Travel and Transport
- Budget airline plans major expansion
- Ryanair shuts services but starts others
- High Speed European train operators join forces
- Eurostar sees advanced bookings double
Budget airline plans major expansion
Jet2.com has unveiled a number of route expansions for next summer from Leeds/Bradford airport. Starting in May next year flights to Geneva and Lanzarote will operate year-round, Paris will increase to a twice-daily service and Toulouse will expand to two flights a week.
The airline also announced that it plans to fly 3.5 million passengers from Leeds Bradford airport by 2010; one million more than the current annual passenger figures for the airport's entire operations.
Ryanair shuts services but starts others
Ryanair is shutting three routes from Liverpool, two from Stansted and two from Dublin this winter. The routes being suspended are Stansted-Esjberg, Stansted-Malmo, Liverpool-Inverness, Liverpool-Aberdeen, Liverpool-Kaunas, Dublin-Vasteras and Dublin-Malmo.
In their place, the no-frills carrier is introducing 11 new services across its European network including an additional service to Biarritz from Dublin.
High Speed European train operators join forces
Seven European high speed train operators including Eurostar UK and SNCF aim to provide seamless rail travel and faster journey times across international borders through a new initiative called Railteam.
Railteam are spending £20 million on a new distribution system enabling international travellers to find prices, book, pay and receive their ticket from any distributor of European rail in one transaction. The new system will go live in 2009. They will also better co-ordinate connecting departures and arrivals to reduce transit times and improve multi-lingual information on board trains and in stations.
Railteam expect 25 million international travellers to be using their European high-speed rail network by 2010.
Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown said: "For the first time ever we can now promote and sell Europe's high speed rail network as an integrated whole. One key advantage for UK travellers is that English will be one of the languages spoken on board trains and used at interconnecting hubs." He went on to say that "High-speed rail represents the future of sustainable, comfortable travel across Europe."
Eurostar sees advanced bookings double
More than 110,000 passengers have booked to travel on Eurostar's High Speed 1 in the first six weeks after launch. Eurostar claims that in the first two weeks of ticket sales, advance bookings for the period from November 14 to Christmas are more than double the same period last year. Demand is coming from leisure passengers and business travellers with the first trains from St Pancras to Paris and Brussels on November 14 sold out, with almost 90% at £59 return.
High Speed 1 will cut journey times by at least 20 minutes, with non-stop times of London-Paris in 2h15m and London-Brussels in 1h51m.
Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown said: "More and more travellers are realising that going by Eurostar avoids airport delays, fuel surcharges, waiting for baggage, and time spent getting to and from out-of-town airports."