For week ending November 11th
As November seems to be a particularly intense month in the travel industry, we collected here loads of updates and top news from last week: In Ireland, we were very sorry to see Belfast losing its daily service to New York - Newark, but pleased to welcome KLM returning to Dublin and offering a new direct service to Amsterdam. In the rest of the world, our attention was mainly caught by Air France and KLM creating a new ‘lower cost’ long-haul airline to battle Gulf carriers such as Emirates and Etihad. All this and much more in our weekly roundup!
Belfast loses New York flights
United Airlines will cease flying between Belfast International and New York Newark with effect from January 9. The route was started many years ago by Continental (later acquired by United), and is operated with a narrow-body B757. Officials in Northern Ireland have reacted angrily against the EU after United Airlines said it was ending its daily Belfast – New York Newark service. Economy minister Simon Hamilton attacked "unelected Brussels bureaucrats" for the loss of the region's only direct US air link.
Aer Lingus to roll out high-speed Wi-Fi on European flights
International Airlines Group (IAG) will introduce "high speed inflight Wi-Fi" across its airlines’ shorthaul fleets starting from 2017, it has announced. The parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling has reached an agreement with Inmarsat to launch the 4G broadband network. In total, up to 341 short-haul aircraft will be fitted with the company's "next generation European air to ground connectivity", IAG said.
Dublin Airport Welcomes Return Of Dutch Airline KLM
Dublin Airport is delighted to welcome the launch of KLM’s new direct service between Dublin and Amsterdam. Initially starting with twice daily flights connecting Ireland’s capital city to KLM’s award-wining hub Schiphol the airline will further strengthen this service from March 2017 by doubling capacity on the route. KLM will operate flights with an Embraer 190, carrying up to 100 passengers. The schedule has been devised to compliment KLM’s long-haul network, offering passengers easy connections to destinations such as Johannesburg, Havana, Beijing and Hong Kong.
Spain celebrates 1.2 million Irish visitors
Spain celebrated 1.2 million Irish visitors and the full year is expected to tip 1.4 million! The largest numbers go to 1st The Canaries, 2nd Andalusia and 3rd Catalonia. It’s expected that 830,185 seats will be provided by airlines to Spanish destinations over the winter months.
easyJet launches a new route to Berlin from Newcastle
easyJet has started two new services from Newcastle International Airport to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and Las Palmas Airport in Gran Canaria. The two new routes are expected to be very busy and carry more than 36,000 passengers in the first year. The airline’s new route to Berlin Schoenefeld is the only direct scheduled flight between Newcastle and the German city: this will be opening both up to more tourism and making connecting between the two easier than ever.
Air France-KLM battles Gulf rivals with ‘lower cost’ long-haul airline
Air France-KLM is creating a new long-haul airline to win back market share from Gulf carriers such as Emirates and Etihad. The new company will focus on “ultra-competitive” markets with plans to open up new routes and re-open those closed due to lack of profitability. It aims to have 10 long-haul aircraft by 2020 with 30 per cent of operations on new routes. The new brand does not have a name yet, but Air France plans for it to offer economy and business classes.
Oman Air announces Manchester service
Oman Air has announced a new daily flight from Manchester to Muscat starting May 2017. The daily flight to Oman Air’s hub will take 7.5 hours and be operate by a Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner and is in addition to the double daily flight from Heathrow, making Manchester the only airport outside of London to have direct flights to Muscat.
Wizz Air launches new Liverpool routes
Low cost Eastern European airline Wizz Air announced new services to John Lennon airport in Liverpool.The airline will operate three-times a week from Liverpool to southern Romanian city of Craiova starting from the end of March 2017.
Wow Air to launch flights between the UK and Pittsburgh
Wow Air is to launch flights to Pittsburgh in 2017 and it will be its ninth destination in North America. The Icelandic carrier will offer a one-stop service starting on June next year with connections available up to four times-weekly from London Gatwick and Edinburgh via Iceland’s Reykjavik airport.