Flybe announces 7 new routes from Birmingham

Europe’s largest independent regional airline increases its operations at Birmingham Airport by launching ‘Magnificent Seven’ new routes from the city. The brand new Flybe routes will consist of a six times a week service to Florence and Toulouse, daily services to Cologne, a five times a week service to Alicante and four times a week services to Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto.

The addition of 7 new routes, will give Flybe passengers travelling from Birmingham Airport a total of 32 routes and 375 return flights a week to choose from for Summer 2014, making the airport the airline’s biggest base. With the expansion taking place Flybe is expected to be serving up to 400,000 more travellers per year, adding up to approximately two million passengers in total.

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Virgin Atlantic – mobile boarding passes, indulgent extras and fine dining

Great news for customers in a hurry.  Virgin Atlantic passengers flying from the UK have already experienced the convenience of the airline’s mobile boarding passes. So now the popular service has also become available to all Virgin Atlantic and Delta customers travelling out of the US.

There is also good news for Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy passengers, as the airline introduces a new range of extras for a smoother flying experience, including dedicated check in and bag drop, extra wide seats and complimentary drinks.

The Upper Class flying and dining experience is improving as well, with the indulgent Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea available on all routes until March. Upper Class passengers will also soon be able to enjoy the Full English breakfast option as well as pancakes with Nutella and maple syrup on selected flights.

New Cabin interiors from Thai Airways

Thai Airways passengers can now experience more comfort and improved service, as the airline introduces new contemporary designs for both Economy and Business Class cabins. The new cabins benefit from such features as wooden panelling, new upholstery and an improved in-flight entertainment system.

Both Economy and Business Class passengers will now be able to enjoy a broader range of on-demand entertainment including Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese and Indian movies, thanks to the new Panasonic eX2 IFE systems.

Overall the new Economy Class cabin consists of 306 seats with a 32-inch pitch and an 18-inch width. Economy Class passengers can now also benefit from new seat control units as well as personal 10.6-inch IFE monitors. As for the the Royal Silk business class cabin, it now features16-inch personal IFE screens and offers 42 new 20-inch wide seats, convertible into fully-flat beds.

The new design has now been introduced on the Boeing 777 and will be available to passengers travelling on routes to Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo.

Japan Airlines to transfer London – Tokyo services to Haneda

Starting from 30 March 2014 Japan Airlines’ services between London Heathrow and Tokyo will be arriving to Haneda, instead of landing at Narita. The new improved service will be operated by the B777-300ER aircraft.

The change is part of a larger range of improvements, as Japan Airlines is set out to launch new services from Paris, Singapore, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City to Haneda, and also offer two times more frequencies between New York and Tokyo Narita.

Japan Airlines is not the first to recently decide to transfer its London – Tokyo services from Narita to Haneda. ANA passengers will also soon be able to enjoy direct services from London to Tokyo Haneda.

EasyJet mobile boarding passes now available at Belfast

According to EasyJet, passengers travelling from Belfast International Airport will now be able to complete the check-in process in less than 10 seconds, thanks the airline launching mobile boarding passes at the airport earlier this week.

Since the technology was introduced in September 2013 over 2.5 million mobile boarding passes have been downloaded by EasyJet passengers. The launch of mobile boarding passes at Belfast is estimated to add another 100,000 users to the service within the next year.

India to welcome the A380

A380’s are now allowed to be operated in India’s airports, as the country’s government changes its policies regarding foreign airlines. The first Indian airports set to welcome the superjumbo are allegedly Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

As for the airlines, it is still unclear which is going to be the first to launch its A380 service to India. Both Emirates and Lufthansa showed interest in providing the service in the past and Etihad as well as Qatar Airways have also ordered the A380.

Hampton by Hilton now at Gatwick

Guests travelling to and from Gatwick Airport can now enjoy the facilities and services of the newly-opened 192- room Hampton by Hilton Hotel.

The property is located at Gatwick Airport North Terminal, only 120 feet from the check-in desks and benefits from having a boardroom, a 24-hour gym and snack areas as well as boasting beautiful design and decor.

The launch is exciting news not only for London Gatwick guests, but also for the Hampton by Hilton brand in the UK, as the property is its first London airport hotel.

High-speed wi-fi for all travellers

As Ofcom approves the use of new satellite technology, aircraft, ship and train passengers could soon be benefiting from up to ten times faster wi-fi connections.

Earth Stations On Mobile Platforms (ESOMPs) has already been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and should be available to use later this year.

As high-speed internet becomes an essential part of everyday life, adapting the new technology is set to make significant improvements to the overall travel experience.

First UK rail-airline partnership

Singapore Airlines passengers based in the south-west will now be able to arrange both their train transfers and international flights in one transaction, thanks to the partnership between Singapore Airlines, Heathrow Express and First Great Western. The new service will allow passengers to choose from a range of train times to connect with their flights.

The rail-airline partnership is the first of its kind in the UK and is set out to achieve delivering better value to customers as well as saving them time. Initially the service will be available for 11 south-west destinations including Bath, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford, Par, Penzance, Plymouth, St Austell and Swansea.