Loganair announces new services link for East Midlands Airport with Brussels and Inverness

Scottish regional airline Loganair is launching new routes from East Midlands Airport to Brussels and Inverness from today, an online report said.

The airline will start an early morning and afternoon service to Brussels and a new route to Inverness, in the north east of Scotland. The routes are scheduled for both business as well as leisure customers. The East Midlands-based airline operated flights on routes to 25 European cities, including Aberdeen, Bristol, City of Derry, East Midlands, London Stansted and Newcastle.

Jonathan Hinkles, managing director of Loganair said: ‘I am extremely pleased to announce the expansion of our route map while also beginning passenger services from East Midlands Airport.

‘Both of these convenient airlinks will benefit the overall region, connecting with Belgium’s largest city – home to thousands of multinational businesses while Scotland’s highlands are now just over 90 minutes away.’

The Brussels service will operate from Monday to Thursday, with afternoon services on Friday and Sunday. It will be operated on a 49-seat Embraer 145 and have a flight-time of around one hour and 10 minutes. Services between Brussels and East Midlands ceased on February 16 when flybmi collapsed.

Leon Verhallen, head of aviation development at Brussels Airport, said: ‘We are delighted that Loganair will restore flights to East-Midlands with up to two daily flights, including a convenient connection from and to Inverness, a city without direct services to Brussels.’

Karen Smart, East Midlands Airport’s managing director, said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome a new airline to EMA. This is fantastic news for passengers who will have new routes to choose from. This is also important for the region as it enhances the connectivity between the East Midlands, mainland Europe and Scotland.’

The new route to Inverness takes one hour and 25 minutes, according to the online timetable, setting off at noon with a return service at 2.30pm. There will be six flights a week between East Midlands and the Scottish city on the Moray Firth.

Inverness Airport general manager Graeme Bell said: ‘This is excellent news for Inverness and the Highlands as Loganair’s service will enable passengers to quickly access England’s industrial heartland developing business opportunities or exploring the considerable leisure options in Midlands and the nearby Peak District.

‘It also makes our region more accessible to English visitors keen to discover all that the north of Scotland has to offer.’

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.

bmi regional advances summer schedule

bmi regional, one of Britain’s regional airlines, has said that following increased customer demand for its UK and European services, it has advanced two core routes ahead of its summer schedule launch with the addition of 7,000 seats.

With the latest increase, Bristol to Frankfurt and East Midlands to Brussels will now fly three times daily starting February 2, 2015 rather than at the end of March, the airline said. The increase adds 7,000 seats across the two routes for early 2015 with one way fares from East Midlands to Brussels from GBP65 and from Bristol to Frankfurt from GBP79.

In October, bmi regional  announced plans to increase capacity across its network by 16%, adding 60,000 extra seats for summer 2015. The investment on key routes was scheduled to provide an additional 10,000 seats per month from March 29, 2015. Cities including Aberdeen, Bristol, Brussels, Frankfurt and Munich were to benefit from the enhanced connectivity of triple daily flights and additional weekend services.

bmi regional CEO Cathal O’Connell, said: ‘Additional flights on these two routes were planned for summer 2015 but due to customer demand we’ve brought forward the start dates to 2 February. Travellers can now get to two of Europe’s most important financial and commercial cities even more easily and continue to enjoy the benefits we offer our customers as standard, including free checked baggage and a complimentary bar and snack service on board.’

O’Connell added: ‘Strengthening key routes is a cornerstone of our European expansion strategy that has seen us achieve connectivity between 20 destinations across seven countries since our launch as an independent carrier in 2012.’

bmi regional launched its first-ever website exclusively for the travel trade recently, as the airline is expecting to enter a new phase of growth. The website is designed to serve the needs of trade professionals throughout UK and Europe.

‘14,000-jobs’ plan for Coventry Airport faces further delay

The decision over a major jobs scheme on green belt around Coventry Airport has been delayed until April 2014.

According to The Telegraph, the Warwick District Council’s planning committee ruling on the Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway scheme will be delayed following the commissioning of an independent report.

In December last year, the committee was split, with five councillors supporting the controversial 700-acre technology park and logistics/warehouse development, and five voting against. According to the developers, the scheme would create up to 14,000 jobs, though opponents have debated the figure. A decision was made to defer a final ruling while seeking more information.

However, later, behind closed doors, the committee decided to commission a new report examining the developers’ claims, led by airport owner Sir Peter Rigby and council officers backing the scheme.

London-based consultants, GL Hearn, have been asked to work on the new report, when it studies the scheme for the second time. Warwick Council planning officer, Rob Young, said, ‘They’re looking in more detail. We’ve asked them whether there’s a need or demand for the development, whether there are alternative sites where it could go, and to look again at the jobs figures.’

Some councillors have criticised the council officers over the narrow remit in commissioning the first Hearn report, saying that it lacked detailed analysis over the 14,000 jobs claims. According to the report, there was ‘inherent uncertainty’ in the jobs claims, and over ‘net new jobs’ rather than relocating local firms. It also said that it was not commissioned to review the Gateway’s ‘financial viability’ or ‘deliverability’.

Last December, Coventry City Council planning committee approved a relatively small part of the scheme inside the city’s boundary.

The new report is expected in early March. A provisional committee date for March has now been deferred until April 9, or the following day at the earliest.

Councillor George Illingworth, planning committee chairman, said that the intention was to give people in the community time to respond to the report before the committee meets.

Reduction in Bus Pass Cost for West Midlands Passengers

Centro, the UK based organisation that operates bus, rail and the Midland Metro Tram transport in the West Midlands area, has announced a price reduction for bus passes in the West Midlands.

The company is reducing the cost of a West Midlands bus pass by up to £1.60 per week. The price cut follows discussions conducted by Centro with around 35 different bus operators in the area.

Cllr. Kath Hartley, the organisation’s vice chairman, said, ‘At a time when the cost of living seems to be going through the roof, especially items such as food and petrol, it’s great to see the price of something as important as bus travel actually coming down.

These ‘nBus’ passes, which can be used on all services regardless of which bus company runs the service, will now offer even greater value for money.

It’s good news for those people already using ‘nBus’ passes but also for those looking to make a greener travel choice and I would encourage them to take advantage of these price reductions and give the bus a try.’

The ‘nBus’ pass fares are being reduced from £18.40 to £16.80 for a one-week pass for adults, and from £62 to £60 for an adult four-week pass.

The previous passes were also accepted by the 35 different bus companies, but only within the West Midlands Metropolitan Area. The new passes, on the other hand, will be accepted for travel to a number of additional areas including the neighbouring towns of Codsall, Bilbrook, Perton, Pattingham, Wombourne, Himley, Swindon, Kinver, Gannow, Rubery, Hollywood, Wythall, Little Aston, Keresley, and Baginton.

The company intends to offer more ‘nBus’ products later this year.

Centro Reacts to London Midland Shutting Down Ticket Offices at Four Stations

Centro, a UK based organisation operating bus, rail and Midland Metro Tram transport in the West Midlands area, has responded to a reduction in ticket office hours announced earlier by London Midland.

The lead member for transforming rail in Centro, Cllr Roger Horton, said, ‘Passengers tell us they like to see a staff presence at stations because it makes them feel safe.

Not only do staff perform a critical role in customer service but they act as a deterrent to criminal or anti-social behaviour. You don’t get that from a ticket machine.

This decision does nothing for passengers. It is a great pity that London Midland and the Department for Transport did not adopt our solution that would have delivered operational efficiencies and, most importantly, have met the needs of passengers.

If that is the case (when London Midland has said that reducing staff will not save them cost) we fail to see why they did not listen to the 18,000 passengers and disabled groups who objected.

We also fail to see what possible benefits there are to London Midland, the Department for Transport, or, most importantly, the passengers in driving through these changes. I can fully understand if passengers feel angry. They are entitled to be.’

Earlier, London Midland, the company that operates train services from London to Birmingham in the Midlands, and Liverpool in the northwest, announced receiving approval from the UK Department for Transport to review its ticket office opening hours.

London Midland will be closing down its ticket offices in Cheddington, Lye, Witton, and Wythall; while it will be operating at reduced hours at Adderley Park, Bescot Stadium, Duddeston, Jewellery Quarter, and Small Heath.

‘Fantastic’ HS2 will go ahead

Today’s decision by the government to go give the green light to HS2 was greeted as “a fantastic day for the West Midlands” by business leaders in Birmingham but warned that the government must introduce legislation to start the project this year.

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group (BCCG), said HS2, part of a larger High Speed Network, would create a fundamental change to the way people travel.

He said: “This is a fantastic day for the West Midlands. However, the imperative is to press ahead with all speed because delay will simply stall the impetus that today’s announcement has given.

“The transport secretary Justine Greening has indicated that it could be another two years before Parliament even votes on the proposition. This must not been allowed to happen. Delay would be damaging for the project and it would push it into the heart of an election campaign.

“The national interest must come first and business in Birmingham urges the government to press on with HS2 now so that it does not become bogged down in unnecessary Parliamentary procedures.

“The Government must look towards not only with pressing with the London-Birmingham HS2 link but publishing a plan soon for the route of the line north of Birmingham.

“HS2 will mean it will take just 39 minutes to travel from London to Birmingham and will help erode the north south divide by drawing investment and skilled workers away from the economic stranglehold of the south east.

“With rail growing at six per cent a year, and with no sign of abating, the Chamber applauds the Secretary of State for her decision to back the only viable solution to this looming capacity crunch.

“We have the Victorian’s to thank for our current railway network and it has served us well, but we are now well into the 21st Century and it’s about time we left our mark on the UK’s railway network.”

He added that HS2 has the potential to provide a huge to boost the region’s economy by creating jobs and making it easier for businesses to access markets quickly and efficiently.  In backing HS2 today the Secretary of State will help create 22,000 jobs in the West Midlands and boost the regional economy by £1.5 billion per annum.

HS2 forms part of a larger High Speed Network that will eventually link the main cities of the UK to one another and provide a fundamental change in the way people travel.  The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group and the business community in general has been a vocal advocate of HS2.  Indeed a survey of Chamber members found that over 70 per cent of businesses in Birmingham and Solihull support HS2.