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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.

Passengers can pre-book security slots at Manchester Airport, free of charge

Manchester Airport will trial offering free 15-minute pre-booked security slots as part of a new standard for safe air travel. The approach is designed to allow the airport to manage the volume of passengers coming through security more efficiently and help keep queues shorter.

To improve the security experience and help restore confidence in travel as the airport begins to see more people wanting to travel, passengers at Manchester Airport now have the opportunity to pre-book a free 15-minute security slot, as part of a UK-first new trial by MAG, the airport’s owner.

The option is available from this week and accessible here: https://booking.manchesterairport.co.uk/security/dates/

The trial is part of a series of measures introduced by MAG to ensure passengers feel safer and more confident about travelling by air, particularly when travel demand starts to grow again in the near future.

The airport claims to have been the first to ask all passengers to cover their face either with face masks or with their own clothing. All MAG colleagues, interacting with passengers, are also required to wear the necessary protective equipment.

By booking a free slot, passengers will benefit from access to a dedicated lane straight to the security checkpoint and will be able to reach the departure lounge quicker. This approach will also allow the airport to manage the volume of passengers coming through security more efficiently and help keep queues shorter.

The availability of slots is limited and is operated on a first come first served basis, through online booking. Passengers are encouraged to make a booking around two hours before their flight departure time and asked to arrive within the chosen slot. If passengers arrive outside the allocated time, they will not be able to access the dedicated line and will be redirected to the security queue, which may be longer than usual given social distancing measures that the airport will put in place.

Manchester Airport is the first UK Airport to announce such a scheme, and in so doing is aiming to support safe standards for future air travel. If successful, the technology will be put in place at the group’s other airports at London Stansted and East Midlands.

Brad Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, said:

Safety and security will always be the first priority and, at the same time, Covid-19 will undoubtedly reshape the airport experience. We are exploring every innovation and technology that can help us to adapt to the new world, protect public health and restore confidence in air travel.

This new measure will allow us to manage our security process more efficiently in these challenging times, providing a better and more comfortable experience for passengers.

It is the latest in a series of measures introduced by MAG to make travel safer during the pandemic, which includes asking passengers and colleagues to wear face coverings and piloting temperature screening technologies.”


Heathrow set for Zero Carbon

Heathrow has announced it has become one of the world’s first major aviation hubs to become carbon neutral, for its infrastructure, and the first to target “zero carbon” by the mid-2030s.

Following investment of over £100 million in improving Heathrow’s energy efficiency and generating and purchasing renewable energy, Heathrow has reduced carbon emissions from airport buildings and infrastructure by 93% compared to 1990. The remaining 7% of airport infrastructure emissions – including those from heating – will now be offset through tree planting projects in Indonesia and Mexico certified through the Verified Carbon Standard.

Offsetting will be an interim measure to reduce carbon emissions today, while Heathrow works towards becoming a zero carbon airport. Contributing to further carbon savings, this year Heathrow will be focused on ramping up improvements to sustainable transport links and ensuring it meets its target to transition all of Heathrow’s cars and small vans to electric and plug-in hybrid.

Marking the milestone, the airport is announcing a further investment of £1.8 million for 2020 to kick-start UK nature-based carbon saving projects.

The additional investment from the airport will help to kick-start the restoration of natural UK carbon sinks – including peatlands, woodlands and farming soils – which have been estimated by the Committee on Climate Change to have the ability to help save 43 mega tonnes of carbon annually by 2050, if significant investments are made. Heathrow can’t create this saving alone though, and will use its position to encourage others within the aviation industry to invest in similar initiatives up and down the country.

At Ledmore near Ullapool, a new native woodland creation project will be the first to receive new funding from Heathrow. In partnership with Forest Carbon, the project will cover 87.4 hectares and will help explore opportunities for woodlands to deliver effective UK carbon offsetting alongside a range of other benefits including biodiversity and better soil and water quality.


Matt Gorman, Stewart Arbuckle and Dr Helaina Black, testing soil at Dundee carbon farming project

Ledmore adds to an existing portfolio of natural carbon capture projects Heathrow has supported since 2018 – worth over £270,000. These include a regenerative farming pilot project near Dundee; the restoration of Little Woolden Moss peatland, west of Manchester; and the planting of new woodlands at Henry’s Wood in Carmarthenshire. The airport hopes to use some of these projects to offset a small amount of its hard-to-tackle emissions over the next few years and show that UK natural climate solutions would make good options for CORSIA commitments – an international agreement to deliver carbon neutral growth in aviation from 2020.

Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye, said:

Making our infrastructure entirely carbon neutral is a significant milestone and a testament to the determination of our airport to help spearhead a new era of sustainable aviation. Our sights are now set on working with the global aviation industry to deliver on net-zero by 2050, at the latest. We can and will cut the environmental cost of flying whilst keeping the benefits of travel for future generations.

This news follows a commitment from the UK aviation industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, through an international approach, working with governments around the world and through the UN.

Heathrow will be rolling out an action plan for a critical decade – called ‘Target Net-Zero’ – that backs the UK aviation industry’s commitment. The plan will outline how Heathrow will decarbonise the airport’s infrastructure and play a role in supporting the entire UK aviation industry to get to net-zero carbon emissions, by working with its partners on the ground and in the air, to develop sustainable aviation fuels and electric aircraft.

New name revealed for West Coast Main Line rail company

Avanti West Coast will be the name of the new InterCity West Coast rail franchise, FirstGroup and Trenitalia have revealed.

From 8 December 2019, FirstGroup and Trenitalia will take over the operation of InterCity West Coast rail services. The service will link London to cities and towns across England, North Wales and Scotland, serving as a “vital economic artery bringing cities and people closer together”.

The Avanti West Coast logo, created by design agency forpeople, is a bright orange triangle, symbolising the geographic extent of the 400-mile long route that serves cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow as well as London and North Wales.



Avanti is Italian for “Forward!”

Under the new West Coast Partnership, First Trenitalia is committed to delivering a range of passenger enhancements for InterCity West Coast services and passengers will benefit from more trains, more seats, simplified fares and more frequent services.

56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished with 25,000 brand new seats, more reliable Wi-Fi and improved catering. By 2022, there will be 263 more train services every week to more places and a fleet of new trains introduced.

Fares and ticket types will be simplified with mobile tickets and smartcards introduced. Stations will be improved with refreshed waiting rooms, better customer facilities, more car parking spaces and greater accessibility for those who need it. 

Speaking at the launch of the new brand, Steve Montgomery, Managing Director of First Rail, one of the UK’s most experienced rail operators, said:

We’re looking forward to taking over the franchise and we are very pleased and proud to be working with Trenitalia, a strong partner who is committed to playing an increasing role in UK rail and has many years of expertise in the high speed sector in Italy.

We are committed to our customers and over the next few years, we will work with our industry and local partners not only to invest in, and improve, rail services on the route, but also to attract more people to rail and connect communities across the country.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management, said:

These exciting investment plans on the West Coast Main Line will be a huge benefit to a lot of passengers.  And, with improved Wi-Fi and better catering, rail will become an attractive option for business travel between London, the north west of England and Scotland.

At Global Travel Management, we are looking forward to the feedback our clients give us on this new rail operator and we are excited to be able to add Avanti West Coast to the range of domestic and international rail services we provide.

You can book rail journeys on GTM Online or by contacting your GTM Account Manager.

UK Weather Update.

Due to the light overnight snowfall in some parts of England we have been checking the operations at the UK’s major airports this morning (please find an update below).

However, the Met Office has also warned of a second, heavier, band of snow which will fall across some parts of the country this afternoon. Furthermore, with temperatures set to fall below freezing tonight, tomorrow’s flight schedule maybe worse hit. Therefore, please ensure you check in online for your flight today, or tomorrow, and ensure that either we, or your airline, have your mobile/cell phone number and email address.

1. London Heathrow – moderate delays but with an increasing trend.

2. London Gatwick – low delays, not predicted to worsen.

3. Manchester – low delays, not predicted to worsen.

4. Edinburgh – low delays, not predicted to worsen.

NB. Information correct at 0845.

Finnair Super Deals To The Far East.

Fly Finnair to the Far East this winter for prices (excluding airport taxes) starting from just £49 (Delhi)! Be quick though, the selling period for this offer ends on the 11th December.

Fly from either London, or Manchester to : Hong Kong SAR, China, Japan, Thailand, Singapore or India. Flights are via Helsinki, advertised as the shortcut route between Europe and Asia, due to the Trans-Siberian route flown by Finnair. There are some blackout dates, namely the Christmas holidays, but depending upon your destination, travel to some destinations is permitted right through to 30 June 2013.

Finnair is a One World alliance carrier : http://www.oneworld.com/

BMI Regional.

BMI Regional, once part of BMI British Midland, which was sold to British Airways’ parent company IAG, is now operating flights again. Sector Aviation Holdings Ltd acquired BMI Regional from IAG and is now flying mainly UK domestic services.

Some of the cities BMI Regional are operating to/from are : Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Norwich. The European cities served are : Brussels,
Copenhagen, Groningen, Lyon & Zurich.