Norwegian to Add Budget Flights to Orlando in 2015

Gatwick passengers will revel in the news that low cost transatlantic carrier Norwegian is to add Orlando to their portfolio of US routes.

From next spring the airline will fly from Gatwick to Orlando once a week.

The route will commence on 4th April, flying weekly on Saturdays.

The airline has also announced that it is increasing its Gatwick to New York flights to six a week.

Speaking about the announcement, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian, Thomas Ramdahl, said “We´re happy to announce that we will offer Orlando as a new destination from Gatwick. Orlando is already a very popular destination being offered from Oslo and we are looking forward to giving even more passengers the chance to visit this great area of Florida.”

Launch fares are a mere £199 plus taxes.

Mr Ramdahl added, ”As we are taking delivery of our eighth 787 Dreamliner next spring, we will also have the capacity to add more departures on existing routes that have been very well received.”

Atba Polls Shows Public Favour to Increase Air Capacity

In a recent poll by Atba, it seems that UK residents are shifting in favour of increasing air capacity in the UK.

Currently, the UK is at breaking point and in particular, in the South East.

The Airports Commission has short listed Gatwick and Heathrow for expansion; both airports are in a head- to-head bid to build one extra runway.

In the poll, those questioned showed that 41% of people agreed that ‘more airport capacity is needed’, a figure that continues to rise, an increase of a third compared to this time last year. With a mere 16% of those polled disagreeing with the fact that more capacity was needed.

As well as speeding up delays that happen if take-off slots are lost, UK residents are hugely aware of the economic benefits that creating more capacity will bring, with 35% agreeing that ‘the UK economy will suffer if capacity is not increased’.

The poll also quizzed people about the controversial Air Passenger Duty. The poll, 36% said that the high ADP put them off flying, whilst 39% said that the UK’s APD, one of the highest in the world, affected the country’s economy. What’s more, 25% said they would consider flying long haul from an airport outside of the UK to avoid the tax – Amsterdam or Frankfurt for example.

Head of Public Affairs for Abta, Stephen D’Alfonso, spoke about the poll, saying, “Reducing APD and increasing airport capacity are two key policies that would enhance UK competitiveness, which in turn will deliver jobs and economic growth.”

Thai Airways flights up for grabs at Colours of Thailand Festival

Visitors to the Colours of Thailand festival, being held at London’s Westfield Shopping Centre, from 26 – 28th September could win a prize of a life time…

… free flights from London to Bangkok, courtesy of Thailand’s national carrier, Thai Airways.

The three day event is organised by the Royal Thai Embassy in association with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Airways International, Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, the Office of Commercial Affairs and the Association of Thai Businesses in the UK.

The aim of the event is to give visitors the chance to celebrate and discover all things Thai, including cuisine, crafts fashion and entertainment to lure tourists to the majestic country. Entry into the festival is free, and is open from 10am until 6pm each day.

Busy August at Southampton

Southampton Airport goes from strength to strength as the airport saw 200,000 passengers use the airport during August.

The passenger numbers are the highest since August 2007, seeing a 3% increase in passengers during the same month last year.

The airport has been adding many new airlines and destinations, as it continues with its growth plans, offering a myriad of choice to passengers want to fly out of a regional South East airport.

Jan Halliday, Director of Marketing & Communications, said: “We have seen a 3% growth in our passenger numbers in August 2014 versus the same month in 2013. It is also the first time that over 200,000 passengers have used the airport in one month since 2007. The route that has seen the greatest growth is Guernsey, which is operated by both Blue Islands and Flybe, with up to eight daily flights. An additional rotation is due to start to Guernsey in October with Blue Islands.”

Demand for London Lord Mayor to Reimburse Taxpayers

Medway Council are demanding that Boris Johnson, Lord Mayor of London, repay taxpayers for the money they spent opposing his Thames Estuary airport proposals that were recently thrown out of the race as a solution to the UK’s air capacity crisis.

The Airports Commission, headed by Sir Ian Davies, rejected ‘Boris Island’ and has kept the shortlist to Gatwick and Heathrow.

As a result, Medway Council spent £250,000 battling against the proposals. The Council have tabled a motion for next month’s full meeting that sets out to demand Mr Johnson apologise to residents and repay the monies spent for the ‘stress and angst caused by his airport campaign’.

Speaking about the motion, Peninsula Ward Councillor Chris Irvine, who also submitted the motion, said, “Despite being told time and again about the cost, environmental, safety and space issues, Mr Johnson continued to pursue this scheme without even having the good grace to visit Medway and speak to the people whose lives he wanted to ride roughshod over. A large number of people who live in Peninsula live there because of the scenery and tranquillity. Boris Johnson should do the honourable thing.”

Luton in Evacuation

Holiday makers in their thousands were evacuated this week, Wednesday 9th September, after a suspect package was found at Luton Airport.

At 2pm passengers were evacuated and all flights suspended.

The suspected package was destroyed in a controlled explosion at approximately 5.15pm, after it had passed through scanners. The airport reopened shortly afterwards.

It is believed that the suspect package was in fact a pair of hair straighteners. However, with the UK terror threat on the highest alert every instance of suspicious packages must be dealt with.

BA Overhaul 747s

British Airways is to give 18 of its Boeing 747 fleet an overhaul.

The overhauls are expected to be complete by August 2015 by its Cardiff engineering team.

The overhaul will bring the Boeing 747s in line with the newest aircraft in its fleet, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and double-decker superjumbos, the Airbus A380,

The new makeovers will include revamped seating in both economy and premium economy, updated power and USB sockets that will be universal for global customers to use phones and tablet devices, plus new Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems, which will offer over 130 movies.

A spokesman for the airline commented, “We know that in-flight entertainment is really important to our customers – being able to relax and watch a film or listen to music helps customers to pass the time enjoyably – so by installing this state-of-the-art equipment we will be able to deliver even more programming on board.”

Ryanair Confirm It Will Stay Flying Out of Prestwick

Low cost airline, Ryanair, has confirmed it will continue flying out of Prestwick in 2015.

There was concern that the airline might withdraw totally, after pulling 8 flights earlier in the summer.

However, the airline has confirmed its support by launching its 2015 schedule. It will operate 16 routes, totalling 44 weekly flights out of the Scottish Government owned airport.

Speaking about the offering, Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary, said “Ryanair is pleased to be the first airline in Scotland to launch its 2015 summer schedule, with nine new Glasgow International routes to Bydgoszcz, Carcassonne, Chania, Derry, Dublin, London Stansted, Riga, Warsaw and Wroclaw and – just as important – 16 Glasgow Prestwick routes, which will deliver 1.35 million customers per annum to and from Glasgow.”

Norwegian Double New York and Los Angeles Flights

Following a hugely successful launch of its low cost transatlantic services to America, Norwegian has announced it is to double some of its services out of Gatwick.

It will double its flights out of Gatwick to JFK, New York and Los Angeles.

From 2nd May, Norwegian will operate its Gatwick to JFK, New York service to six times a week, doubling with existing service.

And from 4th May, the airline will increase its Gatwick to LAX service to four times a week, upping the service by 50%.

Stansted Unveils Ambitious Plans

Plans that will bring in £4.6million to the region’s economy, Stansted Airport have unveiled its ambitious growth plans.

Plans that include doubling passenger numbers, bringing numbers to 45 million each year, by developing its existing single runway.

The airport plans to increase frequency and launch new routes to make the airport a serious South East contender for air passengers.

This comes about as now the new hub airport in the Thames Estuary, dubbed ‘Boris Island’, was not put forward on the shortlist by the Davies Commission, who are looking into the UK’s air capacity crisis, the London airport has big plans for the future.