Jet2 expanding to Liverpool Airport for Summer 2024 and Jet2holidays, the UK’s largest tour operator and third-largest airline, have announced that Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) will become their newest base, with the launch of new flights and holidays from Liverpool for Summer 2024.

Jet2 is offering 20 sunshine destinations on sale for Summer ’24 from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in response to demand from customers and independent travel agents across the region. The programme includes seven destinations that are exclusive to and Jet2holidays from Liverpool. The first flight from the airport will depart on March 28, 2024, in time for Easter.

For Summer 2024, and Jet2holidays will operate up to 54 weekly flights from Liverpool, including 12 flights to both the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands every week. A fleet of four based aircraft will fly customers to a wide choice of destinations across Mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Portugal, Madeira and Cyprus.

This will be the first time that and Jet2holidays will have operated from Liverpool, with 565,000 seats on sale. The programme also includes seven exclusive summer routes to Gran Canaria, Menorca, Rhodes, Zante, Madeira, Paphos and Bourgas (Bulgaria).

John Irving, CEO of Liverpool John Lennon Airport commented, ‘This is a great day for the Airport and for the region’s holidaymakers. For the first time travellers from across the Liverpool City Region and beyond will have the opportunity to book package holidays with the UK’s leading package holiday provider, direct from Liverpool John Lennon Airport – the airport of choice for travellers from across the North West and North Wales, bringing together the current Which? Travel Brand of the Year with the current Which? Best UK Airport.

‘It’s also great to have seven new routes available that we know will be popular with holidaymakers and for our local independent travel agents to be able to sell, with customers taking advantage of all the convenience and hassle-free benefits of flying from Liverpool.’

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said, ‘We are absolutely delighted to be expanding our award-winning flights and holidays to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which becomes our 11th UK airport base. This announcement further expands our footprint and comes on the back of the enormous demand that we know is out there from customers and independent travel agents across Liverpool, Merseyside and the wider region.

‘The announcement of our 11th UK airport reflects our long-term strategy to continue growing responsibly to become the UK’s leading and best leisure travel business. It also means significant investment in the region, with four based aircraft coming into operation and the creation of over 200 new jobs.

‘Between now and Summer ’24, our focus is on ensuring everything is ready to launch operationally, so that from day one we can provide customers from Liverpool John Lennon Airport the same award-winning service which has delighted millions of other customers from across the UK for so many years.’

Hyatt completes Apple Leisure Group acquisition

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced on Tuesday, November 2, that Hyatt has completed the previously announced acquisition of Apple Leisure Group(R) (ALG), a luxury resort-management services, travel and hospitality group, from affiliates of each of KKR and KSL Capital Partners, LLC.

Hyatt said that it is doubling its global resorts footprint through the addition of ALG’s AMR Collection brand portfolio, which comprises approximately 100 hotels and resorts operating in 10 countries, as well as a pipeline of 24 executed deals in the Americas and Europe. As a result, Hyatt now claims to offer one of the largest collections of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world, including new destinations for Hyatt such as Acapulco, Curacao, the Canary Islands, Menorca and St. Martin. Through this acquisition, Hyatt has added properties in 11 new European markets and expanded its European brand footprint by 60 percent, strengthening its growth potential in a critical region for global leisure travel demand.

In addition, Hyatt says that it is offering more options and experiences for its high-end guest and customer base and enhancing the end-to-end leisure travel experience through, Unlimited Vacation Club(R) by AMR Collection, an exclusive membership club whose members enjoy preferred rates and other benefits at participating AMR Collection properties; ALG Vacations(R), a packaged vacation provider and leisure travel distribution platform in North America serving the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean; Amstar, a destination services management company; and Trisept Solutions, a leisure travel technology platform.

Hyatt stated that it is determining ways in which the World of Hyatt(R) loyalty programme and ALG’s Unlimited Vacation Club(R) can bring added value and unique loyalty benefits to their respective member bases. Hyatt plans to integrate the AMR Collection into World of Hyatt in 2022 so that members can earn and redeem World of Hyatt points at more than 100 AMR Collection hotels and resorts.

‘Hyatt’s acquisition of ALG represents a brand-defining moment in our more than 60-year history and builds on our legacy as a hospitality leader,’ said Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer, Hyatt. ‘Hyatt and ALG have highly complementary brand portfolios and share a deep commitment to colleague and guest experiences focused on care. Having first entered the fast-growing luxury all-inclusive space in 2013, we are ideally positioned to capture the significant and rising demand for leisure travel and extend the world-class hospitality we provide to a wide range of new travellers. We are excited to welcome the ALG team to the Hyatt family, and look forward to working together to achieve new levels of growth and value creation for all stakeholders – including our shareholders, owners, customers, guests, members and colleagues.’

ALG’s business will continue to be led by Alejandro Reynal and the current ALG leadership team. ALG will operate as a distinct business unit within Hyatt. Mr. Reynal has joined Hyatt’s executive leadership team and reports to Mr. Hoplamazian.

First passengers welcomed to Manchester Airport’s new Terminal Two extension

Manchester Airport welcomed the first passengers to transit through its new Terminal Two extension this morning (Wednesday July 14), the main highlight of the GBP1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).

The first flight to take-off from the expanded Terminal Two was a flight to Menorca.

The revamped Terminal Two facility was officially opened by Manchester Airport’s managing director Karen Smart and’s general manager at Manchester Airport, Marc Burns. The opening had been delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic, after work started on the improved facility in 2017.

The inaugural passengers then had their first opportunity to sample the new terminal’s facilities, including a number of new shops, bars and restaurants and a giant media wall. More shops are set to open throughout the week as passenger numbers increase. will have two further flights leaving from the terminal today, with TUI flights added to its roster from tomorrow. The increasing opportunities for travel following the pandemic are expected to see more airlines using the improved facility over the next few weeks.

Commenting on the opening, Karen Smart, said: ‘This is a hugely significant milestone for our airport, our city, the North as a whole and the wider recovery of the travel industry. After a hugely challenging 16 months, we are delighted to be delivering some positive news and welcoming the first passengers into our new terminal extension.

‘The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped. However, as Government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened-up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from Terminal Two.’

Jet 2’s Steve Heapy, said: ‘The new terminal extension at Manchester Airport is fantastic news for our customers, and we are delighted to be the first airline to take off from the expanded terminal this morning. From today all of our flights will depart and arrive from the expanded Terminal Two, with the exception of arrivals from Jersey.’

Political inertia over third runway at Heathrow increasing ticket prices, study

Political inertia over the need for a third runway at Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, is increasing ticket prices for air travellers, according to independent research by Frontier Economics.

While demand has increased over the years, Heathrow has been unable to add more flights for a decade – pushing up prices. According to the new report by Frontier Economics, passengers travelling through Heathrow are already paying an average of £95 more for a return ticket than they would do if Heathrow had a third runway.

The un-met demand is expected to increase in future, and Frontier Economics estimates that by 2030 the average return ticket price could be £300 less with Heathrow expansion than with a two-runway Heathrow.

Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This research shows that not building a third runway at Heathrow will add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday, be a disincentive to doing business in the UK, and increase the cost of the goods and services that are imported and exported through Britain’s most important trade gateway.

‘This additional burden on both the cost of living for families and on businesses is entirely avoidable. The private sector stands ready to invest in the infrastructure Britain needs. Government has it within its power to lower prices for consumers by taking a clear decision to support expansion and end the years of prevarication that are now causing fares to rise and routes to be constrained.’

The Frontier Economics’ study also claims that a third runway will create a greater choice of routes for passengers. Expanding Heathrow could add 40 new direct connections to London in total, with many of those routes going to destinations in rapidly growing economies such as Calcutta, Lima and Mombasa.

Additionally, Heathrow will also work with government and airlines to ensure that expansion delivers improved air links between Heathrow and other parts of the UK including Inverness, Liverpool, Newquay and Humberside, the airport said.

In comparison, adding a second runway at Gatwick would reportedly only add between five and seven new routes, mainly to package holiday destinations.

However, the report argues that there would be even greater benefits to passengers if both Heathrow and Gatwick were allowed to expand, since having spare capacity at both airports would allow the greatest scope for competition.


Gatwick CEO says growth figures justify expansion

London Gatwick airport’s CEO has responded to the latest growth figures by stating that the airport is ripe for expansion.

Figures released today for March this year show that Gatwick handled 2.7 million passengers last month, which was an increase of 5.1 percent or 131,500 passengers over the figure for March 2013. The record month was a finale to a record year for the airport. The only downturn for the month was a reversal of 21.7 percent on traffic to North American destinations, primarily because US Airways ceased its routes to Gatwick during 2013.

Passenger numbers for the year ending March 31, 2014 were 4.8 percent higher than for the year ending March 31, 2013. Europe, and Spain in particular, accounted for 1.4 million more passengers, while 600,000 more passengers used the airport for Nordic routes, and the introduction of easyjet’s Moscow route in March last year meant a significant increase in traffic to Russia.

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick chief executive, said: ‘This has been a successful and exciting year for Gatwick that has seen steady growth, the completion of spending over £1 billion on improving the passenger experience and offering new routes that satisfy the demands of business and leisure travellers.’

‘These successes only add to the obvious case for expansion at Gatwick. A new runway could be delivered at Gatwick more cost effectively than at Heathrow, with significantly less environmental impact. It would also provide the connections and economic benefits the UK needs much more quickly.’


Local businesses support Gatwick expansion plans

Local businesses at Gatwick Airport have expressed their support for plans to expand the airport, according to This Is London.

Backing the Gatwick Airport submission, Rosemary French, executive director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative (GDI) business forum, has written to the chairman of the Airports Commission, Sir Howard Davies, on behalf of 100 individual businesses and 12 business membership organisations, representing 5,500 businesses and neighbouring areas.

Ms French said: ‘Expansion at Gatwick with a second runway, alongside the maintenance of Heathrow as a two-runway airport, is the best next step in aviation provision for London and the South-east, because it is the most cost-effective of all the options, does not use public money, and the environmental implications are smaller.’

The Gatwick Diamond Initiative involves 38,000 businesses, which contribute £19 billion Gross Value Added (GVA), and has a population of 406,000 that are economically active.

Speaking of the Gatwick expansion in environmental terms, Ms French said: ‘We believe that the environmental blight that a third runway at Heathrow will bring to London communities is wholly unnecessary when a second runway could be built at Gatwick with far less environmental, noise and air pollution impact.

‘Gatwick already handles 9,233 passengers for every person affected by noise, compared to 261 passengers handled by Heathrow, according to the Airports Commission’s own report.’

According to officials at Gatwick airport, 19,000 jobs will be created as a result of a second runway, while the GDI is confident that the expansion could create up to 40,000 jobs by 2030.

The airport is also claimed to be the best connected in the UK especially to Central London.

Ms. French added: ‘Gatwick has a main railway line running through it that connects directly to London Bridge, St Pancras International and Victoria, as well as south to Brighton and the coast.

‘An expanded Gatwick Airport would be a catalyst to bring further improvements to the area with faster, more efficient public transport and surface access infrastructure, enabling employees to be attracted from neighbouring communities in London, Kent, West Surrey and East Sussex.’

Groups opposed to the expansion have however questioned the validity of local business support for the project.


London City Airport plans to double its passenger capacity

London City airport (LCY) has revealed expansion plans that will see the airport double its passenger capacity over the next ten years.

The airport has submitted an application to the London Borough of Newham for approval to commence a £200 million expansion project. The proposals will enable up to 120,000 aircraft movements at the airport and effectively double its passenger numbers to six million over the next ten years,

The proposed plans include extending the terminal and adding a new taxi lane and new parking stands for larger planes. The airport is not proposing a second runway as it already has permission to handle up to 120,000 flights yearly under an application granted in 2009.

Based in the Royal Docks, LCY serves the business and political centres of Canary Wharf, The City and Westminster, and handles 70,000 flight movements and 3 million passengers per annum.

According to Declan Collier, chief executive of the airport, the expansion of LCY is vital, not just to satisfy the increasing demand for business travel, but also for the development of the Royal Docks and the east of London.

‘The airport currently employs just under 2,100 people, of which more than 60 percent are local. The proposed development has the potential to create as many as 1,500 new jobs, providing further employment in east London,’ Collier said.

‘In terms of the wider UK economy, the airport already contributes £750 million every year – through business and leisure tourist spend, the operation of businesses on site, productivity savings and air passenger duty – and when this project is completed, we can expect to double that amount,’ he added.

The airport, owned by American infrastructure fund, GIP, which also has Gatwick and Edinburgh airports in its portfolio, is also in discussions with the Davies Commission regarding the optimal use of existing infrastructure, proposals for new infrastructure as well as its capacity to accommodate more short-haul flights that will help relieve pressure on other airports. gets new investment, plans international expansion

Online cruise website,, has secured new investment from private equity firm, Risk Capital Partners, which will become the majority shareholder in the specialist agency.

Without disclosing the value of the investment, said that the investment would add impetus to its plans to expand in the UK and overseas, particularly in the Irish and Australian markets. has served 65,000 customers and generated revenue of £64 million in the last year.

The investment move is Risk Capital Partners’ first in the travel sector. Chaired by Luke Johnson, the company has previously owned the restaurant chains, Giraffe and Pizza Express. managing director, Seamus Conlon, said that the company had looked for an entrepreneurial VC with a proven track record of developing companies.

Conlon said: ‘We have spent some time getting to know Risk Capital Partners and are excited they have decided to invest in our business. Their acumen and results in the leisure space will be of huge value to us and we look forward to their expertise helping to shape the future of the business. We are well placed to take advantage of these shifts, and help customers and staff get together to share their experiences.’

Johnson said: ‘As more people research online, leading websites have engaged with users and harnessed social media techniques.

‘ has a wealth of content in addition to market leading prices. There is as a great opportunity to replicate this model into international markets where cruising and online research are growing rapidly.’

The new investment represents the second private equity investment in the company after a management buyout from previous owner, Carnival Corporation, was backed by venture capitalists, Forward Group, in 2007.

Since the 2007 buyout and a change of name from Victoria Travel to, the specialist agency has grown rapidly, with a focus on user-generated content. has more than 200,000 reviews and opinions on its website and has more than 85,000 members on its cruise discussion forum. When it acquired the domain name, it was the most expensive URL in the UK.


London Southend Airport Announces Terminal Expansion

London Southend Airport, an airport in the UK, has announced that it is in the process of expanding the terminal.

The expansion will include a new arrivals facility, which is expected to be complete by May 2013. The construction of all phases of the development is likely to be completed by the end of 2013.

The extension of the airport terminal, which will cost GBP10 million, means that passengers will have a maximum wait time of four-minutes for security check, and a 15 minutes transit time from aircraft to train for passengers that only have hand luggage, as the airport is located almost next to a railway station. The new extension will add 90 metres to the existing terminal building.

The expansion will also include a greater number of check-in desks and baggage drop off points, an increase in the size of the departure lounge, improved baggage reclaim facilities and a larger immigration area. The airport will also be offering more retail and catering facilities to passengers.

The project is expected to add around 300 new jobs to the economy, from additional operations at the terminal.

The managing director of the airport, Alastair Welch, said, ‘Our aim is to ensure that we deliver a very special level of customer service in Southend and this extension will allow us to ensure we can continue to deliver those high standards as the airport grows.

This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider Essex economy.’


UK Government Announces New Airports Commission

The UK government has announced the setting up of an independent commission to look at ways to increase airport capacity in the southeast of the country.

Patrick McLoughlin, the new transport secretary, has announced that former CBI chief, Sir Howard Davies, will head the new commission. The commission will be investigating ways of adding capacity at airports, in order that the UK may retain its supremacy as the most significant aviation hub in Europe. It will also offer guidelines for implementing additional capacity at UK airports.

The commission will be required to publish its report by the summer of 2015 and present it to the new government, which is expected to have taken control by that time.

Patrick McLoughlin said in a statement, ‘This is a very difficult debate, but the reality is that since the 1960s Britain has failed to keep pace with our international competitors in addressing long term aviation capacity and connectivity needs.

Germany, France and the Netherlands have all grown their capacity more extensively than the UK over the years, and so are better equipped, now and in the future, to connect with the fast growing markets of emerging economies.

The government believes that maintaining the UK’s status as a leading global aviation hub is fundamental to our long-term international competitiveness. But the government is also mindful of the need to take full account of the social, environmental and other impacts of any expansion in airport capacity.’

Airport capacity is currently a contentious issue in the UK, with divided opinion on the upgrading of existing airports or the construction of new ones.