Emirates to resume services to London Heathrow and Paris

Emirates has said that its A380 aircraft will begin serving travellers on flights to London Heathrow and Paris, starting from July 15.

This follows the announcement earlier in the week that Dubai will re-open to business and leisure visitors from July 7, with new air travel protocols that facilitate travel for UAE citizens, residents and tourists.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said: ‘The A380 remains a popular aircraft amongst our customers and it offers many unique on-board features. We are delighted to bring it back into the skies to serve our customers on flights to London and Paris from 15 July, and we are looking forward to gradually introduce our A380 into more destinations according to the travel demand on specific destinations. The Emirates A380 experience remains unique in the industry, and even though we’ve modified services onboard for the health and safety of our crew and customers, we are confident that our customers would welcome flying again in this quiet, comfortable aircraft.’

In addition, Emirates has announced that it will commence flights for travellers to Dhaka from June24, and Munich from July 15. Flights to Dhaka and Munich will be operated with an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and can be booked on emirates.com or via travel agents.

Emirates currently offers flights to over 40 cities, with connections through its Dubai hub for customers travelling between the Asia Pacific, the Gulf, Europe and the Americas.

Emirates has implemented a set of measures to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. More information on these measures and the services available on each flight is available at: www.emirates.com/yoursafety.

Customers are further reminded that due to travel restrictions, travellers will only be accepted on flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. Visitors to Dubai should hold an international health insurance policy covering illness from Covid-19 for the duration of their stay. More information is available at www.emirates.com.

Delta to restart London Heathrow passenger services from Detroit

Delta has recently announced plans to restart its passenger services from the United States to U.K as demand for air cargo is driving demand for passenger travel.

Beginning May 21, 2020, flights will operate three times weekly between Detroit and London. The flights will also be available for customer travel.

‘Keeping global supply chains open is more important now than ever and these new services will enable suppliers to meet the needs of their customers,’ said Shawn Cole, Vice President – Delta Cargo. ‘We’re receiving daily requests for shipments of medical supplies as well as goods that keep businesses in operation. By also opening these services to passengers, we can facilitate essential travel between the U.K., Europe and United States.’

With the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, Delta has implemented several measures to keep its customers safer on board and in airports. These include: sanitizing the aircraft before every flight; using advanced air circulation systems with HEPA filters that help extract viruses; capping capacity throughout the aircraft to ensure onboard customer spacing; adjusting the boarding process to encourage more space for safer travel by boarding all flights from back-to-front; providing supplies directly to customers when available, including hand sanitizers; and requiring employees and customers to wear a face mask or appropriate covering when travelling.

‘The safety of our customers is always our number one priority, and their wellbeing is the reason we have implemented these wide-ranging measures,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Vice President – Transatlantic. ‘The advent of COVID-19 is changing the way we fly and that’s why our focus on cleanliness will remain in place always. We hope that these efforts will give our customers greater peace of mind when they step on board.’

Cargo will be transported between Chicago and London, via Detroit, increasing the shipping opportunities for cargo customers. The Heathrow service will be operated using a Boeing 767-300 with 26 tons of cargo capacity.

The flight will depart London Heathrow at 1255 on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving into Detroit at 1630. On return, the flight will depart Detroit at 1800 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving into London Heathrow at 0855 the following day. The flights will operate to and from Heathrow Terminal 2, as Terminal 3 is currently closed. There are limited retail outlets open at both airports and all lounges are currently closed.

Heathrow to commence COVID detection trials to reduce risk of Coronavirus transmission

London Heathrow has said that it will test out technologies and processes that could reduce risk of Covid-19 transmission while travelling, driving the development of a Common International Standard for health screening globally.

The trials – which will assess for medical effectiveness, passenger response as well as suitability to the airport environment – could form the basis of a Common International Standard for health screening at all global airports. Before any new measures are rolled out across the airport, they will be reviewed against Heathrow’s three tests to ensure that they are medically grounded, build consumer confidence and practical for airports to deliver.

The concepts under review as part of the Heathrow trials include: UV sanitation, to quickly and efficiently sanitise security trays; facial recognition thermal screening technology to accurately track body temperature; and contact-free security screening equipment to reduce person-to-person contact.

The first of the trials will be a temperature screening technology that uses camera detection systems capable of monitoring the temperatures of people moving through the airport. The passenger-facing trials will first be conducted in the airport’s immigration halls, and if successful will be introduced in departures, connections and colleague search areas. The trials will begin in the next two weeks in Terminal 2.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: ‘Aviation is the cornerstone of the UK economy, and to restart the economy, the Government needs to help restart aviation. The UK has the world’s third largest aviation sector offering the platform for the Government to take a lead in agreeing a Common International Standard for aviation health with our main trading partners. This Standard is key to minimising transmission of Covid-19 across borders, and the technology we are trialling at Heathrow could be part of the solution.’

As an international hub airport, Heathrow follows an international standard and is already required to carry out temperature checks by some other countries. Temperature screening was introduced following previous outbreaks of SARS and Ebola, with some countries using thermal checks as a control measure against COVID-19.

Data from trials on COVID-19 mitigation will be shared with Government, aviation industry and other UK airports to drive the creation of a Common International Standard for health screening. Holland-Kaye has been urging the UK Government to lead the global implementation of a Common International Standard, to ensure continued passenger safety and restore confidence in travel as countries prepare to ease their respective lockdowns.

London Heathrow announces response to Coronavirus

As the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to hit global travel and present unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry, London Heathrow Airport has issued its latest response on March 20.

Heathrow said that the airport will take steps to reorganise and shrink its operations, but will remain open throughout this crisis. The decision to keep the airport open will enable some passenger services to continue, as well as facilitating cargo operations which will safeguard vital supply lines for the UK.

However, a separate report said that the Heathrow has closed almost all of its business and first class lounges following a decree by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to shut down social hubs such as pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and gyms across the country.

Whilst remaining open for essential transport, Heathrow expects that its financial performance will be significantly impacted by the situation, saying: ‘We are taking a number of immediate actions to safeguard the financial resilience of the business. Initial steps we have already taken include reducing operating costs, cancelling executive pay, freezing recruitment and reviewing all capital projects.’

The management team will review further actions which may need to be taken as the situation continues to develop. It says that the business is well funded and in a robust financial position, with cash and committed facilities available of £3.3bn designed to maintain at least a 12-month liquidity horizon.

Commenting on the impact of Coronavirus on the aviation sector, a Heathrow spokesperson said: ‘The impact of Coronavirus is a significant challenge for the global aviation industry including Heathrow and our colleagues, airlines, suppliers and fellow airports. We are taking immediate steps to safeguard the financial resilience of our business including the protection of jobs, whilst providing relief to our airline partners and wider industry colleagues. This is a quickly evolving situation and we stand ready to take any further and necessary measures to support our colleagues and industry partners as this situation develops.’

British Airways announces six new routes from Heathrow for summer 2020

British Airways has said that it is launching six new European routes from London Heathrow for 2020, with destinations in Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro and Turkey.

For the first time, the UK airline will fly from Heathrow to the Kosovan and Montenegrin capitals, Pristina and Podgorica, with both flights departing on Saturdays from July 4 until August 29. Fares will start from £78 in Euro Traveller and £210 in Club Europe to Pristina, and £71 and £178 to Podgorica. Seats are available to book on ba.com, and the each-way fares are based on booking a return fare.

British Airways has also introduced a new route to Perugia in Italy for summer 2020. Flights will depart on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from July 2 through to August 31, with fares starting from £40 per person in Euro Traveller and £125 in Club Europe.

Further, the Turkish coastal towns of Dalaman and Bodrum are now added back on to British Airways’ Heathrow route map. Flights will depart on Saturdays from May 23 through to October 24, with fares starting from £128 in Euro Traveller and £364 in Club Europe. These flights will join a new summer service between London Gatwick and Antalya that takes off from April 30, 2020. Customers will also have the choice of two London airports when flying to Dalaman as the airline already operates a weekly service from Gatwick.

The Greek island of Rhodes has also been added to the airline’s Heathrow network from next summer. The Saturday service will commence on July 4 and run until August 29 with fares starting from £117 per person in Euro Traveller and £358 in Club Europe. British Airways is also launching a new two-per-week service from Gatwick to the Greek island of Corfu from May 1 until October 23, 2020.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, said: ‘We are gearing up for an exciting summer next year as we add more routes to our extensive global network. We’re always developing our leisure offering and are pleased to be adding completely new destinations to British Airways’ Heathrow map. Our commitment to offering flights and holidays to a wide variety of destinations at competitive prices can help people plan ahead for summer 2020.’

The airline is also increasing the frequency of 16 popular short haul routes from Heathrow, including popular holiday destinations such as; Larnaca, Brindisi, Nice, Ibiza, Tenerife, Split, Olbia, Kefalonia and Preveza, it said.

Virgin Atlantic plans to increase flights from London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic has said that it is planning to increase its flights at London Heathrow in an effort to challenge the dominance of IAG, which owns British Airways, at the airport.

The move is also in line with the government’s Aviation Strategy green paper which seeks to facilitate competition between airlines through the allocation of slots at Heathrow. This will offer customers more choice and lower fares, as well as enhanced domestic connectivity and connectivity to international destinations.

Currently IAG holds more than 55 per cent of all take-off and landing slots at Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic said that it will compete on 26 routes where there is an IAG monopoly, including Accra in Ghana, Austin in the USA and Bogota in Colombia. The airline will increase its long haul route network and launch a new inclusive network of domestic and European routes when the airport expands. The plans include a significant increase of Virgin Atlantic’s current network, including flights to exciting destinations such as Kolkata, Jakarta and Panama City, where passengers are unable to fly non-stop currently.

In total, Virgin Atlantic plans to serve 103 domestic, European and long haul destinations – up from just 19 long haul destinations in 2020. Of the 84 new destinations planned, 12 are domestic – including Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester, 37 are European – including Barcelona, Dublin and Madrid, and 35 are global – including Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Santiago.

‘Never has the need for effective competition and choice at Heathrow Airport been more evident than during this summer of disruption, which has brought misery for tens of thousands of travellers,’ Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, said. ‘Britain, and those who travel to it, deserve better than this. Air passengers need a choice and Virgin Atlantic is ready to deliver when Heathrow expands.

‘Heathrow has been dominated by one airline group for far too long. The third runway is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the status quo and create a second flag carrier. This would lower fares and give real choice to passengers, as well giving Britain a real opportunity to boost its trade and investment links around the world. Changing the way take-off and landing slots are allocated for this unique and vital increase in capacity at the nation’s hub airport will create the right conditions for competition and innovation to thrive.’

Etihad Airways announces fourth year-round daily service to London Heathrow

Etihad Airways has said that it will expand its services from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow by adding a fourth year-round daily service between the two capitals, launching on October 27, 2019.

The new service adds a mid-morning departure from Abu Dhabi and a late evening departure from London Heathrow. The move follows the introduction of additional seasonal services this summer.

Robin Kamark, Commercial Officer, Etihad Aviation Group Chief, said: ‘The flagship Abu Dhabi to London route is tremendously popular with point-to-point business and leisure travellers, and those transiting beyond our hub and we recently boosted frequencies between the two cities to meet increased demand at peak travel times. Adding a fourth year-round flight will provide much needed capacity and optimised timings and easy connections to key destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

‘The new service demonstrates our commitment to the crucially important UK market, and ensures we provide our customers with all the benefits of a next-generation fleet across all 42 weekly departures to and from the United Kingdom.’

Etihad Airways said that it will introduce a next-generation, two-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on one of its four daily London services. The aircraft is configured with 299 seats – 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. The new service complements the three other services which are operated by Etihad’s 486-seat Airbus A380s, which feature The Residence, a luxurious three-room cabin, nine private First Apartments, 70 Business Studios and 405 Economy Smart Seats. These include 80 Economy Space seats with a seat pitch of up to 36 inches.

In addition to the four daily flights to London Heathrow, Etihad Airways also operates two daily Boeing 787 Dreamliner services between Abu Dhabi and Manchester.

Flybe commences new flight service from Heathrow to Cornwall

Flybe has commenced a new route connecting Heathrow and Cornwall Airport Newquay.

The new year-round service will operate four flights a day, seven days a week. The service will be operated from Heathrow Terminal 2: The Queens Terminal, using a 78-seat Q400 aircraft.

Commenting on the start of this new service, Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling said: ‘The new route from Cornwall to our national hub airport offers significant opportunities for local businesses and people and will help boost tourism across the South West. It’s great to see this new route launched with help from the government, as we work to build a better connected UK.’

Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer at Heathrow said: ‘This route highlights our commitment to domestic connectivity and it is fantastic to welcome this regular service between Newquay and Heathrow. Joining our regions to the UK’s only hub airport marks a fantastic opportunity for many including exporters from Cornwall now connecting to global markets and inward investors, tourists and students from all over the world. Now they can all experience the wonders the region has to offer in a much easier and convenient way.’

With the new service, Flybe will operate 10 routes in total from Cornwall Airport Newquay.

Flybe CEO, Christine Ourmieres-Widener added: ‘We are delighted to celebrate with our partners the start of our new Heathrow service from Newquay. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response from customers since we announced the route. It offers multiple choices for onward connections to and from the rest of the world from the UK’s busiest airport – and also on to our own routes there to and from Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.’

Cornwall Airport Newquay’s Managing Director, Al Titterington, said: ‘It’s fantastic that all our hard work to make sure that Cornwall Airport Newquay has direct access to Europe’s busiest hub has finally come to fruition. The worldwide connectivity that this brings opens up a world of opportunity for Cornwall.

‘Now we have direct flights to Heathrow, we will see the strength of Newquay and Cornwall’s brand abroad grow even further, helping to attract more valuable international tourism to our beautiful county.’

Virgin Atlantic announces new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv

Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to commence a new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, Israel with the first flight offered on September 25, 2019.

The airline will fly daily between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport, and the five hour flight will operate on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Flights to Tel Aviv are on sale from February 25, 2019.

Offering over 180,000 seats each year, the new service will offer connections for customers connecting from Tel Aviv via London Heathrow to destinations throughout North America across both the Virgin Atlantic and Delta networks including New York, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO, commented: ‘2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company. Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK. We also see a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.’

‘I’m also thrilled to introduce this new destination to our leisure customers and I know it’s somewhere they’ll love to visit. Renowned for its cultural sites and with UNESCO recognised architecture, Tel Aviv also boasts beautiful beaches, a buzzing artistic and nightlife scene, incredible food and is a great base to explore the tourist destinations of the region including the iconic historical city of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Dead Sea’.

Sharon E. Bershadsky, Director, IGTO for the UK and Ireland, added: ‘We’re thrilled with the launch of the new flights and Virgin Atlantic’s confidence in the Israeli product. The ‘Two Sunny Cities, One Break’ campaign has been very successful in showcasing Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and we’re proud of our continued commitment to working with the travel trade industry. We are looking forward to working together with the Virgin Group in order to promote Israel as a leading tourist destination.’

Virgin Atlantic is set to become the founding member of a new, USD13 billion transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop destinations, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas and Manchester to Los Angeles.

IHG’s Staybridge Suites opens at Heathrow Airport

Hotel group IHG has announced the opening of Staybridge Suites London- Heathrow Bath Road, located close to the international airport.

Staybridge Suites London- Heathrow Bath Road is part of a dual- branded property with Holiday Inn, due to open later in 2019. Guests at Staybridge Suites London- Heathrow Bath Road will also be able to benefit from access to all facilities and amenities at the Holiday Inn nearby.

Designed to serve clients looking to stay for extended periods of time, Staybridge Suites London- Heathrow Bath Road has 145 studio rooms and 45 one-bedroom suites that are all equipped with a fully-fitted kitchen. The hotel has a pantry-style food store, called The Pantry, providing guests access to snacks, ready-made meals, toiletries, and washing detergent for the complimentary on-site launderette. Rooms at Staybridge Suites start from GBP99 per night.

Mark Roth, General Manager at Staybridge Suites London- Heathrow Bath Road, commented: ‘We are excited to be welcoming our first guests to Staybridge Suites London- Heathrow Bath Road. This hotel brings something new to Heathrow and provides guests with the option to stay in the style of room that suits them best. Staybridge Suites is the perfect brand for this location, whether it’s for a short stopover stay, a holiday or staying for a longer period of time for business.’

Staybridge Suites has communal spaces throughout, an on-site 24-hour fitness centre and ‘the den’ which comes with a games console. Every Tuesday – Thursday evening, guests are invited to join an Evening Social hosted by the hotel, to get together with friends or fellow travellers and unwind over complimentary food and drink, it said.