Ryanair to Open a New Base at London Southend

Ryanair announced it will open a new base at London Southend, from April 2019, with three based aircraft and 13 new routes to eight countries, including Alicante, Reus, Bilbao, Brest, Corfu, Cluj, Dublin, Faro, Kosice, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Palma and Venice.

Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien said:

“We are pleased to add London Southend Airport to our UK base network. Ryanair guests travelling to and from London and the Essex area can now enjoy low fares on a choice of 13 routes through London Southend’s exceptionally passenger friendly terminal.

“Southend Airport’s train station will deliver direct services from the terminal to London Liverpool St and also the new Crossrail service (opening in 2019), making the airport even more accessible from all parts of London”.

Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group said:

“We are delighted to welcome Ryanair and its guests to London Southend in S2019. We have a clear and focused strategy to grow our airport to welcome over 5m passengers a year by 2022. This news will help us achieve that aim, and Ryanair will be a valuable partner to Stobart Group in developing London Southend airport with 13 routes and 6 new destinations, allowing us to play a key role in solving London’s capacity crisis. We look forward to delivering a great service to Ryanair guests to ensure we support the extraordinary growth of Ryanair operations out of London.”

Air China Poised to Launch a New Service Between Chengdu and London

Air China will launch a new, non-stop service between Chengdu and London on July 3, 2018. The non-stop route will carry Air China passengers from China’s “Land of Abundance” to the beautiful banks of the river Thames.

According to the London Tourism Board, in 2017, Chinese tourists made over 130 million trips overseas, an increase of 7% from the previous year. Moreover, the UK is one of the destinations which has seen the strongest growth in Chinese visitors. The opening of this new route between Chengdu and London will develop tourism and promote educational and cultural exchange between China and the UK; it will also provide a convenient route to the UK for passengers in Southwest China.

In recent years, Air China has been expanding its international and domestic route networks, centered around its main hub in Beijing, and supported by its three regional bases in Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. As part of this effort, Air China has recently launched international routes between Chengdu and Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney and Bangkok. Given its geographical advantage, this year Air China will continue to develop Chengdu as a hub and expand its route coverage there, stepping up passenger throughput to European destinations.

Currently, Air China operates 82 routes out of Chengdu. These include 14 international/regional routes to destinations such as Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Rangoon, Kathmandu, Colombo, Hong Kong and Taipei, covering the continents of Asia, Europe and Oceania. As a member of the Star Alliance network, Air China also offers convenient routes to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.

The Chengdu – London route is operated under flight numbers CA423/4 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays every week. Outbound flights depart from Chengdu at 15:45 and arrive in London at 20:00; return flights depart from London at 22:00 and arrive in Chengdu at 15:40 the following day. The new route is operated by Airbus 330-200 aircraft.

The new route will be operated with Airbus 330-200 aircraft.

Royal Brunei Airlines Announces Daily Non-Stop Service to London

Royal Brunei Airlines announced the launching of daily non-stop flights between Brunei and London effective October 28, 2018.

The non-stop flights will see passengers enjoying faster journeys with the round trip travel time reduced by 3.5 hours to and from Brunei and 5.3 hours to and from Melbourne.

Karam Chand, Royal Brunei Airlines Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The introduction of non-stop flights to London Heathrow will be a significant milestone as for the first time Brunei and England will be seamlessly connected by a direct air link. With the strong cultural, economic and political ties between the two Countries, it is only natural to provide the seamless non-stop connection. The through flight via Dubai has served us well however with the demand for more direct routing from our guests, it becomes an important commercial imperative to provide that. The approximately fourteen hour flight will have the very best in inflight service, entertainment and guest friendly features of B787 Dreamliner such as lower cabin altitude, less noise and turbulence to help reduce jet lag. More product and service innovations will be announced later in the year.

“The non-stop flights will also be an enabler for increasing tourism from UK and Europe. We have had a record 2017 for visitor arrivals and the initiatives such as the London direct, additional Seoul flights, China charter flights and to be announced new markets will play a pivotal role in getting half a million visitors to our Shores by 2021.”

With the introduction of the daily non-stop flights to London, Royal Brunei Airlines will cease operating the Dubai-London-Dubai route.The airline will however continue to provide the vital link to the GCC via Dubai and offer four times weekly Brunei-Dubai-Brunei services effective October 29, 2018.

With these changes, Royal Brunei has also updated its schedule for its Melbourne flights to cater for better connections within its long haul route network.

Eastern Airways to Operate Aberdeen – London City Route

Eastern Airways, a franchise partner of Flybe, is to take over operating the Aberdeen – London City route on May 7, 2018.

The continuation of the route will result in the same weekday frequency of two flights a day in each direction and also a Sunday service. Long term, the route will be operated by a 76-seat Embraer 170 jet, but will initially start with a 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft.

The fast jet connection will offer quicker flight times of just 1 hour 15 minutes between Aberdeen and London City Airport, which is the only London airport conveniently located in the heart of the capital. The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) provides convenient public transport links from London City Airport with trains leaving every 8-15 minutes to Canning Town or Bank for connections onto the wider London Underground.

Mathew Herzberg, Eastern Airways’ Head of Commercial, said: “We welcome the opportunity as a franchise partner of Flybe to operate the Aberdeen – London City service, which is part of our strategic business alignment. It’s vital that Europe’s oil capital continues to have a direct link with the city of London, which will commence operations with a Saab 2000 and then switch to a jet service providing a quicker, convenient connection to the heart of the capital.”

Carol Benzie, Managing Director of Aberdeen Airport said: “It is great news that Eastern Airways will be introducing their jet service to operate on the Aberdeen – London City route. A seamless transition from Flybe to Eastern Airways, with no break in the service, and a slightly shorter journey duration will hopefully be welcomed by regular travellers on this route. Good connectivity into the heart of the UK’s capital is vital for our passengers as well as for the economic prospects of the larger North-east region.”

Richard Hill, Commercial Director of London City Airport, said: “We warmly welcome Eastern Airways to our network of airlines to operate the London City-Aberdeen route with faster journey times. Like London City, Eastern Airways offers an excellent customer experience which I’m certain passengers will enjoy, with the continuity of weekday frequency and booking through Flybe’s website, for the convenience of frequent flyers.

“For London City, this demonstrates our on-going commitment to regional connectivity, closing the gap between central London and Aberdeen, and helping connect businesses and tourists in both directions.”

Eastern Airways has been operating flights from Aberdeen since 1997 and provides a network of services from the north-east Scotland airport to the UK regions.

Norwegian Launches Direct Flights Between London and Chicago

From 25 March, Norwegian will commence a daily nonstop service from London Gatwick Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the airline’s first and only route to Chicago on its global network.

Passengers will fly on brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft offering up to 344 leather seats in modern economy and Premium cabins. The year-round service is Norwegian’s first new route from London to the USA in 2018 as the airline continues its long-haul expansion from the UK.

Europe’s third largest low-cost airline, will operate its newly delivered 787 Dreamliners on the Chicago route that feature a new expanded 56-seat Premium cabin which offers passengers more than a metre of legroom with enhanced service. These new aircraft have been in operation since February and are part of Norwegian’s commitment to operate its newest aircraft from the UK before anywhere else on its global network.

Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian, said: “We’re delighted to unlock another key gateway to the USA by launching the UK’s cheapest nonstop flights to Chicago.

“Our daily flights to Chicago builds upon our expanding long-haul network at London Gatwick and our strong reputation for providing high quality flights to iconic destinations at great value.

“Now leisure and business passengers can take advantage of convenient schedules and fly in comfort on our newest 787 Dreamliners to the Windy City.”

Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian, said:“It’s fantastic to see Norwegian expanding its pioneering long-haul network from Gatwick with this new route to Chicago, which provides a crucial link between the UK and one of the world’s most important business hubs. Chicago is also an American cultural epicentre and our passengers can look forward to enjoying its vibrant theatre scene, world-renowned architecture and iconic culinary offerings when they visit.

“Long-haul is thriving at Gatwick and this new service is a welcome addition to our diverse network of over 60 direct long-haul destinations.”

David Whitaker, President and CEO of Choose Chicago, said: “We are thrilled to add Norwegian as an option for travellers coming to Chicago. The UK is not only one of our top international markets; it is also a vital part of our global strategic efforts to attract more visitors to the city. With this new route, more UK visitors will have the opportunity to visit Chicago for long weekend getaways as well as lengthier vacations.”

Whitaker added: “Whether it’s Chicago’s breathtaking skyline, rich arts and culture offerings, world class dining scene or eclectic neighborhoods, we look forward to welcoming passengers aboard Norwegian’s new flight to O’Hare International Airport to experience the vibrancy and excitement of one of America’s greatest cities.”

Norwegian currently serves 11 US destinations nonstop from London Gatwick including, Denver, Seattle and Austin, which launches on 27 March. Last month, the airline continued its global expansion by commencing its first route to South America with a four-weekly service from London to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Hainan Airlines to Launch Non-stop Service Between London and Changsha

Hainan Airlines is scheduled to launch non-stop service between London Heathrow Airport and Changsha Huanghua International Airport on March 23, 2018.

Following the roll-out of the Manchester-Beijing service, this will be Hainan Airlines’ second direct flight between the United Kingdom and China.

Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, is the political, economic, cultural and technological hub of the province, and one of China’s famous historical cities.

The London-Changsha route will be serviced by a Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft.

Hainan Airlines is the fourth-largest airline in terms of fleet size in the People’s Republic of China, and fourth-largest airline in Asia in terms of passengers carried. It operates scheduled domestic and international services on 500 routes from Hainan and nine locations on the mainland, as well as charter services.

London Gatwick Appoints Two New Directors to Its Executive Management Board

London Gatwick has announced today that Lesley Hall has been appointed to the position of Environment, Health and Safety Director (EHS), while Bronwen Jones has been promoted to Development Director. 

Lesley joined the airport’s Executive Management Board at the beginning of 2018 and, with her colleagues, will be developing the performance and culture of EHS at Gatwick Airport, ensuring it continues to achieve excellence and recognition across the wider UK aviation sector.

In her previous role, Lesley was the Head of EHS for the Merchant Power business at Centrica, including power stations, offshore wind farms and new energy technology projects. Lesley brings with her a wealth of EHS experience from a wide range of industries both within the UK and internationally, having previously held roles with the Brett Group, BP Gas, BP Alternative Energy and as an HM Inspector with the Health & Safety Executive

As Development Director, Bronwen also joins the Board and will work closely with Tim Norwood, Corporate Affairs, Sustainability and Planning Director, and Ray Melee, Construction Director to help deliver the airport’s ambitious plans for continued growth. This work will ensure Gatwick has a robust and deliverable 10-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) which aligns with the wider UK aviation and airspace strategy.

Bronwen, who was previously Head of Development at Gatwick, joined BAA in 1989 as a graduate trainee and has worked in a wide variety of operational and capital development roles. She has played a central role in some of the airport’s largest transformational programmes including self-service bag drop, the North Terminal Development Programme and the creation of Gatwick Connects.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate, said:

“I am delighted Lesley Hall and Bronwen Jones have joined Gatwick’s executive team and I look forward to the breadth of experience they will both bring to their new roles.

“These appointments demonstrate Gatwick’s ongoing commitment to providing our passengers with the very best airport facilities and service possible.”

Air Astana’s London Service Goes Daily

Air Astana will offer daily, non-stop flights from Nazarbayev International airport in Astana to London Heathrow, effective 1st June.

“We are delighted to have finally secured daily flight status on what is such a prestigious and popular route – the only direct service linking the UK to Kazakhstan,” said Air Astana CEO and President Peter Foster. “London has consistently grown in significance, with both business and leisure travellers and it comes at an opportune time too for the airline strategically, as we start to plan for an IPO listing in both London and Kazakhstan.”

Passengers flying direct with Air Astana also benefit from seamless immediate connections to Kazakhstan’s second city Almaty and excellent onwards connections via the airline’s domestic and international network. From Astana, passengers can benefit from convenient international connections to Urumqi, northwest China; Delhi, India; and the Russian cities of Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen and Yekaterinburg.

Air Astana offers a three-class product aboard its comfortable Boeing 757 aircraft: 16 seats in business; 108 in economy and up to 12 unique Economy Sleeper Seats.

London City Airport Closed After World War II Bomb Found

London City Airport has been closed following the discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb in the nearby River Thames.

Police are enforcing an exclusion zone while the find is “safely dealt with.”

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, said:

“The airport remains closed this morning following the discovery of a World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock on Sunday. All flights in and out of London City on Monday are cancelled and an exclusion zone is in place in the immediate area.

“I urge any passengers due to fly today not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information.

“I recognise this is causing inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents. The airport is cooperating fully with the Met Police and Royal Navy and working hard to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

A Luftwaffe Heinkel He 111 bomber flying over Wapping and the Isle of Dogs in the East End of London | Imperial War Museums

Tens of thousands of tons of bombs were dropped on London by the German Luftwaffe between September 1940 and May 1941. More than 75 years later, unexploded remnants of war are still being discovered, mostly on building sites and properties undergoing redevelopment.

Primera Air Announces New London Stansted to Washington Route

Primera Air has announced that it will launch five direct flights a week from London Stansted to Washington Dulles from 22 August 2018.

The low-cost airline, which starts flights from Stansted to New York and Boston in April and Toronto in May, is also increasing planned flight frequency to Toronto from August.

Andri M. Ingolfsson, Primera Air President and owner of Primera Air, said:

“We’ve been planning to add Washington from the beginning of the transatlantic flight project. We see a strong demand for this route and we are the first low-cost airline to start operations between both cities, offering people an affordable way of transatlantic travel.”

Ken O’ Toole, London Stansted’s CEO, said:

“The announcement Washington Dulles Airport is to join Primera Air’s existing long-haul schedule, plus increased frequency to Toronto, is a real vote of confidence in Stansted and of the demand for long-haul flights to and from London and the East of England.

We’ve already seen a very positive response from passengers to Primera’s previous announcement of new services to New York, Boston and Toronto, and the addition of Washington will provide even more choice and connectivity to the east coast of the USA.

We have made clear our ambition is to provide more services to the USA, and add routes to China and India, so this is another step towards that goal. We look forward to the launch of these exciting new services in the coming months.”

Due to growing demand for flights from London Stansted to Toronto, Primera Air has decided to increase flight frequency from three to five flights per week.

Andri M. Ingólfsson said:

“Our booking numbers show that passengers have been waiting for flights to North America. We are very satisfied with the results so far and are adjusting our flight network accordingly. Our low-fare transatlantic flights are possible thanks to the latest technology by Airbus and Boeing. We are only a few weeks away from receiving our first Airbus A321neo units, which will start operations in April.”

As announced previously, Primera Air is opening new a new base at London Stansted for flights to New York, Boston and Toronto along with new routes to Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Barcelona and Chania. Over the next two years, Primera Air plans to increase its presence on current bases and to add new transatlantic routes and bases, as the airline has 20 new Boeing MAX9-ER aircraft on order.