There was lots of activity in the travel industry in the second week of November: Citizen M opens a new London Shoreditch hotel, easyJet launches Berlin service from Newcastle and Air France-KLM are creating a new ‘lower cost’ long-haul airline to battles Gulf rivals such as Emirates and Etihad. Here a brief round-up of top news and events from the last 7 days!
Qatar Airways signs a code-share deal with Air Botswana Qatar Airways is signing a code-share partnership with Air Botswana, offering Qatar Airways travellers enhanced access to three key destinations in Botswana. The partnership will provide Qatar Airways passengers with connections to the Botswana cities of Gaborone, Francistown and Maun via Qatar Airways’ South Africa gateway Johannesburg. The new code-share agreement allows business and leisure travellers fast and convenient access to the home of Botswana’s rich mineral industry, abundant game reserves, and luxury safari lodges.
easyJet launches a new route to Berlin from Newcastle easyJet has started two new services from Newcastle International Airport to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and Las Palmas Airport in Gran Canaria. The two new routes are expected to be very busy and carry more than 36,000 passengers in the first year. The airline’s new route to Berlin Schoenefeld is the only direct scheduled flight between Newcastle and the German city: this will be opening both up to more tourism and making connecting between the two easier than ever.
Tianjin Airlines to launch Gatwick-Xi'an service Chinese carrier Tianjin Airlines is to launch a new flight from Gatwick to Xi’an, capital of Shanxi Province – home of the Terracotta Army. Starting in May 2017, the service will operate on an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 18 business class and 242 economy class seats. The total flight time to Xi’an is around 10 hours and the aircraft will then continue onto Tianijn.
Air France-KLM battles Gulf rivals with ‘lower cost’ long-haul airline Air France-KLM is creating a new long-haul airline to win back market share from Gulf carriers such as Emirates and Etihad. The new company will focus on “ultra-competitive” markets with plans to open up new routes and re-open those closed due to lack of profitability. It aims to have 10 long-haul aircraft by 2020 with 30 per cent of operations on new routes. The new brand does not have a name yet, but Air France plans for it to offer economy and business classes.
Oman Air announces Manchester service Oman Air has announced a new daily flight from Manchester to Muscat starting May 2017. The daily flight to Oman Air’s hub will take 7.5 hours and be operate by a Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner and is in addition to the double daily flight from Heathrow, making Manchester the only airport outside of London to have direct flights to Muscat.
Citizen M opens London Shoreditch hotel Citizen M opened its latest London property, located close to Shoreditch High Street station within a new mixed use retail, workspace and apartments development. The hotel features 216 rooms, abstract artwork at the entrance made by international artist collective AVAF and a spiral staircase taking guests up to the living and working spaces. Other facilities include self-service check-in terminals, free wifi, and a 24-hour café and bar canteen.
Wizz Air launches new Liverpool routes Low cost Eastern European airline Wizz Air announced new services to John Lennon airport in Liverpool.The airline will operate three-times a week from Liverpool to southern Romanian city of Craiova starting from the end of March 2017.
Wow Air to launch flights between the UK and Pittsburgh Wow Air is to launch flights to Pittsburgh in 2017 and it will be its ninth destination in North America. The Icelandic carrier will offer a one-stop service starting on June next year with connections available up to four times-weekly from London Gatwick and Edinburgh via Iceland’s Reykjavik airport.
Virgin Atlantic celebrates 20 years of South African flying Virgin Atlantic has marked 20 years of flying to South Africa with an onboard party on its flight from Johannesburg to London attended by Sit Richard Branson. The carrier began flying to and from South Africa in October 1996 with an Airbus A340, and now operates a daily flight to London Heathrow with a B787-900.