Leh in India welcomes IndiGo link with Delhi

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Situated in the ‘land of Buddhist Monasteries’ in India, Leh Airport in Ladakh has become the 63rd domestic destination on IndiGo’s network. The ULCC will commence daily flights between Delhi and Leh from 22 February, 2021.

Leh is known for its magnificent landscapes, favourable weather, adventurous activities, Buddhist monasteries and festivals. It’s peak tourist season is typically from April to September. The new route is one of seven being added to IndiGo’s network during the coming months with Darbhanga, Kurnool, Agra, Bareilly, Durgapur and Rajkot all expected to join the airline’s network by the beginning of May.

“We are pleased to begin expansion of our domestic network beyond the pre-covid levels. This will also be our first destination amongst the seven regional stations we announced recently. We are working towards enhancing regional connectivity, which will not only increase access but also promote domestic trade and tourism in the country,” said Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer at IndiGo.

He added: “IndiGo is committed to providing an affordable, on-time, safe and hassle-free travel experience onboard our lean clean flying machine.”

JOhn Wayne Airport

California’s John Wayne Airport welcomes new link with Sacramento

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JOhn Wayne Airport

Passengers travelling from Sacramento in the US will soon be able to fly direct to southern California’s beautiful beaches with a nonstop service from Spirit Airlines. The US-based carrier will begin its new daily service between Sacramento Airport and John Wayne Airport on 1 March.

“We are excited to add another great nonstop option connecting the Sacramento region to southern California, as COVID vaccines become increasingly available and more people choose to travel,” said Sacramento Airport’s Director, Cindy Nichol. “Whether travellers are looking to relax on the beach, get active outdoors or experience delicious seaside dining, southern California is a popular year-round destination.”

The region is also popular for families with plenty of theme park attractions also on offer.

Referencing his enthusiasm for the new connection, Spirit Airline’s Vice President, John Kirby added: “We are excited to bring more low-cost options to our guests in the Golden State, with a new nonstop flight connecting Sacramento to Santa Ana.”

All passengers travelling from Sacramento are required to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing guidelines whenever possible throughout their journey. Passengers are also advised to arrive early in anticipation of additional security screenings at the airport as a result of procedures introduced in response to the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Allegiant Air’s service expansion includes three new hubs

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Allegiant Air is adding three new cities to its network  as part of a major  service expansion comprising 21 nonstop routes. Portland, Oregon; Key West in Florida and Jackson Hole in Wyoming, will all be added to the low-cost carriers’ schedule. Eight routes that were delayed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic are also included in the airline’s route newly-released schedule.

“Today, travellers are seeking destinations that allow them the chance to recreate in a safe way, usually outdoors,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant’s Vice President of Revenue and Planning. “The three cities we’re adding to our network – Key West, Portland and Jackson Hole – are gateways to some of the United States’ most scenic destinations, including national parks and other outdoor attractions that are in high demand.”

New links from Jackson Hole include Los Angeles, Phoenix Mesa Gateway, McCarran International Airport and Reno-Tahoe. From Key West, passengers will be able to fly with Allegiant to Nashville and Sanford International Airport in Orlando, and from Portland Allegiant links will include California’s Santa Maria and Monterey Regional airports, as well as Idaho Falls Regional Airport.

Australian airports boosted by rise in demand for Jetstar’s domestic services

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Airports across Australia have welcomed the news that Jetstar, the Melbourne-headquartered low-cost carrier (LCC) is set to operate more domestic flights in February and March in 2021 than in any previous year. Travel demand for the airline’s low fares are already exceeding pre-COVID levels.

Jetstar will operate more than 850 return weekly flights across 55 routes by March 2021 – this represents more than 110% of Jetstar’s pre-COVID schedule (compared to March 2019). The additional services will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A320s that would normally be used to serve overseas links to destinations such as Bali and Singapore.

According to Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans, “Travel demand to popular holiday spots is bouncing back in the lead up to the summer holidays.

“Australians are globally renowned for loving travel and as we approach 2021, demand for our low fares services is stronger than ever.”

Almost 90% of Australians plan to travel domestically in 2021, according to a recently conducted survey carried out by Jetstar. More than half of the 1,500 people surveyed also said they plan to visit destinations they’ve never been to before and, in good news for businesses reliant on tourism, are more likely to spend on domestic travel than they would have been in previous years. The survey also revealed that Hobart and Melbourne saw the biggest rise in popularity as destinations, with Cairns and the Gold Coast rising even further in appeal to families with international travel off the cards for some time to come.

With international borders remaining closed, Evans conceded that there is “a lot of repair work to do given the huge toll the COVID crisis took on airlines.”

However, he concluded: “The flexibility we have across our fleet means we can offer these extra services, help boost tourism and the local economies of the communities we fly to and also get more of our people back in the air.”

Manchester welcomes Antalya link with SunExpress

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Manchester Airport in the UK has welcomed a new link to Antalya in Turkey, which will start flying in Spring 2021.

A joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, SunExpress is launching direct flights between the two cities on 26 March. The route will be served twice per week before going up to four a week from 30 May.

“It’s great to see SunExpress launch services to Antalya from Manchester Airport, the UK’s global gateway in the North,” said Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport. “After a difficult year, the route will mean families and households across our vast catchment will have additional access to one of our most popular summer destinations.”

Meanwhile, Peter Glade, CCO of SunExpress, said: “After a year of staying at home, the people of Britain deserve a sunny vacation. Our new services to Antalya will serve the British people to arrive at their well-deserved holiday destination, fast, relaxed and for a competitive price, experiencing our unique SunExpress service.”

The new route from Manchester is already available for booking online.

Southampton celebrates the return of British Airways

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After what has been a truly challenging year at Southampton following the demise of Flybe, the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent travel restrictions on airlines and the delay on a decision on the airport’s runway extension, Southampton is closing the year with some good news. British Airways has unveiled that it will be launching 11 new European routes from the airport in summer 2021.

The exciting summer schedule will see BA CityFlyer connect customers travelling from England’s south coast with popular holiday destinations in Spain (Malaga, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca), Italy (Florence), Portugal (Faro), Greece (Mykonos), France (Bergerac Dordogne Perigord, Limoges-Bellegarde and Nice Cote d’Azur) and Germany (Berlin), as well as Edinburgh in Scotland. The airline will operate up to 17 flights each weekend between 1 May and 31 October 2021. Flights will be operated using BA CityFlyer’s existing fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the British Airways family,” said Tom Stoddart, Managing Director of BA CityFlyer. “The ideal location of the airport and excellent facilities on offer will hugely benefit our customers along the South Coast as they plan to take to the skies again and book a well-deserved holiday in the sun.”

Southampton’s Operations Director, Steve Szalay, described the announcement as “fantastic news” for both the air transport hub and the surrounding region during what has been one of the most challenging years.

“It’s also great to see BA return to the airport once again and the range of excellent destinations on offer is sure to be a welcome early Christmas present for passengers looking to plan a European holiday next summer.”

Southampton has submitted a planning application to Eastleigh Borough Council to extend its runway by 164cm(538ft) to increase the number of flight and the type of aircraft that can land. It was initially hoped a decision would be taken before the end of the year, but that decision has been delayed until the new year.

“We’ve always been clear that the runway extension is critical to the survival of Southampton Airport, which is why it’s important we take on board all feedback to ensure all stakeholders are aligned, supportive and the right decision is reached for our community. We will be submitting additional information to Eastleigh Borough Council to review early in the New Year.

Venice Treviso Airport welcomes $200m investment as Ryanair base

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Europe’s popular low-cost carrier, Ryanair, has launched a new base at Venice Treviso Airport in Italy. The LCC will officially open its base on 30 March 2021 with two based aircraft – an investment of $200 million – and 45 routes connecting the Italian hub both domestically and internationally to more than 20 countries across Europe.

The airline plans to deliver increased connectivity throughout the Veneto region across its three airports of Venice Marco Polo, Verona and now Venice Treviso. It will serve 60 routes in total delivering more than 3 million customers per year and supporting around 2,000 jobs.

“We are delighted to launch our 15th Italian base which represents a $200 million investment at Ryanair’s Venice Treviso Airport,” said Ryanair’s CEO, Eddie Wilson.

We have a strong affiliation to Venice Treviso, since Ryanair’s first ever flight to Italy in 1998 was from London Stansted to Venice Treviso. Italy is one of Ryanair’s biggest markets and we want to continue to support the economic recovery as well as regional and international connectivity across the country.

From its base at Venice Treviso, Ryanair plans to serve a total of 45 routes for the summer 2021 season. This will include six domestic and 39 international routes and will include leisure and business routes such as Alghero, Alicante, Frankfurt-Hahn, Paphos, Pescara, Riga, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki and Trapani.

Ryanair has partnered with SAVE Group in developing connections to the Veneto Region based on efficient operations and competitive airport charges, paving the way for traffic growth and new routes at its new base.

“With the recent encouraging news that vaccines will soon be available, we are pleased to continue delivering growth to the region despite the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic but we need to start now on the road to recovery,” concluded Wilson.

Header image: Left to Right: Camillo Bozzolo (Director of Commercial at Aviation Gruppo SAVE), Jason McGuinness (Director of Commercial at Ryanair),  Mario Conte (Mayor of Treviso), Enrico Marchi (President at Gruppo SAVE), Eddie Wilson (CEO at Ryanair), Monica Scarpa (CEO at Gruppo SAVE).

Cardiff Airport named new base for Wizz Air UK

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Wizz Air UK has increased its footprint in the UK with a new base at Cardiff Airport – it’s fourth UK base alongside London Luton, Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield. The airline will allocate one Airbus A321 aircraft to its Cardiff base launching nine new leisure routes to destinations including Alicante, Faro, Larnaca Tenerife.

Seasonal routes during the summer will also include Corfu, Heraklion and Palma de Mallorca and routes to Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh during the winter season. The new routes will increase the annual capacity of Cardiff Airport by more than 350,000 seats, providing local passengers with even more affordable and exciting travel opportunities on their doorstep.

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales described the news as “a positive step that will help Cardiff Airport emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.” He added that the new Wizz services will “increase choice for passengers, create jobs and add to the airport’s economic benefits.”

Wizz Air’s first venture into Wales represents a significant investment in Cardiff Airport and a boost for the local economy as it is expected to create more than 40 direct jobs and more than 250 indirect jobs, supporting industries such as aviation, transportation, hospitality and tourism.

“The fact that one of the leading low-cost carriers in the world has chosen to set up their next base at Cardiff is fantastic news for Wales,” said Spencer Birns, interim CEO at Cardiff Airport. “The Wizz Air UK base will bring a huge amount of choice for our customers to travel to some of the most popular holiday destinations from Cardiff, at affordable prices. We know many people living in Wales are craving a well-deserved holiday after such a challenging year and these new flights will give so many more opportunities for holidays to be planned now that will give us all something to look forward to for new year.”

Meanwhile, Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, added: “This expansion into Wales brings increased connectivity to the region, so passengers can take advantage of Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares to travel to their favourite sunny holiday spots on-board our young and green aircraft fleet. With the launch of 47 new routes from the UK alone this year, we’re making sure that passengers can make up for lost time in creating amazing travel memories.”

FlySafair and Emirates agreement strengthens connectivity in South Africa

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To strengthen connectivity on selected routes on FlySafair’s network the South African airline has partnered with Emirates on an interline agreement.

As well as enabling single-ticket travel for transferring passengers, the arrangement will create a more seamless journey as bags can be tagged at the beginning of the journey for those transferring through Emirates’ three gateways – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to FlySafair domestic hubs in South Africa, including Port Elizabeth, East London and George.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our interline agreement with Emirates Airline,” said Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair. “The superb service and vast route network that Emirates offers is world-renowned, and we are proud to have partnered with them in providing customers greater connectivity when travelling.”

He added that with FlySafair able to restart operations back in June it will be operating at full capacity as of November and operating just over 75% of the available domestic seat capacity in South Africa. “International traffic is still very limited given the various restrictions in place, but we are happy to report that there has been a slow and steady uptick in the volumes of flights we are selling through our connection agreements, like that with Emirates.”

Emirates is currently operating 17 flights a week into South Africa, having resumed operations at the country’s three primary hubs back in October. Emirates’ Senior VP Commercial Operations for Africa, Badr Abbas, commented that FlySafair’s network complements his carrier’s South African presence. “Together we will open up new travel opportunities, and more choice for customers wishing to travel domestically. We look forward to working together and strengthening our relationship into the future.”

Bristol celebrates becoming 10th UK base for Jet2

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Bristol Airport in the UK is to become the 10th UK base for Jet2 with flights beginning in April 2021. Tickets are already available to 33 destinations from the airline’s new UK hub, four of which are exclusive and new to Bristol.

Izmir in Turkey, Kalamata and Lesvos in Greece and Costa de Almeria in mainland Spain are all new destinations for the gateway to the West of England’s leading hub. The leading leisure carrier will base three aircraft at Bristol and will fly passengers to a wide choice of European destinations including mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Madeira.  It’s an exciting programme for the company’s first summer of operations from Bristol, representing 450,000 seats on sale. Both Ryanair and easyJet also fly from Bristol to a variety of Mediterranean destinations, while the holiday giant Tui also has a significant presence at the airport.

“Never has the time been more important for the region to look to the future in a post-Covid world and Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have shown the confidence in the strength of the region to open up their tenth UK operating base at Bristol Airport,” said Dave Lees, Bristol Airport’s CEO. “This exciting news is a major step towards the future by creating job opportunities, providing significant investment and an increase in the choice of destinations and holidays available to customers in the region.”

The arrival of Jet2 at the UK’s  gateway to the south-west and south Wales marks significant investment for the region with more than 200 new jobs expected to crated ranging from flight and cabin crew, to engineers and ground operations staff.

“The announcement of our tenth UK base reflects our long-term strategy to continue growing our successful business and become the UK’s leading leisure travel business,” said Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2Holidays. Noting how the company is not just making an economic contribution but also providing those travelling to and from the region with greater connectivity, Heapy said: “We know how much demand there is, because we have been listening to customers and independent travel agents in the region for some time.”