Route launches (10 – 17 September)
Teesside to Heathrow
Eastern Airways today (14 September) began its Teesside – Heathrow service, the first time the route has been served in 11 years.
Taking off at 1141, the 76-seat Embraer 170-operated service touched down at Heathrow 43 minutes later.
In a nod to the history of the route, Eastern Airways’ Heathrow service uses flight numbers 333 and 338, both used by the route’s former operator.
Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, said: “In just 18 months we’ve gone from our airport facing the prospect of imminent closure, before I did the deal to save it, to an ever-expanding list of destinations and the first plane departing to Heathrow in over a decade.”
Route launches (A – Z by airline name)
The routes complement its existing services to Edinburgh and Exeter, and they’ll join East Midlands and Leeds Bradford when they begin on 1 October.
Five Stobart Air ATR-72-600s will operate all six routes.
Birmingham (364 kilometres) and Manchester (275) were the largest of flybe’s former routes from the Northern Ireland airport.
Manchester had 276,000 two-way passengers last year and Birmingham 270,000, the UK’s CAA shows. Together, they accounted for over half of the traffic generated by the six routes that Aer Lingus Regional is introducing.
Katy Best, Belfast City’s Commercial Director, said: “Birmingham and Manchester have always been popular routes served from Belfast City Airport, heavily utilised by both business and leisure audiences, as well as the student market, so it is great to have this connectivity secured once again.”
Amelia International started Clermont-Ferrand to Paris Orly today (14 September), with the 332-kilometre service using ATR-72s.
The route was operated by Air France’s Hop until March this year; it had 165,000 seats in the year to March, OAG data shows. So the gap that Amelia is targeting.
Hop is now focusing on Clermont-Ferrand to Paris CDG.
Cindy Hugon-Duprat, Marketing Manager – Aviation and Commercial Business Development, Clermont-Ferrand, told anna.aero: “We are delighted to welcome Amelia International with its twice-daily flights to Orly.
“This route is key for the territory as it represents one-quarter of our passengers and it is essential for business travel and local tourism. The schedule will allow day trips to Paris as well as connections to onward destinations.
“Last year, the top-five connections through Orly from Clermont-Ferrand were Nice, Reunion – St-Denis, Pointe-a-Pitre, Fort de France, and Brest.
“We are looking forward to work together with the airline to strengthen this partnership and work on future development opportunities.”