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Birmingham Airport announces Birmingham-Belfast City Airport route from 14 September

News:

Birmingham Airport announces Birmingham-Belfast City Airport route from 14 September

 

  • Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, to open new base at Belfast City Airport
  • Airline to operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham
  • Commenting on the announcement, Tom Screen, Aviation Director at Birmingham Airport, said: “Belfast City is such a popular route from the Midlands so we are delighted to receive the news that Stobart Air has chosen to expand its network into Birmingham.

Thursday, 23 July 2020 – Birmingham Airport is to see the introduction of a service to Belfast City Airport from 14 September 2020 it was announced today.

Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City Airport.

The airline will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport with fares starting from £29.99 one way including taxes.

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City.

Stobart Air, following guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers. New measures include:

 Enhanced aircraft cleaning:

To ensure the wellbeing of our passengers and crew, enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures have been introduced for the aircraft cabin, which are in addition to the existing aircraft cleaning schedule. Each aircraft, including seats, armrests and tray tables will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses for 24 hours.

 On board measures:

Face coverings or masks are mandatory on all flights operated by Stobart Air for customers and cabin crew respectively, with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons. The face coverings can be in the form of a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask and it is recommended that these are worn from the time passengers enter the departure airport to the time they leave their destination airport.

Initially, when flights resume, the in-flight service will be suspended to reduce interaction between our crew and passengers. Passengers will be encouraged to remain seated while on board.

 At the airport:

Stobart Air have introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures to reduce passenger interaction. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the staff member, making this process contactless.

 Commenting on the announcement, Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said:

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stobart Air has been challenged and we have worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline and to position us for the future, once restrictions ease and passenger demand increases.

“Working with Belfast City Airport and Birmingham Airport, along with our partners, Aer Lingus we are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City to service flights to Birmingham.

 “High frequency day-return flights from Birmingham to Belfast City Airport will cater for both business and leisure travellers for direct, convenient and cost-effective flights.

We continuously strive to provide our passengers with frequent, convenient and affordable services. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route from Birmingham from 14 September.”

 Tom Screen, Aviation Director for Birmingham Airport, said:

This is really fantastic news for Birmingham Airport and the Midlands region. Belfast City has always been a popular route due to the location of the airport and strength of business and leisure traffic between the two cities. After such a challenging year, we are delighted to receive the news that Stobart Air has chosen to expand its network into Birmingham, and we look forward to welcoming the fights starting in September.”

Flights from Birmingham to Belfast start from £29.99 one way including taxes and are on sale now at www.aerlingus.com.

 

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Gradual recovery of passenger flights at Brussels Airport in June

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Gradual recovery of passenger flights at Brussels Airport in June

Full-freighter volumes up by +71.5%!

Brussels Airport is delighted and relieved to be welcoming passengers again since 15 June for non-essential, and mainly leisure, travel. Although recovery is slow and gradual, the trend is on the up as the choice of destinations increases week after week. Last June, which was a month of transition, Brussels Airport recorded a 96.5% drop in passenger numbers, compared to the same month last year. Cargo, on the other hand, and particularly the full-freighter segment, continues its growth, recording a 71.5% increase in full-freighter volumes in June. This sector is running full speed, while passenger activity is gradually picking up during this strange summer.

Passenger travel: A gradual but encouraging recovery

In June, 83,589 passengers passed through Brussels Airport, representing a decrease of -96.5% compared to June 2019. This decrease, which is slightly less than the past two months, can be explained by the small-scale resumption of passenger activity for all types of travel since 15 June. Therefore, although the decrease was 98.7% in the first week of June, it was ‘only’ 93.2% in the last week. The number of passengers departing and arriving has respectively dropped by -95.9 and -97.2%. In June, we went from around a hundred flights per week in the first half of the month, to around 500 flights per week since 15 June. In the whole month of June, 1,146 flights were carried out. First for essential travel and then for non-essential travel, mainly towards European destinations.

Cargo: very significant increase in full cargo and stability in the volumes carried

In June, cargo volumes at Brussels Airport showed only a very slight decrease (-0.5%) year-on-year. Air cargo volumes even increased by +4.8% for the first time since the start of the crisis. This result is much more positive than the global trend since, worldwide, freight volume is dropping by an average -25%, largely due to the very steep decrease in belly cargo, i.e. the cargo on board of passenger aircraft, which accounts for 50% of the volumes transported around the world.
Express volumes were up by +29.5%, while full cargo volumes grew by +71.5%. These spectacular increases compensate for the lack of belly capacity (-90,5%). Additional flights are operated by modern full cargo planes, as well as passenger aircraft which are converted for freight transport. These additional flights operate mainly during the day.

Flights

In June 2020, the total number of flight movements, dropped to 3,957, an 81.1% decrease from the 20,895 flights recorded in June 2019. The number of passenger flights decreased by -93.7% due to the coronavirus crisis, while the number of cargo flights increased by +45.9%.

100 destinations at the beginning of July, 140 in August

In the first half of July, no less than 100 destinations are served from Brussels Airport by around forty airlines These are essentially European destinations linked to the opening of borders. As a result, Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Portugal are holidaymakers’ preferred countries of destination. In August, this offer should increase to 140 destinations from Brussels Airport.

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Limited impact of coronavirus on the February passenger numbers, the next few months look set to be more challenging. Brussels Airport is continuing to inform, sensitise and prepare all players at the airport.

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Limited impact of coronavirus on the February passenger numbers, the next few months look set to be more challenging. Brussels Airport is continuing to inform, sensitise and prepare all players at the airport.

In February, Brussels Airport welcomed over 1.7 passengers, up 6% rise on February 2019. However, this result should be put in perspective, in amongst other things because of the shift of the mid-term break and the leap year. Without this, growth would have been negative. The next few months will show a bigger impact, in particular due to the cancellation of numerous flights to Italy. Against this background, Brussels Airport is ramping up its efforts to inform, sensitise and prepare all of the airport’s stakeholders, in keeping with the directives issued by the FPS Public Health.

“The aviation industry is going through difficult times,” explains Brussels Airport Company’s CEO Arnaud Feist. ‘Brussels Airport’s performance during the month of February fell below the forecasts as result of the impact of the coronavirus. With numerous flights cancelled, the effects will be felt more severely in the months of March and April. We are continuing our efforts to inform, raise awareness among and prepare all of the stakeholders operating at the airport’s, to put in place any additional specific measures required by the FPS Public Health. We are confident that the industry will overcome this crisis, even though it is certain to have economic repercussions for much of the year, in particular on the business travel segment.’

Passengers

Last month, 1,738,988 passengers passed through Brussels Airport, which represents a 6% rise compared to the same month last year. This growth is seen both in the number of originating passengers and in the number of transfer passengers. It is worth pointing out however that February 2019 witnessed a nationwide strike on 13 February which kept all aircraft on the ground. February 2020 in turn had an extra day (29/02) as well as the mid-term break, which in last year fell in March. Which to a large extent explains last month’s results. The effects of the coronavirus are making themselves especially felt on the flights bound for China and Italy.
As such, the result for February as a whole is lower than forecasted. Without the effect of the leap day and the mid-term break, growth would have been negative. The first indications for March point towards a substantial decline in passenger numbers, particularly in the business travel segment.

Cargo

In February, the freight volume carried at Brussels Airport totalled 51,343 tonnes, which is a slight 1.6% drop compared to February 2019. Same as for the passenger flights, the impact of the coronavirus has mainly affected the flights from and to Asia. The sector, and the full cargo segment in particular, continues to suffer the effects of the slow-down of the general economic growth. Belly cargo is doing better, same as the express services.

Providing information, raising awareness and preparing all airport stakeholders on how
to deal with the coronavirus

Brussels Airport is in daily contact with the FPS Public Health and scrupulously implements all procedures required. The FPS Public Health confirms there is currently no heightened risk for anyone passing through or working at the airport and stresses the importance of good (hand) hygiene.

Brussels Airport is strongly committed to taking preventive, information delivery and awareness-raising measures aimed at its passengers, staff and partners, notably through its internal and external communication channels. Daily meetings with the airport’s various operational partners allow the very latest information to be exchanged. The health and safety officers of the companies operating at Brussels Airport have also been attending these meetings and information sessions. As such, they and their teams are ready to roll out the relevant actions in the field if necessary.

As an airport, Brussels Airport is ready to quickly implement any additional measures as may be decided by the FPS Public Health. On the strength of its previous experience, particularly with the Ebola virus, Brussels Airport is ready to act immediately and to coordinate efforts to handle such a situation as effectively as possible in tandem with the various stakeholders.

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