Bristol Airport celebrates the return of British Airways and four new European routes – anna.aero joins in on the celebrations
Saturday 20 May was an exciting day in the history of Bristol Airport as it welcomed the return of British Airways, an airline which has not served the UK airport since 2007, after Flybe acquired BA Connect. The oneworld member this summer is operating four routes from Florence, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca to the airport, with all of them being flown weekly on London City based E170s and E190s. It should be noted that the carrier has also opened the same four routes this weekend from Birmingham, with the aircraft stopping in Europe overnight and operating w-patterns into the UK on weekends i.e Malaga–Bristol–Malaga–Birmingham–Malaga. The most significant of BA’s new routes to Bristol is Florence, as this is a sector that is not served by any other carrier from the UK airport. With this launch, Bristol is now connected to nine destinations in mainland Italy, along with flights to Olbia in Sardinia and Catania in Sicily. With the additional flights to Ibiza, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca with BA, Bristol this summer will be offering passengers a choice of over 165 weekly flights to Spain.
This year has got off to a flying start for Bristol, with it having welcomed over 1.5 million passengers during Q1 2017, an increase of nearly 13% when compared to the same period of 2016. Among the highlights so far this year, along with the return of BA, is the restoration of long-haul services with Thomson Airways. On 6 May it re-started flights to Cancún and Orlando Sanford, routes that the carrier had not flown since the end of S13. These flights with Thomson Airways also marked the start of 787-8 flights from the airport, with the carrier having last flown these routes to the US and Mexico from Bristol on 767-300s according to OAG schedules. Along with Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines has added flights to Almeria from Bristol, while easyJet has begun services to Kefalonia.
All of this success comes in a year where Bristol Airport turns 60. The airport welcomed its first flight in May 1957, and now it has grown to accommodate over 7.6 million passengers a year. Robert Sinclair, CEO at Bristol Airport, said of the airport’s milestone: “Looking back over our 60-year history is a reminder of how far we have come from the days when flying was a special experience for a small number of people. Air travel today has made new sights, experiences and opportunities accessible to millions, but it is important we in the Southwest do not take our international connectivity for granted.”
A few weeks ago at Routes Europe in Belfast, Pete Downes, Head of Aviation Development, Bristol Airport invited anna.aero’s Assistant Editor Jonathan Ford down to the UK’s West Country to celebrate the return of British Airways. Of course Ford accepted the invitation, and was soon tottering down the M4 to Bristol to celebrate the carrier’s arrival.