Archive for category Flights

Flybe’s hop-on hop-off service connecting UK

Making it easier to fly to various points across the country, Flybe is to launch a new hop-on or hop-off service between Aberdeen and Jersey in October.

Designed to be used as a ‘shuttle bus service in the sky’, Flyshuttle, will fly between Aberdeen and Jersey, stopping off en route in Leeds and Southampton to pick up or drop off passengers. For those that stop on, the total journey time will be just over four hours.

A spokesperson for the airline said the new service would make the route more viable, and will be reinstating Flybe’s links between Leeds and Southampton. It is also creating a new link between Aberdeen and the cruise port, opening up the cruise market to more customers.

“Rather than offering lots of different routes with low load factors, we are offering one hop-on, hop-off service, similar to the way domestic airlines operate in the US,” said the spokesman.

Paul Simmons, Flybe’s chief commercial officer said: “FlyShuttle is a convenient and affordable concept for the regional marketplace that gives customers extra choice and additional connectivity for everyday air travel.

“Today’s announcement is another significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. Designed to be used as a ‘shuttle bus service in the sky’ all the way between Jersey in the south and Aberdeen in the north, we are again showing that we are ‘the fastest way from A to Flybe’, faster than road or rail – and certainly more affordable.

“By enhancing the number of routes, connections and frequencies we already operate,FlyShuttle is the perfect progression. It’s a product that sets us apart and we are genuinely excited to be shaping the future of regional air travel.”

The service could also mean it will be possible to go for a holiday cottage break in Yorkshire, Scotland, the South coast of England and across to Jersey in much quicker and more convenient time than other forms of transport.

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Flybe launches new domestic flights from London City

Flybe is to launch new domestic and international flights from London City Airport in October. 

Flights are on sale now to Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Exeter and Inverness with departures launching on 27th October. The airline is also planning to offer off-peak leisure flights to selected ski, regional French and Northern Spanish destinations.

Flybe will base three aircraft at regional airports and two at London City, where it expects to carry around 500,000 passengers a year.

Flybe’s chief executive officer Saad Hammad said: “Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.

“Dedicating five growth aircraft initially to these new routes is a major statement of intent and we look forward to building a successful and growing presence there over the coming years.

“Flybe is today already connecting over seven million passengers a year across the UK and Europe. With a major London connection, we reaffirm our place as the UK’s largest regional airline.”

Initially there will be four daily flights to and from Edinburgh and Dublin, three flights a day to and from Belfast and Exeter, and twice daily flights to and from Inverness.

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Doncaster Sheffield flights to Belfast and Isle of Man

Doncaster Sheffield airport is launching two new routes to Belfast City and the Isle of Man this April.

LinksAir will base an aircraft at the Robin Hood Airport, with twice-daily flights to Belfast on weekdays and a single Sunday return from 7th April. Isle of Man flights will start on 14th April, operating on Monday, Friday and Sunday.

Airport managing director Steve Gill said: “This is fantastic news for the airport and for Yorkshire passengers.

“These two new routes are a great addition to our offering. Belfast will be a fantastic business route with people being able to set off in the morning and be in Belfast city centre for the start of the business day.

“Our new three-time weekly service to the popular Isle of Man is Yorkshire’s only link to the island, famous for its world famous TT motorcycle race event and its rugged coastline and sandy beaches. It is also a convenient link for the financial services sector.”

Easily reached from the airport, why not try one of these highly commended tourist award 1,2 and 3-bedroom apartments. Located on the beautiful Antrim coast overlooking Ballygally Beach, they are an ideal centre for touring the Glens of Antrim and the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. There are restaurants and pubs within walking distance.

The apartments have been furnished and equipped to the highest standards with full central heating for winter visits. Children are welcome, and it’s a great place for fishing and bird watching. With 2-night breaks from £195 and 3-night breaks from £220, it’s an ideal place for a short break nipping over from Yorkshire.

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2013 round up

Happy New Year from all of us at Holiday Cottages! Before we start on the news and reviews for 2014, here’s a some highlights of what we covered on the blog in 2013:

We started the year with a report that we Brits are creatures of habit with our holiday choices, often returning to a previous destination and holiday cottage when we’ve had one good holiday there before. Last year was the Year of Natural Scotland, and was launched with an advert featuring Shetland ponies wearing onesies!

In February we found that 50% of Londoners prefer holidays in the sunshine, with many also stating that their holidays in the UK were some of the happiest they have had. We also gave you a run down of some of our most splendid cottages with pools, which are all still available now and could be great for a summer holiday vibe in winter!

Flybe announced flights from Manchester to Scotland in March, making for a quick and relatively cost effective way of taking a short break in Scotland. The Easter holidays were blighted by bad weather sweeping across the country. It didn’t affect Cheshire, though, as I shared my photography adventure in Tatton Park over the Easter weekend.

Our friends at Helpful Holidays swept the board at the Which? Travel magazine member survey in April. Meanwhile, in May, Blackpool was named the most popular British seaside resort at the TripAdvisor Choice Awards.

In June, research by VisitBritain found that more overseas visitors to the UK prefer visiting open green spaces such as parks and gardens than they do museums and galleries.

July started with the news that a change in the law in 2015, which means schools will decide their own term dates, will very likely drive up the prices of holidays year round. There was a rise in visits to UK attractions, helping to bolster domestic tourism.

We gave our top tips for festivals and activities over the August Bank Holiday; we also reported on the large number of UK piers under threat of coming under a state of disrepair if funding isn’t found.

September was a time for activities such as the Devon Open Studios, Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show, and pickling at Powderham.

In October, inbound tourism was on the up, and also Yorkshire was voted one of the top 10 places to visit in the world!

In November we recommended the North Devon Clovelly Herring Festival and reviewed the light fantastic Lumiere Festival, Durham. There was good news for Hull, as it was named the next UK City of Culture 2017.

Finally, in December, we found that we Brits are flavour of the month with Americans, as tourists from across the Pond have been increasing in number year on year. Christmas was also a great time for UK tourism as the number of overnight stays and short trips increased substantially over the festive period.

So, that’s it for 2013! Keep up to date with news and reviews in 2014 by following the blog, or you can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


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In-flight entertainment with a twist

There will be in-flight entertainment with a twist if you catch a Virgin Atlantic Little Red flight in the next couple of months. The twist being that the entertainment will be live throughout the flight!

No getting away from it, it’ll be a truly captive audience as the airline treats its passengers to a line up of stand-up comedy and music on flights between London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Depending on your point of view, it will be a delightful or dreadful extra, as this month stand-up comics heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival test out their material at 30,000 feet. In September, music will dominate the line up with a series of acoustic gigs paying homage to the “rich music scenes” in Scotland and Manchester.

Virgin president Sir Richard Branson said: “We launched Virgin Atlantic Little Red to shake up domestic flying in the UK and this latest activity highlights why our customer service is second to none.

“In true Virgin Atlantic spirit we’re doing something a little different and providing our passengers with a line-up of gigs to ensure we offer a truly unforgettable flying experience on Little Red.”

Acts will be announced through the Virgin Atlantic Facebook and Twitter channels, but the exact flights they’ll be performing on will remain a secret until the day.


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BA and VisitScotland team up

British Airways and VisitScotland have joined forces to launch a television advertising campaign to promote Scotland in the Year of Natural Scotland campaign.

The 30-second advert will run from 20th April and feature BA aircraft and scenic views of Scotland.

BA will also back the campaign with banners on its own website promoting flight and holiday offers to Scotland, with particular emphasis from the sales and marketing team at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: “We’re delighted to have BA on board for our Year of Natural Scotland campaign. The South-East of England represents one of our biggest markets, with the airline already responsible for delivering tens of thousands of visitors each year.

“Hopefully by reminding people that we’re only an hour away this will entice even more people to come to Scotland for a relaxing break.”

We covered the launch of the Year of Natural Scotland with a story about the beautiful Shetland ponies in onesies at the start of the year. See a picture of the cuties and get more information here.

Don’t forget that you can find many holiday cottages in Scotland at our main site.


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Flights to Scotland

Flybe is adding flights from Manchester to both Glasgow and Edinburgh this April. The two new Saturday return services will operate from 6th April, with one-way flights from £39.99 including taxes and airport charges.

The airline is also increasing the frequency of its weekday flights from East Midlands Airport to Edinburgh and Glasgow to four flights a day from 1st April.


These new services could make flying to Scotland a more feasible option when looking for a quick holiday getaway, cutting down journey times and allowing you to spend more time at your destination.

How about one of these three superb cottages (below) on a 3,000-acre sheep farm set in the spectacular Pentland Hills Regional Park? It might feel like a complete hideaway, but you will only be 10 minutes drive from the city of Edinburgh and 10 miles from the airport. Each cottage caters for a different number of guests, from the Stable which is a wonderful space for two, to Steading which is entered via a stone archway to the open-plan kitchen/dining room at one end and cosy sitting room at the other. Upstairs there are two bedrooms, one double and one twin. Byre has charming exposed beams and an upstairs sitting room. There is a twin and a double bedroom, with the possibility of accommodating two more people on a comfortable double sofa bed. All three cottages have wood-burning stoves to cosy up in front of at night, and stunning views Scotland is famed for.



Another option would be these three cottages on Cloag Farm, seven miles west of Perth, just north of Methven village. Each cottage sleeps 4 with one double and one twin room. They are set away from the road and have panoramic southerly views. Ideal for exploring Perthshire, or as a base for visiting Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow, St Andrews and beyond. Bookings run from “any day” to “any day” and there are discounts available for couples all year. They also benefit from 3 stars from VisitScotland.


For these cottages and many more, visit our main site.




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“Don’t fly. Support Team GB” new British Airways campaign

British Airways launched a controversial marketing campaign this morning. The campaign urges Britons to stay at home during the Olympics this summer, causing annoyance to many outbound operators who were also infuriated by a government campaign earlier in the summer, which also encouraged Brits to stay at home.

The BA advert was launched at 11.00am on its Facebook page. It lets viewers type in their post code and watch people boarding a BA aircraft which then taxis around London and then through their street, ending in the tagline: “Don’t fly. Support Team GB and Paralympics GB”.

The ad has also been shown during tonight’s Euro 2012 match between England and Ukraine, which will have been viewed by millions. The advert already has 4,221 ‘likes’ on Facebook, a number which is growing rapidly. There is also to be a print version in national newspapers and on billboards.

ABTA doesn’t appear to have been antagonised by the advert, despite the potential for it to dissuade Brits from travelling over the summer peak. An ABTA spokesman said: “Everybody in the industry is fully behind team GB at both the Olympics and Paralympics. The incredible domestic demand for Olympics tickets has shown that there is very little danger of our athletes lacking home support.

“Our own research show that the public are divided between those who at one extreme, have changed their holiday plans to stay in the UK and at the other, those who are leaving the country to actively avoid the games. Whatever customers choose it will be a summer to remember.”

Frank van der Post, BA managing director of brands and customer experience, said: “We”re rallying the country to get behind Team GB and Paralympics GB to capitalise on home advantage. Whether it’s delaying your summer holiday, finding where to get behind the country with our “best sports bars abroad” guide, or cheering them on at Park Live at the Olympic Park – we are encouraging every extra clap and cheer we can get.”


The Dutch love the royal wedding!

Skyscanner has been monitoring interest in flights to Britain around 29th April, the day of Prince William and Kate’s wedding, and has compiled a top ten of nationalities wanting to come to the UK to join in the spirit of the occasion.

Possibly unsurprisingly the French don’t even feature, not bothered by the fuss at all. The Dutch, however, are at the top of the list, not able to get enough of it! Skyscanner noted a 708% increase in London searches by people from the Netherlands since the wedding date was announced.

The Americans are also frantically searching for flights to this fair isle, and as the only long-haul destination in the count down, came second. Skyscanner reported a 650% increase in searches to the UK in the same time period.

Next up was Germany, (295% increase) followed by Croatia (260%), Denmark (253%), Cyprus (250%), Austria (143%), Italy (133%), Switzerland (100%) and Spain (91%).

The chief executive officer of Skyscanner Gareth Williams said: “We have witnessed a significant increase in searches following the announcement of the royal wedding holiday. Funnily enough it seems that Brits aren’t as loyal to the royals as some of our neighbouring nations as we have also seen a 275% increase in searches from Brits looking to make the most of the extra holiday and escape the UK and the wedding hype.”

So, will you be staying or going?

Rail travel over flight travel

A boost in figures for intercity rail travel over the past 18 months has prompted the chairman of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) to comment that domestic air travel could become “the choice of the minority” with some cities not linked by air at all.

The figures show that from 2008 to 2010

•from Birmingham to Edinburgh, market share has gone up from 14% to 31%

•from London to Manchester, market share has gone up from 69%  to 85%

•from Birmingham to Glasgow, market share has gone up from 15% to 27%

•from London to Glasgow, market share has gone up from 12% to 21%

Total journeys by rail on the ten most popular domestic air routes between 2006 and 2009 went up by 31% while air travel dropped by 20%.

ATOC director of corporate affairs Edward Welsh remarked on the figures: “If these trends continue, we can expect domestic air to become the choice of the minority, with flying between some cities disappearing altogether.”

The volcanic ash chaos could skew the figures for part of 2010, however they still show that the rail market share continued at a higher level after the disruption, indicating that people stuck to rail as their preferred choice and did not all return to catching flights.

Welsh continued: “It is clear that a fundamental shift in the way that people get around the country is taking place. Ever greater numbers of people choosing rail travel to get between our big cities is good news for the environment, and shows the importance of the railways in supporting the economy.

“The volcanic ash cloud led to a spike in rail journey numbers as train operators laid on extra services to get people around the country. But this merely accelerated a trend seen in recent years, most notably last year, when tough financial times led people to opt for the train.

“Considerable improvements have been made on the railways in the last few years to cut journey times, run more frequent services and to make services even better for passengers.

“Rail passenger satisfaction has never been higher, punctuality has never been better, the number of complaints has never been lower and investment in rail has never been more sustained – which all adds up to great value for money.”

Have you changed from air to rail travel over the past year or so? If so, what prompted the change?