READY FOR TAKE-OFF
Airport World provides a snapshot of the latest route development news from a selection of European airports that include London Luton, London City, Aberdeen and Hanover.
London Luton celebrates success of Tel Aviv route
London Luton Airport (LLA) welcomed the one millionth passenger to fly through the airport with EL AL on April 16.
The lucky millionth passenger was surprised with an aircraft model, in addition to a free flight upgrade and car parking package for their next trip with EL AL from LLA. All passengers were treated to kosher cookies during the flight.
The milestone coincides with EL AL’s 10th anniversary at LLA, following the launch of its operations from the airport in 2009. Since then, Tel Aviv has become the fifth most popular destination from LLA.
EL AL currently operates up to 19 departures per week from LLA and will operate three different aircraft at the airport in 2019, including the 289 seat/3 class B777-200.
LLA’s chief commercial officer, Jonathan Pollard, said: “EL AL has had a successful ten years at LLA, and we are delighted to have welcomed their millionth passenger flying from the airport.
“We work closely with our airline partners to make sure that our passengers can enjoy a great choice of routes and destinations, and we look forward to continuing our partnerships with EL AL for many more years to come.”
While EL AL’s managing director for Western Europe and Africa, noted: “It was indeed a successful decade for EL AL. Our close partnership with LLA has made it possible for EL AL to offer our passengers the most convenient travel from LLA.
“We would like to thank all our one million passengers for their unwavering support. We are hoping for a million more passengers to fly from LLA to Tel Aviv, as we continue to commit to delivering value and comfort onboard our flights.”
Touchdown for LCY’s new LOT service to Vilnius
London City Airport welcomed its first LOT Polish Airlines flight from Vilnius, Lithuania, on May 1.
The new route, connecting Lithuania’s capital city and London’s most central airport for the first time, will operate up to 12 times per week in each direction utilising the 106-seater Embraer 190 aircraft.
It is the third successive route in a matter of months that LOT has added at London City Airport, joining Warsaw and Budapest to bolster London City’s connections with Central and Eastern Europe considerably.
As well as business travellers, and city breakers, the route is expected to be popular with the large Lithuanian communities in East London in order to visit friends and relatives.
Basketball is Lithuania’s national sport, so LCY invited some young players from the nearby Newham All Star Sports Academy to come to the airport to welcome the first flight.
They are pictured above with LCY’s aviation director Peter Downes (left) and LOT’s communications director, Adrian Kubicki.
Greek send off for new Rhodes service
Crew members dressed as ancient Greeks, some traditional Greek appetizers and, of course, a cake were on the agenda at Aberdeen International Airport on May 1 as the gateway celebrated the launch of a new weekly TUI Airways flight to Rhodes.
Operated by an Boeing 737-800 aircraft leased from Sunwings, the once weekly Wednesday service will operate until September 23.
Airport managing director, Steve Szalay, enthuses: “The introduction of the Rhodes route operated by TUI further expands our summer offering for our passengers.
“We’re working through our terminal upgrade project and are proud to welcome holiday passengers to the newly updated departure lounge.”
Rhodes becomes TUI Airways’ seventh non-stop destination from Aberdeen following Ibiza, Tenerife, Palma, Reus, Dalaman and Corfu.
Northern exposure for Hanover Airport
Hanover Airport has a new connection to Helsinki following the launch of Finnair’s five-weekly Embraer 190 regional jet flights on April 29. The service, which will become daily and year-round on June 1, is Finnair’s seventh route in Germany.
Raoul Hille, managing director of Hanover Airport, enthuses: “The new Finnair flights to Helsinki and onward connections to Asia and the United States and Canada are both touristy and attractive for business travellers and strengthen the business location of Lower Saxony.”