European budget airline Ryanair is opening a new base at London Southend Airport and launching 13 new routes to eight countries.
Ryanair launching new Southend Airport base
Ryanair is launching the new £225million venture in April 2019 and is basing three aircraft at Southend Airport, in Essex.
New routes to Europe
The new routes to Alicante (five times a week), Barcelona Reus (twice weekly), Bilbao (four times a week, Brest (twice weekly), Corfu (twice weekly), Cluj, Romania (three times a week), Dublin (twice daily), Faro (five times a week), Kosice, Slovakia (three times a week), Malaga (five times a week), Milan Bergamo (four times a week), Palma (four times a week) and Venice (four times a week), are set to attract around one million passengers each year.
Fast airport rail link to London
Trains from Southend airport's railway station, opposite the main terminal, take around 50 minutes to reach to Liverpool Street, in London. In peak time there are up to eight trains an hour.
Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien says, “
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.”
Southend Airport aims for 5m passengers
Warwick Brady, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Group, which
owns and operates London Southend Airport, adds,
“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 5million 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 six 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.”
New Widerøe flights to Liverpool
Meanwhile, Scandinavia’s largest regional airline Widerøe has announced that it is launching a twice weekly service between Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) and Bergen in Norway.
The new service will begin on 17 August 2018 with departures on Mondays and Fridays. Connections are available in Bergen to other Scandinavian cities including Oslo and Helsinki.
Widerøe will use their 114-seat Embraer E190-E2 jet aircraft on the route, which will be the first time this new generation jet aircraft will have operated to a UK regional airport.
Favourite of Premier League football fans
Bergen is Norway's second largest city and also the gateway to the fjords. The service is likely to be popular with Scandinavian football fans attending Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United matches.
Fares from £69 one-way
Fares start from £69 one-way (including taxes) and bookable on the wideroe.no
Access to the fjords
John Irving, Chief Executive Officer of Liverpool John Lennon Airport says, "The new twice weekly service will provide passengers from across the North of England with a great way to visit the city of Bergen as well as access to the fjords and the popular cruise market from there. It will also allow passengers from across Norway to visit Liverpool and the wider North West using the region’s Faster, Easier and Friendlier Airport".
Bergen’s impressive scenery
Commercial Director of Widerøe Christian Skaug, says, "We are excited to bring travellers in both directions. To present the magnificent fjords of the western region of Norway. Potentially as a stopover to the rough far north with Midnight Sun and Northern Lights. Bergen offers a stunning diversity from cultural and historic experiences to an impressive scenery. In addition, Widerøe in corporation with Finnair provides a fast and efficient gateway to the far East through through the Helsinki route.”
New flights from Canada to Europe
Several Canadian airlines are launching new European flights and expanding passenger numbers.
Flights to Zurich and Paris
National carrier, Air Canada, began new direct flights from Vancouver to Zurich and Paris on 787 Dreamliners.
Montreal to Lisbon summer service
It is also launching summer flights from Montreal to Lisbon, Portugal. The three-times weekly Air Canada Rouge
service begins on 15 June, 2018 from Montreal, with the last operation from Lisbon on 27 October. It features Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada, says, “The strategic addition of these seasonal international flights further strengthens our YVR hub which combined with our extensive North American network, provides excellent options for travellers from BC and the North American west coast to Europe, and as well as for European visitors and beyond to western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.”
Great news for travellers and tourism
Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, says, “These new flights are great news for travellers and for tourism.
“As more Europeans choose to vacation in British Columbia, I’m pleased to see Air Canada creating options to meet that demand. Having more direct flights makes traveling to our beautiful province easier for people. This means more visits to B.C. and more jobs for British Columbians.”
Up to 1,293 flights a week from Vancouver
From its Vancouver hub this summer, Air Canada offers up to 1,293 flights each week non-stop to eight destinations in Asia, three destinations in Australia, five destinations in Europe, 16 destinations in the USA, 22 destinations in Canada and two destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Growing Montreal as hub
Speaking of the Portugal flights, Mr Smith says, “Building on Air Canada's current success in the Portuguese market, the new Montreal-Lisbon route solidifies the airline's presence in the summer leisure market from Montreal. Additionally, enhancements to our year-round services to Casablanca and Lima demonstrate Air Canada's on-going commitment to grow Montreal as an important hub in our global network.”
Air Transat boosts European seats by 15%
Air Transat is expanding its seat capacity on European flights in the summer by 15%, it has announced.
Plan to increase share in UK, France and Portugal
In 2019, it aims to expand its fleet of Airbus A321LRs to replace A310s on transatlantic routes and gain more share in the UK, French and Portuguese markets.
WestJet also targets Europe
This follows news that WestJet aims to operate 10 Boeing 787-9s, which are likely to be earmarked on European routes.
European seat availability up 9%
Airlines are predicted to make 9% more seats available this summer between Canada and Europe, FlightGlobal data suggests.