Budapest Airport reopens popular Istanbul route

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Flights from Budapest to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokçen Airport have returned with the Turkish low-cost carrier (LCC) Pegasus Airlines. The route resumes direct connectivity between Hungary’s capital city and Turkey’s major city.

The Turkish LCC will operate the 1,080km route with its fleet of 737s and A320s. Initially the flights will be served twice weekly and is in response to demand from both business and leisure travellers.

“Bringing back business safely is a key prioirty at our airport and it is hugely positive to welcome Pegasus Airlines back to Budapest,” said Balázas Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. “Reinstating the popular Istanbul route will provide business and leisure opportunities, as well as the welcome return of visitors to our beautiful city. Re-opening connectivity, boosting trade and tourism, while providing our customers with more connectivity, convenience and choice is our primary goal.”

Two regional swedish hubs welcome Air Dolomiti link with Frankfurt

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Italian airline, Air Dolomiti, which is part of the Lufthansa Group has revealed plans to establish operations in the Swedish market for the first time with a multileg service from Frankfurt Airport in Germany to Ronneby and Kalmar Airports in the south-east coast of Sweden.

This Autumn will be the first time it’s been possible to fly non-stop between the German hub and Ronneby, with Dolomiti operating its new year-round multileg route connecting Frankfurt Am Main Airport with Ronneby and Kalmar in Sweden.

“We are immensely happy to have a direct connection between our region and Frankfurt Germany, as well as onwards in the worldwide Lufthansa network,” said Arri Kallonen, Airport Director at Swedavia-operated Ronneby Airport, commenting on how the route meets demand from both business and leisure travellers. “We can now offer this service at a high level with five weekly departures. We look forward to getting operations started in September and hopefully the situation then has eased, and the world and our passengers are ready to travel again,” Kallonen continued.

South Sweden and the region of Blekinge holds a larger number of companies with international business connections. Connecting flights with Air Dolomiti and Lufthansa’s wider network will enable Swedish travellers to easily reach destinations not only in Germany or Italy, but also around the world. The increased connectivity to and from the region will also boost tourism in the south-eastern Swedish region.

Starting 19 September, the new route will serve Ronneby five days per week with a 120-seat Embraer 195 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“I am very happy to have the opportunity to operate these routes that will create an easy connection between Sweden and Germany,” said Joerg Eberhart, President and CEO of Air Dolomiti. “these flights will give continuity to our plan to expand our offer with the cooperation and support of the airports involved and will provide new destinations and greater ease of travel to our passengers. From the important hub of Frankfurt, it will be possible to reach several destinations around the world thanks to the flights offered by Lufthansa’s network.”

Belfast City welcomes new Aer Lingus Regional link with Cardiff

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Aer Lingus Regional, which is operated by Stobart Air, plans to strengthen its route network this summer with a new link from Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland to Cardiff in Wales.

Flights to the Welsh capital will commence on 28 June and will operate up to four times per week, providing frequent connectivity between the two cities. Operated by Stobart Air, the Aer Lingus Regional service to Cardiff will operated on one of five ATR72-600 aircraft permanently based at Belfast City.

The airline currently flies from Belfast City to Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds Bradford, London Heathrow and Manchester and recently announced a summer service to popular staycation destination, Newquay in Cornwall.

“With the welcome addition of this Cardiff service, the airline now adds Wales to that portfolio, creating a UK-wide offering to customers in Northern Ireland,” said Ellie McGimpsey, Aviation Development Manager at Belfast City Airport. “We are delighted by the announcement, which not only strengthens our partnership with Stobart Air and Aer Lingus Regional, but also further enhances the choice and convenience we promise to our passengers, and we look forward to the route taking off later in June.”

Meanwhile, Andy Jolly, Managing Director at Stobart Air, called on the UK Government and Stormont Assembly to work with all industry stakeholders to restore confidence in aviation and facilitate the resumption of safe air travel in line with vaccination rollout programmes, as he said: “Anticipating a successful COVID-19 vaccination rollout which will allow air travel to resume safely later this year, we are pleased to add this route from Belfast to Cardiff to our network. We believe this new connection will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient and cost-effective flights between Belfast and Cardiff.”

Southwest Airlines returns to Costa Rica

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Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is resuming its daily service to both Guanacaste and San Jose airports in Costa Rica, as of June 2021.

The daily nonstop services from Houston to Libera, Guanacaste and San Jose will be complemented  by additional connecting flights to cities in the US from the airline’s Texas gateway.

“We’re excited to continue the reestablishing previously served international service by reuniting the warm hospitality of Costa Rica with the heart and value of the Southwest,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. “We’re seeing more demand for our international routes that already take our customers to Aruba, Cancun, Cozumel, Havana, Los Cabos, Montego Bay, Puerto Vallarta and Punta Cana.”

The low-cost carrier will also operate a seasonal service from Baltimore, Washington to Liberia, Guanacaste beginning 12 June.  New flights in the airline’s summer schedule will also bring an additional nonstop service between Denver and the coasts – with new or returning links to Savannah, Hilton Head; Sarasota, Bradenton; Norfolk, Virgina Beach; and additional flights to Long Beach, California and Seattle. “We’re bringing more flights in both Chicago airports, and we continue to spread our love across the Midwest with new flights in St. Louis and Kansas City, both of which are linked nonstop to Orange County, Santa Ana,” added Watterson.

Cologne Bonn all set to welcome new link with Domodedovo Airport in Moscow

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Cologne Bonn Airport is set to welcome a new link with Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport thanks to the Russian carrier S7 Airlines.

S7 will operate weekly flights from the Rhineland airport to Moscow-Domodedovo with the Airbus A320neo – one of a new generation of aircraft for the route to Moscow – with improved fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. The aircraft is also 50% quieter than its predecessor.

“From the beginning of May, we will be welcoming a new airline to Cologne/ Bonn – S7 Airlines. This is a very positive signal for our airport,” said Johan Vanneste, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/ Bonn.

The flight will depart Moscow-Domodedovo at 12.30 every Thursday, arriving in Cologne/ Bonn at 14.55.  The return flight will then depart Cologne at 15.55 and arrive back in Moscow at 10.10.

Moscow-based S7 Airlines was founded in 1992 at the time under the Siberia Airline branding. It operates around 120 flights a day and is one of Russia’s most popular airlines.

London City resumes key domestic routes as it gears up for summer revival

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To re-establish important domestic connectivity and tourism links between Scotland and the UK London City Airport is restoring key regional routes to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. The latter will be operated by Loganair, while Edinburgh and Glasgow will be operated by British Airways.

As momentum starts to build ahead of the summer and with the potential restart of international travel, British Airways operated by BA CityFlyer will resume flights to Edinburgh on 15 April and Glasgow from 17 May. Both routes will start with two weekly rotations but that is expected to pick up as demand builds for the summer holiday season.

Loganair’s service between London and Dundee will commence on 16 April and will also operate on a twice weekly rotation.

With staycation opportunities high on the agenda for the coming months the reintroduction of Scottish flights from London city comes as travel restrictions betwen the two home nations begin to ease. It also comes ahead of the much anticipated England vs. Scotland football match at Euro 2020, which will be held at Wembley on 18 June.

“Regional air connectivity is vital for the recovery of aviation, tourism and the UK economy, which is why we are delighted that our airlines have restored key domestic regional routes with flights resuming shortly to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee,” said Anne Doyere, Head of Aviation, London City Airport.

“With travel restrictions to ease further in the coming weeks, many people will be eager to embark on a well-earned holiday or staycation within the UK. The speed, safety and convenience of London City Airport means we are well placed to welcome back our passengers when they are ready to fly again.”

According to London City a survey of 2,000 people found there was a strong desire amongst the British public to return to air travel as soon as restrictions are lifted. The survey found that 72% of frequent flyers said they were keen to resume flying this summer, with a preference for short-haul destinations. In preparation for the restart of aviation, the airport has partnered with Collinson to offer onsite testing facilities for passengers to accommodate the full range of departure and arrival tests for both UK and global markets.

Edinburgh welcomes airBaltic link with Riga

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Latvian airline airBaltic plans to launch new scheduled flights between Riga in Latvia and Edinburgh in Scotland. The airline will offer twice weekly flights between the two cities from 4 June.

The flights will be operated by the Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

“We are always looking to add new routes and we are excited to be welcoming airBaltic to Edinburgh and connecting the capital cities of Scotland and Latvia,” said Gordon Dewar, CEO of Edinburgh Airport. “We know people are eager to travel when conditions allow and we want to be able to offer some excitement through new destinations, and Riga is definitely one for people to check out and experience one of the finest cities in the Baltics.”

Meanwhile, Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic added, “We are delighted to announce our second destination in Scotland, thus expanding connectivity between Latvia and the UK.” He also highlighted that, “in addition to the new route, airBaltic also continues to offer convenient and safe connections between Riga and London, Aberdeen and Manchester in the UK.”

Heraklion welcomes new airBaltic link with Riga

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Latvian carrier, airBaltic, is launching a new route from Riga to Heraklion in Greece on 15 May, 2021. The twice-weekly scheduled flights will be operated by an Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

“We are optimistic about the upcoming summer season,” said Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic commenting on the new link.

“If travel in general  will be possible and the epidemiological situation will improve as the vaccination levels increase, demand for air travel will return. We will be prepared for that, thus during the upcoming days we will be revealing several new destinations, in addition to Heraklion in Greece. This summer season airBaltic aims to offer a wide range of safe connections from Riga.”

This week, Riga Airport became the first and so far only airport in the Baltic States to join more than 30 European airports employing A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making) procedures which allow for significantly improving service quality and safety for airspace users and passengers. The introduction of A-CDM, which was a joint effort of the air navigation service provider state joint stock company, Latvijas gaisa satiksme (LGS) and Riga Airport, ensures the timely exchange of accurate information between the airport operator, aircraft operators, ground handling services, air traffic controllers and other parties involved from flight planning until the aircraft lands on the runway. It will also allow for an increase of the capacity of Riga Airport when the normal flight regime is restored.

Innovative airline

airBaltic has also this week announced that it will become the world’s first airline to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The limited edition NFTs showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registration as well as a piece of art of one of the most beloved Latvian cities to promote tourism and Latvia around the world.

“The blockchain technology has proven to be here long-term. After being the first airline to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, it is the next step for us in blockchain technology to offer non-fungible tokens,” said Gauss. He explained that the NFTs are not only used for digital art transactions, but may also be expanded to tickets for concerts and other unique one-time pieces, including airline tickets. “The issue of the limited collector NFTs will serve as a tourism campaign for Latvian cities, certainly still an undiscovered destination for many,” Gauss added.

Spirit Airlines expands its domestic network and adds international links

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After two decades of providing high value and low fares domestically, US-based Spirit Airlines plans to expand internationally from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline will offer daily flights between LAX and Los Cabos International Airport in Mexico from 5 May and nonstop flights to Puerto Vallarta’s Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) also in Mexico from 1 July.

The airline is also expanding its domestic network and will also now offer travellers nonstop flights from LAX to Columbus, Milwaukee, LaGuardia and Louisville, as well as a new nonstop flight to St. Louis.

“Our new nonstop routes to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta mark our first ever international service out of LAX and are great complements to our beyond continental 48 route map which now serves 30 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said John Kirby, VP of Network Planning at Spirit Airlines. “In addition, our convenient new nonstop domestic flights, along with our low competitive fares, create even more great getaway options for our guests in the LA Basin.”

Justin Erbacci CEO, Los Angeles World Airports, added that “with travel beginning to rebound, we are excited that Spirit Airlines is adding international service to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, as well as expanding domestic service from LAX.” He also noted that “LAX is the West Coast gateway to the world and these new nonstop destinations will provide new options for travellers who are ready to fly again.”

Birmingham Airport welcomes five new European beach destinations with easyJet

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Popular European low-cost airline easyJet and easyJet holidays have launched new routes from Birmingham Airport in the UK to five new European beach destinations in time for summer.

Offering passengers from the Midlands even greater choice for a holiday this summer, easyJet will offer flights to Majorca, Malaga and Alicante in Spain, Faro in Portugal and Corfu in Greece from 29 June. The three Spanish destinations are some of the most popular holiday hotspots in Spain with hundreds of kilometres of coastline, rich history, fantastic food and beautiful scenery. As the Algarve’s capital Faro is a historic and culturally-rich city that is home to historical sights, bustling plazas, a marina and age-0ld architecture. Meanwhile situation in the North of the Ionian Sea, Corfu is one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful holiday destinations and offers award-winning sandy beaches, warm water and charming towns.

“We are pleased to announce more connectivity to Birmingham today in flying to popular beach destinations and getting customers away on their much-needed summer holiday across Europe this year,” said Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager.

“We believe that a framework can be put in place for the safe reopening of travel and a strong summer, and we are currently focused on working with the UK Government Travel Task Force in the coming days and weeks. We are hopeful that progress will continue to be made with the vaccination programmes in Europe, with several countries in Europe having indicated they will be welcoming British tourists this summer. We remain of the view that international travel can restart and that, with the right framework in place, restrictions can be safely and progressively reduced and in some cases removed by mid-summer for key destinations.”

Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport added, “We are more than pleased that easyJet will be adding additional leisure destinations direct from Birmingham Airport this summer. easyJet already offers direct routes to Amsterdam, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Geneva, so these additional sunshine routes demonstrate the strong demand in the region for both business and leisure travel and the carrier’s commitment to serving the Midlands.”

Flights from Birmingham to Malaga will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 29 June. Flights to Faro will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and will also start on 29 June. Birmingham to Alicante will operate three times per week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 30 June while three weekly flights to Majorca on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays will begin on 3 July and Birmingham to Corfu will operate twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays from 4 July.