easyJet expands services from Aberdeen International Airport, to resume Manchester service

easyJet is set to expand its services from Aberdeen International Airport next year.

The UK airline will double its daily summer services to London Gatwick and has confirmed its Manchester route will operate on a seasonal basis. easyJet’s Manchester service will resume from March 2022 along with the increased London Gatwick frequency.

Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager for easyJet, commented: ‘With the recovery now firmly underway, we are ready and able to seize opportunities where they arise. We launched our service from Aberdeen to Manchester to operate on a seasonal basis last summer and we’re delighted for next summer to be continuing this seasonal service as well as doubling our daily summer frequency to London Gatwick, to serve demand. Seats are available to book from today on easyJet.com and via the mobile app.

‘easyJet will continue to take decisive action to capture additional opportunities alongside our planned organic growth to ensure we continue to offer the greatest choice and best value for leisure and business customers alike.’

Matt Hazlewood, Group Commercial Director for AGS Airports Ltd, said: ‘It is great to see easyJet growing its offering and presence at Aberdeen International Airport with the Manchester route returning for next summer.

‘Rebuilding our connectivity will play a vital role in supporting the economic recovery of the north east and we know the Gatwick route has been incredibly popular so we are delighted easyJet is doubling its daily frequency to meet demand.

‘Our passengers and stakeholders were delighted when the restarting of this route was announced and I am sure they will be pleased to see its offering grow.’

easyJet has also announced that it is extending its flexible policies under its ‘Protection Promise’ until March 31 2022. Accordingly all easyJet customers can continue to make changes to their flights without a change fee up to two hours before departure. There are no restrictions on dates or destination; customers with both new and existing bookings can transfer to any flights currently on sale up to the end of September 2022, and to any other destination on the airline’s network.

First passengers welcomed to Manchester Airport’s new Terminal Two extension

Manchester Airport welcomed the first passengers to transit through its new Terminal Two extension this morning (Wednesday July 14), the main highlight of the GBP1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).

The first flight to take-off from the expanded Terminal Two was a Jet2.com flight to Menorca.

The revamped Terminal Two facility was officially opened by Manchester Airport’s managing director Karen Smart and Jet2.com’s general manager at Manchester Airport, Marc Burns. The opening had been delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic, after work started on the improved facility in 2017.

The inaugural passengers then had their first opportunity to sample the new terminal’s facilities, including a number of new shops, bars and restaurants and a giant media wall. More shops are set to open throughout the week as passenger numbers increase.

Jet2.com will have two further flights leaving from the terminal today, with TUI flights added to its roster from tomorrow. The increasing opportunities for travel following the pandemic are expected to see more airlines using the improved facility over the next few weeks.

Commenting on the opening, Karen Smart, said: ‘This is a hugely significant milestone for our airport, our city, the North as a whole and the wider recovery of the travel industry. After a hugely challenging 16 months, we are delighted to be delivering some positive news and welcoming the first passengers into our new terminal extension.

‘The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped. However, as Government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened-up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from Terminal Two.’

Jet 2’s Steve Heapy, said: ‘The new terminal extension at Manchester Airport is fantastic news for our customers, and we are delighted to be the first airline to take off from the expanded terminal this morning. From today all of our flights will depart and arrive from the expanded Terminal Two, with the exception of arrivals from Jersey.’

easyJet to launch new routes between Cornwall and Manchester, Glasgow

easyJet has said that it is planning to launch two new domestic routes between Cornwall Airport Newquay and Manchester and Glasgow, the airline’s first ever route between Cornwall and Scotland.

The new flights to Manchester will operate up to five times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from June 21, 2021 and to Glasgow twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the peak summer season from June 29, 2021, providing customers in the Southwest with direct connections to the North West and Scotland in around 90 minutes. Seats are now on sale at easyJet.com with fares starting from £22.99.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager said: ‘We know that people want to travel as soon as they can and as soon as it is safe to do so and so we want to ensure they have even more destinations to choose from when making a booking for this summer.

‘And while we remain optimistic for summer travel, given the successful roll out of the vaccination programme which will be an important trigger for the Government to begin to unwind some restrictions, our Protection Promise means that customers can book with confidence knowing that if they are unable to travel or their plans change so can their flights or holiday. And unlike other airlines we will offer customers refunds if they are impacted by a travel ban, even if their flight is not cancelled, which is industry leading.

Pete Downes, Managing Director at Cornwall Airport Newquay, said: ‘Domestic tourism is a vital driver of Cornwall’s visitor economy, and I’m confident that these new services announced by easyJet will be warmly welcomed by all those who are looking ahead with hope to the prospect of a UK staycation this summer.

‘The addition by easyJet of over 30,000 seats to and from Cornwall Airport Newquay will not only help those in Scotland and North West England rediscover Cornwall’s enduring appeal with stunning coastlines and world class cuisine, it will also build on our work to reinstate connectivity for local residents and businesses, which remains vital to the South West’s recovery from the pandemic.’

All flights and holidays are subject to flexible policies under its ‘Protection Promise’, including a Refund Guarantee for flights if they are cancelled, and with the Travel Ban Protection customers can also receive a refund for non-cancelled flights if plans are impacted by travel bans in a regional or national lockdown; the Freedom To Change flights without a fee up to 14 days before departure; and if quarantine measures come in to place last minute, the Quarantine Assurance would mean impacted flights can be changed without a change fee.

Norwegian announces launch of new route to Bergen from Manchester

Scandinavian airline Norwegian has announced the launch of a new non-stop service from Manchester to Norway.

The new twice-weekly seasonal service on a Monday and Friday from Manchester Airport to Bergen offers passengers more choice when travelling with Norwegian to Scandinavia. The new flight offers holidaymakers in the North West an affordable way to explore the Norwegian city of Bergen with fares from £43.90 one-way. The tickets are available to book now at www.norwegian.com/uk/destinations/bergen.

The new nonstop service will offer holidaymakers direct access to the Gateway to the Fjords of Norway. Tourists and holidaymakers can explore the spectacular landscape views of the fjords, and the history and culture of the city.

Magnus Maursund, SVP commercial Short Haul at Norwegian, said: ‘We are delighted to offer passengers in the North West another affordable Norwegian service with the addition of our new route from Manchester to Bergen. Passengers travelling with us can enjoy our award-winning complimentary gate-to-gate Wi-Fi and modern comfortable cabin on new state-of-the-art aircraft’.

Julian Carr, Aviation Director at Manchester Airport, said: ‘We’re delighted to celebrate the launch of Norwegian’s new service to Bergen today. We know it’s a hugely popular route with people from the North West looking to visit Bergen and the surrounding areas and inbound with Norwegians coming to the North and especially to Manchester and Liverpool with our musical and sporting heritage.’

In addition to the new service, Norwegian currently operates three non-stop routes to Scandinavia from Manchester Airport with three weekly flights to Oslo, two weekly flights to Stavanger and two weekly flights to Stockholm. Along with the new route the airline will now offer nine weekly flights to Scandinavia from Manchester.

Norwegian started operating from Manchester Airport in 2011 and all flights are served by new 186 seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, offering all passengers free gate-to-gate Wi-Fi and live TV. Norwegian carries more than 5.8 million UK passengers each year to over 50 global destinations.

Norwegian announces new route from Manchester to Bergen

Scandinavian airline Norwegian has said that it is expanding its network at Manchester Airport with the addition of a new non-stop service to Bergen.

A UNESCO World Heritage City, the Bergen region provides visitors with captivating views of the fjords, as well as its rich history and culture.

The new route will commence on October 28, 2019 for the winter season with two weekly flights on a Monday and Friday. Passengers in Manchester and the North West will now be able to explore the Norwegian city of Bergen this winter with fares from £43.90 one way.

Magnus Maursund, SVP commercial Short Haul at Norwegian, said: ‘Norwegian’s new flight to Bergen from Manchester will allow passengers in the North West to take advantage of our affordable fares all while enjoying our award-winning complimentary Wi-Fi and modern comfortable cabin on new state-of the-art aircraft.’

Julian Carr, Aviation Director at Manchester Airport, said: ‘It’s great to see Norwegian increase its destination choice from Manchester Airport to include Bergen. I am sure this route will prove incredibly popular with the 22 million passengers in our vast catchment area by giving more accessibility to this Scandinavian city.’

Norwegian started operating from Manchester Airport in 2011 with flights on the new 186 seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft, offering all passengers free onboard Wi-Fi and live TV.

Besides the new flight, Norwegian already operates three non-stop routes to Scandinavia from Manchester Airport with three weekly flights to Oslo, two weekly flights to Stavanger and two weekly flights to Stockholm. Along with the new route the airline will now offer nine weekly flights to Scandinavia from Manchester, Norwegian said.

Ryanair launches new Manchester route to Prague for winter 2019

Ryanair, the Ireland-based budget airline, has announced a new Manchester route to Prague, commencing in October, as part of Ryanair’s Manchester Winter 2019 schedule.

Ryanair’s full Manchester Winter 2019 schedule will be unveiled soon. As part of the Prague route announcement, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from £14.99, for travel in May, which must be booked by midnight Friday (15 Mar) on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair is pleased to announce a new Manchester route to Prague, commencing in October 2019 with nine weekly services, as part of our winter 2019 schedule. Customers in Manchester can now book flights to Prague as far out as March 2020, with our full schedule launching soon.

To celebrate, we are releasing seats for sale from just £14.99, for travel in May, which are available for booking until midnight Friday (15 Mar). Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

Stephen Turner, Commercial Director at Manchester Airport, said: ‘We’re delighted to see Ryanair offering our passengers even more routes to choose from for Winter 2019. Prague is a fantastic city to explore and hugely popular with the 22 million people in our catchment area.’

Manchester travellers and visitors can now book their holidays until March 2020. Ryanair’s new customer care improvements include a guarantee as the airline pays back the difference plus EUR5.00 through MyRyanair credit if the customers find cheaper fare within three hours of booking. Further, customers are offered 48-hour free of charge grace period for changes to bookings.

The New Ryanair Choice is available for a EUR199 annual fee for free seats, fast-track and priority boarding for frequent guests. Digital improvements include new fare finder, sports tickets, bespoke travel guides and faster mobile.

Hotel Indigo opens in Manchester city centre

Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station has opened its door to guests, marking its presence in one of the UK’s largest cities.

The boutique hotel is located at the gateway to the Northern Quarter in Manchester, and is adjacent to Exchange Square, the city’s shopping district. Known for its bohemian bars, the Northern Quarter has a lively music scene, with a wide range of places to eat and drink.

Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station features 187 guest rooms. The three room designs blend Manchester’s industrial past with modern luxury. Double rooms are available from £119.

Nicholas Northam, Managing Director for the UK at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, commented: ‘We’re very proud to welcome the Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station to our growing UK portfolio. It is a truly stunning hotel that I’m sure is going to delight both leisure and business travellers alike.’

James McDevitt, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station, commented: ‘We are truly proud to launch Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station. The hotel is situated in a prime location for those visiting Manchester and who wish to see and appreciate the city’s artistic side. Working with local designers, the interiors reflect the creative personality of the area, whilst reinforcing this first-class hotel we have created.’

The hotel will feature a restaurant and bar, Mamucium, led by award-winning Mancunian chef Andrew Green. The 120-seat restaurant will serve a menu of classic and locally sourced food with a Northern flavour. The key attraction will be the silestone and brass bar area, as well a cafe, M Cafe, within the restored building.

There are currently 27 Hotel Indigo properties in Europe with another 17 due to open in the next 3-5 years, IHG said in its release.

Arriva offers affordable rail travel to passengers to and from Manchester Airport

Arriva Group train operators, CrossCountry and Northern, have announced plans to expand their range of mobile tickets (m-Tickets) and travel options to passengers travelling to and from Manchester Airport.

Effective from September 3, a full range of connectional Advance Tickets will be available direct to Manchester Airport, with connections at Manchester Piccadilly using Northern services. The new fares offer customers a cheaper way to plan their journeys to and from the airport, using m-Tickets bought on their phone. With the new -ticket facility, customers will also not have to queue for tickets at the station.

Liam Sumpter, Regional Director at Northern, said: ‘The new m-Tickets are a fantastic way for customers to save time and money on their journeys to and from Manchester Airport. As well as providing cheap advance fares, they will help customers plan their journeys better, with the added benefit of having tickets on customers’ mobile phones. We are delighted to be working with CrossCountry on this initiative to help make travelling and buying tickets easier for customers.’

Ben Simkin, Commercial Director at CrossCountry, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to provide customers travelling to and from Manchester Airport with easier and cheaper travel. The new m-Tickets mean customers will no longer need to queue at ticket machines and will also offer a new range of Advance fares that are available to and from the airport to a wide range of destinations along our route.’

Britain’s most geographical-extensive passenger rail franchise, CrossCountry’s network stretches from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff, and calls at over 100 stations. Arriva Rail North Limited operates the Northern franchise and will run regional and commuter services across the region until March 2025.

InterContinental Hotels Group adds 13 luxury and upscale hotels in UK

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said that it will expand its luxury and upscale estate, establishing itself as one of the leading luxury hotel operators in the UK.

Accordingly, IHG has entered into a conditional agreement with Fonciere des Regions (FdR), to rebrand and operate 12 high quality open hotels (2.2k rooms) and one pipeline hotel (185 rooms) into its portfolio across the UK. The move will expand the InterContinental brand, and enable IHG to launch its luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in the UK, adding multiple hotels for the brand in major city centres, including London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

The agreement is a major step as IHG plans to take the brand global, expanding on the first signings for Asia and China last year, and will act as a catalyst for Kimpton’s growth in Europe. This agreement aims to strengthen IHG’s position in the upscale segment in the UK, and will establish a presence for its new upscale brand. These hotels will represent the IHG brand in its largest market within the Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, where it will initially be launched later this year.

Keith Barr, chief executive officer, IHG commented: ‘We are focused on continuing to expand our leadership in luxury and upscale, which are both high-value segments with significant growth potential. Bringing Kimpton to such an important market as the UK is a key part of our plans, as is the introduction of our new upscale brand, which will provide an exciting, differentiated offering to both guests and owners. Together with the recent addition of Regent Hotels & Resorts to our portfolio, we are building real momentum behind our plans to deliver industry-leading net rooms growth.’

Following FdR’s acquisition of the hotel properties and operations, IHG will operate the hotels that currently operate under the Principal Hotels and De Vere Hotels brands under long-term ‘managed leases’ as part of its luxury and upscale portfolio. The hotels include The Principal London, The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, The Principal Edinburgh George Street, The Principal Met Hotel (Leeds), The Principal York, De Vere Oxford Thames, The Grand Birmingham (pipeline), The Principal Manchester, The Principal Blythswood Square (Glasgow), The Principal Grand Central (Glasgow), The Principal St David’s (Cardiff), The Principal Oxford Spires and De Vere Wotton House.

British Airways commences new ski routes from Manchester

British Airways has announced the launch of ski flights from Manchester Airport to Salzburg and Chambery.

The two new winter-only flights from Manchester will operate every Saturday until April to Salzburg in Austria and Chambery in France. All flights will operate on Embraer 190 jet aircraft. Basic each way fares to both cities from £49 are available to book on www.ba.com.

Flights to Salzburg will operate every Saturday departing Manchester at 1305 hours, arriving in Salzburg at 1620 hours, with the return flight at 1710 hours, arriving in Manchester at 1730 hours. Flights to Chambery will operate every Saturday departing Manchester at 0007 hours arriving in Chambery at 1000 hours, with the return flight at 1055 hours, arriving in Manchester at 1200 hours.

In May, British Airways launched seven new summer-only routes from Manchester to holiday destinations in Europe as well as London City, offering more than 35,000 extra seats from the North West. The airline will start new services to Florence and Dublin from Manchester in May 2018.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager customer and commercial, said: ‘We are delighted to follow our successful summer programme from Manchester with these new direct services to two of the most popular snow destinations in Austria and France. They are also brilliant winter break destinations even for those who don’t ski!’

Club Europe and eligible Executive Club customers will have access to the rooftop British Airways Terraces Lounge at Manchester Airport. Club customers will also receive complimentary food and drinks on board, free baggage allowance, free seat selection and on-line check-in, the airline said.