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Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Island Of Ireland Travel, Airport, Aviation And Airline News

By Dave Simpson

Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of island of Ireland travel, airport, aviation and airline news.

Ireland West Airport Knock Welcomes Announcement Of Government Support Funding

Ireland West Airport has welcomed the announcement of government support funding.

In a statement published on its website, Ireland West Airport Knock said, "Ireland West Airport welcomes today’s announcement of funding of €1.9m for the airport under the Public Policy Remit Operational Expenditure Subvention (PPR-O) and COVID-19 Supplementary Support Funding Scheme.

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"This funding is being administered under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, the COVID-19 Regional State Airports Programme 2021, as well as the COVID-19 Supplementary Supports Scheme for Irish Airports recently approved by the European Commission.

"Funding provided under the Regional Airports Programme contributes towards vital safety and security operations at the airports such as air traffic control, fire services and security, ensuring airports can continue to remain compliant with regulatory requirements in these areas.

"Funding provided under the Supplementary Supports Scheme to Irish Airports includes an allocation under Phase 2 of the Supplementary Supports package approved by Government on 10th November 2020.  This funding has been allocated to each airport on a pro-rata basis in line with 2019 passenger numbers and calculated in accordance with the eligibility criteria of all measures under the approved State aid Scheme.

"Passenger numbers at Ireland West Airport in 2021 are expected to be 188,000 which will be a 77% decline on pre COVID passenger numbers, which reached a record high 807,000 in 2019. In 2020 142,000 passengers used the airport with commercial flight operations suspended for almost 9 months across 2020 and 2021.

"Welcoming the announcement, Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport, said, 'I wish to thank the Taoiseach, Ministers Ryan and in particular our local Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD, who works tirelessly in supporting this airport and region and also to our local TDs, political representatives and the Western Chambers for their strong support for the airport and the regions it serves over the last 18 months in particular. Without this ongoing support and that of our Local Authority shareholders and airline partners, the airport would have been in a critically vunerable position through the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the airport and indeed the entire aviation sector continues to be adversely impacted by COVID-19 we are confident that once the pandemic subsides, demand for international travel will rebound stronger than ever and we will return to passenger growth sooner than antipicated.'"

Belfast International Airport Publishes Top Christmas Travel Tips

Belfast International Airport has published a list of its top Christmas travel tips.

In a statement published on its website, Belfast International Airport said, "Christmas is always a busy time of year at airports and with the big day edging ever closer. Here is a reminder of our top travel tips to make your journey that little bit smoother

"1: BE PREPARED

"Please do not bring any wrapped gifts or Christmas crackers in hand luggage as these may have to be opened at security causing unnecessary delay. Place in your hold baggage.

"2: NO LIQUIDS

"Liquids must be stored in your hold baggage but if you have any in your hand baggage they must be less than 100ml and carried in a transparent 1l resealable bag…remember items like snow globes, cannot be brought in hand luggage.

"3: EXTRA TIME

"Please do give yourself extra time for your journey through the airport. Please check with your airline for details of check in/bag drop opening times but we recommend leaving at least two hours before your flight departure time.

"4: RELEVANT DOCUMENTATION

"Pleas ensure you have completed all relevant documentation and tests, and that you have visited the NIDIRECT website for latest travel information and advice.

"5: FACE COVERINGS

"Please note face coverings must be worn throughout the terminal and for the duration of your flight to help protect all of us.

"6: CATERING AND RETAIL OUTLETS

"Most of our outlets and can provide hot food, sandwiches, hot beverages, soft and alcoholic drinks. WH Smith is open for any essentials and Aelia Duty Free and JD Sports remain open if you need to get a last minute gift!".

EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic Launch Partnership In Manchester, Edinburgh And Belfast

In a separate statement published on its website, Belfast International Airport said, "EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic have announced that through 'Worldwide by easyJet' customers flying with easyJet can connect to Virgin Atlantic flights at Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast. The partnership will open up more connectivity to global destinations and provide customers across the US and Europe with even more choice to book a trip to look forward to.

"Through the partnership, customers will now be able to connect seamlessly between easyJet and Virgin Atlantic flights across both airline’s extensive networks in Europe and North America. Connecting destinations include, Jersey to New York and Belfast to Barbados, with some connections available on a daily basis from next summer, such as Belfast to Orlando, all via either Manchester, Edinburgh or Belfast.

"Through technology partner Dohop's innovative platform, customers can book Worldwide by easyJet connections and forward flights on easyJet.com/worldwide.

"Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, 'We're delighted to be welcoming easyJet customers onboard Virgin Atlantic flights from Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast. We know there is huge pent-up demand for people wanting to get away on holiday whether to the Caribbean for a relaxing sunny break or Stateside to explore their favourite cities. Thanks to this new partnership with Worldwide by easyJet, customers from across the UK and Europe can now seamlessly connect onto Virgin Atlantic destinations including New York, Barbados, and Orlando.'

"Sophie Dekkers, Chief Commercial Officer at easyJet, commented, 'At easyJet we're committed to making travel as easy as possible as well as providing great value and more choice for our customers. We are delighted to be working with Virgin Atlantic to open up even more opportunity for customers to connect across our European network onto North America, through our innovative 'Worldwide by easyJet' platform.

"'We look forward to taking more customers away on their long-awaited holidays and are confident that these additions to our Worldwide service will prove popular with those looking for a seamless way to connect between Europe and North America.

"'We have been delighted with the appetite of partner airlines to expand Worldwide across our network, thanks to our reputation for great value fares, unrivalled customer service and our strong positions at Europe's leading airports. We remain focussed on offering our unique connections service at more of our biggest airports.'

"Karen Smart, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said, 'It's great to see easyJet and Virgin Atlantic announce their Worldwide partnership here at Manchester Airport.

"'Once launched it will open up even more choice and flexibility for passengers looking to access our long-haul route network. With a host of airport safety measures in place since the start of the pandemic, the security of all our passengers and staff continues to be our number one priority, as we connect people across the globe.'

"Graham Keddie, managing director at Belfast International Airport, said, 'Providing passengers with flexibility and choice is a key part of the VINCI Airports strategy. Belfast International Airport positively welcomes this new partnership between easyJet and Virgin Atlantic as it will connect more people to more destinations.'

"Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said, 'Making safe travel easier is something we are hugely supportive of and this new Worldwide partnership will allow passengers to easily access a range of long-haul destinations, opening doors to countries across the world.

"'Aviation will play an important role in the economic recovery of Scotland and the UK and working with easyJet and Virgin Atlantic, we want to excite people about the possibilities and benefits that sustainable travel brings.'

"Example Manchester connections include:

"Belfast to Barbados

"Belfast to Orlando

"Geneva to New York Return

"Jersey to New York

"Malaga to Orlando

"Example Edinburgh/Belfast connections include:

"Birmingham to Orlando

"Worldwide by easyJet is the first global airline connections service by a European low fares airline. Worldwide by easyJet offers self-connections through a digital, virtual hub - simply and efficiently. Worldwide launched in September 2017, enabling customers to connect easyJet flights through London Gatwick to long haul flights, and has been consistently growing, with more than 5,000 unique origins and destinations booked in combination with partner airlines.

"Since then, the airline has expanded the service to offer connections through many of Europe’s major airports across its short haul European network including Milan Malpensa, Venice Marco Polo, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Orly, and Edinburgh. By 2020, over half of the airline's flights were able to connect to airline partner services and other easyJet flights in a single booking through the Worldwide digital booking portal.

"In July, easyJet partnered with German train company, Deutsche Bahn meaning customers can now seamlessly connect to Deutsche Bahn trains, initially via Berlin, by combining flight and rail tickets all in one booking. The partnership with Deutsche Bahn is the first time that a railway partner has become part of the Worldwide by easyJet platform. Worldwide by easyJet does not impact easyJet's punctuality, asset utilisation, or operating model. The airline does not hold flights for connecting passengers. Worldwide by easyJet is subject to an average 2 hour and 30 minute 'connection time,' affording customers ample time to transfer between flights and terminals. Should a passenger miss a connecting flight, Worldwide by easyJet will transfer them to the next available flight."

Ryanair Opens New Aircraft Maintenance Facility In Seville

Ryanair has opened a new aircraft maintenance facility in Seville.

In a statement published on corportate.ryanair.com, Ryanair said, "Ryanair, Europe's and Spain's No. 1 airline, today (15 Dec) opened its newly expanded maintenance facility at Seville Airport, delivering further investment in the region and creating 250 high-skilled jobs, including licensed engineers, mechanics and support staff – bringing Ryanair's local headcount to 500 by 2023.

"Ryanair has invested over €30 million in this state-of-art 5-bay maintenance facility (20,000m2) since it first opened in 2019. The Seville Line Maintenance station is one of the most environmentally friendly facilities in the world and will maintain a large portion of Ryanair's fleet of aircraft, which will grow to 600 aircraft by 2026.

"With over 2,500 engineers across Europe, Ryanair Line Maintenance Engineering, is responsible for all aircraft maintenance activities, ensuring that Ryanair aircraft take our customers to their destination, safely and on time.

"Ryanair has carried over 22 million customers to/from Seville since its operations began in 2003 and has played a vital role in Seville and Andalucía’s traffic and tourism recovery post C-19. Ryanair has also announced its full S’22 schedule from/to the Seville-San Pablo airport, delivering 53 routes, including 7 new summer routes to/from Agadir, Billund, Frankfurt, Oujda, Tenerife, Tétouan, Turin, further supporting the recovery of the tourism industry and enhancing the region’s connectivity.

"Ryanair's Eddie Wilson said, 'As the largest airline in Spain, Ryanair is delighted to open its expanded maintenance centre in Seville, which brings its total investment to €30m and 500 jobs, underlining Ryanair’s ongoing commitment to Spain and the Andalucía region. This state-of-the-art facility is a world class environmentally friendly facility as Ryanair continue to lower CO2 emissions as Europe's greenest airline.

"'Ryanair creates opportunities for highly skilled engineering jobs, with our industry leading rosters and the youngest fleet in Europe. Seville is an ideal location with endless opportunities to attract, train and employ local talent to support this facility.

"'With this state-of-art facility and 4 based aircraft for S22 delivering 53 routes to 13 countries, Ryanair is supporting and positioning Seville for a strong recovery, and we look forward to further growing local tourism, traffic and jobs.'"

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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