For week ending November 4th
Winter has definitely arrived in the UK and while we moved into November there was plenty of activity in the travel industry: Norwegian launches the cheapest flights ever from London to Las Vegas, Delta partners with Airbnb to offer more benefits to members and British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling announce the introduction of high-speed wifi to the short-haul fleets. Catch up on the top stories below to find out what happened in the travel industry over the past week!
IAG airlines to launch wifi on short haul flights
From next summer, International Airlines Group (IAG) will introduce high-speed wifi to the short-haul fleets of its four carriers, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling. IAG has teamed up with Inmarsat to provide the technology. The airline group is to be the launch customer for the UK firm’s European Aviation Network air-to-ground connectivity, which provides a 4G broadband service.
Emirates introduces extra A380 services on New Zealand routes
Emirates has introduced its A380 aircraft on two routes to New Zealand from Dubai. The airline’s step-up in capacity on both its Christchurch and Auckland services means that Emirates now has an all-A380 offering across its five daily New Zealand services.
Norwegian launches ‘UK’s cheapest’ flight to Las Vegas
The European airline will operate the twice-weekly direct service from Gatwick, with fares starting from £179. Las Vegas is Norwegian’s third long-haul route to launch from Gatwick this year, alongside Oakland – San Francisco and Boston.
KLM will be back to London City Airport
KLM is to return to London City eight years after it stopped serving the airport and will launch a daily service from February 2017. The plan is to increase the service to four daily on weekdays and “one to two” flights on a weekend. The flights will be operated by KLM Cityhopper using Embraer 190, which can carry up to 100 passengers.
British Airways launches Gatwick-Oakland route
British Airways is launching a new service to Oakland, San Francisco Bay. The new route is expected to start on March 28 and will be the airline’s first route from Gatwick to California, and fifth from London to the ‘Golden State’. The route will be served by a 777-200ER aircraft operating four-days a week.
Delta partners with Airbnb to offer member benefits
Delta Air Lines and Airbnb have partnered to offer members of the airline’s loyalty programme, SkyMiles, the chance to earn miles when booking Airbnb stays through delta.com/airbnb. Benefits include 1 mile for every US dollar spent (or the foreign equivalent) on Airbnb accomodations, up to 1,000 bonus miles and a US$25 Airbnb coupon code toward a first stay for new guests and up to 25,000 bonus miles for new Airbnb hosts. Airbnb has also signed Delta as a preferred supplier for employees travelling on business. The airline is set to sponsor the annual Airbnb Open event held in Los Angeles on November 17
Singapore Airlines launches Manchester-Houston service
Singapore Airlines has launched new fifth freedom flights between Manchester and Houston, as well as upgrading its Singapore-Manchester route to a non-stop service allowing travellers between Houston and Singapore to avail of a one-stop service via Manchester. The airline is now operating the route five times-weekly using a three-class B777-300ER aircraft.
Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Jet Airways announce new codeshare agreement
Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Jet Airways have announced a new codeshare agreement covering services between North America and India via London Heathrow. From November 2 Jet Airways customers travelling between India and North America will be able to connect at Heathrow onto nine US destinations operated by Delta and, at the same time, Delta customers will be able to connect onto Jet Airways services to Mumbai and Delhi via Heathrow, and onto 20 Indian destinations
Two leading travel management companies announce merger
Manchester-based Clarity Travel Management and Portman Travel are to become one business following the acquisition of Portman Travel for an undisclosed fee. Two of the UK’s leading travel management companies have announced that they are to merge, creating the seventh biggest TMC in the country.