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Flybe adds cheap flights from Birmingham
Feb 3rd, 2014 by elisa

Flybe is adding seven new routes from Birmingham from April and May 2014.

Flybe will offer flights from Birmingham to:

Florence six times a week

– daily flights to Cologne

Toulouse six times a week

Alicante five times a week

– Bordeaux, Palma Mallorca and Porto four times a week

Birmingham will become the airline’s biggest regional base when it adds three of its 2×2 seat Embraer 175 jets to the airport.

Seats are on sale now, with one-way fares from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Flights start on 10th April to Alicante, Cologne, Florence and Porto, and from 13th May for the rest.

European air traffic control strikes affect flights today and tomorrow
Jan 29th, 2014 by elisa

Air traffic control strikes in Europe will affect flights today and tomorrow.

Passengers flying to Milan, Rome, Venice and Lisbon will be particularly badly affected, with many services cancelled.

Airlines worst affected are British Airways, Alitalia and Ryanair. Easyjet said is has re-scheduled some flights to avoid the strike times, but there might still be an impact due to the knock-on effect of the industrial action across networks.

Ryanair has cancelled some flights from Gatwick to Cagliari, and Stansted to Bari, and warned of possible delays to other services.

Italian air traffic controllers are on strike from 13:00 until 17:00 local time; Portuguese controllers are on strike from 07:00 to 09:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 local time.

 

French air traffic controllers will walk out later today until the early hours of Friday morning. Easyjet has had to cancel a small number of flights to Paris because it said all airlines operating to and from Paris airports had been requested to reduce flights by 20%.

 

High-speed trains open up travel in Europe
Jan 10th, 2014 by elisa

New super fast trains will open up travel through Europe. One million passengers are predicted to cross the French/Spanish border in the trains in 2014, according to Rail Europe.

The new high-speed service between Barcelona and Paris is almost full to capacity across all its three classes since its launch in December. The twice-daily (6h25m) service is hailed as a major improvement on the overnight service it replaced, the Elipsos Trenhotel.

Other France to Spain high-speed services include Barcelona-Montpellier (2h50), Barcelona-Toulouse (3h02), Barcelona-Lyon (4h40) and Madrid/Barcelona-Marseille (7h03).

The trains run at speeds of up to 320kmph. Facilities on board include free wi-fi, restaurants and bar areas.

Manager Australasia of Rail Europe, Richard Leonard, explained that without the previously required train changes at Figueres, travellers are enjoying faster services which will encourage travel beyond the main cities.

“With less travel time involved, leisure travellers are also more encouraged to go beyond Paris, Barcelona and Madrid to explore other cities,” he said.

 

Explore France and Spain from your perfect holiday villa from Villaseek.com

 

Summer sun flight sale
Oct 10th, 2013 by elisa

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

Summer Sun picture by Flickr user Ian A Kirk

The summer schedule for 2014 has been announced by Easyjet as flights to 100 destinations now go on sale.

It has more than 11.5 million seats, almost 300,000 more than last summer.

With so many seats going on sale, now might be a good time to book your summer holiday and villa while you can get some good bargains and not have to think about it until it’s time to jet off!

With flights to Spain, Italy, France, Greece and many more, we have a holiday villa to suit your needs.

Britain and France to reject request to lower Channel Tunnel charges
Oct 1st, 2013 by elisa

The Channel Tunnel picture by Flickr user jespahjoy

The Channel Tunnel picture by Flickr user jespahjoy

Britain and France plan to reject the European Commission’s request to reduce the charges for passenger and freight trains using the Channel Tunnel.

The Commission said excessively high track-access charges meant for higher ticket prices for Eurostar passengers from London to Paris and linking to Brussels. A spokesperson for the Commission said 43% of the tunnel’s capacity was not being used partly as a result of the high charges.

Eurotunnel currently charges a one-way reservation fee of €4,320 for Eurostar trains and €16.60 per passenger. EU officials claim that if the charges were roughly halved, then the amount of daily freight train services would double and make up the difference.

Under EU law, rail companies can only charge fees consistent with the amount of wear caused by a train journey. However, a Commission investigation claimed charges by Channel Tunnel operators were more than necessary and they were using the income to subsidise the operator’s car shuttle service, which does not pay such charges.

The French transport ministry confirmed that it found the Commission’s grievances unfounded. A spokesperson said: “We will argue that these charges are based on long-term costs – that they include the cost of building the infrastructure and amortising the investment, that they don’t only take into account operational costs and that this is in line with a European directive”.

 

French strikes today
Sep 10th, 2013 by elisa

Travel to and around France could be disrupted today as French public sector workers go on strike.

The strike is due to last until 08.00 local time on Wednesday. The Foreign Office advises travellers to France to check with their airlines and tour operators for information on delays before they leave.

Eurostar said in a statement: “Eurostar services are not affected and are expected to run as normal.

“Eurostar customers making a connecting journey and who are impacted by the industrial action have the option of exchanging their tickets for an alternative date.”

Easyjet warned of possible disruption to services, but that it would be unlikely to encounter major problems.

The airline said in a statement: “While details still remain unclear, the risk of disruption to Easyjet services is expected to be relatively low”.

“There also remains some risk of delay to our services that over-fly French airspace during September 10.”

In France, most TGV services will run as normal but some regional trains may be affected.

 

Eurostar’s busy bank holiday
Aug 23rd, 2013 by elisa

Eurostar has a busy schedule this bank holiday weekend. It reports that passenger numbers are up 3% this bank holiday weekend compared to the same time last year.

More than 110,000 people are expected to travel across it’s network this weekend, with Paris, Disneyland Paris and Avignon proving the most popular destinations.

Today (Friday) will be the busiest day for departures, with Eurostar adding extra services to Paris to meet the demand.

Those travelling with young children will be pleased to find a magician ready to entertain them in the departure lounge, whilst parents can enjoy a free massage and tea and biscuits.

 

Summer holidays, busy airports
Jul 25th, 2013 by elisa

Spain is still the top holiday destination. Picture by Flickr user Olli365

It may be one of the hottest summer’s we’ve had for years, but that isn’t stopping the two million holidaymakers set to head overseas this weekend.

As the first weekend of the summer holidays for the majority in England, airports are bracing themselves for one of their busiest weekends of the year. The southeast in particular is going to be very busy with 480,000 passengers departing from Heathrow, 276,000 from Gatwick, 125,000 from Stansted and 70,000 jetting off from Luton.

Further up north 160,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 66,000 from Birmingham, 70,000 from Newcastle, 50,000 from Bristol and 30,000 from Leeds Bradford International. Sottish airports don’t fair too badly either with 50,000 leaving from Glasgow alone.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “This weekend sees the start of the main summer holiday getaway and it’s one of the busiest of the year.

“Millions of holidaymakers will be heading off overseas with the Mediterranean countries attracting the lion’s share of visitors.

According to ABTA, Spain remains the top holiday destination with the Balearic and Canary Islands selling especially well. Mexico and Cuba are among the top-selling long-haul holidays, although Florida remains the number one choice for families.

Domestic tourism isn’t doing too badly either, thanks to last week’s heatwave boosting bookings with many ABTA members reporting a surge in business to destinations including the Channel Islands, the Lake District, Blackpool, Bournemouth and Brighton.

“The recent amazing weather at home has also given a great boost to domestic tourism and many ABTA members are reporting a surge in last minute bookings for holidays throughout the UK” said Tanzer.

Eurostar is also reporting an increase in passenger numbers on last year, with 70,000 heading off to Paris and the South of France this weekend.

 

How age affects 2013 holiday trends
Jan 30th, 2013 by elisa

Spain is still a firm favourite - this villa is in Moraira and only 10 minutes' walk from the sea!

Spain is still a firm favourite – this villa is in Moraira and only 10 minutes’ walk from the sea!

According to new research, budgets for holidays differ by up to £280 per person depending on their age.

The TravelSupermarket survey of 5,000 British holidaymakers revealed their holiday habits for 2013 as well as the average amount they are willing to pay for their main holiday in each age bracket.

Over 50s spend the most on comfortable travel and accommodation, with the 50-59 age range willing to be the most experimental with their holiday plans, picking less typical destinations.

The longest and most expensive holidays tend to be taken by those in the 60-69 age group at £794 per person, plus £454 on spending money (£1,248 total). These are also most likely to take more than one main holiday each year. Those over 70 are most likely to stay close to the UK with Spain and France as firm favourites.

The most adventurous age group are the youngest, 18-29. These are most likely to go on activity holidays such as skiing or mountain biking, but like to do so on a shoestring, paying the least out of all those surveyed (£540 on accommodation and £428 spending money). They are also most likely to be influenced by a place’s culture when making decisions; Asia is very popular for this age group.

30-39 are the family focused bunch, least influenced by the weather and always considering family facilities. The beach (37%) and villa holidays (18%) are most preferable – Villaseek and UK specialist HolidayCottages.cc can help with both! The Algarve is one of the most popular destinations, and on average they spend £585 on travel and accommodation, plus £452 in spending money per person.

40-49 year-olds are still family focused and tend to head away during the school summer holidays in August. Most popular are beach holidays (39%) in Spain (12%) staying in self-catered accommodation (23%). They are also most likely to take more shorter breaks away in addition to a main holiday with £580 on travel and accommodation and £449 on spending money per person.

“At this age, a lot of holidaymakers will still be heading abroad with their families. Typical family breaks, such as beach holidays in Spain will be fun for everyone, but for those looking to go on shorter breaks too France and Italy are also worth a visit.” said Bob Atkinson, TravelSupermarket’s travel expert.

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