easyJet announces new route from Birmingham to France

easyJet, the European budget airline, has announced a new route from Birmingham to Nantes in France, which will take off this summer.

The new route comes following new summer services to Faro, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca which are also set to take off for this first time this summer. Formerly an industrial port city with a thriving shipbuilding industry, Nantes is now the perfect destination for a city break with its vibrant art, culture and cuisine.

Flights to Nantes are scheduled to launch on June 27, 2022, with weekly departures on Mondays and Fridays. The new route will offer customers in the Midlands more choice for a holiday destination for the summer. Flights are available to book from on easyJet.com and via the app, with fares from Birmingham to Nantes from £29.99 one way per person including taxes.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘We’re delighted to add more new routes to our UK network for the summer and to provide our customers with an even wider range of fantastic destinations to enjoy. We are proud to be the largest airline in the UK and remain dedicated to offering low fares and convenient connections and we can’t wait to welcome more customers back on board.’

Tom Screen, Aviation Director of Birmingham Airport said: ‘It is great news that today easyJet will be offering flights to Nantes direct from Birmingham Airport. This route, currently unserved from the airport, will ensure that both business and leisure customers will have the opportunity to visit this French city.

‘This new route complements the existing Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Geneva, Palma, Faro, Malaga and Amsterdam routes on offer from Birmingham with easyJet and we are delighted that the airline is offering more choice to our customers and reinforcing its commitment to the Midlands region.’

easyJet serves 19 UK airports, offering over 411 routes to over 124 destinations from the UK to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Vueling announces Paris flights from Cardiff for a summer getaway

Vueling has announced its summer programme from Cardiff, increasing the number of flights to Paris to three per week, following positive news on the easing of travel restrictions between the UK and France.

Cardiff Airport announced the launch of the Paris route in November 2021, and flights will continue to operate through the summer season, increasing to three a week from March. Vueling’s summer schedule is now on sale online, and customers can take advantage of up to 25 percent off flights if booked before Sunday, January 23, using the code SUMMER2022- valid on flights between June 27 and September 23.

The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with timings scheduled for those looking for a short break to the city of romance, to visit friends and relatives or for a family holiday to Disneyland. Passengers can also reach European cities such as Florence, Rome and Barcelona via a connection in Paris.

Spencer Birns, CEO at Cardiff Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that Vueling has increased the frequency on the Paris route for summer, enabling our customers to travel with ease from Wales to explore all that Paris has to offer. We’ve been working hard to re-instate key routes following the impact of the pandemic, and we’d like to thank Vueling for seeing the opportunity at Cardiff to operate more flights to one of our most in-demand destinations.

‘Vueling is a long-standing and valued partner of Cardiff Airport, and this year marks their 10th year of operations. We would like to thank the airline for their continued support and confidence in Cardiff Airport, and we look forward to welcoming more passengers to the airport this summer as the flying programme ramps up.’

The addition of Paris to Vueling’s summer schedule brings the number of direct routes on offer up to four. Customers can also book low-cost flights from Cardiff to Alicante, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca- all ideal destinations for those seeking a family holiday or a getaway to enjoy the Spanish sun.

Eurotunnel closed to Britons with EU homes

Following new COVID restrictions imposed by the French government, Eurotunnel has warned British citizens that live in the EU that they cannot travel by car through France to get to their homes.

The Eurotunnel ban on travel for EU-domiciled Brits was confirmed by the tunnel’s operator, Getlink, in an urgent warning on its website and Twitter page that first appeared on Wednesday evening. Appearing to confirm a change in travel rules by the French government, the statement read, ‘Following a French Government decision, on 28/12/2021, unless they hold French residency, British citizens are now considered 3rd country citizens and can no longer transit France by road to reach their country of residence in the EU.’

According to the previous French travel guidance that was introduced on December 18, which stated that travel from the UK was would only be allowed for ‘compelling reasons’, ‘nationals of the European Union or equivalent’, as well as their partners and children, ‘who have their main residence in France or who join, in transit through France, their main residence in a country of the European Union’, are considered to have a compelling reason for travelling from the UK through France.

The French government is yet to make an official announcement about the latest change to the rules. But the Eurotunnel statement said the ban did not apply to British people living in France, or people from the UK that also hold an EU passport through dual nationality.

Jet2.com announces ski programme from Bristol Airport for Winter 22/23

Leisure airline Jet2.com has announced the launch of a programme of ski flights from Bristol Airport, offering snow sports fans easy access to the French and Austrian Alps, as well as the Tyrol Mountains, for Winter 22/23.

Jet2 has announced services to Chambery, Innsbruck and Salzburg return for Winter 22/23 from Bristol Airport, with services operating throughout the winter season to give skiers and snowboarders access to some of the best snow spots in Europe.

Jet2.com’s full ski programme for Winter 22/23 from Bristol Airport include weekly Saturday services to Chambery offering easy access to popular ski resorts in France, including the Three Valleys. The popular ski areas of the Alpe d’Huez, Chamonix, La Plagne and Val d’Isere are easily accessible from Chambery.

In addition, skiers and snowboarders will be able to access Innsbruck, the Tyrolean capital with weekly Saturday services. Innsbruck hosted the 1964 Winter Olympics and resorts such as Igls, Alpbach and St Anton am Arlberg make it a favourite among skiers and snow sports fans. The airline will also operate weekly Saturday services to Salzburg, linking the Austrian Alps and over 300 resorts including Kaprun, Mayrhofen and Obertauern.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘Customers have been telling us how much they want to book their place on the slopes for next winter, so we have responded to that demand by putting a brilliant ski programme on sale for Winter 22/23 from Bristol Airport. The three ski destinations available through Jet2.com give skiers and snowboarders access to some of the very best ski resorts in the world, never mind Europe. On top of that, we are giving snow sports fans a fantastic choice of flights, alongside the VIP customer service that sees us win award after award.’

Brittany Ferries to resume Western Channel fast ferry sailings for 2022

French ferry company Brittany Ferries has said that it is restoring its fast UK to France cross-Channel ferry route for 2022.

Starting from late May until early September 2022, the Normandy port of Cherbourg will be linked with the south coast ports of Portsmouth in Hampshire and Poole in Dorset, with weekend departures linking the UK and France in two hours and 30 minutes. The summer service, which was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic, is aiming to resume to meet post-lockdown travel demand.

The fast service is to operate from May 27 to June 5, and from July 15 to September 4, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It will depart from Portsmouth at 07:00, arriving at Cherbourg at 11:00. A return service will depart Cherbourg at 11:45, arriving at Poole at 13:15.

The sailings will be operated on Brittany Ferries’ behalf by Condor Ferries using its fast ferry Condor Liberation. The service will complement Brittany Ferries’ conventional car-ferry sailings from Poole to Cherbourg which will resume on March 28, 2022, having also been suspended in 2020 following reduced demand during the initial pandemic.

Paul Acheson, sales and marketing director, Brittany Ferries said: ‘As we emerge from Covid-19, we’re delighted to restore choice and flexibility for our customers as they make their cross-Channel travel plans for 2022.

‘Demand is now roaring back, and we’re ready to meet it. Condor Liberation will offer passengers on our shorter routes to Cherbourg additional flexibility and choice.

‘This will complement our conventional service operated by Barfleur on the Poole-Cherbourg route, and our overnight sailings from Portsmouth to Cherbourg with our newest ships Galicia and Salamanca.’

Condor Liberation carries 850 passengers and 200 cars, and comes with a range of onboard facilities as standard. The ship offers several spacious open seating lounges, meanwhile for an extra fee, Club Lounge is available offering reclining seats, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary hot drinks. Condor Liberation also offers an extensive duty-free shop, bistro cafe and bars.

Ryanair announces two new routes from Bournemouth Airport

Ryanair has announced the addition of two new routes from Bournemouth Airport with flights to Bergerac in France and the resort of Zadar on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, starting next spring.

With the new additions, Ryanair will operate 15 routes from Bournemouth in its 2021/22 schedule. Flights to Bergerac and Zadar start from March 29th, 2022 and will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Tickets are on sale now at ryanair.com.

Bergerac is a typical medieval French town on the banks of the Dordogne and a gateway to south west France. It has a winemaking industry dating back to the second century and is designated a Town of Art and History by France’s Ministry of Culture. Zadar is described by Rough Guides as ‘one of the coolest places on the Adriatic’, renowned for its Roman and Venetian ruins, uncrowded white sand beaches and proximity to Croatia’s national parks, including Plitvice Lakes with the country’s highest waterfall.

Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: ‘Bergerac and Zadar are fantastic additions to Bournemouth Airport’s growing number of international destinations and are ideal for a short break or longer holiday.

‘Ryanair have launched one of their biggest ever seasons from Bournemouth and we’re delighted there is so much choice available to holidaymakers from their local airport.’

Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness, said: ‘Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, is committed to re-building Europe’s aviation and tourism industries as we grow our passenger numbers to 225m p.a. by 2026. We are excited to continue working with Bournemouth Airport to connect the people of Bournemouth to their favourite holiday destinations next summer including Bergerac and Zadar.’

Ryanair recently started five international routes from Bournemouth Airport including Gran Canaria, Budapest, Dublin, Lisbon and Wroclaw, known as the ‘Venice of Poland’ for its maze of islands and bridges.

In total the airline has 15 routes from Bournemouth including: Spain (Alicante, Girona (Barcelona), Gran Canaria, Malaga, Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife), Ireland (Dublin), Hungary (Budapest), Poland (Krakow and Wroclaw), Portugal (Faro and Lisbon), Croatia (Zadar) and France (Bergerac).

Bournemouth Airport has announced 33 destinations in 16 countries for 2021/22.

Vueling announces new flight service from Cardiff to Paris

Low-cost airline Vueling has recently announced a new service from Cardiff to Paris, set to take off on November 2, 2021.

The Cardiff-Paris route will be the fourth route in Vueling’s Cardiff programme, which currently consists of scheduled flights to Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante. The inclusion of Cardiff will benefit passengers wanting to re-unite with friends and relatives, explore Paris on a city break, and for business and sports travel. The route will operate twice a week with flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights are now on sale and available to book.

The announcement comes following Vueling’s acquisition of slots at Paris Orly, enabling the airline to expand and operate 32 new routes from November. Flights to Paris Orly are currently on sale at special fares, with flights available for under GBP10.

Spencer Birns, CEO at Cardiff Airport said: ‘We are delighted that Vueling has stepped in to provide a much-needed service to Paris from Cardiff Airport. The announcement will be welcome news for our customers wanting to travel to visit family, to explore one of the world’s greatest cities, and of course for large sporting events. Paris is also hugely popular with families wanting to visit Disneyland, and it is fantastic that this will once again be easily accessible for passengers.

‘I’d like to thank Vueling for their continued confidence and partnership with Cardiff Airport, and we very much look forward to launching the route later this year.’

Since the collapse of Flybe in 2019, Cardiff Airport has been looking to re-instate key routes lost due to the impact of the pandemic. Earlier this year, routes to Belfast and Edinburgh resumed, operated by Eastern Airways and Loganair, and Ryanair will be launching a four-weekly service to Dublin from the end of October.

Eurostar adds more high-speed services to Europe

Eurostar, the high-speed rail link between the UK and mainland Europe, announced on Thursday August 19 that it is adding more trains between the UK and the continent in response to growing demand following the removal of quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers from France to the UK and the easing of restrictions for travel to Belgium and the Netherlands.

During August, Eurostar has seen double the amount of bookings, and has added 39 trains for travel between the UK and the continent this month alone. The busiest days for travel are between August 27 and 30, with Paris the most popular destination from the UK.

Since the easing of travel restrictions by the UK government in August, the high-speed rail operator has seen the gradual return of the weekend break, with a 105 percent rise in August and September weekend trips between London and Paris, compared to the same period last year and 83 percent of bookings attributed to leisure travel or visiting friends and family.

From September 6 until November 1, eight daily return services will operate, with five in each direction on the London to Paris route and three in each direction between London and Brussels, with one each way extended to Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The expanded timetable is claimed to offer improved flexibility to both business and leisure travellers with fares from GBP39 each way.

The company says that travellers can book with confidence knowing that all tickets are flexible with no exchange fee up to 7 days before departure, offering peace of mind should travel restrictions or plans change. Eurostar adds that it has introduced new measures to keep passengers safe, with trains deep cleaned before every journey, and cleaning teams on board to regularly disinfect high contact areas. All travellers must wear a mask on board and in stations, this continues to apply after check-in at London St Pancras.

Eurostar claims to offer the most environmentally friendly choice for travel to Europe, with each journey using up to 93 percent less CO2 than the equivalent flight.

Ryanair expands UK summer 21 schedule, launches 26 new routes

Ryanair has announced the launch of its expanded UK Summer 2021 schedule, which includes over 2,300 weekly flights across 480 routes, including 26 new routes to popular holiday destinations in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

UK holidaymakers are increasingly looking forward to holiday travel following the Government’s roadmap for the re-opening of air travel and the success of the vaccination programme. UK families can now book a Summer holiday until October 2021, flying to international destinations such as Bologna, Fuerteventura, Zakynthos and Valencia among many others.

Ryanair’s UK Summer 21 offers flights to holiday destinations such as Corfu, Santorini, Menorca, Ibiza, Faro and the Canary Islands. Summer breaks to Europe’s top cities including Barcelona, Lisbon, Naples, Rome and Venice.

As part of the announcement, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from £19.99 for travel until the end of October, but these sale prices must be booked by midnight Sunday, March 28 on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Group CEO, Michael O’Leary, said: ‘The UK Govt has implemented a very successful vaccine rollout programme, and is on track for a re-opening of EU short-haul travel this summer. Ryanair is pleased to offer even more choice and lower fares to our UK customers and their families with over 2,300 weekly flights and 480 routes to choose from, including 26 exciting new holiday connections to Naples, Rhodes, Chania, Alicante and Mallorca among many others.

‘UK families can now book a well-earned summer holiday safe in the knowledge that if their plans change for any reason they can move their travel dates up to two times with a zero-change fee up until the end of October 2021.’

Eastern Airways to operate two new routes to Nantes and Rennes from Southampton

Eastern Airways, an independent UK-based carrier, has announced plans to operate two French regional destinations from Southampton in April.

The airline will commence services to Rennes Bretagne from Thursday, April 29 and Nantes Atlantique from Friday, April 30. The two routes will be operated using the airline’s 72 seat ATR72-600 aircraft, with the Nantes service flying on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while Rennes will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flights are now available to book at www.easternairways.com, with all fares including hold baggage.

Roger Hage, general manager for Eastern Airways, said: ‘As the UK’s regional airline, we are delighted to add the first two French connections from Southampton as being Nantes-Atlantique and Rennes-Bretagne, covering the key regions of the Loire Valley and Brittany.

‘Given Southampton’s prominence in connecting the UK and France, while also being within an hour of London by rail directly outside the terminal door, it is an exciting development for all.

‘With additional new destinations to follow in the coming days and weeks, Eastern Airways is committed to supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places, so adding further services at hubs we already serve is another crucial part in the economic recovery and prosperity of the South-Coast hub.’

Operations director at Southampton Airport Steve Szalay said: ‘This announcement from Eastern Airways is welcome news for the airport and our passengers.

‘It is also encouraging that the airline is expanding its route map at the airport during these challenging times and will once again provide those travelling from Southampton and beyond fantastic connectivity to these ever-popular French destinations.’

Eastern Airways will reintroduce the services carefully, aligned to changes in Covid-19 restrictions, with extensive cleaning measures on-board and across the airport for the safety of all passengers, it said.

Currently Eastern Airways serves Belfast-City, Manchester, Leeds-Bradford and Teesside from Southampton with Dublin planned. Eastern Airways also has a codeshare partnership focused on Southampton with Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, to meet increased demand to the Channel Islands.