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United kicks off largest transatlantic expansion in its history

United Airlines has kicked off the launch of its largest transatlantic expansion in its history, in anticipation of a strong recovery in European travel.

Patrick Quayle: We have long anticipated a strong demand recovery

In total, United will launch or resume 30 transatlantic flights from mid-April to early June. This includes adding new nonstop flights to five destinations no other North American airline serves including Amman, Jordan; Bergen, Norway; Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands.

The airline is also launching five new nonstop flights to some of Europe’s most popular business and tourist hubs including London, Milan, Zurich, Munich and Nice. United is also resuming fourteen Atlantic routes the airline has historically served and adding frequencies in six others.

United’s transatlantic route network will be more than 25% larger than it was in 2019.

With this expansion, United will serve more transatlantic destinations than every other U.S. carrier combined and will be the largest airline across the Atlantic for the first time in history.

Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United said,

We have long anticipated a strong demand recovery, evidenced by our large, strategic expansion in Europe, and with these new flights, we’re proud to offer our customers more options and access than ever before. United continues to leverage its leading global network in new and exciting ways to help our customers make meaningful memories and experience new cultures around the world.

In light of the increased demand for European travel, United is also launching new services to some of Europe’s most iconic cities, including:

  • New daily flights between Boston and London Heathrow, which began on 14 April, and is United’s only trans-oceanic point-to-point flight from Boston. This flight complements United’s nonstop service to London Heathrow from all seven of United’s hubs.
  • New daily flights between Denver and Munich, which began April 23 and joins existing service from Denver to Frankfurt and London. United is the only U.S. airline to offer transatlantic service from Denver.
  • New daily flights between Chicago and Zurich, which began April 23. United now offers more nonstop service between Switzerland and the U.S. than any other U.S. airline, and is the only U.S. airline with nonstop service to Geneva.
  • New daily flights between New York/Newark and Nice, beginning April 29. United will offer more premium seats to Nice than any other U.S. carrier.
  • New daily flights between Chicago and Milan, beginning May 6, joining existing seasonal flights between Chicago and Rome. United will be the only airline to offer nonstop service between Chicago and Milan, adding to its existing service between New York/Newark and Milan.

In addition to these new flights, United is increasing service to popular European travel destinations, including:

  • Second daily flights between New York/Newark and Dublin, which began 23 April.
  • Second daily flights between Denver and London Heathrow, beginning 7 May.
  • Second daily flight between New York/Newark and Frankfurt, beginning 26 May.
  • Second flight between New York/Newark and Rome five times weekly, beginning 27 May.
  • Adding a third daily flight between San Francisco and London Heathrow and increasing service between New York/Newark and London Heathrow to seven daily flights, beginning 28 May. With this additional service, United will offer 22 daily nonstop flights from the U.S. to London Heathrow.

To help generate excitement about these new routes, earlier this month United launched two unique out of home campaigns, including digital billboards in downtown Boston to highlight the airline’s new Boston-London Heathrow service. United also teamed up with Saks Fifth Avenue for a series of window displays featuring fashion inspired by United’s five unique transatlantic routes.

In addition to these European routes, United is also growing its presence in Africa as part of this transatlantic expansion. On 8 May, United will increase its service to offer daily flights between Washington/Dulles and Accra, Ghana. The airline will also extend its existing seasonal service to Cape Town to year-round, with nonstop flights from New York/Newark resuming 5 June, subject to government approval.

Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines announce accelerated plans for launch of regional routes

Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines have announced details of the commencement of Aer Lingus Regional flights.

The flights operate under a franchise agreement by Emerald Airlines and will commence on 17 March as Aer Lingus Regional. The announcement means Emerald Airlines flying over 340 flights per week across 11 routes, with further route announcements to be made.

High-frequency routes, including Dublin-Edinburgh and Dublin-Glasgow, will be served up to four times daily. The announcement sees the re-establishment of services to regional points across the U.K including Newquay, Exeter, and Isle of Man. Emerald Airlines will be the only airline offering these services from Ireland.

Critically, the announcement adds over 60 UK – US routes on the Aer Lingus network connecting via Dublin including connections from UK regional airports to New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle.

Aer Lingus recently announced an ambitious schedule for Summer 2022, which reflects the airline’s goal to build to pre-pandemic levels of flying and anticipates continued momentum in customer demand. This commencement of the Aer Lingus Regional routes operated by Emerald Airlines will greatly increase connectivity between the UK, Ireland and the US, and accelerates Aer Lingus’s strategy to expand Dublin Airport as a hub airport.

Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus said:

Opportunities for our UK customers to connect with ease to Aer Lingus flights to North America and to take advantage of the US preclearance facility. Opportunities for customers across UK and Ireland as we develop the Aer Lingus regional network. And opportunities for the Irish economy and Irish aviation as we expand our hub at Dublin.

It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Emerald Airlines to accelerate this partnership and start operations 10 months ahead of the original schedule. We are all looking forward to welcoming our customers on-board Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Emerald Airlines.

Conor McCarthy, CEO of Emerald Airlines said:

We’re delighted to be able to commence operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan in line with the recovering customer demand. The time is right for Emerald Airlines to begin operations under the Aer Lingus Regional brand and we truly look forward to welcoming our customers onboard our flights as soon as February next.

Our customer-focused schedules will offer choice, convenience and great value for both regional and transatlantic air travel. This announcement is a great boost for connectivity from Ireland to the U.K, including cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Newcastle, Bristol, and Leeds. Emerald Airlines will be offering a high-frequency schedule with convenient flight timings to facilitate both business and leisure passengers.

“Emerald has also established an airline company in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and has applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and Operating Licence. We are very confident that this will result in long-term connectivity being maintained across the Irish Sea and will boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Britain. We have already reached a long-term commercial agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many cities in the UK as soon as possible in 2022. Further details, routes and launch dates in relation to the Belfast operation will be announced in the New Year.”  

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

Given a very challenging 2021 for the airline and wider travel industry, I’m particularly encouraged by this very positive announcement from Aer Lingus.

By re-establishing services from various UK regional airports, such as, Newquay, Exeter and the Isle of Man, to multiple US destinations, Aer Lingus has really shown its determination to connect the UK & USA for leisure and corporate travellers.

Emerald Airlines is continuing with the expansion of its fleet of ATR72-600s. The ATR72-600, the latest generation of turboprop aircraft combining environmental and economic performance, has a significant environmental advantage over regional jets and other turboprop aircraft emitting up to 40% less CO2 on short, regional flights.

How would you spend two extra hours on your next transatlantic trip?

That’s a question a number of business travellers are facing, thanks to a great time-saving initiative for business travellers flying from the UK to the United States.

One of the most frustrating, time-consuming issues business travellers entering the US face is the long lines ahead of customs clearance and border control.  After a long haul flight, the last thing many travellers want is to be faced with a lengthy wait and interrogation before even being able to leave the airport.  

Given the opportunity, many business travellers would prefer to clear customs and border checks before arriving in the country.  

Now, thanks to several routes that incorporate a stopover in Dublin Airport, passengers can “preclear” US customs and border control at a leisurely pace ahead of their onward flight to the United States.  

Global Travel Management Sales Director, Paul Baker explained, 

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management

At Global Travel Management, we will always help customers find the best fare.  But ‘best’ very rarely just means ‘cheapest’.  What customers look for as well as the lowest-cost is the most convenient route: the best value services on board: and the best and most efficient use of time. So, we often find that a route to the US through Dublin, allowing customers to preclear in the terminal building ahead of the transatlantic portion of the flight is a very welcome, very useful way to save a couple of hours – or more – on landing.

Making a stop in Dublin Airport offers a great alternative for passengers who might otherwise travel to Heathrow or Gatwick before boarding a direct flight to their destination city in the US.  Because many regional airports across the UK offer connections to and through Dublin.  This can often mean saving even more time. 

Paul explained further, 

A long haul flight means eating into a lot of otherwise productive time.  Add to that the time taken to travel to London’s two main airports and clearing customs – with passengers arriving from all over the world – and you have a lengthy addition to your travel time. 

But more and more passengers are taking advantage of travelling from UK airports closer to their homes or places of work.  If you live in the southwest of England, the south coast, the northeast, near the midlands, in Wales or close to airports in Scotland, you can hop on a short haul flight to Dublin, preclear US checks at the airport, and get on your transatlantic flight.  

You’ll cross the ‘pond’ in the knowledge you will be straight through the airport and heading for your hotel, meeting or other destination without having to hang around.

Several airlines have opened transatlantic routes through Dubin, with Aer Lingus among the most celebrated. 

Keith Tenn of Aer Lingus told us, 

Keith Tenn, Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus has established routes to several cities all over the United States.  So, passengers can choose to take advantage of this well-established opportunity at Dublin Airport. 

The door-to-door time-savings can be substantial; many of the fares are very competitively priced, in order to offer great savings. Also, passengers can accumulate Avios, one of the most widely-used frequent flyer currencies.

Contact your GTM Account Manager when you need to plan your next transatlantic trip or if you want to find out more about how to make use of preclearance in Dublin.

Seven of the best

Twenty five years ago, Frankie Dettori achieved the remarkable feat of riding seven out of seven winners at British Champions’ Day at Ascot Racecourse.

Dettori’s achievement – winning aboard Wall Street, Diffident, Mark of Esteem, Decorated Hero, Fatefully, Lochangel and Fujiyama Crest – became known as The Magnificent Seven.

And now, to help Ascot Racecourse and Frankie Dettori to celebrate the quarter century anniversary, we have asked our clients, partners, colleagues and friends to tell us their favourite airlines and airports, in order to produce our own Magnificent Seven.

Here’s what they came up with…

Magnificent Seven airlines

British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, SAS, Swiss

And some selected comments about these airlines

British Airways “I like to travel with British Airways personally especially for long flights as I find them more comfortable and they provide  decent food and drinks”.

easyJet “Of course low-cost is what it is, but I believe they are a cut above the rest in how you are treated, and how fair and clear they are about their policies and extra charges. With most of the other low-cost carriers, I always get the feeling that they are trying to somehow trick you into spending extra at every single step, be it online check in, or lack thereof, constantly changing cabin bag size limits, etc, but easyJet are much more upfront about everything, and you know where you stand”.

Lufthansa “Lufthansa offers everything I need for business trips and seems to get better and better every year”.

Qantas “Modern cabins, good schedules, but above all, their people are amazing throughout, from check in to baggage reclaim through, of course their cabin crew. I´ve flown both business and economy with them, and they treat you like a star all the way, every time, every class of service”.

Qatar Airways “Long haul I like Qatar Airlines – definitely the best business class I have experienced.  Only once been upgraded to first which was brilliant!”

SAS “Efficient. On time. The routes serve my purposes perfectly”.

Swiss “I have only ever had excellent services when flying on Swiss”.

Some of the other airlines mentioned in the favourite category include Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and, pre-pandemic, Flybe.

Magnificent seven airports

London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Dublin, Manchester, Singapore Changi, Southampton

The poll was unscientific and based entirely on opinions. Do you agree with the lists? Do you have a different favourite airline or airport? If so, join the conversation on Twitter, with the hashtag #MagnificentSeven and tweet us on @globaltravelmgt

Teesside regains London Heathrow route with Eastern Airways

Teesside International Airport will regain its link to London Heathrow with Eastern Airways launching its first ever schedule flights from London’s world hub airport.

From 14 September 2020, the Teesside–Heathrow service will be served by a 76-seat E-Jet Embraer 170 aircraft, following a gap of more than a decade. The airline will initially offer a daily service to the capital which will offer passengers from Durham, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool, Teesside and North Yorkshire hundreds of onward connections to the world.

This latest news at Teesside is a further expansion of Eastern Airways’ developing route network from the north east airport. Since restrictions have been eased following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the airline has reintroduced Teesside flights to Aberdeen and Belfast City while starting new routes to London City and Newquay.

The daily departures are timed to maximise the array of world-wide connections available while also supporting quick and easy access to London and the South-East on the circa 1-hour flight.

Roger Hage, Eastern Airways’ General Manager Commercial & Operations, said

As the UK’s Regional Airline, the opportunity for Eastern Airways to connect Teesside to London Heathrow, the UK’s primary hub for worldwide connections is significant in the region’s economic prosperity and economic recovery. Offering an initial daily e-Jet operated service helps add further London capacity and makes reaching the capital or getting to the North East a little over an hour away, with the array of connections world-wide this opens up. We look forward with our partners at Teesside International Airport and London Heathrow Airport to restoring such a major air-link missing for over a decade.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said

Ben Houchen – we have flights to one of our most-requested destinations

Since I did a deal to take back control of our airport last year to save it from closure, we’ve announced some brilliant new daily and seasonal routes.

But whenever I’ve revealed a new service people have said, ‘that’s great, but what about a connection to Heathrow?’

Well, I can now say we have flights to one of our most-requested destinations, and it starts next month. Whether people from Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are looking to travel for business or pleasure, they now have a range of options for getting to London.

This is another massive vote of confidence in our airport and I’d like to thank Heathrow and Eastern Airways for working with us to realise a key route for any serious airport.

Our airport is much more than just flights though; it is hugely important to our local economy and it is playing a key part in my plan for jobs. I’ve always said that investment won’t come on a bus, it will come through our airport terminal which in turn will create good quality local jobs for local workers.

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, said

John Holland-Kaye – delighted that Eastern Airways will launch a Heathrow connection

We are delighted that Eastern Airways will launch a new connection between Teesside and Heathrow for the first time in over a decade. Adding the UK’s hub airport to Teesside’s network demonstrates the growth ambitions of the Tees Valley region, and will provide a vital levelling-up boost – unlocking a huge amount of potential for the region as we build the UK’s economic recovery.

Heathrow is committed to strengthening our regional connections across the UK with our discount on domestic routes, and we believe this new service will be a springboard for the great businesses in the region to reach out to the world. We’re looking forward to welcoming the first passengers in September.

Initially Eastern Airways’ usual complimentary on-board service will be limited to facilitate reduced customer contact.

Services continue to be carefully reintroduced since Covid-19 restrictions began to ease with extensive cleaning measures on-board and throughout all aspects of the airport. A full anti-bacterial wipe down of all touch points between every service operated and also a comprehensive aircraft night-stop sanitisation is implemented.

Eastern Airways was formed in 1997 and had moved quickly, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, to return back to its own standalone booking facilities after its former franchise partner, Flybe, went into administration earlier in March.

The Humberside Airport-based carrier offers a network of routes from airports including Aberdeen, Anglesey, Belfast City, Cardiff, Dublin, Humberside, Isle of Man, Leeds Bradford, London City, Manchester, Newcastle, Newquay, Southampton and Teesside International and a broad array of contract and ad-hoc charters with a mixed jet and turbo-prop fleet.

If you need to fly between Teesside and London – or any other route offered by Eastern Airways – contact your GTM Account Manager.

Aer Lingus Staff to Strike.

Aer Lingus staff belonging to the SIPTU union are to go on strike next Monday 1st October over planned changes to their pension scheme.
Members who work at Dublin Airport Authority are also taking part in the industrial action.
SIPTU said the decision had been reached following the failure of both companies to put forward any meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute.
Flights and services at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports could be affected.

Whilst we (GTM) will be informing anyone whose flight is affected, please do not hesitate to contact us hould you have any concerns.