Tulsa Airport celebrated the achievement of being awarded the ‘Cake of the Week’ certificate this week. The award was given for the excellent cake presented at the launch of flights to Los Angeles with Allegiant Air on 5 June. Pictured with the certificate are Tulsa Airport’s: Alexis Higgins, Director of Marketing & Communications; Daniel Meier, Manager of Air Service Development; and Jeff Mulder, Airports Director.
easyJet welcomed the 10 millionth passenger to fly from its Manchester base on 11 June. The passenger, Dale Johnson, and his partner Gemma Riley, were given a pair of free flights in celebration of the milestone achieved, before boarding for Copenhagen. Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, commented by saying: “We have come a long way since the launch of our first flight from Manchester back in March 2008. We now carry over 2 million passengers a year from the airport, to a range of business and leisure destinations.” Patrick Alexander, Group Head of Aviation Marketing, Manchester Airport, added: “We’re delighted that easyJet has surpassed 10 million passengers at Manchester. It’s a fantastic achievement and comes on the back of the airport celebrating its busiest year ever. With new routes to Split, Kefalonia, Marseille, Pisa and Porto for 2015, we look forward to working with easyJet to continue their growth at the airport.” In total, easyJet now operates to 40 destinations from the north-west UK airport, with a mixture of year-round and seasonal services according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. For a further analysis of the carrier’s expansion, see which easyJet airports are growing the most in summer 2015.
Virgin Atlantic Airways launched its latest US destination from London Heathrow on 1 June, this time to Detroit. On 11 June, the airline celebrated the occasion with a special launch event that was attended by Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, and Thomas Naughton, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO. After the launch, the airline held a press conference, with the main focus of discussion being around the growing entrepreneurship in Detroit. Branson and Naughton were joined on the panel by: Chris Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic CEO; Mike Duggan, Detroit Mayor; and Warren Evans, Wayne Country Executive. One of the comments made by Branson was: “Entrepreneurs are the future of Detroit, the future of the US. They’re going to build the next Apples, the next Virgins, and they need to be encouraged. It’s fantastic to see the amount of new companies that are being set up. I’m told every 23 minutes, a new company sets up in this city, and that’s really going to drive Detroit forward.” Flights on the new service between Heathrow and Detroit will operate daily, using a mixture of the airline’s A330s and 787-9s. Virgin Atlantic’s latest destination complements Delta Air Lines’ daily service, who own a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic and have an agreed partnership with the carrier on transatlantic services.
On 4 June, Delta Air Lines launched its newest US domestic route in the form of a five times daily service between Seattle Tacoma and Denver. Passengers on the inaugural flight were welcomed with a slice of cake to celebrate the start of services. The carrier faces strong direct competition on the airport pair from Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, who operate a combined total of 113 weekly flights on the 1,643-kilometre sector.
American Airlines launched flights between Miami and Barranquilla on 4 June. The new flight will operate daily using the oneworld carrier’s 128-seat A319s, facing direct competition from Avianca, who also operate a daily service on the city pair. The 1,754-kilometre sector from the Northern Colombia Airport will also develop onward connectivity opportunities to North America and Europe for Colombian passengers through the airline’s Floridian hub. American staff in Miami were joined in celebration by Elsa Noguera, Mayor of Barranquilla, and Luigi Boria, Mayor of Doral City, Florida, while pulling the ribbon in Barranquilla are: Alvaro Gonzalez, CEO Barranquilla Airport; Eduardo Gonzalez, Migración Colombia; Edgar Rentería, Former MLB baseball player from Barranquilla; Enrique Stellabatti, Procolombia Tourism Promotion VP; Elsa Noguera; and Jose María Giraldo, American Airlines Country Director in Colombia.
On 10 June, Aegean Airlines and Bordeaux Airport celebrated the launch of flights from Athens with a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. The celebrations took place on the carrier’s second flight according to OAG Schedules Analyser, which shows that flights launched on 6 June. Pascal Personne, Chairman of the Management Board, Bordeaux Airport, and Anastasios Raftopoulos, Aegean Airlines Network Director, were on hand to carry out the proceedings. The airport pair operates twice-weekly using the Star Alliance member’s A320s.
Varna Airport celebrated the 10-year anniversary of services by Austrian Airlines to Vienna on 21 May. Today the Star Alliance member flies a daily service on the city pair, allowing passengers from the region to connect onto over 130 destinations from the Austrian capital. Austria’s national carrier also serves the Bulgarian capital, with five flights a day between Vienna and Sofia. Cutting the cake to mark the occasion are: Holger Schaefers, Chief Business Development Officer, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management; Slava Marangozova, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines Bulgaria Marketing Manager; and Alexander Tolweth, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines Country Manager for Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo.
On 11 June, Hamburg Airport and United Airlines celebrated the 10 year anniversary of flights between the German city and New York Newark. Since its launch in 2005, the airline has carried nearly 900,000 passengers on over 6,000 flights on the city pair. Commenting on the achievement, Thorsten Lettnin, United’s Regional Director for Central and Northern Europe, said: “United is the only American airline in Hamburg, and we are proud to have been offering this North Atlantic service to our customers for ten years now. The daily flight from Hamburg brings our passengers direct to New York City, and beyond with connections to hundreds of flights throughout America, thanks to the airline’s hub at New York Newark.” Michael Eggenschwiler, Hamburg Airport CEO, commented further: “We are delighted by the great success and the continuity of this route. The service has made a substantial contribution to the awareness of Hamburg from the other side of the Atlantic. In 2014 alone, around 85,000 US citizens visited the city – 77% more than 10 years ago.” On 26 October, the Star Alliance member will upgrade the daily service from its 757-200 to the larger 767-300, introducing the carrier’s Global First cabin on the route.
On 1 June, Athens Airport celebrated the inauguration of a third-daily service by Qatar Airways from Doha. The service was welcomed with a water arch salute. The oneworld member started flights to the Greek Capital on the 15 June 2005, initially operating six weekly flights, then increasing to seven weekly in November 2007. Two years later in November 2009, the carrier added an additional four weekly flights, before finally becoming a double-daily operation in March 2010. Flights to Doha will be operated on a mixture of single-aisle A320/321’s and wide-body A330s.
Emirates opened its first dedicated lounge at Tokyo Narita on 11 June, bringing the airline’s total number of global lounges to 38. A ribbon cutting ceremony led by Tokuhisa Takano, Narita Airport Corporation SVP, Mohammed Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Airport Services SVP; and Nick Rees, Emirates Manager, Japan, was held to formally open the facility. Mohammed Mattar commented at the launch by saying: “Our commitment to the highest standards of quality in every aspect of our business is the secret to Emirates’ success. The new Emirates lounge at Narita expresses that commitment in a very concrete way. Japan is a very important market for Emirates, and the dedicated lounge at Narita demonstrates our ongoing efforts to provide the best airport experience to premium Japanese travellers and our Skywards Platinum and Gold members.” Emirates currently operates a daily service into Narita on-board 777-300s, while Tokyo Haneda sees a daily service operated by 777-200s according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.
On 2 June, Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G), announced a 10-year investment programme for Manchester Airport, worth up to £1 billion (€1.4 billion or $1.54 billion). Some of the major elements planned for the transformation include the expansion and reconfiguring of Terminal 2, to become the airport’s primary terminal building, and the introduction of new stands and piers which will offer better departure gate facilities. One of the main features that is included in the plans is offering passengers a US pre-clearance facility. Commenting on the announcement, George Osbourne, MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “This announcement of £1 billion of private sector investment in Manchester Airport is a massive vote of confidence in the North of England, and in our plan to build a Northern powerhouse. The investment will help ensure that Manchester continues to compete with global airports across the world”. Images source: M.A.G.
On 15 June, Helsinki Airport announced how its new terminal extension will look in 2020. Work will begin early 2016 in creating the new Southern Terminal Wing, while work on the Western Terminal Wing will start in S17. As a result of the expansion, jet bridges for wide-body aircraft will be doubled from the current eight to 16. The interior of the new terminal will incorporate a strong Finnish feel, while various light and sound solutions will create different atmospheres throughout the building. Images source: Finavia.