easyjet Announces Manchester to Moscow Service

easyJet, a UK based budget airline, is offering a new non-stop scheduled service between Manchester Airport in the UK, and Moscow, the Russian capital, for 2013.

The airline is to operate four flights each way per week, and bookings for the service will be available soon. The airline has previously announced five new routes from Manchester Airport, with a fleet of eight aircraft, two of which had been recent additions.

Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of easyJet, said, ‘We are pleased to announce the launch of the first ever scheduled services between Manchester and Moscow. These new services exactly fit easyJet’s ‘join the dots’ strategy, which is to add flights to destinations from multiple bases across Europe, providing passengers with convenient point to point services.

Russia has a fast growing economy and is a country rich in culture and history – so a direct link from the North of England has been long overdue. With our strong European network we look forward to connecting Moscow with other European cities.

We are also pleased to be able to announce further expansion from Manchester with the arrival of another aircraft in March 2013. This is great news for the regional economy creating much-needed jobs in the city.

Moscow and Prague will appeal to business and leisure travellers alike with Thessaloniki promising to be a popular choice for holidaymakers from the region. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard our new services in Spring next year.’

The airline has also recently acquired the rights to operate flights between Gatwick Airport in the UK, and Moscow, while the other route to Moscow is from London Heathrow Airport, and is being served by British Airways.

Manchester Airport Group to Bid for London Stansted Airport

Manchester Airport Group (MAG), a UK based holding company that owns Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth Airports in the UK, will be making an official bid to acquire London Stansted Airport in the UK.

The company is interested in acquiring the airport in partnership with an Australian investment company, Industry Funds Management. London Stansted Airport, which is being sold by its owner, BAA Ltd, the owner and operator of six British airports including London Heathrow, is assessed to be worth around £1 billion.

MAG said that it would partner with an infrastructure specialist to try to buy Stansted.

Charlie Cornish, the chief executive officer of Manchester Airport Group, said, ‘Having conducted a strategic review of the group, we believe Stansted’s addition to MAG will generate shareholder value in combination with our existing airports in the north, south-west and Midlands markets.

MAG has a proven track record in running profitable, growing airports through its successful approach to customer service, retail, car parking, property management and aviation development, which would benefit passengers in the south-east.

IFM share our long-term investment vision and by moulding its financial strength alongside ours and with our strong background of airport management experience, we believe we can play a vital role in the successful growth of the British aviation industry and UK PLC.’

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, has previously withdrawn its offer to acquire Stansted Airport, on being advised by BAA. The airline is the largest airline operating out of the airport, with around 70 percent of the current traffic.

Manchester Airport Replaces Body Scanners Following Brussels Intervention

Manchester Airport will be ending a trial of body scanners, and commence testing on security scanners that are careful of people’s privacy.

The use of current body scanners is being replaced by five new security scanners, which will automatically process images of the passengers, inline with a new UK government policy. The new machines can scan passengers by using radio frequency-based millimetre wave technology, as against earlier scanners using low measure x-rays.

Andrew Harrison, the chief operating officer at Manchester Airport Group (MAG), the UK based holding company that owns the Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside Airports in the UK, said, ‘We’re baffled by this situation because health experts say they are safe plus the overwhelming majority of our passengers and security staff prefer body scanners to frisking and it’s frustrating that Brussels has allowed this successful trial to end.

Our security surveys and those run by the Department for Transport show passengers regularly rate their experience at Manchester as one of the best security processes in the UK if not Europe.

There’s no doubt that body scanners play a big part in these results. That’s why we are once again investing in new next generation scanner technology where the human examination of images is automated.’

The new security scanners will be installed in all three terminals and transfer lounges of the airport, and will be effective from October 1 2012, for a three month trial phase.

Jet2.com Announces New Flights from Manchester to Corfu and Menorca

Jet2.com, a UK-based low-cost airline operating out of Leeds Bradford Airport, has announced two new destinations from Manchester Airport in the UK, for the summer of 2013.

The airline is offering a three times weekly service to Menorca, in Spain, from Manchester Airport, commencing from May 11, 2013. The fares for the route commence from GBP49 one way. The Weekly flights to Corfu, in Greece, from Manchester Airport will commence from May 20, 2013, for airfares starting from £69 one way.

Steve Heapy, the chief commercial officer of Jet2.com, said, ‘We’re proud to add even more leisure travel choices from Manchester Airport with these two popular new destinations. We offer the flexibility of travel dates and durations that North West holidaymakers are looking for. What’s more, our consumer research tells us that our All Inclusive holidays continue to be a popular choice for families and couples in the current climate due to the great value, which makes the holiday budget go further.

Manchester Airport is the second largest base for Jet2.com, flying to 38 destinations in total and currently carrying more than 1.2m passengers per year. We added five new destinations for 2012 from Manchester Airport and have so far added three for Summer 2013. This announcement of two additional sun routes from the airport bolsters our position as the North’s leading leisure airline.’

Ken O’Toole, the chief commercial officer for Manchester Airports Group (MAG), owner of Manchester Airport, said, ‘Ever since Jet2.com commenced operations from Manchester they have continually grown, and by adding these two new routes it takes their total number of destinations served to 38. They have continually invested in developing a strong route network to popular locations, which has given our leisure passengers in the North even more choice in deciding where to go on holiday. We hope to see them continue to add services from Manchester in the future.’

Cityjet Cuts Service from Manchester Airport

CityJet, an Ireland-based airline, has announced that it is terminating its service from Manchester airport to Antwerp, in Belgium.

The route, which is the only Cityjet service from Manchester Airport in the UK, and the only non-stop service between Manchester and Antwerp, will be terminating on September 17, 2012.

Cityjet has been serving the route six times per week using Fokker 50 aircraft, but the decision has been taken due to viability issues. Currently the company is offering cheap fares on the route, commencing from €59, and inclusive of complimentary in-flight service and baggage fees.

The airline’s service to Antwerp from London City Airport, which currently operates with up to five flights per day, will continue to operate.

In a separate development, Manchester Airport has received another setback as Flybe, a UK-based airline, has also announced that it is to terminate one of its services from the airport.

The airline is to terminate its service from Manchester to Brussels, the Belgian capital, from September 9, 2012.

The airline has released a statement, saying, ‘Flybe carefully reviews the viability of all its 200-plus routes on a regular basis, taking into consideration passenger numbers and external cost pressures,’ said the airline in a statement.

This is done not only to monitor where it can offer increased regularity on any given route, but also where passenger numbers make a route uneconomical.’

A number of airlines are currently serving the Manchester to Brussels route, including Brussels Airlines and Ryanair, which fly into Brussels South Charleroi Airport.

New Flights from Europe to Land at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport will be seeing more flights from Europe, and more than one European airline is extending its services to the airport.

TAP Airline, the national carrier of Portugal, has announced an extension of its services to Manchester Airport from Lisbon, Portugal, for the winter 2012 -2013 season. The airline has been flying to the airport only since last year, and is the only carrier connecting Lisbon with Manchester, and offering five flights per week. The current service to Manchester will feature economy and business class services.

The airline UK sales manager, Jose Moreira, said, ‘Having successfully launched our new service last summer, we are very happy with the results to date.

We will have a daily flight this winter and intend to add further frequencies next Summer to reflect the increased demand we are experiencing not only to Portugal but beyond to Brazil and Africa.’

The airport will also see flights from Gothenburg in Sweden offered by Denmark-based airline, Sun Air, from August 27, 2012, onwards.

Manchester will also benefit from the decision by Sun Air to take over the route to Gothenburg from August 27. The airline is offering 11 weekly flights. The airline will be replacing flights earlier offered by Sweden-based City Airline, which has recently filed for bankruptcy.

Sun Air commercial director, Kristian Tvergaard, said, ‘As a direct consequence of demand from both British and Swedish business people for a direct connection between Manchester and Sweden’s second largest city Gothenburg, we have decided to take over this route.

We believe that the route has a lot of potential as there are several British-owned companies in the Gothenburg area, and the UK is one of the region’s top 10 trading partners.’

Manchester Airport to run out of fuel by 18.00 on Wednesday

A spokesman for Manchester Airport has said that the Airport will probably run out of fuel by 6pm this evening.

The fuel crisis has been caused by disruption at the local Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, which has been blamed on quality concerns about the fuel. The Airport is hoping that the issue will be resolved by midnight.

The airport is supplied by a pipeline direct from the refinery, which is capable of delivering 250,000 litres of fuel per hour.  The airport uses approximately 3 million litres per day, with this being the first occasion that they have run out of fuel.

The airport said in a statement, “Today the airline fuel supply companies operating at Manchester Airport are experiencing temporary problems with their supply of aviation fuel from Essar refinery.

Whilst a stock of aviation fuel is stored on site, as a precaution, airlines have been advised to carry additional fuel wherever possible.

Whilst we do not expect this to cause widespread disruption, it is possible that some airlines may decide to cancel, divert or delay a small number of flights from 18:00 tonight into tomorrow morning.

We would like to apologise for any disruption that this may cause and assure our customers that everything possible is being done to return operations to normal.”