Jeannine Williamson trails key new air routes for 2014
A United Airlines flight from Chicago will make history next summer when it becomes the first plane to land at Heathrow’s long-awaited new Terminal 2.
Part of the airport’s £11 billion investment, the new Queen’s Terminal opens on June 4 and will handle more than 20 million passengers a year, 12 million more than the former Terminal 2 that closed in 2009. It will open in phases, with 26 airlines moving in over a period of six months.
And while the new terminal marks the biggest piece of land-based aviation news for 2014, new routes and increased capacity from the UK mean there’s plenty more going on in the air.
Clients in the southeast will be pleased that easyJet will begin flying from Gatwick to Paris from March, ending the absence of flights from the airport to the French capital.
Also in the spring, the carrier will launch a Glasgow-Kos service and flights to Heraklion and Bodrum from Edinburgh. In summer 2014 it is introducing flights from Gatwick to Brittany, Newcastle and Jersey, flying to Split from Glasgow and to Bordeaux and Jersey from Belfast. New routes from Bristol, starting this December, are Reykjavik and Marrakech.
In March, British Airways starts a Gatwick-Malta service, to be followed in the summer by Heathrow flights to Oporto, Mykonos and Santorini.
Sunseekers can also fly to three new Turkish destinations with Pegasus Airlines from Stansted, with an Edremit service starting this December and flights to Erzurum and Mardin from January.
Already up and running since October are Norwegian flights to Fuerteventura from Gatwick.
Italy gets a boost with Monarch flights to Naples from Luton and Manchester from May 2014. This comes after increases this year, with Sicily gaining a Ryanair flight to the new Comiso airport and easyJet serving Catania. This year Monarch has also launched a Manchester-Munich route and Gatwick-Nice service.
The first direct flight between Newcastle and Brussels starts with BMI in March, while Lufthansa recently began flying from Glasgow to Dusseldorf.
Moving east, Carpatair has a new service from Luton to Moldova and Tarom is flying to Iasi, Romania, from Luton.From June 2014, Thomas Cook will operate two larger aircraft from Stansted on routes to Corfu, Fuerteventura, Heraklion, Izmir, Kefalonia, Kos, Rhodes and Skiathos, as well as increased frequency to existing routes.
The most exciting area for long haul growth is the US, with 2014 heralding the return of low cost transatlantic fares last seen in the 1980s with Laker Airways. In July, Norwegian starts flying from Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, with fares from under £150, and in the spring fellow Scandinavian budget carrier Wow launches a Gatwick-Boston service via Reykjavik, its first US route.
Jet2.com is launching spring city breaks to Boston, Toronto and New York from Leeds Bradford, Glasgow and Newcastle. BA has started an Airbus 380 ‘superjumbo’ Heathrow-Los Angeles route and in March launches its Heathrow-Austin Dreamliner service, the only airline offering direct flights.
A daily Heathrow-New York service will operate through Delta and Virgin’s new partnership, while in March Delta will start a Heathrow-Seattle link.
Air Canada’s leisure subsidiary, rouge, starts a non-stop summer service from Manchester to Toronto in May.Flybe will be cementing its new partnership with Thomas Cook Airlines at Manchester by operating more flights from the regions that connect with Cook’s long-haul network. New Cook routes to the US next year are Orlando and Las Vegas.
Thomson and First Choice have confirmed direct Dreamliner flights from Glasgow to Punta Cana from May and BA has just upped its flights from Gatwick with the introduction of a third service to Punta Cana.
Clients in the north won’t miss out as Thomas Cook has just introduced a new service from Manchester to Barbados, via Saint Lucia and Antigua, the only Barbados service outside London.
National flag-carrier Garuda Indonesia launches the UK’s first non-stop service to Jakarta in May. A service that was due to start last month from Gatwick was delayed while improvements were made to Soekarno-Hatta airport’s runway.
In November, Philippine Airlines reintroduced direct flights from Heathrow to Manila.
Monarch is at the forefront of new summer routes, with flights from Gatwick and Manchester to Agadir, its first Moroccan destination, Tunisia’s Enfidha, another new destination, and Hurghada, which it will also fly to from Birmingham. The new services all start in May.
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