Archive for category Flights

Talks to avert rail strikes

Last minute talks between unions and Network Rail are to be held on Monday to hopefully avert the planned strikes on 6th-9th April. If the strikes do go ahead the unions warn that the rail network will effectively be “shut down”.

Union leaders have drawn up a proposal for Network Rail which they believe can avoid the 1,500 planned job losses and will present this in the talks on Monday. Network Rail are rumoured to be putting forward an offer of lump sum pay-outs to maintenance workers if they accept the altered working conditions and cancel the strike at tomorrow’s meeting. However, Network Rail have also not ruled out taking legal action to cancel the strike.

If the strike goes ahead, Flybe have announced that they will increase its domestic flights where possible to help minimise disruption.

The airline’s chief commercial officer Mike Rutter said: “In order to give the many passengers whose travel plans will be disrupted yet again by strike action, Flybe will increase frequency and availability wherever needed to meet the expected demand over what is one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

“We are in a better position than any other airline to offer such increased frequency with our extensive regional UK network offering a choice of key routes from 38 UK airports.”

Flybe operate only scheduled service from Kent

P7288275 by Ingy The Wingy.

Flybe aircraft picture by Flickr User Ingy the Wingy

Flybe is to operate the only scheduled service from Kent to Edinburgh in May. The 80-minute daily service will be operated by Flybe’s 78-seat Bomberdier Q-400 turboprop aircraft.

Flybe’s chief commercial officer Mike Rutter said: “We’re delighted to be adding this new service to the South-East from Edinburgh and also to being the first carrier to offer Kent travellers a scheduled service out of Kent International. It also reflects our commitment to continued growth from our Edinburgh base and also to our development into new regions.”

Chief executive of Kent International Airport Matt Clarke added: “I’m sure this route will be hugely popular with people in Kent because Edinburgh is such a great place to visit. Flying to Kent International is a hassle-free way to arrive in south-east England. Our airport is easy to get to, easy to find your way around and allows passengers to enjoy flying the way it’s meant to be – boarding an aircraft merely metres from where you have parked your car.”

Kent International Airport is in East Kent close to the seaside towns of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate with easy access to Canterbury and Dover.

New flights between Oxford and Edinburgh

In addition to yesterday’s blog regarding the new rail link from Oxford to London, there is now news that a start-up regional airline plans to run flights between Oxford and Edinburgh. Flights by Varsity Express will be operated by 18-seat Jetstream 31 aircraft.

Flights will run daily on weekdays from 1st March and promotional fares have gone on sale at £49 one way, including taxes and charges, through to 12th March. Lead in fares will then be available starting at £49 and flexible fares from £149.

Varsity Express has reached agreement with Copenhagen-based WorldTicket Sell-More-Seats as its e-ticket technology provider. The aircraft will be operated under an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) wet lease arrangement with Humberside-based aviation company Linksair Ltd.

The aircraft being leased previously flew with British Airways’ franchise operator Sun-Air, and has been refurbished, including a new paint scheme and interior cabin design with leather seating.

Commercial director Will Gilligan said: “We have been looking to start a regular shuttle service on this sought after route for some time. Oxford is the third most visited English city by international visitors (10 million per annum) and Edinburgh is the second most popular destination, after London, in the UK.

“We anticipate carrying 6,500 passengers in our first year in a mix of 55% business, 45% travelling on leisure.”