On 1 July, CityJet announced that it will commence flights between London City and Cork from 1 October. For the announcement, the airline flew in one of its RJ85s from Dublin, which was then greeted in Cork with a water arch salute. The new airport pair will be served with 18 weekly flights, thrice-daily from Monday to Friday, one flight on Saturdays and twice-daily on Sundays. The new service will add an additional 3,420 seats each week from the Irish airport, and further expands Cork’s extensive short-haul network to the UK. The airport currently has operations to London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted airports, making London City the fourth London airport served from Cork. Currently, over 800,000 passengers already travel on the existing London services, making it the most popular destination from Cork. Niall MacCarthy, Cork Airport MD, commented: “The announcement of CityJet’s new route to London City is great news for business and leisure passengers alike. With 18 flights per week, this new service provides regular and convenient access right to the heart of the English capital, and adds to the competition and choice for passengers in a key market for us.” Joining MacCarthy to celebrate the announcement was Irish model Pippa O’Connor.
On 3 July, Birmingham Airport welcomed the arrival of Hainan Airlines’ new programme of charter flights from Beijing. The first flight arrived with 233 passengers on board coming to visit the UK on organised package tours. This is the first in a series of 34 flights that will see more than 4,000 Chinese visitors arrive in the West Midlands over the summer months. Last year the airport inaugurated its charter programme from China, with China Southern Airlines operating three return flights from Beijing. Commenting at the launch event, Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport CEO, said: “Last year’s test of direct Beijing flights were the result of collaborative working with Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham, VisitBritain and the Government. I am delighted that we have been able to push on from last year’s success to offer a series of 34 flights this summer. The Midlands is a powerful engine of growth at the heart of our country, and needs direct aviation to succeed. All involved in the deal intend that these Hainan flights will build over the coming years, before becoming the first scheduled service between a non-London UK airport and mainland China.” Pictured celebrating the arrival of Hainan Airlines’ Beijing service are: Jenny Loynton, Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Mayor of Solihull’s Consort; Clive Slater, The Mayor of Solihull; Councillor Glenis Slater; Birmingham Airport CEO, Paul Kehoe; Hu Hui, Caissa Touristic; Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Ray Hassell; and Fei Yang of Hainan Airlines, and of course not forgetting the Chinese Dragon.
On 30 June, Ryanair announced that Gothenburg Airport would become base number #74 for the Irish ULCC. Planned to open in September 2015, the airline will base one 737-800, and add further frequency to its London Stansted service. Commenting at the announcement in Gothenburg, Ryanair CMO, Kenny Jocobs, said: “Sweden is a significant growth market for Ryanair and as we announce our second Swedish base at Gothenburg, we will continue to connect Sweden with Europe’s major centres of business, such as London, Milan and Paris, making Ryanair the ideal choice for both business and leisure customers.” In total, Ryanair operates to 13 destinations from Gothenburg, including: Alghero, Alicante, Edinburgh, London Stansted, Malaga, Malta, Marseille, Milan/Bergamo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris Beauvais, Pisa, Rome Ciampino and Zadar.
On 22 June, Air Moldova launched daily flights from Chișinău to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. The first flight was welcomed into Sheremetyevo with a traditional water arch salute, and passengers on the inagural flight received promotional gifts. A ribbon cutting ceremony was also performed by, Botnarev Roman, Air Moldova’s Moscow representative, and Vladimir Khizhnyak, Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport’s Director of Aviation Marketing and Commerce. Flights on the airport pair will be operated using the airline’s E190s, which are fitted with both business and economy cabins.
On 28 June, El Al launched its latest US destination from Tel Aviv, this time to Boston. The airline also serves Los Angeles, New York JFK and New York Newark. Flights on the new Boston route will operate thrice-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and will be flown using the carrier’s 767-300s, which are fitted with 218 seats. Cutting the ribbon in Boston are: Israel’s Consul-General to New England, Yehuda Yaakov; CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority, Thomas Glynn; El Al CEO, David Maimon; Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman; El Al chairman, Amikam Cohen, and El Al VP and project manager for the new Boston route, Danny Saadon.
On 29 June, Montreal Airport celebrated SkyGreece Airlines’ recent start of services from Athens. The celebrations included a ribbon cutting ceremony and a traditional water arch salute as the aircraft taxied to its stand.
On 1 July, Emirates inaugurated A380 services into Düsseldorf. The aircraft was welcomed with a traditional water arch salute. The German city is currently connected to Dubai twice-daily, with the super-jumbo being used on the airline’s midday service. Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ EVP & CCO, commented at the launch by saying: ““We are happy to be the first airline to offer a scheduled A380 service from Düsseldorf. Deploying larger capacity aircraft is central to helping us meet growing passenger demand between one of Germany’s strongest economic regions and the emerging economies of Asia, Middle East and Africa, through seamless connections via our efficient Dubai hub.” Cutting the cake in Düsseldorf to celebrate the A380 milestone are: Volker Greiner, Emirates VP North & Central Europe; Dr Ludger Dohm, Düsseldorf Airport CEO; Franz-Josef Lersch-Mense, Secretary of State and Head of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia; Hubert Frach, Emirates Divisional SVP, Commercial Operations – West; Thierry Antinori; and Stephan Gallom, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dubai.
On 1 July, Prague Airport welcomed the arrival of Emirates’ one-off flight from Dubai, in celebration of the airline’s fifth anniversary operating from the Czech Republic capital. The Dubai based airline becomes the third carrier to operate the aircraft type into Prague, which has already seen one-off flights of the A380 from both Lufthansa and Korean Air.
On 30 June, Avianca put on a special one-off flight to introduce its 787-8s to Spain. The aircraft flew from Bogota to Madrid, a route that is usually served by the Star Alliance member’s A330-200s. The flight was greeted in the Spanish capital with a water arch salute.
On 3 July, Bristol Airport unveiled its new £8.6 million east-terminal extension, one of two new extensions that the airport has under construction. The other will be to the west-side of the terminal, and is expected to open in 2017. At the heart of the east-extension is a significantly enlarged departure lounge, which features additional seating as well several retail and catering units. A stand-out feature of the new development is an outdoor terrace area, with views of the runway, allowing for passengers to see aircraft arrive and depart. The outdoor terrace also includes a bar and restaurants. Commenting on the unveiling, Robert Sinclair, Bristol Airport CEO, said: “More than 750,000 passengers are set to fly from Bristol Airport during July and August alone. Combined with the west-terminal extension we recently announced, this development is a significant step towards achieving our vision to provide passengers from the south-west of the UK with a world-class customer experience when flying in and out of Bristol.”