Hub Link Future For Heathrow and Liverpool?

From next year a hub connection between Heathrow and Liverpool Airport could be on the cards.

The link will see passengers from Liverpool fly via Heathrow for access to their huge global flight range.

The move would be a huge boost to the Merseyside economy through the five new routes between the two airports.

The news was announced as part of the Heathrow’s commitments to future aviation as it bids for expansion, and could be in place as early as January next year. Heathrow is currently battling it out against Gatwick Airport for permission to expand. The Government will decide after the general election, from advice complied by the Airports Commission.
Domestic routes have suffered due to the air capacity crisis in the South East, with airlines cancelling their domestic routes in favour of more profitable and desirable long haul routes. As a result, the 18 routes operating at Heathrow in 1990 has fallen to just 7 in 2015, which Liverpool’s links being axed two years ago.

Speaking about the possible future links to Liverpool, John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Chief Executive, said, “We’re ready to connect Liverpool to global growth. We have been listening to businesses, politicians and now to the National Connectivity Task Force, and today’s announcement shows that we have a plan to deliver what Britain needs.“

Whilst Andrew Cornish, Liverpool Airport’s Chief Executive, Andrew Cornish, said, “For too long Liverpool has been cut off from the nation’s hub airport. Expansion at Heathrow, alongside the commitments that have been made today, will boost our chances of securing a vital link through Heathrow to emerging and established growth markets around the world. Airports are key economic drivers for the UK’s regions and it’s time we were given permission to unleash our full potential. An expanded Heathrow will mean more jobs and stronger growth for Liverpool and its surrounds and ensure our community is connected to opportunities around the world.”

Liverpool Look TO Double Passenger Numbers

Liverpool Airport’s Chief Executive, Andrew Cornish, has told how the airport has ambitions to nearly double its passenger numbers.

Yet the twist was that it could be done so without losing its outstanding passenger customer experience and without ‘massive investment’.

Speaking to ECHO Business, Mr Cornish said, the airport’s handling system was ‘friendly and efficient’ in which passengers passed through in a ‘seamless way’, whilst he went on to to say “It is much more of a science than people might think. You have to consider queue systems, and utilising the workforce to the optimum level. We are number one for baggage reclaim and in the top three for check-in queues, security queues and immigration, or border control.”

The airport, which currently sees 4.1 million passengers pass through its doors, is looking to increase that figure to 7 million. The airport has recorded increased passenger numbers of 3.5% for February, with March looking extremely strong also.

Mr Cornish added, “We have announced seven new routes in the past three months and I hope, in the next three months, we would be announcing more new routes. The customer experience could be as good as it is today, or better, with 7m passengers, because the infrastructure is there to support it.

Adria Airways Announce Southend to Maribor Service

Flights to Slovenia’s main tourist destinations, Maribor, famous for its wines, will be available out of London Southend Airport this summer.

The flights will take off in June with Adria Airways and will offer passengers the only direct service out of London.

Flying three times a week – Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays – the service will operate during the airline’s summer season from June until October, with a flight time of just 2 hours, using an Airbus 319.

Tickets will be on sale from 30th March, priced at €69 return per person, including taxes.

Speaking about the new service, Mark Anžur, CEO, Adria Airways says “We are absolutely excited about our new scheduled connection from the second biggest city in Slovenia, Maribor to London Southend Airport. We are looking forward to a beginning of a successful partnership and bringing our passengers to both attractive destinations, with the new route offering the travellers from both countries to explore new destinations and everything both countries have to offer. We are very pleased to welcome travellers from UK to enjoy the diversity of Slovenia and all that it has to offer; from mountains to seaside.”

American Airlines Increase Heathrow Flights

American Airlines are to increase two of their popular Heathrow flights.

The airline is to increase its Heathrow to Los Angeles service, along with its service between Heathrow and Philadelphia.

The services will run daily, flying direct.

The services will commence at the end of this month, with the Los Angeles service flying from 29th March, which will depart Heathrow at 12.15pm, arriving in Los Angeles at 3.30pm.

Whilst the Philadelphia service will start flying from 30th March, departing at 8.20am, arriving at 11.40am.

New Hamburg and Antwerp Routes From Southampton

Southampton Airport is now able to offer passengers routes with VLM Airlines to Hamburg and Antwerp.
The airline will be launching the flights on 23rd April, both of which will fly daily.

The airport goes from strength to strength, with new airlines being added frequently, and passenger numbers up 21% in February compared to the previous year.

The Hamburg service is via a stopover at Antwerp. The Belgium city of Antwerp appeals to vast numbers of tourists, renowned as the diamond capital of the world, as well as excellent transport systems and a huge wealth of historical sites to visit, with stunning landscapes and architecture to admire.

Whilst Hamburg, German’s second largest city, which especially appeals to business passengers, is a major industrial and media centre, with local employers including Airbus, Blohm + Voss and Der Spiegel.

Speaking about the new routes, Dave Lees, Managing Director of Southampton Airport, said, “We are delighted to welcome VLM and the new route to Antwerp and Hamburg. We’re continuously working to expand the airport’s route network to give our loyal passengers a great choice of destinations, and Antwerp and Hamburg make perfect additions to our programme. This will link three major ports in Northern Europe and will be attractive to the marine and energy industry in this region, as well as leisure passengers.”

Flybe Add New Stansted Routes

Flybe has added a number of new routes out of Stansted Airport.

The airline will this week started flying between Stansted and the Isle of Man, whilst on 29th March it will fly between Stansted and Newcastle. Then, from 16th May, it will fly between Stansted and Newquay.

Flybe, who hold importance on their ‘regional connecting airline’ ethics, have a good relationship with airport owners, MAG, and believe that as a result of its presence, it could help the airport with its bid to attract long haul carriers.

Speaking about the new services, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Simmons, said, “There are good traffic flows both ways between the London area and the Isle of Man, for both business and leisure. Flybe had previously operated routes including the Isle of Man out of Gatwick but had quit the airport as a result of its fee structure which favoured the operators of larger aircraft.”

Future of Travel Debate Conference

Bringing together global travel leaders, The Economist is to host a conference to debate the future of travel.

The conference will discuss the changes in technology, innovation and regulation, and how they can foster a holistic travel experience over the next decade, given the importance of travel and its contribution to global GPD by 9.5%.
Held in Madrid, the conference will be on the 24th March, with 150 senior business leaders, policy makers and industry experts attending.

Speaking about the event, Simon Vincent, EMEA President, Hilton Worldwide commented: “Now more than ever it is important for us to consider the future of travel and the way industries such as hospitality will evolve over the coming years. The growing prosperity of emerging markets is set to change the face of the demographics of international travel. Coupled with exciting advances in technology, we stand at a point in time where the travel industry can take the lead in driving economic growth and create an estimated 73 million new jobs by 2022.”

Key speakers at the event will include:
• JOSE MANUEL SORIA LOPEZ, Minister of Energy, Industry and Tourism, Government of Spain
• TALEB RIFAI, Secretary General, UNWTO
• MICHAEL O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer, Ryanair
• LUIS MAROTO, Chief Executive Officer, Amadeus
• TONY TYLER, Chief Executive Officer & Director General, IATA
• JOSE VIEGAS, Secretary General, International Transport Forum, OECD
• SIMON VINCENT, President, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
• ALISTAIR HANN, Chief Technology Officer, Skyscanner
• LEE MCCABE, Global Head of Travel, Education & Consumer Services, Facebook
• GREG SCHULZE, Senior Vice President, Tour & Transport, Expedia

Luton Passenger Growth Continues to Rise

For the past 11 months, Luton Airport has recorded an increase in passenger numbers.

In February of this year the airport has announced an increase in passengers by 14.4%.

The record breaking year as been helped by a number of new airlines and new routes to the airport, including WizzAir flying to Ohrid, Macedonia from June and VLM flying to Waterford from April.

The growing passenger numbers is part of the airport’s ambitions to reach 18 million passengers each year by 2026, which is being supported by a £100 million transformation project.

Airport Chief Executive, Nick Barton, commented, “2015 looks set to be a great year for London Luton. The airport’s easy access from London and its great value air services are just some of the reasons why passengers choose to fly from Luton, and I am confident that the redevelopment project will only strengthen our position as a leading airport serving London, Luton and the surrounding regions.”

New BA Baggage Concierge Service

Domestic British Airways passengers flying into London City Airport can now ‘fly’ through the airport, thanks to the airline’s expanded baggage concierge service.

Following the successful trial of ‘Carousel Collection’, provided by AirPortr, the UK’s first airport premium luggage concierge service, the service has been rolled out to all 124 weekly domestic flights.

All passengers are able to take advantage of this service, whereby they can leave the airport and arrange for Carousel Collection to deliver their bags within the London M25 area.

The service, whilst being available for all BA passengers to book for a small fee, will be offered as a complimentary addition to British Airways Executive Club members.

Speaking about the service, Chris Nash, British Airways’ customer experience manager for London City Airport, said: “Many business customers choose to fly with us into London City thanks to its location so close to the corporate heart of the capital. They’ve told us their priority when they land is to head straight to the office so we’ve launched this service with AirPortr to enable them to do just that without worrying about any luggage they’ve checked in.”

Solar Impulse 2 Aircraft Round the World Using Dassault Systèmes

Following the successful test flight of Solar Impulse 1 earlier this year, a flight around the world later this year is the next step for the Solar Impulse 2 airplane.

The aircraft, designed with the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform using solar energy for flights in both the day and night.

Such innovative plane design brought huge design challenges for the team, however dedication and motivation lead the way thanks to the Dassault Systèmes applications.

Challenges included a new design for the fuselage and wings with new materials to achieve strict weight objectives, as well as designing a cockpit suitable for a round the world trip.

Speaking about the aircraft, André Borschberg, Co-founder CEO and Pilot, Solar Impulse, said, “For over a century, pioneers have been pushing the limits of aviation and transforming ideas into ‘firsts,’ from the first human flight to balloon flights and space missions once thought to be impossible.

We continue to apply this entrepreneurial spirit to engineering and research programs that blend 21st century technologies like the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with a mission to improve mankind’s impact on the environment.

We had to be right the first time. We needed proven, cutting edge industry solutions to craft the experience for which we were looking. That’s why we went to Dassault Systèmes and its 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” said Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot, Solar Impulse. “An experience perspective is exactly what we needed when creating an airplane to achieve such long flights. We’re in the cockpit for five days at a time. Everything, from the propulsion, to the electronics, to the crew facilities needs to be considered, planned, integrated and implemented for such a flight to be successful.”

Whilst Michel Tellier, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes, added, “This is about more than just serving the needs of a customer, it’s more than just an airplane, Solar Impulse is a message. The Solar Impulse project is showing the world that alternative, clean energy can be safe and viable in the most extreme circumstances and that it has the power to change the world.”