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.”

Voluntary Redundancies at Stansted

Stansted Airport has asked staff to consider voluntary redundancy.

The airport, owned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), is looking to slash 100 positions both terminal and airside.

However, staff have been speaking to the local press, citing that MAG is trying to keep the job loss news quiet as instead it speaks about growth, expansion and rising passenger numbers and that forced job losses could be inevitable.

New Noise Pollution Stats

Campaigners from anti-expansion group, Hacan, are warning that if a third runway is built at Heathrow a plane could approach every 90 seconds for 13 hours of every day.

The group say that the data was submitted to the Davies Commission, who is currently putting forward their recommendation for airport expansion to the Government, after short listing both Heathrow and Gatwick. However, Hacan say that the shocking data was ‘buried’ in an appendix.

The increased, and constant, noise pollution is set to affect tens of thousands, with residents living under the Southern flight path losing almost four hours of quiet. Whilst those living under the Northern flight path continuing to get around eight hours quiet a day, yet would still be able to hear aircraft from the runways either side.

The Government is expected to make a decision on which airport to approve for expansion following the next general election in 2015.

Manchester Airport and easyJet Sponsor Manchester Pride

A joint sponsorship programme has been announced by Manchester Airport and easyJet as the two companies sponsor the Manchester Pride Big Weekend.

This is the second year running that the two aviation giants have jointly sponsored the event.

Bigger than ever, this year’s event, to be held on Saturday 23rd August, is expecting over 100,000 visitors.

Many of these visitors will be flying in with easyJet into Manchester Airport. Over the bank holiday weekend, easyJet will fly around 10,000 people into Manchester Airport, whilst the airport will deal with around 324,103 passengers.

New Tour Operator Flying to Tunisia

A new tour operator is to be welcomed at Bristol Airport, flying to Tunisia.

Just Sunshine will start flying from 19th July as part of their summer schedule up until 25th October.

Offering all inclusive holidays, as well as a large range of active, family friendly and spa hotels, Tunisia offers something for everyone, from the sun seeker to the action seeker to the historical seeker.

Speaking about the new service from Bristol Airport, National Sales Manager for Just Sunshine, Tony Blakey, said, “As part of our continuing expansion we are delighted to introduce flights from Bristol Airport for summer 2014. With over 100 hotels we are confident that we can offer passengers in the South West the widest choice to Tunisia and unbeatable value for money.”