For week ending January 6th
We jumped with both feet into the New Year and welcomed 2017 with lots of exciting news happening in the travel industry. We are glad to see Birmingham being named the most punctual airport in the world (beating Japan) and Hilton Worldwide opening its first property in Kingston Upon Thames. There is also a new threatening BA strike planned by Mixed Fleet cabin crew on Tuesday January 10 and Wednesday January 11, but the courier reassured customers that they will be able to fly to destinations during the planned strike. All this and much more in our weekly travel update!
Birmingham named world’s most punctual airport
Birmingham airport has been named the most punctual in the world, according to the latest Punctuality League by travel intelligence company OAG. Over 91 per cent (91.28) of the UK airport’s departing and arriving flights were on time in 2016, beating Japan’s Osaka airport (89.68 per cent) into second place, with Panama City (89.56 per cent) in third. Birmingham airport operated over 100,000 scheduled flights last year, with its Dublin route being the most punctual service, achieving an on-time score of over 95 per cent.
Lufthansa ceases Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita service
Lufthansa will be permanently ceasing its Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita service from the 9th of January. The carrier originally planned to temporarily suspend its three-times-weekly service as a seasonal cancellation from January to March, however this now has been changed to a permanent cancellation, with reservations for the summer season from March 26 onwards no longer available.
Norwegian set to launch transatlantic services from Edinburgh
Norwegian says it expects to announce new transatlantic routes from Edinburgh airport in the next weeks. In a press release the low-cost carrier said that it is creating over 130 crew and pilot jobs at the airport as it prepares for continued growth at Edinburgh Airport in 2017. Norwegian is the launch customer for the next-generation Boeing aircraft, with over 100 of the B737 Max 8 variant on order.
Wyndham Grand opens in Athens
Wyndham Hotels has announced the opening of its first Greek property. Located in the Greek capital’s business district, the Wyndham Grand Athens has 276 rooms including 27 suites offering views across the Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus.
New BA strike next week – the carrier ensures that customers will be able to fly
British Airways passengers are facing the threat of a strike on January 10 and 11, 2017. British Airways released the following statement. British Airways says that all of its customers “will be able to fly to their destinations” during the planned strike action by Mixed Fleet cabin crew on Tuesday January 10 and Wednesday January 11. In a statement the carrier said that all flights to and from Gatwick and London City will operate as normal, as will the vast majority of flights at Heathrow. However BA will be forced to merge some Heathrow services during the strike, and said that affected customers are being contacted with the options available for them.
Aer Lingus launches January sale
Aer Lingus has launched a New Year sale with flights to North America starting from £214. Passengers can book discounted flights to 13 North American destinations including New York, Boston, Hartford, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Orlando and Miami.
Hilton opens Doubletree Kingston Upon Thames
Hilton Worldwide has opened its first property in the market town of Kingston Upon Thames. The 146-room property is located on Skerne Road, close to the River Thames and the town’s mainline rail station. Facilities include a fitness room, and Hawkers Bar and Brasserie, which “pays homage to Kingston’s extensive contribution to the history of Aviation and is named after the Sopwith Aviation Company’s chief test pilot, Harry Hawker”.
Hilton to open dual-branded Hanoi property
Hilton Worldwide announced plans for a dual-branded property in Hanoi, Vietnam. The 610-room complex is scheduled to open in 2020, and will be located on the city’s West Lake, close to the central business district. Hilton Hanoi West Lake will feature 240 rooms and suites, as well as 50 serviced residences, while Doubletree by Hilton Hanoi West Lake will offer 320 rooms and suites. The properties will also offer a total of 2,993 sqm of meeting space.
Flybe adds summer Newquay Stansted link
An air link between Newquay and Stansted has been added as part of an expanded summer schedule by Flybe from the airport in Cornwall. A daily service from Cornwall airport Newquay will start on March 26 with single fares leading in at £29.99.