Southampton launches new BA’ CityFlyer route to Faro, opens new rapid COVID-19 testing facilities

Southampton Airport has recently announced the launch of a new British Airways (BA) service from Southampton to Faro.

The new CityFlyer service form Southampton directly connects England’s south coast with popular holiday destinations in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Germany. Under a new agreement with Southampton Airport, the airline will operate up to 18 flights each weekend to 12 locations. The seasonal arrangement will run alongside existing services from London City Airport.

Rachel Riley, BA CityFlyer’s Head of Commercial at Southampton airport, said: ‘As we welcome more customers back on board, the launch of today’s operation from Southampton is an exciting extension of our service.’

‘This is a special day for many people, families have been separated from loved ones overseas, businesses have suffered, and we know that our customers haven’t been able to take the breaks abroad that they’ve wanted.’

Matt Hazelwood, Group Commercial Director at AGS Airports Ltd, added: ‘BA’s commitment to deliver connectivity for Southampton and the wider region to some of the most popular destinations in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Germany will be very much welcomed by our passengers now that the safe restart of international travel is underway.’

Separately, Southampton Airport said that new rapid COVID-19 testing facilities have been introduced at the airport. The move follows the successful introduction of testing facilities at Aberdeen and Glasgow airports in March this year. The terminal-based facilities offer passengers both PCR and antigen testing.

Steve Szalay, Operations Director at Southampton Airport, said: ‘The introduction of these fantastic on-site testing facilities will not only provide our passengers with a quick and convenient service, they will be instrumental in providing support to our safe restart plans as international flights resume following the lifting of restrictions earlier this month.’

Newcastle International Airport announces up to 14 flights a week to Portugal

Newcastle International Airport has announced the launch of services to two destinations in Portugal, operated by four airlines flying up to 14 times a week from the airport this summer.

Following the announcement of the Green List by the Government last week, British Airways has announced two direct flights a week on sale to Faro, Portugal. Starting from May 29, the flights will operate every Saturday and Sunday until June 20.

Ryanair will resume flights to Faro from the June 4, operating every Monday and Friday initially and increasing to every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from July. Meanwhile, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays will resume flights to Faro from June 24, initially operating six days a week before increasing to daily from the end of July. Jet2.com and Jet2holidays will also operate weekly flights to Madeira from the June 28.

In addition, easyJet announced last week that it would be resuming international flights from Newcastle International Airport with the introduction of flights to Faro from the July 20, operating every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday throughout the summer season.

Nick Jones, CEO of Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘We are pleased that the restart of international leisure travel has been confirmed, although only a very small number of countries have been granted Green List status.

‘We hope as the COVID-19 situation improves in Europe more countries and islands will be added to the Green list and we will be able to welcome more airline partners and passengers back to the Airport throughout the summer months.

‘The COVID-19 tests and Fit to Fly Certificates that passengers will require are provided by the COVID-19 testing facility located at the Airport, which is operated by NPH Group and has remained open throughout the pandemic. Convenient and reliable in-person PCR tests are facilitated by trained clinicians, avoiding the risk of postal delays. These can be booked at nph-group.co.uk.

The safety of our passengers and staff is our highest priority. Our Ten Point Plan of safety measures remains in place, and includes an increased cleaning regime, over 100 hand sanitiser stations throughout the terminal and mandatory mask wearing for passengers and staff.’

The complete list of destinations available from Newcastle International Airport, the on-site testing facility and the airport’s Ten Point Plan of safety measures can be found at newcastleairport.com, it said.

Ryanair expands UK summer 21 schedule, launches 26 new routes

Ryanair has announced the launch of its expanded UK Summer 2021 schedule, which includes over 2,300 weekly flights across 480 routes, including 26 new routes to popular holiday destinations in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

UK holidaymakers are increasingly looking forward to holiday travel following the Government’s roadmap for the re-opening of air travel and the success of the vaccination programme. UK families can now book a Summer holiday until October 2021, flying to international destinations such as Bologna, Fuerteventura, Zakynthos and Valencia among many others.

Ryanair’s UK Summer 21 offers flights to holiday destinations such as Corfu, Santorini, Menorca, Ibiza, Faro and the Canary Islands. Summer breaks to Europe’s top cities including Barcelona, Lisbon, Naples, Rome and Venice.

As part of the announcement, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from £19.99 for travel until the end of October, but these sale prices must be booked by midnight Sunday, March 28 on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Group CEO, Michael O’Leary, said: ‘The UK Govt has implemented a very successful vaccine rollout programme, and is on track for a re-opening of EU short-haul travel this summer. Ryanair is pleased to offer even more choice and lower fares to our UK customers and their families with over 2,300 weekly flights and 480 routes to choose from, including 26 exciting new holiday connections to Naples, Rhodes, Chania, Alicante and Mallorca among many others.

‘UK families can now book a well-earned summer holiday safe in the knowledge that if their plans change for any reason they can move their travel dates up to two times with a zero-change fee up until the end of October 2021.’

British Airways launches flights and holiday packages to sun destinations for 2021

British Airways has announced the launch of its holiday programme to sun destinations for 2021.

The airline is offering flights and holiday packages at a discounted rate for travel throughout 2021 to sun destinations across its network, including the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, the Seychelles, Florida and Dubai.

Andrew Brem, British Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: ‘As we edge into the winter months and Brits are asked to stay at home, we know our customers are looking forward to booking warm holidays to get away and soak up some sun. It’s been quite a year, and our very special prices reflect that. With travel dates available in 2021 we’d encourage people to make the most of these special prices and jet off on a well-deserved break.’

The holiday packages on offer include a seven-night beach break with flights and hotel starting from £219 per person (pp) to Lanzarote or Tenerife in the Canary Islands in March 2021.

Holidaymakers looking to enjoy Portuguese sun can fly to the Algarve for a seven-night stay including flights from £199pp, also for travel in March next year.

For those looking to enjoy Caribbean beaches, a seven-night hotel stay and flights are available from £599pp to Saint Lucia in June 2021. Alternatively, customers can choose a seven-night stay and flights to St Kitts from £619pp for travel in May 2021. Barbados is another destination on offer for sun-seekers with a £599pp seven-night stay and flights for travel in June 2021.

Further, the company is offering a seven-night stay (including flights and hotel) to the Seychelles in June 2021 for fares from £999pp. Alternatively, customers may holiday in Mauritius with a seven-night stay and flights from £729pp in the same month.

British Airways Holidays is also offering a three-night stay and flights from £419pp for travel on selected dates to Florida in April and May next year. And finally, customers can take World Traveller flights to Dubai for a minimum of three days from £334 return on selected dates up until June 2021.

The airline’s flexible booking policy offers no change fees, or a voucher exchange, for bookings made during the sunshine campaign. Customers can move their flights or holiday in case of any change of plans, as long as their initial travel dates are before the end of August 2021.

Ryanair expands service from the UK to Faro with 14 extra flights every week

Ryanair, the Irish low-fares airline, has announced it will be expanding its connection between the UK and Portugal over the coming weeks from September 11 to October 24, with 14 additional flights to Faro every week from 12 UK airports – including an extra weekly flight from Cardiff.

This move comes following Portugal’s sharp decline in Covid cases and the UK’s announcement to place it on the list of countries UK holidaymakers can visit.

To celebrate Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares starting from £19.99 one way, across the UK- Portugal network, for travel in September & October 2020.

Ryanair’s Eimear Ryan said: ‘Ryanair is thrilled to strengthen the connection between the Cardiff Airport and sunny Faro over the coming weeks with 3 flights per week – making it easier than ever for Cardiff holidaymakers to book that long awaited trip in the sun.

‘To celebrate the UK’s decision to place Portugal on its ‘safe list’ of countries UK travellers can visit, we have extended our seat sale on flights to Portugal in September and October, with fares as low as £19.99 one way. ‘

Cardiff Airport’s interim CEO Spencer Birns, added: ‘The global pandemic has created huge, unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry, and it has also affected our customers’ travel options. It’s great to hear that Portugal is now on the air travel corridor list for the UK, meaning that visitors to the country will no longer have to quarantine when they return.

‘We are very grateful that Ryanair has stepped in to provide more flights for our customers, who now have the option to enjoy a trip to this stunning destination this summer.’

Ryanair launches UK summer 20 schedule with 500 routes on offer

Ryanair, the Ireland -based European regional airline, has launched its UK Summer 2020 schedule with 14 new routes including destinations such as Cluj (Romania), Pisa and Terceira in Portugal.

For summer next year, Ryanair will operate more than 500 routes in total, which is expected to deliver 46.3m customers p.a. and support 35,000 jobs at its 21 UK Airports, the airline said. UK tourists and visitors can now book holidays on these routes as far out as October 2020.

Ryanair said that its UK Summer 2020 schedule will deliver five brand new routes from Edinburgh to Bydgoszcz (twice a week); Manchester to Pisa (twice per week); Stansted to Cluj (three per week), Kosice (thrice per week ) and Terceira (one per week); nine new summer services – Exeter to Alicante (two per week); Edinburgh to Bucharest (three per week); London Stansted to Dresden (three per week) and Essaouira (two per week); London Luton to Krakow (four per week) and Seville ( three per week); Manchester to Katowice (three per week), Milan Malpensa (five per week ) and Prague (nine per week). Further the airline has announced additional flights on 46 other routes including destinations like Budapest, Milan Bergamo and Krakow.

As part of the announcement, Ryanair has launched a seat sale on its UK routes with fares starting from £14.99, for travel until the end of November 2019. Tickets are available for booking until midnight of Thursday, October 3 on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘Ryanair is delighted to bring the lowest emissions and fares to the UK with our Summer 2020 schedule, with 14 new routes at our UK airports, and more than 500 routes in total, which will deliver 46.3 million customers p.a. and support 35,000* jobs at our 21 UK airports. UK customers and visitors can now book low fare seats on more than 500 routes as far out as October 2020. To celebrate, we are releasing seats for sale from just £14.99 for travel until the end of November 2019, which are available for booking until midnight Thursday (3 October). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.’

Jet2.com announces more sun routes for winter 2018/19 from Glasgow Airport

The UK-based flight and holiday company Jet2.com has announced the addition of more flights and holidays from Glasgow Airport to sun destinations such as the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal for winter 18/19, with over 20,000 additional seats on sale.

The company has announced that 11 additional flights to the Canary Islands will go on sale for the next Christmas and New Year period. The extra services are to popular sun destinations such as Tenerife, Lanzarote, Alicante, Majorca and Faro.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘This is great news for holidaymakers looking for some winter sun out of Glasgow Airport, particularly over Christmas and New Year. The strong demand for our award winning flights and great value package holidays means we are totally committed to growing our operation at Glasgow Airport, and this announcement today shows that.’

The additional flights and holidays include two additional services to Tenerife on December 27 and December 31, as well as extra weekly services in March/April; and three additional Wednesday services to Gran Canaria over the Christmas holidays and New Year, on December 19, December 26 and January 2, 2019. Jet2.com will also operate three additional Friday services to Fuerteventura on December 21 and December 28 and January 4, 2019.

In addition, Jet2.com has added a second daily service to Lanzarote on Sundays over the Christmas holidays and New Year period on December 23, December 30 and January 6.

For the first time, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays will add six services to Malaga from Glasgow with the addition of six services on December 21, December 23, 28, and 30 and on January 4 and 6. The company is also offering additional services on Mondays and Fridays from February 8.

Further, Jet2 is offering additional Monday services to Alicante starting February 4, taking the total to five weekly services during winter; additional Sunday services from March to Majorca, taking it three weekly services during this period; two additional weekly services to Barcelona on Thursdays and Sundays in January offering year-round service from Glasgow and two additional services to Faro in late-November.

All tickets are available to book at www.jet2.com or www.jet2holidays.com, the company said.

British holidaymakers eye Portugal and Spain amid security issues in Egypt, Turkey

British tourists are increasing turning to destinations like Portugal and Spain for their holidays this summer, while previously popular destinations of Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia are being dropped for security reasons, according to a report by The Telegraph.

Citing figures, the report noted that reservations for Portugal have increased by nearly 32 per cent, while that to Spain has seen a 27 per cent rise, with other destinations like Cyprus and Malta also figuring in the sought-after list.

Meanwhile airlines and travel groups are registering a drop in business to traditionally popular destinations like Tunisia and Egypt, following terrorist incidents and changes to Foreign Office travel advice. Turkey has seen reservations drop by 50 per cent following a bomb blast in Istanbul last month, which saw ten people killed in a busy tourist area, the report noted.

Following the trend, travel group ABTA has issued a notice to tourists to book their holidays early this year. Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: ‘The significant increase in summer holiday bookings to western Mediterranean destinations is also being mirrored in other Northern European markets.

‘So it makes it more important than ever that customers book early to obtain the best value and ensure they get the holiday of their choice.’

Besides, amid rising demand for the supposedly safer destinations, many of the airlines are now diverting flights to high-demand areas.

Last week Thomas Cook has said that it has moved 400,000 seats from Turkey to Spain, while tour operator Thompson said it has increased capacity significantly to Spain to meet the demand. Monarch airlines said that the eight flights a week schedule which were previously going to Sharm-el-Sheikh, in Egypt, had all now been diverted to Spain following the ban of all UK airlines to the site, which saw 38 people gunned down on a beach last year.

Citing the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, the report added that UK residents are taking more overseas holidays than ever. The Travel and Tourism report showed Britons made 13.4million visits abroad in the three months to December 2015, an increase of 10 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier, the Telegraph added.

Flybe expands summer 2016 schedule from Southampton

The UK-based regional airline Flybe has announced upgrades to its 2016 summer programme with additional frequency and return of popular summer sun routes to Spain and Portugal.

The European budget airline has expanded its 2016 summer schedule from Southampton Airport with the return of popular sun routes to Alicante, Malaga, Palma Mallorca and Faro. Seats are available for booking from £50.99 including taxes and charges. The airline has also increased summer frequency on some other key routes including many serving regional France.

Under the expanded schedule, starting March 30 to October 29, Flybe will operate a thrice weekly service to Alicante, increasing to daily flights from May, with double daily flights available on Wednesdays during August. From July 1 to October 28, flight services will be operated to Malaga on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays.

In addition, starting May 22 to October 29, Flybe will operate four flights a week to Palma Mallorca on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Additional Friday flights will be operated from July 1 to September 30, with double daily flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays during August. From July 2 to October 27, Flybe will now offer a thrice weekly service on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays to Faro operated using a 118-seat E195 jet.

Furthermore, Flybe has increased services on many of its most popular French regional routes, including those to Brest, Limoges and Perpignan. Daily flights will be operated to Bordeaux and Rennes, and double daily to Bergerac in August, daily flights to La Rochelle between July 1 and September 3 as well as three flights a week to Verona during August.

Under the extended 2016 Summer schedule, Flybe now offers 25 routes from Southampton offering passengers a choice of up to 329 flights a week to an extensive range of destinations.

Giving customers a chance to visit some of the sought-after sun destinations and new cities, the airline has also launched its biggest sale of the year offering one million seats available across its network from £27.99 one way including taxes and charges. Bookings can be made until midnight on Tuesday January 12, 2016 at www.flybe.com effective for travel between February 1 and July 20, 2016.

easyJet opens Porto base, announce three new UK routes

UK-based low fares airline easyJet has announced the opening of its new base at Francisco de Sa Carneiro Airport Porto. Three new UK routes from Manchester, Bristol and London Luton Airports to the new Porto base are set to be launched this summer.

Flights from Bristol to Porto will start on April 19, and operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Fares start from £22.99 per person. Manchester flights to Porto will commence on May 24 with fares starting from £28.99 per person, while flights from London Luton to Porto will commence on April 26. Fares start from £42.99 per person.

Speaking at the official inaugural ceremony at the new Porto base, Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet, said: ‘Portugal is a really important market for easyJet. We have been flying to and from Portugal for 18 years and today represents another important milestone in our history.’

‘We are really pleased to demonstrate our long-term commitment to Portugal with the opening of our second Portuguese base, following the launch of our Lisbon base in 2012.’

‘Establishing a base in Porto will create 80 new easyJet jobs, fully under Portuguese labour contracts, and support many more new jobs at the airport and in the surrounding region. As importantly it will enable easyJet to increase the region’s connectivity with the rest of Europe and to make travel easy and affordable for those who wish to fly to and from this wonderful city.’

Maria Luis Albuquerque, Portugal Minister of Finance, who also attended the ceremony, said: ‘The opening of an easyJet base in Porto is yet another sign that the Portuguese economy is steadily recovering and becoming an increasingly attractive destination for investment.

The establishment of new routes will certainly favour the tourism sector, but also facilitate business relations between Portugal and Europe, thus contributing to a deeper integration. Most importantly, this new base will lead to job creation, which is the ultimate goal of our country’s ongoing efforts.’

Porto is easyJet’s 25th base, and the airline is set to open its 26th base in Amsterdam on March 31. easyJet started its operations in Portugal in 1999 and flies to Faro, Funchal, Porto and Lisbon. Starting March 29, the airline will also launch a service connecting the capital with Ponta Delgada in Azores.