Ryanair Said To Be Considering Break of Boeing Contract

Ryanair, in a bid to start flying the coveted Europe to America transatlantic route, are rumoured to be considering breaking its exclusive contract with Boeing by ordering Airbus aircraft.

The low cost airline is developing plans, expected to take at least three years, for a low-cost service between Europe and America flying to Newark, JKF and Boston.

Currently, the airline has a fleet for 300 Boeing 737s with a further 180 on order, however, if it starts the American routes it is said to be looking at flying either Airbus A350s or Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s.

Thai Airways Move to T2

Thai Airways have officially moved into Heathrow’s Terminal 2.

The occasion was marked with a party style celebration, complete with passengers receiving fresh orchid corsages and commemorative key rings, whilst being entertained by traditional Thai dancers and music.

Speaking about the General Manager of Thai Airways, Mrit Kitchathorn, said, “It was great to be present at this seamless move into T2, auguring a new era of travel in the UK. We are very proud to now be housed with our other Star Alliance Members in the state-of-the-art terminal. The check-in area is conveniently located next to the Tax Refund Counter making it even smoother for our passengers.”

British Airways is celebrating a sensational year at London City airport

The airline has had its busiest ever summer, with record numbers of passengers flying off to 26 destinations out of the airport.

30% more passengers have booked with BA from London City Airport this year, compared with last year.

The most popular domestic routes where to Edinburgh and Glasgow, whilst the most popular routes overseas where to Ibiza, Majorca and Malaga.

BA is committing to the airport by launching a new five times a day flight between London City and Dublin on 26 October. What’s more, it is also increasing the frequency of many of its most popular routes out of the airport, including Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Nice.

Speaking about the airline’s success at London City, BA’s General Manager, Luke Hayhoe, said, “We are delighted to see a record number of customers flying from London City Airport especially as we prepare to launch a new route and additional frequencies which are in direct response to what our customers asked us for.”

Landmark Day for Passengers at Bristol

Bristol Airport has reported a landmark day for passenger numbers.

On 14 August the airport reached record numbers of passengers passing through its terminal in 24 hours – 25,390.
The airport has had a very busy summer, with passenger numbers for June and July up on previous years. June increased by 3.34% in and July increased by 2.8%.

Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said “Milestones like this demonstrate that passengers are increasingly choosing the convenience of flying from their regional airport when the flights and holidays they want become available.”

Several factors to have contributed to the airport’s success as the airport grows, including larger aircraft on KLM’s four times a day service to Amsterdam, a new service to Stockholm and a new Tunisia service, plus high load factors on charter flights during the summer months.

Mr Browne added, “By working with airlines and tour operators to extend the choice of products and destinations they offer from Bristol we hope to further reduce the need for passengers to fly from airports outside the South West. Looking ahead to 2015, we are well progressed with potential new route opportunities and expect further developments in the coming weeks.”

Flybe Axe Spain and Portugal Winter Routes

Flybe has confirmed that it will not operate its flights between Spain and Portugal to Exeter Airport.

In previous years the airline has extended its summer schedule into its winter programme but not for 2014/15 as the airline pulls its larger, Embraer 195 jet from operations out of Exeter.

The last flights to popular destinations Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma will fly on 30th September.

A spokesperson for Flybe said, “We regularly examine all our 170-plus routes to assess their economic viability. This takes into consideration not only passenger numbers but also the most beneficial commercial utilisation of our fleet,”

NATS Traffic Up

Air traffic providers, NATS, has reported an increase in air traffic in July.

Compared to the same month last year, air traffic was up by 2.4% across the airports NATS controls air traffic.

Scheduled flight numbers rose in eight of the fifteen airports NATS controls.

This gives further proof indeed to the Government that drastic action is needed in the UK to increase air space for the ever growing aviation industry. The Government is expected to make a decision on increasing capacity at either Gatwick or Heathrow after the next General Election, 2015, once the Davies Commission have completed their independent report.

Speaking about the increased traffic, Managing Director of Operations for NATS, Martin Rolfe, said, “July has been another positive month for NATS particularly as we are in peak summer season. We have handled the increase in scheduled traffic while keeping delays to a minimum.

Southend Voted Best UK Airport

As voted for by members of Which?, Southend has been voted the UK’s best airport.

In a survey carried about by over 7,000 of its members, the consumer watchdog, Which?, asked members about their experiences flying to and from UK airports.

The survey asked about all areas of the airport experience, including airport security, passport control, pick-up and drop-off systems and baggage reclaim.

The accolade is fantastic news for the small airport, beating its larger rivals to the top spot for the second year running, scoring 85%.

Which? Report Rates Smaller UK Airports

A survey has found that smaller airports are providing a better experience than their larger competitors.

7,000 Which? members completed the survey on their flight experience to and from UK airports which included rating baggage reclaim and the distance to the boarding gate from the departure lounge.

As a result, smaller airports came out better.

Southampton made it into the top six of the best airports, according to Which?, scoring a full five stars in the seven out of ten categories.

Neil Garwood, Head of Customer Service, said “We aim to deliver a ‘Breeze Through’ experience here at Southampton Airport which is fast, easy and friendly. Customers who use the airport often highlight what a difference and delight it is to travel through here compared to the larger airports, where the journey involves queues, long walks and overwhelming volumes of passengers. We are delighted to have been scored so highly by Which? members.”

This weekend, the August Bank Holiday, the airport is expecting over 27,000 passengers through its doors.

Luton Airports Renews NATS Contract

NAT, the UK air navigation service provider, has had their contract with Luton Airport renewed by a further two years.

The new contract will see NATS look after the tower and engineering services at Luton until November 2017.

This comes as good news to NATS, who recently lost the Gatwick contract.

Last year, Luton Airport saw 9.7 million passengers pass through its terminal, with NATS controllers handling 97,615 flights – this saw the airport ranked as the fifth busiest in the UK.

Record Passenger Numbers at Birmingham Airport

The highest number of passengers for a July, ever, has been recorded at Birmingham Airport.

The airport helped 1,051,052 passengers fly out of the regional airport, showing a 4.6% increase on the same month last year.

The figures are the airport’s second highest figures ever recorded in Birmingham’s 75 year history.

The airport has proudly reported an increase for four consecutive months, leading Chief Executive Paul Kehoe to say, “July was a historic month for us. Not only did we achieve such great passenger numbers, we also celebrated our 75th anniversary and saw the first ever flight from China to a non-London airport arrive, and later depart on our newly extended runway to make its 5,000-mile return journey to Beijing.”