Ireland announces new rules for passengers arriving from Britain

The Government of Ireland has announced new rules that passengers originating from Britain or South Africa will be required to have evidence of a negative or ‘not detected’ result of a COVID-19 PCR test obtained within 72 hours of arrival into the state.

As per the new rule, which started Saturday, January 9, passengers travelling from Britain or South Africa will be required to present evidence of their negative or ‘not detected’ result before boarding their aircraft prior to departure, and will be required to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at Dublin Airport. It will be deemed an offence if passengers arrive in an Irish airport without evidence of a negative or ‘not detected’ test result and may be subject to prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding EUR2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.

The rule is applicable to passengers whose journey originates in either Britain or South Africa. Those who only transit through an airport in Britain as part of their journey to Ireland will not be required to provide evidence of a negative or ‘not detected’ COVID-19 PCR test. Passengers who arrive in Ireland mainly for the purpose of travelling onwards to another state and do not leave the airport are also not required to provide the evidence of a negative or ‘not detected’ test.

For any urgent travel requirement, passengers can consult the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate for advice and receive consular assistance before commencing their journey, Dublin Airport said.

Ireland is currently implementing the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU/European Economic Area (EEA). Passengers entering the State from red, orange and grey regions are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days, though this may be waived in certain cases. This applies to all people entering the State, even if they have no symptoms. The details are available on European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) website.

The request to restrict movements for 14 days can be waived for passengers arriving from an orange region, if they have received a negative/not detected PCR test result during the three days before arriving in Ireland. In this case, passengers are requested to have supporting evidence of the negative test in their possession, according to Irish Government guidelines.

Passengers arriving from red regions do not have to continue to restrict their movements for the full 14 days, if they have a negative/not-detected result from a PCR test taken at least five days – a minimum of five days – after arrival in the State, the airport said.

Ireland bans flights from Britain amid new COVID strain

Following the identification of a new strain of COVID-19 in England, the Irish Government has banned all arriving passenger flights from Britain, Dublin Airport said in a release.

The ban is in place until 23.59 on Thursday, December 31, 2020. The ban applies to all passenger flights with the exception of repatriation flights. The ban does not apply to cargo flights.

Passengers affected by this ban should contact their airline in relation to their specific flight. The ban will be reviewed by the Irish Government before Friday, January 1, 2021, the Airport said.

Separately, Dublin Airport has said that it has launched a handy new feature that enables customers to receive flight updates direct on their mobile device via Twitter, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

The new feature will keep customers updated on the status of either a departing or an arriving flight. Customers will receive status updates directly on the phone, with information such as gate number, boarding times, and delays for departing flights. For arriving flights, customers will get information such as when the flight is on approach, and which baggage belt luggage will be delivered on.

The website also now has a chatbot feature, which will answer many of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) that customers might have. The chatbot window pops up automatically when the Dublin Airport website is accessed. Customers may simply type in the question, or browse the different categories to find an answer to the query. Customers can also subscribe to flight alerts through the chatbot feature, the Airport said.

Aer Lingus Regional announces new service to Belfast city from Birmingham

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, has announced the launch of its new route from Birmingham to Belfast.

Starting September 14, the airline will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport. Flights from Birmingham to Belfast start from £29.99 one way including taxes and are on sale now at www.aerlingus.com. Stobart Air will also now base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City Airport.

Aer Lingus Regional currently operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City.

Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that Stobart Air has given customers the chance to fly to Belfast City Airport again direct from Birmingham Airport. This much needed domestic route comes under the Common Travel Area, ensuring customers can move easily and freely between England and Northern Ireland. The convenience of this route will appeal to both business and leisure customers needing direct access to the Emerald Isle.’

Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: ‘We are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City Airport and to work closely with Birmingham Airport, Belfast City Airport and our partners Aer Lingus to operate flights to and from Birmingham.

‘Stobart Air has worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline during challenging times and to position us for the future. The launch of this service is part of that.

‘This new Aer Lingus Regional route will facilitate key links and connectivity between these cities and ensure we provide choice, value and convenience for our customers. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this Birmingham-Belfast route from today.’

In accordance with the guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air has implemented enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers from the risks of Covid 19.

Ryanair announces three new Manchester routes for Summer 2020

Ryanair, the European regional airline, has announced three new Manchester routes to Copenhagen, Kerry and Paris Beauvais commencing in March 2020, as part of Ryanair’s extended UK Summer 2020 schedule.

As per the announcement Ryanair will operate a daily service to Copenhagen, twice weekly service to Kerry and four times weekly to Paris Beauvais. Ryanair has also announced extra flights on its Manchester Summer 2020 route to Shannon in Ireland, increased from five to six weekly frequencies.

In announcing the three new Manchester routes, Ryanair has launched a seat sale on its European network with fares from £14.99 for travel from now until the end of March 2020, for booking by Thursday (23 Jan), only on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Eimear Ryan said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to announce 3 new Manchester routes to Copenhagen, Kerry and Paris Beauvais, commencing in March, which will operate daily, twice weekly and 4 times weekly respectively, as part of our summer 2020 schedule. Customers in Manchester can now book flights to Copenhagen, Kerry and Paris Beauvais as far out as October 2020.

To celebrate these new routes, we are releasing seats for sale on our European network with fares from just £14.99 for travel from now until the end of March 2020, which must be booked by Thursday (23 Jan). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

With the latest expansion, Manchester customers can now book their summer holidays on 66 routes until October 2020.

Ryanair announces City of Derry Airport route to Edinburgh

Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, has announced a new route to Edinburgh from City of Derry Airport, the main gateway for the North West of Ireland.

This new route to Edinburgh will commence in October, with a five-time weekly service as part of Ryanair’s Winter 2018 schedule, which includes a route to Liverpool. In announcing the service, the airline also launched a £9.99 winter sale on the route.

Ryanair’s Eimear Ryan said: ‘Our new City of Derry Airport route to Edinburgh commences in October, operating five times weekly as part of our Winter 2018 schedule. To celebrate, we are releasing seats for sale from just £9.99, which are available for booking from today until midnight Tuesday (4th Sept) for travel from October to January. Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

Charlene Shongo, Airport Manager at City of Derry Airport, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to launch Ryanair’s new service to Edinburgh. The charming city of Edinburgh has so much to offer travellers, from romantic getaways, family trips or a weekend break with friends. The new Ryanair service to Edinburgh will operate five times per week and will commence on 28th October. Flights are on sale now with fares starting from as little as £9.99 one way. As well as offering city breaks, this new route will be of huge benefit for those who travel to Scotland to visit family and friends, for studying or sporting events throughout the year’.

As part of the Irish airlines ‘Always Getting Better’ programme, Ryanair customers are offered a price promise offering a refund of the price difference + EUR5, if they find a cheaper fare compared to Ryanair’s offered price.

Ryanair to introduce new Shannon service from Bristol Airport

Irish low fares airline Ryanair is set to launch a new service to Shannon in this summer, expanding the fight service between Bristol Airport and Ireland.

Ryanair will operate a twice-weekly service to Shannon, taking the total number of flights per week to more than 100, including routes to Dublin, Cork and Knock.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘Frequent flights between Bristol and Ireland help foster strong links for business and tourism, which is why Ryanair’s new Shannon service is such great news. Shannon is a convenient gateway from which to explore Ireland’s South West, just as Bristol Airport is the ideal starting point for Irish visitors to the South West England and South Wales.’

The flight service between Bristol and Ireland began in 1936, when Aer Lingus operated its very first international route from Dublin to the city’s airport, which was located in Whitchurch.

Presently, Dublin is one of the most popular destination served from Bristol Airport, with more than 418,000 passengers using the route in the last 12 months. Ryanair and Aer Lingus jointly operate up to seven departures a day, providing flight options for business and leisure passengers. Aer Lingus also serves Cork daily, while Ryanair operates three flights a week to Knock, in the west of Ireland.

According to the International Passenger Survey, Ireland is Bristol’s fifth biggest market for overseas visitors. Irish visitors to the South West of the UK spent a total of £29.86 million in the first three quarters of 2017, with the number of visits to the region up more than eight per cent over the previous corresponding period, Bristol Airport noted.

Aer Lingus Regional announces new service from Cornwall to Cork Airport for summer

Aer Lingus Regional has said the airline will operate a service from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Cork Airport, for summer 2017.

Situated in southern Ireland, Cork is one of Ireland’s most scenic Irish cities and tourist destinations. The airline currently operates flights from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Dublin Ireland.

The new service, which will commence on May 6, will be operated twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday, with fares from GBP35.49 each way including taxes and charges. Aer Lingus’ services are operated by flying partner Stobart Air.

Seats are available for booking on www.aerlingus.com.

Al Titterington, Managing Director at Cornwall Airport Newquay, said: ‘The Irish market is a key target for growth and our partnership with Aer Lingus Regional continues to flourish with the addition of Cork this summer. Cork is an exciting development in our route network offering 2-way access between Cornwall and southern Ireland and will boost both regions’ tourism industries which is great news, especially for the UK’s #1 tourism destination.’

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, added: ‘Today’s news is great for anyone from the South of Ireland planning their summer getaway. Cornwall is a stunning part of the UK, renowned for its surf and scenery with an abundance of things to see and do. The county is home to some unique attractions such as the Eden Project, as well as some delicious traditional British cuisine, making it ideal for families, surfers, sailors and walkers alike, who are seeking a destination closer to home.

‘Furthermore, when you consider that the UK is Ireland’s largest market for inbound tourism, the new route enables more opportunity to showcase Ireland’s Ancient East and Wild Atlantic Way’.

Martin Saxton, Chief Commercial Officer at Stobart Air, commented, ‘The addition of Cork reflects the ongoing success of our route network and our services from Cornwall. We’re keen to provide value, choice and key connections for our customers and are confident this route will be a very popular destination for summer 2017.’

Aer Lingus Regional currently flies up to 640 flights per week across its 26 routes throughout the UK, Ireland and France. Stobart Air is the franchise flying partner to Aer Lingus and Flybe, operating its services from London’s Southend Airport to some European destinations.

 

Ryanair announces 2016 winter schedule at Derry Airport

Irish low-fares airline Ryanair has announced the launch of its Derry winter schedule for 2016, with the introduction of three routes to Glasgow International, Liverpool and London Stansted.

The Derry winter 2016 schedule will deliver three routes to Glasgow International (five weekly), Liverpool (five weekly), and London Stansted (nine weekly), operating a total of 19 weekly flights, which will deliver 300,000 customers p.a. and support 200 onsite jobs at Derry Airport.

In Derry, Ryanair’s Director of Route Development, Kate Sherry said: ‘We are pleased to launch our Derry winter 2016 schedule, with 3 routes to Glasgow International, Liverpool and London Stansted, which will deliver 300,000 customers p.a. and support 200 ‘on-site’ jobs at Derry Airport.

To celebrate the launch of our Derry winter 2016 schedule, we are releasing seats for sale from just GBP19.99 for travel in November, which are available for booking until Thursday (14 Apr). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

In addition to the three routes in winter 2016 from Derry, Northern Irish travellers can expect further improvements as Ryanair continues its ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) programme, the airline said.

According to a separate release by the airline, the new customer experience initiatives that will be rolled out over the coming year, which form Year- 3 of Ryanair’s AGB programme, include: even lower airfares driven by low oil prices; new aircraft interiors featuring slim-line seats, more leg room, coat hooks, LED lighting etc; Leisure Plus bundle fare including reserved seats, priority boarding and 20kg bag; improved Business Plus service with more flexible ticketing, more fast-track airports and auto-check-in ; and a dedicated Groups website, allowing groups to make and manage their own bookings, among others.

Commenting on the programme, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said: ‘The continued drive to improve our customer experience has been reflected in the record passenger numbers and load factors we have had over the past 2 years, and we are pleased to launch Year 3 of our ‘Always Getting Better’ programme. While Year 1 and 2 were about fixing the areas customers didn’t like and improving the existing offering, Year 3 will be about digital acceleration and innovation, particularly through our Ryanair Labs digital developments.’

‘The one thing that won’t change will be our low fares, and we’ll continue to offer the biggest and best choice of destinations, with the most on-time flights and a fantastic onboard experience, as we grow our fleet, traffic and routes,’ he added.

British Airways adds more flights between Dublin and London City

British Airways is planning to add a sixth daily service between London City and Dublin to benefit both business and leisure customers.

Just six months ago British Airways launched the new route direct from the Docklands to the heart of Ireland. The new flights between the major capital cities – London and Dublin – are aimed at increasing choice for customers, who presently fly from Heathrow to the Irish capital with British Airways up to eight times a day.

Presently British Airways has an aircraft based in Dublin overnight for an early morning departure, allowing customers to do a full day’s business in London or to connect onward to British Airways’ 29 domestic, European and international destinations from the Docklands airport. The schedule also allows passengers to do a full day’s business in Dublin.

Starting June 1, an extra weekday service will be added for a month, which will resume permanently from September 1. It will depart from London City at 2.40 pm with the return flight from Dublin at 5.15 pm. The single hand-baggage only fares start from £45 and are available to book on ba.com/londoncity.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ commercial general manager at London City, said: ‘We are very pleased with our customers’ response to this important new route and delighted to have the opportunity to add an extra frequency so soon giving customers more choice and flexibility. Our current schedule allows us to operate the extra flight in June, which is a particularly busy month, then we will add the additional frequency permanently from September.’

The extra new flight will operate on a 98-seat Embraer 190 jet. All British Airways fares include free seat allocation and on line check-in 24 hours before departure, complimentary refreshments and drinks and no debit card charges.

Separately, British Airways has said recently that customers flying between London City Airport and Edinburgh, Dublin and the Isle of Man could collect double Avios points during the months of April and May.

easyJet announces first direct flight between Ireland and Iceland

easyJet, the Ireland-based low-fare airline, has announced the launch of its first direct service between Belfast and Reykjavik.

Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, is surrounded by waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes, making it an interesting destination for holiday makers and adventurers looking for a city break. The flight – the only direct service between the two destinations – operates twice per week on Mondays and Fridays on a 156 seater Airbus A319. Over 30,000 passengers are expected to use the new service during the first 12 months. Fares start from £31.99 one way per person.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s Head of Ireland, said: ‘We are really excited to have launched Ireland’s first direct connection from Belfast International Airport to Reykjavik today. This new year round service will bring the number of easyJet flights to Iceland up to 26 a week and we will carry in excess of 200,000 passengers per year to and from Reykjavik across all of these flights. Over 30,000 of these are expected to originate from Belfast.

‘It is a particularly exciting addition to our base at Belfast International due to the eclectic mix of activities and scenery on offer and we are confident that it will provide a popular addition to easyJet’s network.

‘We remain committed to expanding our network from Belfast and last month announced that we would be adding services to Split commencing from June 2015.’

Graham Keddie Managing Director, Belfast International Airport, said: ‘The new easyJet service from Belfast International to Reykjavik is another exciting addition to our routes. It opens up direct channels for Icelandic tourists to visit the island of Ireland via Belfast and, with the expectation of 30,000 passengers, will add welcome revenue to the local economy.’

easyJet presently serves 27 destinations from Belfast International Airport. The new direct service comes as Iceland’s tourism increased by 40% over the last two years. This new service is easyJet’s seventh direct flight to Reykjavik, providing access to Iceland’s dazzling scenery, and other attractions such as views of the northern lights, volcanos and whale watching tours.

From February 2015 easyJet’s Belfast operation will increase further with the addition of 34 extra flights between Liverpool and Belfast – increasing the service between the two cities to 78 flights per week.