200 Runners and Gary Lineker in Major Charity Fund Raiser

200 runners, and England legend and football pundit, Gary Lineker, have taken part in a charity runway run at Manchester Airport.

The first of its kind for the airport, the event, in association with British Airways, raised over £7,000.

The race, run along Runway Two’s nature trail, which is four kilometres, was raising money for BA’s charity Comic Relief UK and Manchester Airport’s charity, Wellspring Children’s Medical Centre in Kamutuuza. As well as the run, racers and their family and friends, were able to enjoy a family fun day which included a kids’ sports day and a warm up under the wings of the awe inspiring Concorde!

Speaking about the event, Mr Lineker said, “It is an absolute pleasure to be down here today supporting two such worthwhile causes. It’s even more pleasing to see so many people come down to give up their time and run.”

Winning the race, and winning two free BA flights to either Paris or Barcelona, was Mr Carl Hardman, from Dukinfield, who ran the race in just 20 minutes.

Thai Airways Increase FREE Baggage Allowance

Thai Airways, in its constant commitment to improving customer service, has increased its free baggage allowance by 10kg, in all classes.

The changes, that take effect immediately, and will cover all flights across the global apart from those to and from the US.

This now means that Royal First Class passengers are allowed 50kgs of luggage, Royal Silk Class may travel with 40kg, whilst Economy passengers may travel with 30kg.

The new increased in luggage means that for those passengers taking sports equipment, for example, such as golf clubs, will be able to do so for free providing the combined weight of luggage does not exceed the new total allowance.

Beyond the Horizon Art Exhibition

Luton Airport is to host an exhibition of artwork by well-known local artist, Jo Atherton.

The artist was chosen above other local artists in the airport’s recent Gateway Gallery Competition.

The abstract creation, 14 tapestries, will be displaced at the airport’s Gateway Gallery.

The theme of the works is the coming together of people, apt at an airport where people in their thousands come together.

Speaking about her artwork, Ms Atherton said, “Always surprising, never predictable, the sea curates relics and presents them to the shore; a temporary narrative replenished with each changing tide.” She added: “I am repeatedly drawn to the Cornish coast which juts out into the North Atlantic Current, a tributary of the Gulf Stream. This coastline serves as a unique collection point for material from all over the planet and never fails to provide a thought-provoking artefact.”

Blackpool Airport could close in two weeks

Blackpool Airport could see its last commercial flights take place in two weeks’ time.

The airport has announced that it has been operating at a loss for a number of years and, unless a buyer can be found to secure the airport’s future before 7 October, it will be forced to close – the last commercial flights could take place on 15 October 2014.

Any passengers with flight bookings after 15 October should contact their airline.

Blackpool Airport airlines:

  • Citywing – 0871 200 0440
  • Jet2.com – 0333 300 0042
  • Stobart Air – 0871 718 5000

World’s Busiest Airport Announced

A list of the world’s busiest airports has been revealed, and surprisingly Heathrow isn’t in top spot.

No, the title of the world’s busiest airport goes to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – a title the airport has held for 16 years!

According to figures released last week by Airport Council International, a whopping 94.4million passengers passed through the airport in 2013 – down 1.1% on 2012.

Hartsfield-Jackson is a major hub, offering passengers vital routes to all of Europe and South America.

The second-busiest airport was Beijing Capital International Airport with 83.7 million passengers.

London Heathrow achieved third position with 72.4 million passengers passing through its terminal buildings in 2013.

Despite coming in third, London Heathrow remains the world’s largest airport system, with the most international passengers of any other airport – 67.3 million.

Dubai Airport is the fastest growing airport, climbing up the rankings to seventh place from tenth last year.

The full top ten busiest airports and their passenger numbers looks like this:

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson International Atlanta, 94.4 million
  2. Beijing, 83.7 million
  3. London Heathrow, 72.3 million
  4. Tokyo, 68.9 million
  5. Chicago, 66.7 million
  6. Los Angeles, 66.6 million
  7. Dubai, 66.4 million
  8. Paris, 62 million
  9. Dallas/Fort Worth, 60.4 million
  10. Jakarta, 60.1 million

Virgin to Offer Ultra-fast Broadband Flights

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will soon be offering ultra-fast broad band on its flights.

The airline will be the very first European airline to offer Gogo’s in-flight 70mb broadband from next year.
The broadband will be available for tablets, smartphones and laptops giving passenger s a myriad of online, in-air services.

The new Wi-Fi service is part of the airline’s mega £300 million fleet upgrade.

Speaking about the new service, Brand Director for Virgin Atlantic, Reuben Arnold, said, “Expanding in-flight connectivity across our fleet is just one of the ways in which we are doing this. We were impressed with Gogo’s connectivity solution and look forward to all of our customers being able to enjoy this service whilst they fly.”

BA Cut London to Buenos Aires

British Airways has decided to cut 2 of its weekly flights out of London Heathrow to Buenos Aires from next March.
The decision comes after a rapid decline in passenger numbers.

The airline had operated seven weekly flights; however this number will reduce to five per week from 31st March next year.

The flights to be axed will be the services departing Buenos Aires on Wednesdays and Fridays, with a knock on effect to the Tuesday and Thursday Heathrow departing flights.

Ethiopian Airlines Move to T2

Ethiopian Airlines has moved into Heathrow’s new Terminal 2.

The airline is the first to debut the advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

It joins a host of Star Alliance members in the brand new £2.5 billion terminal, which opened in June by The Queen.
The airline, which flies non-stop daily to Addis Ababa, offers connections to 49 other destinations on the African continent, as well as 18 destinations within Ethiopia.

Speaking about the move into T2, Michael Yared, Ethiopian Airlines Area Manager, UK and Ireland, said, “We are delighted to be joining fellow Star Alliance members at The Queen’s Terminal. The new terminal offers our passengers cutting-edge technology, an efficient and excellent design and some attractive shopping options that will enhance their journey and all-round travel experience.” said Michael Yared, Area Manager – UK and Ireland, Ethiopian Airlines.

As part of its Star Alliance partnership, Ethiopian Cloud Nine and other eligible passengers, can enjoy Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge, the United Club and United Global First Lounge.

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.”