British Airways Holidays customers can use Avios when booking holidays

British Airways Executive Club members now have a new option to redeem their Avios towards the cost of a British Airways Holidays booking.

Customers choosing a flight and hotel and/or car package with British Airways Holidays, can now use Avios towards the total price of a holiday when making their booking. Alternatively, customers can secure their holiday with a deposit just using Avios, paying any remaining balance with cash in as many or few instalments as they like, provided the balance is paid off in full four or five weeks before travel for short haul trips or seven weeks for long-haul.

British Airways Executive Club Members will also continue to earn Double Tier points with British Airways Holidays. To qualify they need to book flights and hotel, or flights and car hire, for five nights or more and travel before December 31, 2023. This includes solo travellers and any holidays already booked.

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, said: ‘Now more than ever we want to give as many options as possible when it comes to booking that much needed holiday, so we are really excited to offer our Executive Club Members the ability to spend Avios on a package with British Airways Holidays.

‘When people book with us, they can do so knowing that we take their holiday seriously. As well as a wide range of holidays to suit all travellers and budgets, we have a dedicated helpline available to customers at any point during their holiday, so they can switch off and relax knowing that they are in safe hands.’

There are several ways for customers to collect Avios to spend on holidays, including spending on the British Airways American Express Credit Card, travelling with Uber, converting Nectar points and shopping on the British Airways Avios eStore.

In addition to packages with British Airways Holidays, British Airways Executive Club Members can use Avios to pay, or part pay for flights, as well as seat selection, upgrades and on board food and drink.

Gatwick announces summer schedule with 50 flights a week to six destinations across Canada

Gatwick Airport has announced its summer schedule with 50 flights per week to six destinations across Canada this summer, as new and returning routes to Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Halifax join existing services to Toronto and Calgary.

According to the release, Air Transat will operate three weekly flights to Montreal (increasing to daily flights from June), alongside a once-a-week service to Quebec City – the first time the UK has benefitted from a direct scheduled service to the city. The airline has also increased its flights to Toronto to a daily service (two flights a day from late June), complementing the daily WestJet operation, itself increasing to nine flights per week from mid-June between Gatwick and Canada’s most populous city.

WestJet will also be operating six flights a week weekly to west-coast Vancouver (one flight a day from mid-June), and four flights a week to Halifax (increasing to daily flights from mid-July), the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. This is in addition to the three times weekly service that it offers to Calgary (increasing to five per week from mid-June), known as a gateway to the Canadian Rockies.

Stephanie Wear, VP of Aviation Development, Gatwick Airport said: ‘With so many people in the UK having close connections with Canada, we are delighted to be able to offer Gatwick passengers such easy and widespread access to fantastic destinations across the country.

‘From the spectacular landscapes of the Rockies and Nova Scotia, to vibrant cities with an array of wonderful sights, it’s really exciting to have so many more opportunities to visit Canada from Gatwick. It’s also great news for those wishing to see family and friends, or conduct business across the Atlantic.’

Marsha Walden, President & CEO, Destination Canada, said: ‘Destination Canada is delighted to see the launch of so many routes to Canada from London Gatwick, including the first-ever direct connection to Quebec City with Air Transat.

‘Re-establishing air routes into Canada is critical to rebuilding our industry and driving revenue back into tourism businesses across our vast country. These flights mean Canada’s iconic experiences are even more accessible to British holidaymakers looking to take in our wide open spaces, nature, wildlife, adventure and return feeling fully rejuvenated. What is particularly encouraging is that demand for the summer months is looking strong and our industry is ready to welcome guests back with open hearts.’

British Airways announces biggest schedule of flights since March 2020

British Airways has announced the launch of its biggest schedule since March 2020, with additional services to cities across the globe.

The airline has also announced the return of its first A380 aircraft in November. British Airways’ A380 will initially operate to a number of short-haul destinations in November, shortly followed by operating to Miami and Los Angeles in the US, as well as Dubai in December.

Across its US network, British Airways will be increasing the number of flights it operates with services to city destinations including New York, which will initially be increasing to five a day, followed by eight in December. The airline will also be operating double-daily services to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Miami and Toronto, as well as daily services to Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Houston and Vancouver

In addition to frequency increases, in October and November British Airways will restart services to Austin, Orlando, Tampa, San Diego, Las Vegas and Baltimore. In December the airline will also start flying to Nashville and New Orleans once again, which both proved popular when they first launched. The airline is set to fly to 23 US airports this winter with up to 246 flights a week, more than any other transatlantic carrier.

British Airways has increased flights to a number of short-haul destinations by adding 13,000 more seats to holiday hot spots this October, including to Marrakech, Dalaman and to the Turkish resort of Antalya. British Airways will be restarting a number of ski destinations including Innsbruck, Grenoble and Salzburg from December.

For Christmas break, British Airways is extending its Caribbean programme with 12 services a week to Barbados and nine each to Antigua and St Lucia, which will be split across Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Flights to popular luxury Indian Ocean destinations, Maldives and Mauritius, will also be increasing to 10 and six per week over the Christmas period.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: ‘This is an exciting time for British Airways and our customers as we see borders re-opening. With welcome news from the US, we are dramatically increasing flights and bringing home some of our A380s to give our customers as many options as possible. Elsewhere across our network we are also adding additional services to destinations all over the world, to ensure our customers can take advantage of a much-needed holiday.’

Across its short-haul network, British Airways will also be increasing flights year-round to key European cities with 48 weekly services to Amsterdam, 33 to Geneva, 35 to Dublin, 28 to Milan and 21 to Berlin, Paris and Rome.

British Airways’ subsidiary BA City Flyer, is expected to operate a schedule of 43 flights a week to Edinburgh, 33 to Dublin, 25 to Glasgow, 18 to Belfast, 16 to Amsterdam, 15 to Rotterdam, 15 to Berlin, 12 to Frankfurt, 12 to Dusseldorf and 11 to Zurich. The airline is also set to launch a new route from Belfast to Birmingham, as well as new ski destination Salzburg, from London City and Southampton.

easyJet launches more flights and holidays to green list destinations this summer

easyJet is launching more flights from the UK to serve demand for travel to green list destinations this summer and has put over 80,000 additional seats on sale across existing routes from the UK.

The UK-based airline will also relaunch its route from Newcastle to Faro which will operate up to three times a week from July 19, 2021, with both flights and holidays now available to book online at easyJet.com.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented: ‘We are absolutely committed to a safe restart and are confident this can happen while protecting both the UK health system and the success of the vaccine programme.

‘We are disappointed that so few countries were put onto the green list as it is simply not justified by the data or the science and is inconsistent with the approach to reopen the domestic economy.

‘However, easyJet is the biggest operator from the UK to the European countries which are currently on the Green list, and we have increased our flights to these destinations where we can in order to take as many customers away as possible to reunite them with friends and family or on a long-awaited holiday – and we are ready and able to ramp up.

‘We also expect the number of countries on the Green list to grow next month to include many of our popular summer destinations and we have flexible policies so customers can book with confidence and change their plans if they need to.’

Leon McQuaid, Head of Aviation Development at Newcastle International Airport said: ‘As the North East’s largest airport we are delighted to see ongoing investment by our airlines and welcome easyJet’s decision to reinstate flights to Faro, Portugal from July.

‘The Algarve region is renowned for its quality golf courses, stunning coastline and warm climate therefore we are sure there will be high demand for this service from the North East travelling public.

‘Our Ten Point Plan of safety measures ensures the airport is a safe environment for all, which includes an enhanced cleaning regime and over 100 hand sanitser stations throughout the terminal. We are very much looking forward to welcoming leisure passengers back for their well-deserved holidays.’

easyJet currently operates more seats on flights to European green list destinations than any other UK operator, with over 1.6 million seats now available to green list destinations. Flights and holidays are now on sale at easyJet.com with fares are available for this summer from £29.99 and package holidays from £269.

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.