Wizz Air announces major expansion at Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Wizz Air has announced the establishment of a new base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which will be the second base for Wizz Air UK alongside London Luton.

The Hungarian low-cost airline said that it will allocate one Airbus A320 aircraft to the Yorkshire airport, and will launch seven new routes to add to its existing Doncaster Sheffield network of 10 routes. With the allocation of this aircraft, Wizz Air now has 11 aircraft permanently based in the UK, and the addition of these new routes from Doncaster Sheffield means Wizz Air has almost 1.8 million seats on sale on its 107 routes from the UK for the remainder of 2020.

With the creation of a new base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Wizz Air will launch new connections to destinations including the Spanish cities of Alicante and Malaga, Larnaca in Cyprus, Faro in Portugal, Lublin in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia and Suceava in Romania. Tickets are available now on wizzair.com or the WIZZ mobile app, with fares starting from £17.99 one-way price.

Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK said: ‘The creation of our second base in the UK is a major milestone for Wizz Air UK, and testament to both our long term commitment to serving the UK market and the strength of the Wizz Air business model, as we continue to expand our footprint during this challenging time for the industry. We’re delighted to be introducing new low-fare connections to Doncaster Sheffield, to provide customers with opportunities to explore new cultures and cities, or return to their favourite holiday spots. The WIZZ team looks forward to welcoming customers old and new on-board our young and green fleet of Airbus aircraft very soon.’

Robert Hough, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: ‘We are delighted to bring more ultra-low fares to DSA, to these popular destinations loved by our customers and served by an airline who pride themselves on providing affordable travel, with an excellent reputation. With strong performance there is now a real possibility for the base to grow from one aircraft initially to a multi aircraft base further broadening the range of routes available.’

With the creation of a new Wizz Air UK base at Doncaster Sheffield, Wizz Air will increase the annual capacity of Doncaster Sheffield Airport by 150,000 seats. The creation of this new base follows on from Wizz Air’s recent announcements of new bases in Bacau, Dortmund, Lviv, Larnaca, Milan-Malpensa, Tirana, Saint Petersburg and the launch of over 200 new routes across the network since April 2020.

Vueling resumes flights to Spain from Wales

Vueling Airlines, a part of International Airlines Group (IAG), has said that it has re-started its services from Cardiff Airport for the summer 2020 season.

The Spanish airline operated its first flight to Alicante on July 16, with passengers setting off for a holiday to Costa Blanca. Customers can fly to Alicante once per week – on Thursday in July, and up to twice a week – on Monday and Thursday – throughout August.

Vueling will also be re-commencing direct services to Malaga from August 1, with 3 weekly flights every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Located on the Costa del Sol, with several resorts to choose from, Malaga offers beach-lovers the perfect summer escape with its sun-drenched coast and vibrant atmosphere.

From August 3, Vueling will resume flights to Palma de Mallorca, with two weekly flights every Monday and Thursday operated on an Airbus A321 aircraft with capacity for 220 passengers.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, said: ‘Vueling has provided our customers with regular flights to popular Spanish destinations for over 8 years, and it’s fantastic that the airline is re-starting their Cardiff flights following lockdown.

‘Celebrating the one million passenger milestone with Vueling last summer was testament to the airline’s success in the region, and we are pleased it continues to serve our customers looking to jet off to some sun, or to visit their friends and family in Spain. Furthermore, the larger aircraft used to operate the Palma de Mallorca route shows demand in Wales remains high as customers look to travel internationally once again.’

Cardiff Airport has introduced new safety measures across the Airport to help passengers travel safely and with confidence. New measures include enhanced cleaning, more hand sanitizer points, Perspex screens, asking customers to wear three-layer, non-medical face coverings, and installing clear signage and guidance throughout the terminal to ensure social distancing.

Vueling has recently announced its summer operations in Europe for the months of July and August, with a total of 240 routes and over 2,800 flights to be operated weekly. Flights are on sale now at vueling.com/en, via Vueling’s mobile app, on m.vueling.com mobile web or via local travel agents, it said.

Wizz Air resumes services from Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Following the relaxation of travel restrictions, Wizz Air has restarted operations from Doncaster Sheffield Airport starting July 1, with the first flights operating to Riga, Krakow and Vilnius.

DSA’s largest airline, Wizz Air serves a number of popular European cities and holiday destinations with low cost fares. Wizz Air’s flight timetable will be in strict adherence of government advice and more routes will soon be added to the list of available flights from DSA, as the Government and Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) relax current legislation and restrictions on international travel. Customers with existing bookings will be able to travel, and those looking to book a holiday will be able to do so now.

Dee Thomas, Director of Operations at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘We’re so happy to welcome back Wizz Air passengers to DSA, getting their holiday and travel plans back on track.

‘Wizz is a valued partner of Doncaster Sheffield Airport and we are proud to be one of their UK bases. We celebrated 4 million passengers last year and look forward to welcoming many more now that operations have restarted.’

In ensuring the safety and well-being of customers and colleagues, Doncaster Sheffield Airport continues to strictly follow all guidance from Public Health England and the relevant authorities. Personal protective equipment packs will on sale for £5 on entry to the airport. These will include two face masks, two packs of anti-bacterial wipes, and two sets of Vinyl gloves.

Within the terminal building, the safety measures include social distancing, the use of safety screens, hand sanitiser stations and an enhanced cleaning programme. Passengers and staff will be asked to wear face coverings at the airport and to follow the latest public information displays.

Tui to restart flight programme on July 11

Tui, a multinational travel and tourism company headquartered in Germany, has announced that it is to fly to eight destinations when it restarts its flight programme on July 11.

The company’s restart has been put back from the initial July 1 target due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions. The eight destinations available from July 11 are in Spain and Greece, following a recent announcement that travellers arriving in Spain would not be subject to the two-week quarantine as currently imposed on arrivals to the UK .

The destinations that will be available are; Crete, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu in the Greek Islands, Tenerife and Lanzarote in Spain’s Canary Islands, and Mallorca and Ibiza in the Balearics. Subject to advice from the UK government, Tui also plans to increase its number of destinations to 19 by the end of July, served by five UK airports. Face masks will be compulsory for travellers on the company’s flights, while other antiviral measures by the airline include digital check-in, increased aircraft disinfection and social distancing arrangements at destination hotels.

The company has also said that it will only fly customers to destinations that will not require quarantine measures on arrival, and that in-resort support will be available to its customers around the clock, seven days a week.

Further destinations could be made available soon, as Tui’s commercial director Richard Sofer has said that the company has ‘absolute confidence’ that the British government will ultimately scrap its quarantine measures for travellers from abroad entering the UK.

Jet2 announces Summer 2020 flights and holidays from East Midlands Airport

British travel and holiday company Jet2.com and Jet2holidays has announced the launch of two new destinations – Izmir in Turkey and La Rochelle in France – as part of its Summer 2020 programme from East Midlands Airport.

For next summer, Jet2 is offering flights and holidays to 35 destinations from East Midlands Airport, including Izmir and La Rochelle. With the new routes, over one million seats are presently on sale at East Midlands.

The new flights to Izmir will operate every Tuesday from May to October. With this service, holidaymakers in the region can access popular resorts on the west coast of Turkey such as Kusadasi, Cesme, Ozdere and Seferihisar. Known for its weather and beautiful beaches, the Turkish destination is also near to Dilek National Park.

The harbour port of La Rochelle will have weekly Saturday departures commencing on May 23. Besides its popular seafood restaurants, the La Rochelle city provides access via bridge to Il de Re, an Atlantic-coast island of dunes and pine forest – a key attraction for holidaymakers.

Jet2’s Summer 2020 programme from East Midlands has over 100 departing weekly flights during peak periods, with an all Boeing 737-800 fleet in operation. The other flights and holidays include: Canary Islands with up to 16 weekly services to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote; increased services to Dalaman, Turkey with up to five weekly services and Antalya with up to four weekly services, as well as up to two weekly services to Bodrum and Izmir. The schedule includes daily or double-daily services to Palma Majorca with up to 12 services every week; Alicante with up to ten weekly services including double services on weekends; Faro with up to nine weekly services; daily services to Malaga and six weekly services to Ibiza.

For Summer 2020, Jet2 also offers several services to Spain and its islands, with up to four weekly services to Menorca, and twice weekly services to Girona (Costa Brava), Reus (Costa Dorada) and Costa de Almeria. In addition, the company offers 14 weekly services to Greece, including up to three weekly services to Crete (Heraklion), Rhodes and Zante, two weekly services to Corfu, and weekly services to Kos, Kefalonia and Halkidiki; two weekly services to Paphos and Larnaca in Cyprus; two services every week to Bourgas, Bulgaria; two weekly services to Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia and weekly services to Pisa and Verona, Italy.

easyJet predicts record holiday travel this summer

British low-fares airline easyJet said that it is expecting almost 14 million passengers to fly out of the UK this summer – between mid-July and the end of September.

Spain tops the list of the most popular destinations with Malaga, Barcelona, Palma and Alicante featuring within the top five. Faro, Nice and Paphos are also popular among British holidaymakers in search for ‘guaranteed’ sun.

Sophie Dekkers, UK Director for easyJet, commented: ‘Our record bookings this summer show that the strong pound is having an effect on British holidaymakers who can see their pound will stretch further on holiday. With some bookies also having suspended betting on this summer being the wettest on record UK passengers aren’t taking their chances.

‘For those who haven’t yet booked, there are still some bargains to be had for a last minute summer deal to escape the British weather.’

For British holidaymakers who are yet to book for summer, easyJet has over five million seats for sale between August 1 and September 30 to Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

Fares available for booking include: London Luton to Bordeaux from £41.56, London Gatwick to Lyon from £48.14, London Gatwick to Marseille from £49.18, Southend to Venice from £45.40, London Gatwick to Nice from £48.77; London Gatwick to Nantes from £47.22 and London Gatwick to Toulouse from £49.77, the airline said. The fares indicated are per person, one way, based on two people travelling on the same booking.

One of Europe’s most popular airlines, easyJet carries over 66 million passengers annually, of which more than 12 million are travelling on business. The budget airline flies over 230 aircraft on more than 750 routes to over 130 airports across 31 countries.

 

British Airways prepares for busy Easter break; over 700,000 passengers expected

British Airways is expecting to see almost 700,000 people travel around the world on its flights during the 2015 Easter break set to start next week.

Starting Thursday April 2, families and holidaymakers are expected to travel to destinations of their choice across the globe for a pleasurable getaway. The single busiest day for travel will be Monday, April 6, with 142,000 people set to fly with British Airways. More than 135,000 people are expected to travel with the airline on Sunday, April 12 to return home.

The top long-haul destinations for travellers this Easter are mainly to the US, with New York in the lead, followed by Los Angeles and Miami, with strong bookings also to Hong Kong and Boston. Other popular long haul destinations include Johannesburg, San Francisco, Cape Town, Dubai and Tel Aviv, the airline said.

Edinburgh is the top choice for short-haul travellers, followed by Barcelona, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Rome. Other favourites include Geneva, Manchester, Nice, Madrid and Berlin.

Stephen Humphreys, British Airways’ head of UK&I sales, said: ‘Like many parents, I’d like a break away with the children to shake off the last of the winter weather and recharge by soaking up some much needed sun before the onset of spring. Fortunately there are some brilliant deals still on offer from British Airways Holidays to exciting city destinations like New York, Paris and Milan.’

British Airways offers priority boarding for those travelling with children. Skyflyer activity packs are also available to keep children engaged and entertained. Child meals can be pre-ordered with British Airways’ ‘feed families first’ policy.

The getaway packages offered by the British Airways include: three nights at the Doubletree by Hilton Metropolitan – New York City, from £899 per person, travelling on April 3; two nights at Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile from £229 per person, for travel between March 28 and April 12, 2015; two nights at Aspect Hotel Parkwest, Dublin from £119 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015; two nights at Innside Berlin from £159 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015; and two nights at Raffaello from £149 per person, for travel between March 27 and April 30, 2015.

Britons fall short on European annual leave league

British workers average two less annual days leave per year than their European neighbours according to a recent survey, the Daily Mail has reported.

The survey, carried out by on-line travel organisation, Expedia, took data from 24 countries and deducted that the average European worker benefits from 28 days annual leave. This compares with UK workers who, although entitled to an average of 26 days, typically only take 25 days. This could be why three quarters of UK workers polled said that they felt ‘very or somewhat’ deprived of time off.

However, when compared to the annual leave that workers from certain nations outside of Europe are entitled to, UK workers appear to be positively spoilt. A prime example is that of American workers, who averaged just 15 days of leave in the past year, and typically only took 14. But despite this seemingly meagre amount of time off, only 54 percent of Americans polled said that they felt ‘very or somewhat’ deprived.

Asian workers appear to come out worst from the poll results, with Thai workers only receiving 11 days holiday entitlement, and South Korean workers only taking seven of the 15 days that are available to them.

Andy Washington, managing director of Expedia.co.uk, was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying, ‘The vacation deprivation study looks at holiday habits across several different continents. While habits differ, the emotional impact of holiday does not.

‘Somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of people worldwide say that holidays make them feel happier, better rested, closer to their family, less stressed, and more relaxed.’

 

Thomson predicts the holiday trends for 2014

Holiday company, Thomson, is expecting millions of British holidaymakers to go online during the yearend to plan their 2014 vacation.

Looking ahead, Thomson has predicted the expected destination hotspots and emerging travel trends for British holidaymakers for the next year.

While Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain and Cyprus remain popular destinations for Brits, Thomson is expecting demand for further away and less known holiday spots in 2014. In the last 12 months, one in five, or 20 percent of web searches, were for long-haul holidays, it said.

In 2013 bookings for Thomson and Thomson Cruise’s long haul destinations increased by 28 percent on the previous year, and this is expected to further increase for 2014. Based on past bookings data, the emerging destinations for Thomson & Thomson Cruises include Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Khao Lak, Thailand; Croatia, Mauritius, Jamaica, Sochi, Russia, Panama, Ukraine, Montenegro and the Roatan, Honduras.

Planning weddings in sunny destinations has been another growing trend over the past decade, a trend that is expected to increase in 2014. Thomson saw an increases of almost 100 percent in the volume of traffic to its Weddings homepage in 2013.

Based on early booking patterns, Thomson predicts that the most popular months for weddings abroad in 2014 will be May and September, besides the traditional wedding months of June, July and August in the UK.

Greece, including its islands, is predicted to be the first choice for families looking for a refreshing and inspiring holiday break next year. Almost a quarter of Greek holidays sold were on a half board basis In 2013, and this is expected to increase in 2014, Thomson said, adding that it will increase its capacity by 9 percent across the country to meet rising demand.

Jeremy Ellis, marketing director at Thomson, said: ‘Understanding where our customers are going and why is key to us delivering the very best holiday experiences. 2013 has seen some interesting trends emerging so we look to 2014 with excitement as we use this knowledge to give our customers the high level of choice and service that they have grown to expect, for an even better holiday in 2014.’

Travellers seek happiness factor along side costs

Travellers are beginning to consider the ‘happiness’ factor as importantly as price when booking travel, Travel Mole has reported, citing a separate research report.

According to new research by World Travel Market, holidaymakers and travellers are demanding more comfort and added value to seek a higher ‘happiness score’. The WTM Global Trends Report 2013, commissioned in association with Euromonitor International, highlights the emerging trends in the global travel and tourism industry, and says that ‘happiness factor’ is now as important as price.

In the US, flight meta-search website, Routehappy.com, which was launched in April this year, provides flight Happiness Factors and Happiness Scores on a scale of one to 10 helping consumers select flights based on comfort and suitability.

Using “Flightpad,” proprietary Product Attribute Database, Routehappy studies airlines and airplanes globally combining traveller experience with low prices and flight availability.

Consumers can set their own happiness criteria, according to in-flight services, based on incentives such as ear-plugs, wi-fi, entertainment, leg room and other factors. The WTM report also says that smart phones and tablets will be the key customer service tool in travel within the next five years and that budget carriers will offer more ‘frills’ in the future in order to remain competitive.

“Our Happiness Score is very important to airlines. Why? Airlines are working hard to move away from air travel being a commoditised, price and schedule-only decision,” Robert Albert, Founder and CEO, Routehappy.

With more than 100,000 unique visitors at launch and over 30 percent of visitors returning in July 2013, the Routehappy site is a unique offering with the UK as the leading European source of demand. According to the report, the UK air transportation segment is expected to record two percent growth over 2012-2017, to reach £31 billion air travel retail sales by 2017.

Other transportation modes such as bus and cruising, as well as hotel and travel retail players, is likely to follow suit and adopt the ”Happiness Score? approach, the report said.