This week, Birmingham Airport celebrated 80 years of operations. The facility has seen significant evolution over its history, from its origin at the Elmdon Terminal – still visible today at the general aviation apron – to the current facility opened by the Queen in 1984. Speaking at the celebrations was Nick Barton, CEO Birmingham Airport: “We are proud to have been able to play a very important role in the region for eight decades…continually investing to serve the demand and changing needs of air travel, that has grown from being a luxury for the few, to being affordable for all. Looking forward, we will soon be starting the first phase of our Master Plan programme where we will extend the departure lounge, security and arrivals areas, install new baggage systems, create new aircraft stands and a link to the HS2 Interchange Station, which will allow us to become the first airport to be connected to HS2 on its arrival.” According to OAG Schedules Analyser, Ryanair is the largest carrier at Birmingham by departing seat capacity in S19, with Jet2 in only its third year at the airport climbing to second place ahead of the now Virgin Atlantic-owned Flybe.
Beijing Daxing attracts high-profile European customers prior to opening in September. This week British Airways announced the move of its London Heathrow – Beijing service from Beijing Capital to the new Daxing Airport from October 2019. This follows LOT Polish Airlines’ announcement of three times weekly services to the new hub, as well as that of Finnair’s recently-announced operation to the facility. The capital’s second international airport will also benefit from a direct high-speed rail link, connecting the hub to the city centre in 20 minutes. Ole Orvér, CCO Finnair, said of the new facility: “Our aim is to continue to grow our presence in China. The new Beijing Daxing International Airport will become a key hub for international travel to and from China and will serve our customers well.”
Salvador Bahia will gain a direct service from Santiago de Chile for the first time in W19. The route will be operated three times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays by SKY Airlines between 30 December 2019 and 3 March 2020. According to Salvador Bahia, Chile is the city’s second-largest tourist market, despite the route previously being unserved. Speaking at the launch was Graziella Delicato, Airline Business Manager, Salvador Bahia Airport: “One of Salvador Bahia Airport’s priority objectives is [to] increase air traffic. We are particularly happy with this route, because it will connect two airports of the VINCI Airports network, which also has a stake in Santiago de Chile Airport.” “The announcement that we will now operate the Santiago-Salvador route with a direct flight is great news,” added Holger Paulmann, CEO SKY Airlines. “It is great to offer Chileans and Brazilians the possibility of a direct and fast flight in the best low-cost airline in South America, according to the latest Skytrax ranking, and with the most modern aircraft fleet in South America, the A320neo.”
Air Asia and Tourism Western Australia on 3 July announced a marketing agreement. The deal, worth A$1 million, will see the development of joint marketing campaigns to promote the region. Benyamin Ismail, CEO Air Asia X Malaysia said of the agreement: “We are excited to take our partnership with Tourism Western Australia to new heights and, through this new marketing agreement, grow demand for air travel from markets such as Malaysia, India, China and Japan.
“Since we began flying to Western Australia in November 2008, we’ve carried more than three million guests on Kuala Lumpur-Perth, Bali-Perth and our latest route between Lombok and Perth, which was launched last month. In 2018, AirAsia carried more than 585,000 guests to and from Western Australia.” Accompanied by Air Asia crew at the ceremony (left to right) are: Tourism Western Australia Country Manager for Singapore and Malaysia Ava Ang; Western Australia Tourism Minister Hon. Paul Papalia; AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail; and AirAsia X Malaysia Marketing Manager Chia PinYu.