easyJet launches new flights from Southampton to Belfast and Glasgow

easyJet, the UK-based European regional airline, has launched two new year-round flight routes departing from Southampton Airport.

These routes, connecting Southampton with Belfast International and Glasgow, have commenced operations, enhancing connectivity for travellers in the South of England to vital hubs in Northern Ireland and Scotland, catering to both leisure and business travellers.

The first flight from Southampton to Belfast International took off on Sunday, October 29, marking the start of a service that now runs up to three times a week on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays. The new route to Glasgow, which departed from Southampton on Thursday, November 2, will be operational twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays.

These new routes are designed to offer year-round service, reinforcing domestic connections from the South West to these significant cities across the UK. Whether passengers are seeking a city break, a convenient business connection, or the chance to explore Northern Ireland and Scotland, these flights are set to provide convenient options.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to have launched our new services from Southampton to Belfast International and Glasgow, which will provide our customers in the South of England with direct and convenient departures to Northern Ireland and Scotland, making it easier for people to visit more of the fantastic destinations the UK has to offer for leisure or business.

Mark Beveridge, Operations Director at Southampton Airport, said: ‘We are really pleased to welcome easyJet’s first services to Glasgow and Belfast International.

‘Following the recent completion of the runway extension, we are working hard and speaking regularly with our airline partners to deliver the routes and services the people of Southampton and the wider region deserve.’

Travelers can secure seats on these routes, with prices starting at £22.50 one way per person including taxes, and bookings available through easyJet.com.

Edinburgh Airport resumes direct Beijing link with Hainan Airlines

Edinburgh Airport has announced that Hainan Airlines is resuming its direct air service between the capital cities of Scotland and China, reestablishing what it describes as the ‘Great Hall to the Great Wall’ link.

This service marks Scotland’s sole direct connection to China and will operate twice a week, with departures from Edinburgh on Mondays and Fridays, starting from June 26 until October 6. The flights will be operated on an Airbus A330.

The air service between Beijing and Scotland stands as a vital bridge, linking two diverse and captivating destinations. Besides the business possibilities, this connection opens up a world of opportunities for travellers seeking to explore the rich cultural tapestry of Beijing, visit ancient wonders, explore a fascinating culture, or take in breathtaking landscapes.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘We’re excited to be reconnecting Scotland and China and deliver yet more destination and experience choices for our passengers.

‘Our countries are both steeped in history and heritage, and this Hainan Airlines service will make it easier for people in Scotland and China to experience the very best of our countries. It’s also another signal of strength in Edinburgh as a destination for people across the world.

‘We know that there is a deep connection between our countries and this route will help to reconnect friends, families and businesses, as well as allow us to forge new economic relationships to the benefit of Scotland on a national and local level.’

Minister for Transport Fiona Hyslop said: ‘I warmly welcome the start of Hainan’s direct service between Edinburgh Airport and Beijing. This direct connectivity is great news for people and businesses in both Scotland and China, building strong links for business and exports, as well as making it easier for visitors and students to come and experience Scotland.

‘Our aspiration is for Scotland to be as well connected globally as peer nations and regions and this service is an important boost to our international connectivity, demonstrating growing confidence in the Scottish aviation market.

‘I wish Edinburgh Airport and Hainan every success with this service.’

easyJet puts flights on sale for Summer 2023 from Scotland

easyJet has announced its summer 2023 schedule on sale from Scotland, with seats on over a quarter of a million flights available for travel between May 9, 2023 and September 30, 2023.

Flights are now available to book including: Glasgow to Berlin and Paris from £29.99; Glasgow to Malaga and Alicante from £34.99; Edinburgh to Munich and Keflavik from £31.99; Edinburgh to Lisbon and Naples from £34.99. The fares are one way per person including taxes.

easyJet also said that will introduce an additional aircraft to its Edinburgh base from next summer, to meet the increased demand for holiday travel. With the addition, starting summer 2023 easyJet will base a total of nine aircraft at Edinburgh, operating on 39 routes across the UK, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The ninth aircraft will be based in Edinburgh throughout the year, and will join two 156-seat Airbus A319 and six 186-seat A320 aircraft already serving the airline’s customers in Edinburgh.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, commented: ‘Nearly three decades ago we launched the airline with services from London Luton to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Twenty-seven years on, Scotland remains an important focus for easyJet and we continue to see opportunity in Scotland, which is why we are delighted to be adding an additional aircraft to our Edinburgh airport base to serve even more customers in Scotland next summer.

‘We are also delighted to be putting our flights for summer 2023 on sale today, so customers can book early to snap up the best fares across our network and find a great-value summer getaway in the most fantastic beach and city destinations Europe has to offer.

‘With seats now available across thousands of flights serving four Scottish airports on over 70 routes to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, now is a great time to book for next summer with easyJet.’

Kate Sherry, Aviation Director at Edinburgh Airport added, ‘The continued expansion of easyJet at Edinburgh Airport shows the strength that the Edinburgh market has, as well as the confidence that one of our closest airline partners has in Scotland’s busiest airport. The industry’s recovery is still ongoing and this additional based aircraft will sustain the positive trajectory that we have seen at Edinburgh.

‘The launch of the summer programme comes at a great time as we move into the winter and we begin to think about that summer holiday and dream about the sunshine and the beach, something this programme delivers in buckets and spades! Whether it’s discovering a new city or returning to a favourite spot, the variety of destinations provides passengers with plenty of choice and something to really look forward to next year.’

United Airlines to resume US services from Edinburgh in 2022

Edinburgh Airport has announced that United Airlines will be returning to Scotland with direct flights from Edinburgh to New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. set to resume next year.

The airline will resume its year-round daily nonstop service between Edinburgh and New York/Newark from March 5, 2022 before season services to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. resume on May 7, 2022.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said: ‘It’s incredibly exciting to be resuming our transatlantic services with United to allow direct travel between Scotland and the USA for the first time in two years. It will allow families to reunite, friends to reconnect and re-open the strong tourism destinations on both sides of the Atlantic.’

Bob Schumacher, United’s Director of Sales U.K. and Ireland said: ‘We are delighted to return to Scotland in 2022 and resume nonstop services from Edinburgh to the United States. With the return of services, our customers in Edinburgh can once again take advantage of direct connections to the U.S., as well as an unrivalled route network from United’s hubs at New York/Newark, Chicago and Washington, D.C., offering convenient nonstop connections to 129 destinations across the Americas.’

United Airlines will be the first airline to resume services between Scotland and the United States. The year-round daily nonstop service from Edinburgh to New York/Newark and seasonal daily nonstop services from Edinburgh to Chicago O’Hare and Washington D.C. will be operated on Boeing 757-200 aircraft, featuring a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United Polaris business class and 153 in economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

Eastern Airways resumes flights to Aberdeen from Newcastle

Eastern Airways has resumed flights between Newcastle International Airport and Aberdeen Airport, offering connectivity for businesses in both the North East of England and Scotland, as well as other passengers looking to travel to Aberdeenshire or the Highlands.

The resumed schedule will see flights operating six days a week and give passengers a convenient way of travelling to the Scottish port city from the North East of England in under one hour.

Flights are on sale now from £84.99 one-way including a 15-kg hold bag at www.easternairways.com or with your local travel agent.

Roger Hage, General Manager, Eastern Airways, said: ‘We have served the North-East of England to Aberdeen for twenty years now and we welcome the return to our Newcastle base, restoring the North-East Scotland connection.

‘As passenger confidence and energy related activity increases, we want to ensure the right services are being offered. Eastern Airways is all about supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places. Ensuring the North-East’s main hub airport of Newcastle is connected to Aberdeen is part of our wider return adding further services at hubs we already serve and a crucial part of increasing connectivity and aiding economic recovery.’

Richard Knight, Chief Operating Officer at Newcastle International Airport said: ‘The connection between Newcastle and Aberdeen is vital for the region’s economy and many businesses that operate in the offshore sector.

‘September marks twenty years since Eastern Airways began operating flights between the North East’s largest Airport and the city of Aberdeen. We are delighted that the airline has chosen to resume this important route which will benefit many businesses as they begin the road to recovery from the pandemic.

‘The airline has a number of robust safety measures in place, and along with our own Ten Point Plan we hope this will give passengers confidence that they will be safe when travelling.’

Mark Beveridge, Operations Director at Aberdeen International Airport, said: ‘It is great to see Eastern Airways return to Aberdeen International Airport with its Newcastle service.

‘This route will be warmly welcomed by our passengers and adds to the routes that strengthen our connectivity in the north-east of Scotland. Bringing business back to the region with safe travel is a key priority but there remains a long road ahead for aviation in the UK and the thousands of people employed within our industry.’

Loganair announces new Scotland-Wales flight service

Loganair, the UK’s largest regional airline, has launched its new service between Edinburgh and Cardiff, starting August 2.

Flights will be operated on Loganair’s 49-seat Embraer 145 regional jets, with prices on the 1hr 25 min trip starting at £49.99 one way including taxes and charges. Tickets are now on sale, and all Loganair fares include a free checked baggage allowance.

The direct flights – five per week in each direction – represent the last major route to be restored by Loganair and other carriers, reintroducing the domestic connectivity lost when Flybe collapsed in March 2020. The flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday. The Cardiff service adds to the eight others already flown from Edinburgh by Loganair, including Southampton, Newquay and the Isle of Man.

Kay Ryan, Loganair’s chief commercial officer, said: ‘I know many of our customers – both business and leisure – have been waiting for this service to resume, and we are very pleased to be able to add Cardiff to our Edinburgh roster.

‘Importantly, these services fill gaps left by the collapse of Flybe, with almost every lost domestic destination now being restored by Loganair and other carriers over the coming months.’

Kate Sherry, aviation director at Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘We’re excited to be reconnecting the capitals of Scotland and Wales, a route which will allow family members to reunite as well as enable people to enjoy a well-earned break in Edinburgh and Cardiff. It’s been an extremely tough period and we know people are looking forward to enjoying some time away from home, and this is further good news as the airport looks to provide those opportunities for our passengers. Loganair is a valued partner and its confidence in Edinburgh Airport is welcome now and going forward.’

Spencer Birns, CEO at Cardiff Airport said: ‘We’re pleased that Loganair has stepped in to re-establish a vital connection between Wales and Scotland with a regular Cardiff-Edinburgh service. Customers will once again be able to fly easily for business and to visit friends and family, as well as have the opportunity to travel for a well-earned city break or to explore Scotland’s beautiful scenery.

‘It is a top priority for us to re-instate routes lost as a result of the pandemic, and we are delighted that Scotland’s airline has announced this essential service for our customers, increasing regional connectivity from Wales. We look forward to working closely with the Loganair team going forward.’

Loganair has a comprehensive FlySafe protocol in place requiring all customers, unless medically exempt, to wear face coverings; social distancing through boarding and disembarkation; and additional aircraft cleaning and sanitisation between every flight. These protocols will remain in place for as long as reasonably required through public health precautions, it said.

Further, Loganair’s FlexProtect programme allows customers to change their bookings or obtain a refund, if there is a change in Government legislation or rules that affects their travel plan.

Premier Inn announces four new hotel openings for Scottish staycations in summer

Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotel brands, is preparing for a summer of staycations in Scotland with four new hotels set to open in the coming months.

The new hotels include a new Premier Inn in Glasgow city centre, a new hotel on Edinburgh’s Princes Street and the most northerly Premier Inn in the UK at Thurso in the Highlands. The new hotels will add more than 550 new bedrooms into Premier Inn’s growing network in Scotland and are expected to create around 150 new year-round jobs ahead of the busy summer trading period.

Alex Flach, Development Director at Premier Inn, said: ‘We expect that this summer will be a busy year for staycations so it’s fantastic to have four new Premier Inn hotels opening in such popular locations in Scotland – from prime city centre sites to adventure tourism hotspots.

‘Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, we are committed to growing our network of Premier Inn hotels in Scotland and see strong long-term demand for our bedrooms in both urban and popular leisure locations. Our goal is to deliver new Premier Inn bedrooms into strategic locations where our brands are not currently represented and where we wish to improve our network and product for our guests.

‘We’re actively on the lookout for new opportunities to make it even easier for both leisure and business travelers to enjoy the country affordably.’

Located in Glasgow’s St Enoch Square, a new 249-bedroom hotel, will be the first in Scotland to include the Bar + Block Steakhouse restaurant brand and grows Premier Inn’s network of hotels in the centre of Scotland’s largest city to over 1,200 rooms.

On Edinburgh’s Princes Street, Whitbread will open a new 136-bedroom hotel, adding additional capacity in Edinburgh city centre. The most northerly Premier Inn will open in Thurso in May, located on the North Coast 500 tourist route in the Highlands, an increasingly popular spot for staycations and adventure tourism. Further, Whitbread is regenerating a key city centre site with a new Premier Inn and Beefeater in Hamilton town centre.

Whitbread has been expanding its leisure locations in Scotland in recent years, with new additions to its network at Aviemore and Oban, as well as extensions to popular trading hotels in Edinburgh and Inverness.

Loganair and Blue Islands partners to improve north-south connectivity in UK

Loganair, a UK-based regional airline and Channel Islands-based regional operator Blue Islands, have announced the commencement of a new code-share agreement that will improve north-south connectivity across the United Kingdom and to Jersey and Guernsey.

Customers can now book connecting itineraries at Loganair.co.uk including Inverness to Southampton and Exeter via Manchester, Aberdeen to Southampton and Exeter via Manchester, and from Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh to the Channel Islands via Southampton or Exeter. For customers in the Channel Islands, journeys to Scotland or Newcastle on flights operated by both airlines can also now be booked at Blueislands.com. Other routes will be sold by Loganair via its website, including Blue Islands’ popular Exeter and Birmingham to Jersey and Dublin to Southampton routes.

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: ‘We’re excited our new codeshare partnership with Blue Islands starts today and we’re confident it will be welcome news for customers looking to travel to the north from the Channel Isles and by those in Scotland looking to explore all that Jersey and Guernsey have to offer. The agreement also greatly strengthens our connectivity to Southampton and Exeter with extra connecting options via Manchester complementing our direct services from the central belt and Newcastle. We look forward to further developing our relations with Blue Islands for the benefit of all our customers.’

Rob Veron, Blue Islands CEO, said, ‘We are delighted to see that customers can now book flights using our previously announced codeshare partnership with Loganair. Our initial set of connections enable easy travel to a number of very popular destinations in Scotland and the North for our customers in Guernsey, Jersey, Exeter and Southampton. We expect the network to develop even further very soon, with a wider choice of destinations for next summer.’

The code-share agreement offers several benefits to customers – there is a cost saving for customers in that if a traveller booked had flights with Loganair from Aberdeen to Manchester and then booked separate flights with Blue Islands from Manchester to Southampton, Air Passenger Duty (APD) would be charged twice. That same journey booked today via Loganair.co.uk or Blueislands.com, will be halved. Further, hold luggage will now be through checked to its final destination; and in case of delay or missed connections, a re-accommodation process is offered.

Scotland to promote wellness tourism

Scotland is planning to promote the global movement in the travel industry known as ‘wellness tourism,’ according to VisitScotland.

Valued globally at $639bn in 2017, wellness tourism has grown more than twice as fast as tourism overall with visitors looking for immersive experiences or ways to improve self-development. The annual Trends paper published by the tourism agency examined the ‘global consumer phenomena,’ highlighting a range of micro-trends that can help visitors enhance and maintain their personal wellbeing.

The potential trends for 2019 include: Restorative Recreation, which focuses on Scotland’s beautiful landscapes and scenery highlighting the emotional benefits of ‘ecotherapy’ and long-term, physical health improvements associated with time spent in green spaces; and Creative Retreats, which enables travellers to create lifelong memories – focusing on the role of hobbies, skills development and unique opportunities. The paper suggests ‘writing workshops, artists retreats, outdoor survival schools and cookery courses could all enhance the popularity of a destination.

The other trends include: Trav-agogy, which focuses on the journey of visitors rather than the overall destination. More visitors are looking to learn about the destination, immersing themselves in the local culture or learning about history and heritage; and Green Getaways as more visitors today appreciate the impact travel can have on the environment.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: ‘2019 looks to be another exciting year for tourism with this new paper highlighting the potential for businesses to invest in experiences which are beneficial for people’s health and wellbeing.

‘Whether it’s our fantastic scenery which is encouraging people to experience our great outdoors, or activities like cookery workshops or outdoor retreats which are helping to develop people’s skills, it’s clear that Scotland really does have something for everyone.’

Chris Greenwood, VisitScotland Senior Insights Manager, said: ‘Our annual trends paper is designed to help the tourism sector, showing them what consumers want and inspiring businesses to adapt or develop their products accordingly.

‘Wellness tourism is a trend that’s not going away and is expected to continue growing. With wellness travellers found to be very high-spending, high-yield tourists, there is huge potential for businesses who want to appeal to this market, creating experiences that enlighten the sense and feed the soul. Fortunately, Scotland’s ability to embrace wellness within our visitor economy is embedded within our tourism industry DNA.

‘Tourism is more than a holiday experiences- it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.’

United Airlines to operate new service from Edinburgh to Washington DC

Edinburgh Airport has announced the launch of a direct route between the capital of Scotland and the capital of the United States, starting next summer.

This is the first time that a direct route between Edinburgh and Washington DC will be on offer.

Starting May 23, 2018, United Airlines will operate the service to Washington Dulles, offering daily flights between the two capital cities. United will continue to operate its year-round flights to New York Newark as well as extending its summer service to Chicago.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘This is fantastic news for Edinburgh Airport and Scotland as we connect our two capital cities for the first time. As Scotland’s busiest airport, we are a leader for international destinations and this demonstrates the confidence of US carriers in the Edinburgh market, standing ahead of other parts of the UK with such strong inbound tourism demand.

‘Our partners at United have seen first-hand the positive impact of flights from Edinburgh to New York Newark and Chicago, and we are keen to replicate that to Washington for both a business and tourist audience. ‘The Scottish economy will also benefit as we open up Edinburgh to a new market and as international passengers continue to soar, we will see a positive contribution to the local and national economy.’

Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf said: ‘This new service between Edinburgh and Washington DC will help to strengthen the important economic and cultural links between Scotland and the United States.

‘The launch of a direct route into America’s capital city is great news for Scottish businesses, giving them better access to important US markets through United’s hub operation. It will also help support our tourism industry by making it even easier for visitors to get a taste of the fantastic experiences Edinburgh, and Scotland as a whole, have to offer.

‘I warmly welcome this announcement and wish Edinburgh Airport and United Airlines every success with this new route. I have no doubt it will prove popular with travellers on both sides of the Atlantic.’