 86.5% in April 2012, to 89.3% in April 2011.

Another UK-based airline, Ryanair, has reported a 6% increase in passenger traffic in April 2012, from 6.8 million in April 2011, to 7.2 million. Load factor in April 2012 has lowered by 1% to 81%, compared to last year.

 

Easyjet Offers New London Gatwick Airport to Kefalonia Service

Easyjet, the UK-based budget airline, is offering a new service from London Gatwick Airport, in the UK, to Kefalonia, an island in Greece.

The airline is offering a service to Kefalonia three times weekly, bringing its total number of flights to Greek destinations to eleven. The company is currently flying to Athens, Corfu, Crete Chania and Heraklion, Kefalonia, Kos, Thessaloniki, Satorini, Rhodes, Mykonos and Zante.

The new fares, from London Gatwick to Kefalonia, commence at £48.99 one way, with the inaugural flight having taken place on April 28, 2012. With its new service – the airline’s first to western Greece – Easyjet expects to transport around 15,000 visitors to the island each year.

Catherine Lynn, the airline UK director, said, ‘We’re thrilled to have launched our new service from London Gatwick to Kefalonia. With a strong start on bookings to date, we’re confident that it will be an extremely popular route with our customers from the UK and Greece alike. We carry 1 million passengers between Greece and the UK every year, so this additional route will provide them with even further choice.’

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece, and is the natural habitat of the endangered loggerhead turtle population, which nests at the island’s Kaminia beach. The island, with its attractive beach and underground lake, draws tourists throughout the summer, many of who also visit the Mount Aenos National Park. The island was also featured in the Hollywood movie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which starred Nicholas Cage.

London Southend Airport Announces Terminal Extension

London Southend Airport has acquired permission for an extension of its terminal building from Rochford Council, the local authority.

 

Phase 1 of the terminal has been operational since February 28, 2012, and the new extension is expected to offer more passenger facilities as the airport grows towards handling around two million passengers a year by 2020.

 

Easyjet, a UK-based airline, is currently operating out of the newly opened terminal building with three A319 aircraft, providing 70 flights per week to different European destinations, including Barcelona (Spain), Faro (Portugal) and Ibiza (Spain).

 

The airport managing director, Alastair Welch, said, ‘We are very pleased that Rochford Council has indicated they support this extension, which will ensure that we are able to maintain the high levels of customer service we intend to be the hallmark of London Southend Airport as our passenger numbers grow. This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider economy.’

 

The terminal expansion will include a greater number of check-in desks and baggage drop off points, as well as number of security screening channels, baggage reclaim facilities, and a bigger immigration area at the Arrivals Lounge. The Departure Lounge will be extended to provide a more comfortable ambience for passengers waiting to board after clearing security. The expanded terminal building will also be hosting a number of retail and catering facilities.

 

The airport is connected to London’s Liverpool Street and Stratford railway stations, with a frequent rail service, making it an attractive option for visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Easyjet Announces New Services from London Gatwick Airport to Luxembourg

Easyjet, a UK-based airline company, is offering new services from London Gatwick Airport in the UK to Findel Airport, in Luxembourg, with flights to commence from October 29, 2012.

The airline is offering a four times weekly service from London to Luxembourg, giving competition to the two airlines that are already flying the route, British Airways, another UK-based airline, and Luxair, a Luxembourg-based airline company.

Luxembourg is a an important commercial centre in Europe, with a number of international companies, including Amazon, Paypal, Exxon Mobil and Skype, having their global headquarters based there, so a new connection to the city of Luxembourg from London will give business travellers more choice when flying on the route.

The airline also intends to increase the number of flights on the route in due course.

Paul Simmons, the airline’s UK director, said, ‘The launch of our new services to Luxembourg further bolsters our network of business destinations across Europe. Luxembourg is a key addition to the winter schedule which clearly demonstrates our commitment to providing a comprehensive range of key business routes, taking on the flag carriers, head on.’

The airline is also currently offering a new winter schedule, with the expansion of its services to Tel Aviv (Israel), Tallinn (Estonia), Turin (Italy), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerkland), Venice (Italy), Isle of Man and Copenhagen (Denmark) from its UK airports.

The new route and expanded services mean that the airline is offering around 230,000 more seats. These new seats will be on sale from this week.

Easyjet releases surprise option to Greek isle Kefalonia

Begining Spring next year low cost air carrier Easyjet has announced a completely new route taking travelers to the sunny island of Kefalonia in Greece. It can be anticipated that this flight with operate at least 3 days weekly – news that has been welcomed by travel firm Kefalonia.co.uk.

The region is still classed as one of Greece’s most untouched locations and is significantly less “touristy” than a lot of the more developed group of islands including Zante and Crete. The region only became famed as a holiday spot following the 1994 launch of the Hollywood runaway success Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as vacationers flocked to discover the stunning vistas captured by the motion picture.

In 2011 numerous resorts in Europe have been experiencing a 4% fall in people visiting from the British isles this year. Kefalonia like many saw a slight drop in tourist numbers but was not as effected by the downturn. Still – for major resorts and hotels on the island, news that there will more than likely end up being far more visitors in 2012 is to be welcomed with opened arms.

MD from travel company Kefalonia.co.uk said “this brand new route is going to be a terrific boost to the vacationer market on the island and should encourage enhanced cost competition on the plane ticket prices which generally is fantastic for visitors. This year we saw visitor numbers hold with Skala hotels in the south of the island and Holidays to Lassi near the capital being our bestselling Kefalonia breaks”.

He continued – “With so much focus around Greece’s financial problems many in the tourist industry have worried that visitors may be put off traveling to the islands. The news that a big airline like easyjet is backing the island to stay busy next year is fantastic.”

For Kefalonia the news could not be better timed.

 

easyJet Holidays asks ‘how flexible are you?’

easyJet Holidays, has announced the launch of the ‘How Flexible Are You?’ competition on its holiday offering’s blog.

This easyJet Holidays alliance which was established following a collaboration between easyJet and the Lowcosttravelgroup, provides customers with the choice and flexibility to enable them to tailor their holidays and city breaks to travel when they want, to wherever they want, for as long as they want. In light of this, and the recent heroics from the contortionist Rubber Richie, who managed to squeeze himself into a suitcase in London, the team has been wondering; just how flexible is the average person?

The new competition asks entrants to get creative and send in a funny flexible video or photo. For the most impressive entry the easyJet Holidays team is offering an Ibiza holiday for two in Ibiza for seven nights. The winner will then be announced on the 1st of May 2011 by a very special guest judge.

easyJet is also encouraging those looking for a little inspiration to head on over to the easyJet Holidays blog and take a look at Rubber Ritchie’s bendy antics or check out the other entries on the easyJet Holidays You Tube Channel.

Those wanting to enter the competition can share their images or videos on the ‘How Flexible Are You’ Facebook page via twitter at easyJet Holidays Twitter or simply email them and the easyJet Holidays team will upload them.