British Airways launches new services from Belfast with routes to Exeter, Leeds Bradford, Newquay and Glasgow

British Airways has announced the launch of four new domestic routes from Belfast this summer, providing key links between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK at a time when booking a holiday abroad remains uncertain.

Over the next few months, the airline will start to operate 18 flights a week between George Best Belfast City Airport and Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Newquay airports.

Starting from June 16, 2021, British Airways will operate flights from Belfast City to Exeter on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and to Leeds Bradford on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The airline will operate services from Belfast City to Cornwall Newquay starting from July 3, 2021, twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday; while the new Belfast City- Glasgow service will be operated starting August 2, 2021 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

The new routes will run alongside existing British Airways services between Belfast and London City and London Heathrow airports. The additional services will be operated using BA CityFlyer’s existing fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft. Customers can book via ba.com, with return fares from Belfast to these new destinations starting from £48 each way.

Tom Stoddart, Managing Director of BA CityFlyer, which will operate the new routes, said: ‘We’re delighted to announce these new services from Belfast, which will enhance our regional network and maintain vital connections between Northern Ireland and other key UK destinations.

‘We’re sure these routes will be popular with customers getting away for a UK holiday this summer, as well as those visiting friends and relatives, and we’ll continue to listen to their feedback about where they want to travel.’

Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, said: ‘Continuity on these services is excellent news for domestic connectivity to and from Northern Ireland. Operated by Embraer 190 jets, these routes will greatly complement the existing British Airways services to London Heathrow and London City enabling passengers to enjoy the excellent British Airways experience to a greater number of destinations.’

Loganair resumes flights to Exeter from Newcastle International Airport

Newcastle Airport has said that Loganair has resumed flights between Newcastle and Exeter.

Suitably scheduled for both business and leisure travel, the new flights will operate every Monday and Friday throughout May before increasing to every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June. Flights are available from £76.66 one way, and are on sale now at Loganair.co.uk, the airport said.

Exeter is the third Loganair route to resume at Newcastle Airport, with Aberdeen and Southampton flights already operating. The airline is also planning to introduce a new route to Newquay which will operate every Monday, Friday and Saturday throughout the summer season.

In addition, Loganair will also begin a new route to Jersey from Newcastle on June 25, operating three times a week between the North East and the popular Channel Island destination.

Leon McQuaid, Head of Aviation Development at Newcastle International Airport said: ‘Connectivity between the North East and rest of the UK is extremely important and Loganair has been integral to unlocking these key air links.

‘I am delighted that this route has been restored, catering for both business passengers as well as passengers planning a holiday or visiting family and friends in the South West of the UK.

‘As the demand for travel continues to increase we have been working hard to ensure the terminal is a safe environment for all. Our Ten Point Plan of safety measures includes an enhanced cleaning regime and over 100 hand sanitiser stations within the terminal for our passengers to use.’

Kay Ryan, Loganair’s chief commercial officer, said: ‘We believe the return of this service will prove extremely popular with North East travellers, showing as it does Loganair’s continued commitment to providing domestic connectivity for both leisure and business customers despite the severe damage which has been caused to the aviation industry by the Covid-19 pandemic.’

Loganair announces new direct routes connecting East Anglia with Norwich, Exeter

Loganair, the UK’s largest regional airline, has announced the launch of new air routes connecting East Anglia with the South-West of England with flights to Norwich and Exeter.

The service, which starts on July 12, will operate a four flights per week service across the summer season on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – moving to Monday and Friday flights from September onwards. The 70-minute flight will be operated on Loganair’s 49-seat Embraer 145 jets and can be a more convenient way to travel than rail connections via London or the 320-mile road journey.

Fares start from £49.99 one-way including all taxes and charges. All Loganair fares include a free checked baggage allowance, and tickets are on sale from today at www.loganair.co.uk. The service links existing Loganair destinations. Norwich is already served from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Jersey, and Exeter from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. Loganair also said that its Edinburgh-Norwich services, originally planned to resume in September, will now recommence on July 12.

Loganair Chief Executive Jonathan Hinkles said: ‘We are very pleased to expand our commitment to Norwich and Exeter with this direct service, connecting two important UK business and leisure locations. We’re sure this new connection will be warmly welcomed by customers travelling for work reasons and by those – just as soon as they can – travelling to visit friends and family.

‘The need for domestic connectivity has been clearly recognised by the UK Government with its stated intention to reform Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights. There is no doubt the high level of APD has historically rendered such links as Norwich to Exeter economically difficult to sustain.

‘The fact that 42 of Flybe’s 46 lost domestic routes have now been restored also shows the resilience and the importance of supporting the UK’s domestic airlines and this ‘team effort’ across the industry is something of which we should we all be proud.’

Exeter Airport Operations Director Stephen Wiltshire said: ‘It’s marvellous that Loganair is re-establishing the link between Exeter and Norwich, which is a key route for business, tourism and reconnecting family and friends kept apart by the pandemic.

‘Importantly, this launch fills another gap left by the collapse of Flybe, with almost every domestic destination from Exeter now being restored by Loganair and other carriers over the coming months.’

Norwich Airport Managing Director Richard Pace said: ‘We’re delighted Loganair is re-establishing the link between Norwich and Exeter. We also welcome Loganair’s decision to restart the route to Edinburgh in July. In launching these routes, Loganair is putting its trust in the UK Government to deliver on its promise to reduce domestic Air Passenger Duty which is critical to the recovery and sustainability of domestic flying.’

Flybe to operate new Exeter-Norwich ‘one hour’ service

Flybe, the UK-based regional airline, has announced a new ‘one hour’ service between the Exeter and Norwich airports – the first route to be operated under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

The new route is part of the airline’s 2016 Summer schedule, with a choice of six flights a week, operating daily excluding on Saturdays. The new route will be effective for travel from March 24 to October 28, 2016. Seats are on sale now at www.flybe.com with one way fares from £17.49 including taxes and charges, it said.

Commenting on the new service, UK Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: ‘It is fantastic to see Flybe launch this new direct air service between Norwich and Exeter, offering significant journey time savings for passengers when it begins operations in time for Easter. Our smaller airports are vital engines for local economies, connecting the UK and opening up opportunities. That is why the Government is backing new regional air routes to drive investment and boost growth across the country.’

Vincent Hodder, Flybe’s Chief Revenue Officer added: ‘We are delighted to be the first airline to announce details of one of the many routes to be funded under the Government’s Regional Air Connectivity Fund. Our new service between Exeter and Norwich is a great example of how Flybe connects the UK regions, supporting local communities and businesses.

‘Our new direct cross-country route will take just 70 minutes, saving customers precious time by offering them the favourable option of not having to endure between five and seven long hours in a car or train.’

With the new service, Flybe’s 2016 Summer schedule from Exeter now includes a total of 18 routes offering a choice of up to 122 flights a week; and from Norwich, four routes offering up to 12 flights a week.

Separately, Flybe said that its day- return flights to Rotterdam from Manchester have been well received by both business and leisure passengers, benefitting from the low introductory fares.

Offering up to two flights a day during the week, the new Manchester-Rotterdam route will start operation on February 8, 2016. A limited number of one way fares are available at £19.99 for travel during the first week of operation, the airline said.

Flybe announces winter schedule from Exeter, expands services from Newquay

Flybe, the UK-based leading regional airlines, has announced its new 2015-16 winter schedule to and from Exeter. The airline also announced an agreement with Emirates offering expanded services from Newquay Airport, reports said.

The winter schedule for Exeter includes 12 routes with a choice of up to 158 flights a week available for travel between October 25, 2015 and March 26, 2016. Towards meeting passenger demand, the airline has also announced a re-scheduling of the return evening flight from London City that will depart at 1725, arriving in Exeter at 1835.

The airline has also confirmed the extension of its summer sun routes to Alicante, Faro and Malaga until November 1, 2015, and the return of popular Saturday ski routes to Chambery and Geneva.

In addition, following a new codeshare agreement between Flybe and Emirates, passengers at Newquay Airport will now be able to travel to 145 destinations across six continents in 84 countries on a single ticket.

Al Titterington, managing director, Newquay Cornwall Airport, said: ‘This new codeshare agreement between Flybe and Emirates will provide passengers in Cornwall with the freedom to travel anywhere on the Emirates global network at the click of a button and is another exciting development in the continued growth of Newquay Cornwall Airport.’

Laurie Berryman, Emirates vice president, UK, said: ‘Our new codeshare agreement with Flybe will provide passengers in Newquay with increased choice, flexibility and ease of connection to Dubai and on bound to destinations on Emirates’ global network.

‘Offering a smoother, more convenient travel experience, it will also make travel into Newquay more accessible for international tourists and open up the delights of the town and wider region to more people around the world.’

Passengers will be able to check their bags at Newquay and not have to collect them until their final destination. Flybe’s current schedule from Newquay will allow passengers to connect to five Emirates services departing daily from airports across the UK including Birmingham, Manchester and London Gatwick.

Optimism over Exeter Airport sale

Exeter Airport in Devon, UK, has been sold to Patriot Aerospace, a division of Rigby Group Plc.

The value of the deal, which will see ownership of the airport transfer from multi-national infrastructure group, Balfour Beatty, has not been disclosed, but the airport’s managing director, Matt Roach, speaking on behalf of the 305 workers employed by the airport, said that the sale was a ‘really positive development.’

The Rigby Group, headed by its chairman, Sir Peter Rigby, already has aviation interests with British International Helicopters, a helicopter operator with 25 aircraft and 100 employees, based in Newquay, Cornwall, UK, and a part ownership of Coventry Airport in the West Midlands.

Belfour Beatty had owned its 60 percent stake in Exeter Airport since its purchase from Devon County Council for £60 million in 2007. Galaxy, a fund comprising French and Italian investors and the European Commission, owns the remaining stake in the airport.

Matt Roach said, ‘There’s been a lot of speculation recently and this shows the airport has a viable future. We have a new owner that believes in the success of the airport, and for the staff that’s really positive. The Rigby Group have a passion for aviation so it’s a really good partnership to build on the existing strengths of the airport and further develop it in the future.’

Sir Peter Rigby said, ‘We believe in the importance of regional airports and of their value to the local and regional communities and of their important contribution and place in the local economies. We are intent on developing our aviation business within the Rigby Group and we have made a significant acquisition here, and recently with the acquisition of British International Helicopters in the course of the last month or so.

‘We now intend to consolidate both of these opportunities with a view to being a leading group in the sectors of regional airports and helicopter operations. Approximately 450 jobs are now sustained in our aerospace activities.’

British low-cost regional airline, Flybe employs 900 people at the airport and is its major carrier. Flybe’s managing director Andrew Strong, said, ‘Flybe welcomes the sale of Exeter airport to the Rigby Group Plc and looks forward to working with the new owners to develop services from Exeter and improve the passenger experience at the airport. Given the recent fare increases at Bristol Airport, Exeter should be able to capitalise on its position as the premier airport in the South West and the next few years at the airport look set to be an exciting period.’

 

Flybe receives boost from Six Nations Rugby tournament

Flybe, a low-cost regional airline group based in Exeter, Devon, UK, has announced an increase in sales for the six-week period of the Six Nations Rugby tournament.

Additional charters that the company has laid on for the tournament have proved popular, and it has also seen an improved uptake for its upgraded domestic services. Flybe also gained a notable PR coup when it was selected by the England rugby team for their return journey from the match in Ireland last weekend.

Fans from the four home nation teams benefit particularly from Flybe’s extensive domestic route network. When the Scottish team plays Ireland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh on Sunday February 24, the airline is operating 16 flights between Dublin and the Scottish capital, some using larger aircraft, and a sell out is expected.

Another match at Murrayfield, this time against the Welsh team on Saturday March 9, has seen tickets selling so well for Flybe’s flights from Cardiff to Edinburgh that two additional flights have been added to the airline’s schedule, and six flights to Edinburgh from Birmingham have also seen brisk ticket sales.

Andrew Strong, the MD of Flybe UK said, ‘One of the secrets of Flybe’s successful business model is our ability to react quickly to our customers’ needs. When the Six Nations fixture list was published, we knew that there would be increased demand on certain of our routes and we acted swiftly to meet that need both instantly and again this week by increasing capacity yet further due to passenger demand for affordable and convenient travel to the matches.’

Head to Devon for Exeter Festival

Devon will be playing host to the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink once again from April 13th to 15th this year.

To be held at Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle Courtyard, the annual event is designed to showcase the quality and variety of produce in south-west England, allowing visitors to meet and buy from local growers and sellers.

High-profile chefs, led by master cook Michael Caines, will be showing off tips and tricks at the festival’s cookery theatre, with the likes of James Nathan, Mat Follas and Jackie Kearney to be in attendance.

After Dark Parties will take place on both the Friday and Saturday, offering live music performances, food stalls and real ale and cider to drink, while Little Cookies events will also be available to help children learn some basic culinary skills.

The festivities run from 10:00 to 18:00 BST on the Friday and Saturday, with Sunday’s events wrapping up an hour earlier.

Day tickets cost £7.50 for adults, £1 for those under 16 and are free for under-fives, while entry to the After Dark parties requires a separate payment of £7 at the door or £5 if booked in advance.

Gourmands can find all manner of last minute hotels in the area at LateRooms.com, including the Acorn Lodge in Torquay.

Further details on the event can be found at www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.