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.’

Eastern Airways to operate two new routes to Nantes and Rennes from Southampton

Eastern Airways, an independent UK-based carrier, has announced plans to operate two French regional destinations from Southampton in April.

The airline will commence services to Rennes Bretagne from Thursday, April 29 and Nantes Atlantique from Friday, April 30. The two routes will be operated using the airline’s 72 seat ATR72-600 aircraft, with the Nantes service flying on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while Rennes will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flights are now available to book at www.easternairways.com, with all fares including hold baggage.

Roger Hage, general manager for Eastern Airways, said: ‘As the UK’s regional airline, we are delighted to add the first two French connections from Southampton as being Nantes-Atlantique and Rennes-Bretagne, covering the key regions of the Loire Valley and Brittany.

‘Given Southampton’s prominence in connecting the UK and France, while also being within an hour of London by rail directly outside the terminal door, it is an exciting development for all.

‘With additional new destinations to follow in the coming days and weeks, Eastern Airways is committed to supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places, so adding further services at hubs we already serve is another crucial part in the economic recovery and prosperity of the South-Coast hub.’

Operations director at Southampton Airport Steve Szalay said: ‘This announcement from Eastern Airways is welcome news for the airport and our passengers.

‘It is also encouraging that the airline is expanding its route map at the airport during these challenging times and will once again provide those travelling from Southampton and beyond fantastic connectivity to these ever-popular French destinations.’

Eastern Airways will reintroduce the services carefully, aligned to changes in Covid-19 restrictions, with extensive cleaning measures on-board and across the airport for the safety of all passengers, it said.

Currently Eastern Airways serves Belfast-City, Manchester, Leeds-Bradford and Teesside from Southampton with Dublin planned. Eastern Airways also has a codeshare partnership focused on Southampton with Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, to meet increased demand to the Channel Islands.