Bristol Airport

Christmas getaway 2017 

We don't know if Santa Claus be making a scheduled stopover during the festive holidays but more than 190,000 passengers will be travelling through Bristol Airport during the Christmas period from Friday to Monday, December 22-January 1.

That is a five per cent increase on passenger numbers compared to the same two week period last year.  
This passenger number has been boosted by a number of airlines adding additional flights to their schedule over the Christmas period to meet passenger demand, destinations include Copenhagen, Venice –Marco Polo, Gibraltar and Krackow.  
The ski destinations remain a popular choice for passengers during the winter season, with resorts reporting excellent skiing conditions.  
Winter sun destinations with the Canary Islands and Rome continue to be popular and for the first time Stockholm, Cologne and Athens being added to the network for the Christmas period further extends choice to passengers this holiday period. 
Bristol Airport will remain open on Christmas Day for a limited number of scheduled and charter flights.  
A total of four departing and four arriving flights will be operating on Christmas Day, with more than 150 staff working on site across all departments.  
During the busy Christmas holiday period passengers are advised to allow extra journey time to the Airport and to arrive at check-in at least a minimum of 2 hours prior to scheduled departure time.  
If travelling with presents passengers are asked to keep them unwrapped and check with the airline if wanting to take Christmas crackers away, as many airlines refuse to carry crackers on board the aircraft. 
In the new year bmi launches new route from Bristol to Gothenburg.
From Monday, January 22, bmi will be operating a twice weekly route between the two cities.

This brings the number of destinations served by bmi from Bristol to nine. 

The bmi network out of Bristol includes Paris, Milan, Munich, Brussels, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Aberdeen.  
Gothenburg is the airline’s first Swedish route from Bristol. 
It is the location of Scandinavia’s largest port and is a hub for global trade, currently enjoying unprecedented economic growth. 
It is a popular mini break destination thanks to its fabulous food, eclectic culture and vibrant nightlife, as well as being the gateway to the stunning coast of west Sweden. 
Fares on the route start from £99 one way. 
The route will fly out of Bristol on a Monday and Thursday, departing Bristol at 1.40pm, arriving Gothenburg at 4.50pm.  
The return flights will depart Gothenburg on Tuesdays at 2.40pm and arrive in Bristol at 4pm and on Fridays, departing Gothenburg at 11.40am, arriving Bristol at 1pm. 

1,000+ space multi-storey car park opens in spring 2018 at Bristol Airport

A new £9.5 million car park development began at Bristol Airport this week.

Construction of a multi-storey car park – the first on the airport site – will create more than 1,000 spaces situated within a short walking distance of the terminal.

Goldbeck Construction has been appointed to build the multi-storey car park which will be of a steel modular construction and will feature enhanced car parking bay technology, helping drivers to easily locate unoccupied spaces. 

The development also includes improved internal road design, landscaping and signage all geared to assist passengers when parking on site. 

Construction of the multi-storey car park follows recent improvements elsewhere across the site this year, including a £2.5 million customer reception centre in the Silver Zone car park and a £2.3 million upgrade to the immigration hall in the terminal.

Bristol Airport development director Andrew Goodenough said: “These developments demonstrate our continued commitment to enhance passenger facilities at Bristol Airport. 

"The multi-storey car park will meet the demand for high quality, secure car parking close to the terminal.”

The route network available from Bristol Airport is also growing, with direct flights to more than 120 destinations and frequent daily services to major hubs including Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Frankfurt.  

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK, and also provides a gateway to the region for international visitors. 

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site. 

As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next two decades. 

The views of passengers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the airport’s vision for the future.

Bristol Airport is best

 

Bristol Airport gains the top spot for staff courtesy in the ASQ Survey in UK airports, an international airport passenger experience benchmarking programme, run by Airports Council International.

The programme measures passenger satisfaction at leading UK airports, as well as airports from more than 80 countries. 

The latest results from July to September this year rank Bristol Airport number one for staff courtesy, terminal cleanliness, comfort of gate and wait areas as well as for leisure passengers.

Airport Service Quality (ASQ) is the industry standard for airports across the world. 

Airports taking part in the ASQ survey handle a total of 7.6 billion passengers between them – more than half of all annual air journeys. 

As well as measuring overall customer satisfaction, ASQ rates airports against more than 34 different indicators, covering all parts of the passenger process, from check-in on departure to baggage reclaim when returning home. 

Overall satisfaction is also split by journey purpose, enabling airports to assess how well they meet the needs of business and leisure passengers. 

Bristol Airport’s success was achieved in a record-breaking year with more than eight million passengers forecast in 2017.   

Bristol Airport customer service delivery manager Tom McEwen said: “We are delighted to continue to receive such strong feedback from our passengers and to have achieved this in a record breaking year.

"We are not complacent and continue to invest in the passenger experience and develop world leading facilities. 

"Work is currently underway to enhance car parking at the Airport creating the first on-site multi storey car park, situated in close proximity to the terminal, which will be open for summer 2018.”

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK, and also provides a gateway to the region for international visitors. 

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site. 

As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales during the next two decades. 

The views of customers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the airport’s vision for the future.

Let's go off the beaten track with TUI from Bristol Airport

 

TUI (formally Thomson) the UK’s largest holiday brand, has announced it will be introducing three exciting new routes operating out of Bristol Airport for winter 2018. 

Come November 2018, holidaymakers from the South West will be even further spoilt for choice with the opportunity to explore the mystical volcanoes and glaciers in Iceland, shop for bargains at the local street markets in Marrakesh or soak up the sunshine in sunny Boa Vista, Cape Verde. 

The decision to introduce new routes is part of the holiday company’s plans to offer customers as much choice as possible, ensuring customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the best hotels in some of the most enticing destinations. 
Residents from in and around Bristol and North Somerset will now have the chance to visit some of TUI’s most popular flagship hotels including the all-inclusive adults only TUI SENSIMAR Medina Gardens in Marrakech which includes Arabic features such as a 200-year-old tower mixed with contemporary style.

Holidaymakers can also relax and unwind at the desert oasis of the Platinum Clubhotel Riu Karamboa in Boa Vista, Cape Verde.

And for cosy winter breaks, TUI also offers holidays to Iceland staying at the chic Fosshotel Reykjavik based in the heart of Iceland’s capital. 
TUI UK & Ireland aviation planning director Karen Switzer said: “We’re excited that one of our first steps as TUI, a truly global brand, is to offer greater choice for our customers in the South West. Introducing the new routes from Bristol is a key part of our strategy to offer all our customers as much choice as possible to give them the holiday experience that best suits their individual needs.

"Holidaymakers in the South West will now wider access than ever before to our diverse collection of destinations and hotel concepts.”

Bristol Airport airline relations head Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted with TUI’s new route announcements bringing even more exciting destinations to passengers throughout the South West and Wales region.” 

French first for promoting south west for tourism

 

The UK’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, and Bristol Airport have announced a three-year partnership to promote South West England to overseas visitors.  

The joint marketing fund will focus on France in year one, working with airline partners to build on the strong existing network from Bristol Airport, which is currently served by scheduled services to 13 French cities. 

Destination management organisations across the region will have the opportunity to get involved, with Destination Bristol taking a co-ordinating role in bringing together local knowledge and compelling content to ensure campaigns stand out in the competitive international tourism market.          

Bristol Airport is the largest airport serving the UK’s South West, with non-stop flights to more than 120 destinations – more than half of which of which are not directly linked from any other airport in the region. 

The South West features globally famous tourist attractions including Stonehenge and the World Heritage City of Bath, as well as stunning countryside and coastline. 

Bristol itself is a centre for street art (and the home of Banksy) and all are within convenient reach of Bristol Airport, helping to generate more than a million journeys by overseas residents every year and supporting an estimated 5,000 jobs across the region.

Bristol Airport business development director Nigel Scott said: “By teaming up with VisitBritain we aim to spread the word to potential international visitors about the wonderful part of the world on our doorstep. 

"Research tells us that visitors flying directly into the South West stay in the region for longer and spend more than those who arrive through other gateways, which is good news for tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and other local businesses.  

"With Bristol Airport serving as the sole entry point to the South West for over 60 European cities, this partnership is a great opportunity for the whole region to work together with VisitBritain to add even more value to the visitor economy.”

VisitBritain commercial director Carol Dray said: “Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, worth £127 billion annually to the economy. Increasing regional connectivity not only makes it easier for visitors to see more of Britain and the South West, it boosts economic growth, and helps keep us an attractive destination in this fiercely competitive global market.”

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to provide positive first impressions to passengers visiting the UK.

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site. 

As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West over the next two decades. 

The views of customers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the airport’s vision for the future.

TAKE OFF: Bristol is ready but is North Somerset - certainly Nailsea could do with an industrial museum and heritage trail to get in on the tourism act. Pictured is Nigel Scott and Carol Dray

New at Bristol Airport

A major car park improvement scheme at Bristol Airport opened to passengers for the first time this week.  

A total of £2.5m has been invested in the Silver Zone car park, with a new reception building for customers headlining the improvements.

The reception building is located at the heart of an extended Silver Zone car park, which provides more car park spaces in order to meet expected demand next summer. 

On a typical day thousands of people pass through the reception building, which hosts up to 50 staff from the airport’s ground transportation team. 

The two-storey structure is designed to create a more positive first and last impression for passengers when using the airport.

The Silver Zone car park has been awarded the Park Mark award for safer parking and is equipped with CCTV, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), Vehicle Damage Recognition (VDR) cameras on entry, secure fence, and is monitored 24 hours a day.

All vehicles are kept in the secure area and are not moved from the car park at any time.

A frequent courtesy coach transfer to and from the terminal operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The development provides improved internal road design, landscaping and signage all geared to assist passengers when parking cars on site. 

In the reception building passengers will see an enlarged reception area with the interior décor using colours and textures highlighting the Sense of Place initiative already in place in the terminal showcasing the region.

The investment in car parks follows major extensions to the terminal building, including a £24 million upgrade to the security search, baggage reclaim and arrivals areas. 

Improvements to the immigration hall totalling £2.3 million, and a 201 room Hampton-by-Hilton hotel opened earlier in 2017. 

Work is also underway for the first phase of a multi-storey car park, to be located opposite the terminal and set to open summer 2018.

Bristol Airport development director Andrew Goodenough said: “These developments demonstrate our continued drive to enhance passenger facilities at Bristol Airport. 

"The improvements at Silver Zone meets the growing passenger demand for good quality, secure car parking, as passengers can now enjoy great service in brand-new facilities with the peace of mind their car will be safe and secure on-site at a competitive price. 

"Once completed, the multi-storey car park will provide a complementary offer for those wanting the added convenience of parking in close proximity to the terminal.”

The route network available from Bristol Airport is also growing, with direct flights to more than 120 destinations and frequent daily services to major hubs including Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Frankfurt.  

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK, and also provides a gateway to the region for international visitors. 

This has resulted in the airport being rated number one in the UK for overall customer satisfaction by ASQ, the benchmarking programme run by Airports Council International.

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site. 

As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next two decades. 

The views of customers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the airport’s vision for the future.

Self-service bag drop at Bristol Airport

A trial of self-service bag drop technology began at Bristol Airport this summer, saving time for passengers flying with easyJet.

Self-service bag drop puts passengers in control of their own hold baggage check in procedure, reducing processing time and queuing when compared to the standard bag drop system.

Passengers use a self-service kiosk to weigh and tag their bags before placing their tagged bag into the baggage system at a bag drop desk.

Twelve self-service kiosks and four bag drop desks have been installed within the easyJet check-in area in the terminal, and customer hosts are on hand to offer guidance and assistance to passengers throughout the trial.  

Bristol Airport head of operations support Phil Holder said: “The trial is already speeding up the process for passengers and the initial feedback has been very positive.  

"We are always looking for ways to improve the passenger experience and this trial is an example of how the latest technology can enhance the airport journey.”

easyJet UK country manager Ali Gayward said: “We recognise that our customers’ airport experience is a hugely important part of their overall journey and so we are delighted to be part of Bristol Airport’s self-service bag drop trial.

“As we approached the summer, our busiest time of the year, we want our customers to have a seamless journey through the airport, enabling their summer holidays to get off to the best of starts.”

Rockwell Collins head of airport systems sales Paul Hickox said: “There is no ‘one-size fits all’ bag drop solution because different airlines have different passenger processing models.

"We were able to create the best solution for Bristol Airport because of our deep understanding of airports and bag drop technology.

"We look forward to seeing the new self bag drop solution from Rockwell Collins have a positive impact for passengers as it has done in all other deployments in recent months."

Passengers using self-service bag drop at Bristol Airport follow these simple steps: 

  • At the entrance to the bag drop area, airline staff check passengers’ passports against their boarding passes. 

  • Passengers are then directed to a self-service kiosk where they are prompted to scan mobile phone or home printed boarding pass

  • Passengers place their hold bag onto a weigh scale and a baggage tag is automatically generated.

  • Passengers attach the tag to their bag.

  • Passengers then move forward to a bag drop desk and place the tagged bag onto the baggage belt.

  • The tag is checked by scanners to make sure the information is correct and the label attached securely.

  • The bag is automatically sent through to the Airport’s baggage system.

Bear joins fire brigade

Bristol Airport fire department has been working with Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, to set up a recycling project with a difference by donating old and unwanted lengths of fire hose.

In time, firefighting hose can become damaged and worn and is then no longer suitable for its intended use. 

Rather than destroying old hoses, the fire department donate them to good causes where alternative uses can be found.  

For example, local zoos and animal sanctuaries can use the redundant kit to create interesting surroundings for animals.

This year, hundreds of metres of soft collapsible fire hose and metres of hard fixed hose have been donated to Noah’s Ark Zoo where it will be used to create various toys and hammocks for use in the bear, giraffe, rhino and primate enclosures.

Bristol Airport fire department spokesman Matthew Kilyon said: "We are delighted to support Noah’s Ark by contributing the old, unwanted and damaged lengths of fire hose.  

"It is great to see kit that has served us well continue to be put to such good use.”

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is an award-winning animal park and education centre based locally in Wraxall, North Somerset.

The zoo is home to a variety of animals including species of international conservation importance and contributes to European breeding and research programmes.

Committed to sustainable business and using green technology through innovative development, Noah’s Ark holds a gold award for internationally recognised Green Tourism Business Scheme.

A  Noah’s Ark spokesman said: "We’re grateful to the Fire Department at Bristol Airport for their generous supply of hose – it is a useful material for our keepers to make a variety of climbing and swinging arrangements for our more active animals.

"Our endangered Siamang gibbons and Andean bears in particular get real enrichment from these in their enclosures, and the visitors can enjoy watching them using them.”

Four go up a mountain (or 3) for charity


At the weekend a superfit team from Bristol Airport completed the National Three Peaks Challenge to raise valuable funds for charity.

The Bristol Airport team of Adam Thorne, Charlie Wright, Nigel Martin and their driver, James Emanuelli, completed the challenge in 23 hours 51 minutes, raising more than £700.

All the monies will go to the airport’s charity of the year, Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW). 

The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, within 24 hours.  

The three peaks are Snowdon in Wales (1085m), Scafell Pike in England (978m), and Ben Nevis in Scotland (1345m). 

Adam is retail operations manager at Bristol Airport.

He said: “It was an absolutely exhausting challenge but worth every footstep.  

"At times the weather on the Three Peaks Challenge was against us, particularly on the top of Scafell Pike, with visibility reducing to around five metres.

"Temperatures reached -2 degrees with a wind chill of around -10 degrees so staying warm was particularly difficult.

"This said, the team spirit was fantastic and knowing that you are raising money for such a worthwhile charity gives the motivation needed to get you to the end.” 
Children’s Hospice South West has been voted as the charity of the year on six separate occasions during the past 11 years and the long-standing partnership has raised more than £160,000 for the charity. 

CHSW corporate partneerships fundraiser Janey Hellmen said: "We would like to congratulate the Bristol Airport team for completing a very gruelling challenge in support of CHSW.  

"The fantastic amount of money they have raised will help to make the most of short and precious lives locally.”

Immigration Minister at Bristol Airport arrivals

 

Bristol Airport’s newly expanded immigration hall, which includes 10 of the latest ePassport gates, was officially opened this week by Immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis.

The 10 new ePassport gates, which provide an automated, fast and secure route through the border, replace the three first-generation gates which were previously in use at the airport.

As well as introducing the new gates, the enlarged accommodation has been redesigned to provide Border Force officers with a clearer view of passengers entering the Immigration Hall.

Further Border Force improvements at Bristol include increasing the number of interview rooms from two to four and the installation of a new drug testing lab.

Mr Lewis said: "Keeping the UK's border secure is our priority.

"At the same time we want to welcome visitors, tourists, and businesspeople who can contribute to the UK economy.

"Providing the latest technology and improved facilities helps us to do both and is popular with passengers.

“This refurbishment is an excellent example of how effectively Border Force works with airport operators to provide an efficient and secure service for tourists, business visitors and Britons returning home.”

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “We were delighted to welcome the minister to Bristol Airport to see the newly extended immigration area which is the result of our strong partnership with Border Force.

"They do a great job in keeping the border safe and secure while providing passengers with a friendly and efficient welcome on arrival in the UK.

"This new facility will help them carry out this vital work in a modern, professional environment with support from the latest available technology.”

The £2.3 million project has been jointly funded by the Government and Bristol Airport.

Automated technology, such as ePassport gates, gives Border Force the ability to process a higher number of low risk passengers more quickly and using fewer resources.

This allows Border Force officers to focus on other priority work such as cracking down on the smuggling of contraband goods and identifying potential victims of trafficking.

Fast lanes landing at Bristol Airport

 

A new dedicated Fast Track security channel has opened to passengers for the first time as part of the multi-million pound improvements at Bristol Airport. 

The £24 million west terminal extension has delivered a range of improvements during the past 12 months, including an enlarged security search area with 10 security lanes equipped with state-of-the-art technology. 

The opening of the new Fast Track facility adds two dedicated lanes providing a priority service to passengers wanting to keep waiting times to a minimum, allowing more time to relax and enjoy the start of their trip in the departure lounge.

On exiting the Fast Track area a newly created orientation zone provides passengers with a spacious location to gather their belongings and get their bearings ahead of entering the departure lounge.  

The orientation zone continues the ‘sense of place’ theme which has been created in other recent developments, making use of colours and textures reflecting the South West region.

Fast Track tickets can be purchased in advance online via Bristol Airport’s website for £3.95, or purchased on the day of departure at various kiosks situated around the terminal for £5.    

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: "The opening of the dedicated Fast Track channels is the final phase of the security improvements we wanted to introduce before the busy summer season. 

"The security area transforms the departure experience for passengers, and the ‘sense of place’ we are instilling throughout the terminal aims to create a positive impression for all visitors.”

Another initiative in place for the busy summer school holidays is the ‘Good to Fly’ sticker given to younger passengers.  

Security staff at a dedicated security lane for families offer guidance on how to prepare their bags and personal belongings for security search, reassuring children and parents who may be unfamiliar with the process or concerned about placing a favourite toy in the tray for security screening.  

Once through security, children receive a sticker which they can proudly wear for the rest of their journey. 

In recognition of the scheme’s success, the security agent who came up with the idea has been rewarded through Bristol Airport ‘above and beyond’ scheme which celebrates outstanding customer service.

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK, and also provides a gateway to the region for international visitors. 

This has resulted in the airport being rated number one in the UK for overall customer satisfaction by ASQ, the benchmarking programme run by Airports Council International.

Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site. 

Footie fans galore

Bristol Airport had the busiest weekend in its entire history when the Real Madrid fans flew in for the Champions League game.

As well as all the people flying to and from holiday destinations, an extra 15,000 people flew into the Lulsgate airport to attend the premier European club football event.

UEFA designated Bristol Airport as the official destination for Real Madrid fans, with Juventus fans assigned to Cardiff Airport.

That shorter transit time to the stadium in the centre of Cardiff was one of the few plus points for the weekend for the Italian fans – they were beaten 4-1 by Cristiano Ronaldo and his team.

In total, more than 170,000 fans made the trip to Cardiff – with more outside the stadium in the city than actually watching the game live.

In total, an extra 200 aircraft, including private and corporate jets, scheduled flights and special charter flights, arrived at Bristol Airport bringing supporters into the UK ahead of the match.

UEFA bigwigs, corporate moneymen and richer fans also flew in to the game on a fleet of more than 150 helicopters - either from London or Cotswold Airport at Kemble in Wiltshire - prompting Bristol residents to wonder why there were so many helicopters in the skies over north Bristol on Saturday night.

Robert Sinclair, the chief executive of Bristol Airport, said the airport handled the extra passengers – more than 100,000 over the course of the weekend.

He said: “We were delighted to work with the Football Association of Wales and other partners on this joint initiative to bring the UEFA Champions League Final to Cardiff, and pleased to play our part in successfully hosting such a high profile event.

“It was a tremendous team effort at Bristol Airport with many of our staff and business partners working together over the weekend to ensure the Real Madrid fans had a great experience, whilst reducing disruption to all of our other passengers.”

British Airways is back at Bristol Airport

 

When flight BA7017 took off from Bristol Airport for Florence, Italy this week it marked a significant return to regional flying for British Airways.

It was the first of four new regional routes launched from Bristol this weekend and the first time British Airways’ colours have been seen at the airport for a decade.

Bristol Airport ensured there was a party atmosphere for the first flight by providing Italian themed Bellinis, biscotti and cup cakes for customers checking-in for all the new British Airways services.

The inaugural British Airways service to Florence was the first of the new routes to take off followed by flights to the popular Spanish sunspots of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma providing more than 17,000 seats to the sun from Bristol this summer.

Flights will be operated at weekends by modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with Eurotraveller and Club Europe cabins and two abreast seating so everyone can have an aisle or window seat.  Low each way fares from £45 available on www.ba.com.

British Airways CEO and chairman Alex Cruz, said: "We continue our regional growth following the successful launch of services from Stansted last year.  

"Now we are flying from Bristol once again we are excited about the future opportunities.”

British Airways commercial and customer general manager Luke Hayhoe, who worked at Bristol Airport for British Airways’ former subsidiary Brymon Airways for almost three years, returned to the airport to wave off the first flight.

He said: "It feels really good to be back in Bristol where I worked early on in my career and which holds happy memories for me.

"This weekend marks the start of a very busy summer for us in the UK regions and we are very excited to be returning to Bristol after a 10-year gap.

“Florence is a new city to be served from Bristol Airport and is proving to be very popular with customers alongside our flights to three of the most sought-after Spanish destinations”

Bristol Airport head of aviation Pete Downes said: "It is an exciting day seeing the return of British Airways flights to Bristol Airport.  

"Passengers on the first Florence flight joined in the celebrations at check-in to mark the event, which all added to the special atmosphere.  

“The response from customers in the region since the flights went on sale has been fantastic, and we’re very proud that British Airways has chosen to come back to Bristol, further enhancing the range of flights and destinations we now offer passengers from their local airport.” 


PHOTO: Luke Hayhoe and Pete Downes pictured with the crew on the inaugural flight to Florence Captain James Evans, First officer Madelon Van de meent and cabin crew Damian Raczowski and Carren Flanagan

 

Popular with passengers Bristol voted No1

Bristol Airport is in the top spot again in consumer survey.

The ASQ survey of UK airports is an international airport passenger experience benchmarking programme.

It is run by Airports Council International.

The programme measures passenger satisfaction at leading UK airports, as well as airports from more than  80 countries.  

Having been ranked number one for overall satisfaction in the UK, in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, the latest results reveal Bristol retained this position for the first quarter of 2017 (January-March).

Airport Service Quality (ASQ) is the industry standard for airports across the world.  

Airports taking part in the ASQ survey handle a total of 7.6 billion passengers between them – more than half of all annual air journeys.  

As well as measuring overall customer satisfaction, ASQ rates airports against more than 34 different indicators, covering all parts of the passenger process, from check-in on departure to baggage reclaim when returning home.  

Overall satisfaction is also split by journey purpose, enabling airports to assess how well they meet the needs of business and leisure passengers.  

Bristol Airport was ranked number one in the UK for overall passenger satisfaction, as well as for leisure passengers and on specific indications including ambience.

Bristol Airport’s success was achieved in a record-breaking year with more than  7.5 million passengers using the terminal in 2016 and more than £8 million passengers forecast in 2017.   

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: "We are delighted to continue to receive such strong feedback from our passengers, it is such an achievement to remain top in the UK for the third consecutive quarter.

"We are not complacent, and work is currently underway on a £20 million car park improvement scheme.

"Being developed in phases, the first of which will be the opening of a new Silver Zone long stay car park reception building summer 2017.

"This will provide improved car park facilities for passengers.” 

Having invested more than £160 million in new infrastructure and facilities since 2010, Bristol Airport is well positioned to serve passengers across the South West of the UK, and also provides a gateway to the region for international visitors.  
Throughout 2017, Bristol Airport will be celebrating 60 years at its current site.  

As well as looking back on a rich aviation history, work will begin on an updated Master Plan which will consider how best to meet growing demand for air travel to and from the South West and South Wales over the next two decades.

 The views of customers, employees, neighbours and others stakeholders will be vital in helping to shape the airport’s vision for the future.

CHSW is airport charity 2017

Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) is Bristol Airport’s charity partner for 2017.  

Each year airport staff are asked to vote and support one charity.

For the third consecutive year CHSW is the nominated charity of the year.   

During 2016, staff and passengers raised more than £20,000 for the North Somerset based charity, with initiatives arranged throughout the year including volunteer collections in the terminal, raffles, cake sales and a Christmas jumper day.  

Bristol Airport team members also participated in charity cycle rides, runs and much more. 

Fundraising in 2017 continues and, more recently, members of the Bristol Airport team ran the Bristol 10k dressed as pieces from the popular tile-matching puzzle game, Tetris, raising £265 plus for the charity.

Children’s Hospice South West has been voted as the charity of the year on six separate occasions during the past 11 years and the long-standing partnership has raised more than £160,000 for the charity. 

CHSW corporate partnerships fundraiser Janey Hellmen said: "CHSW has been very fortunate to have been supported by the Bristol Airport as its charity of the year on a number of occasions, starting with the Babe Appeal to build our local hospice, Charlton Farm, in North Somerset, which opened 10 years ago.  

"An incredible sum has been raised by Bristol Airport employees over the years and these funds have gone a long way in helping to make the most of short and precious lives."

Bristol Airport retail manager Adam Thorne said: “We were delighted to participate in the Bristol 10k to help raise awareness and money for the Children’s Hospice South West.  

"It is such a good cause and one which we felt we could contribute and make a difference.  

"The event really brought the team together, from making our outfits to running on the day, so it was not only about raising money but it was about having fun at the same time.

"We felt such a sense of pride being cheered on by the Children’s Hospice South West team on the day.”  

Easter 2017 – Busy Easter getaway at Bristol Airport 


More than 100,000 passengers are expected to use Bristol Airport this Easter weekend, Friday to Monday, April 14-17, an increase in excess of 18 per cent on the same period last year. 
The recently commenced Ryanair flight to Zadar, as well as the Thomas Cook flights to Malta offering Fly Cruise holidays adds additional choice and options to passengers wishing to get away this summer. 
But it’s not all one way traffic.  
Bristol Airport is expecting an influx of visitors from around the UK and overseas as travellers head for the South West to catch up with friends and family or enjoy the region’s attractions.

Passengers are advised to arrive at least two hours ahead of their flight’s scheduled departure to ensure they have time to check in, clear security and board their flight.  
Passengers are also advised to check roadworks or travel congestion and plan their journey accordingly over the busy Easter getaway. 
Two, customer improvement projects in are nearing completion.  
Two new dedicated Fast Track security channels for departing passengers will be available late-April, and the final stages of the £2.3m Immigration improvements offering an increased number of ePassport gates for passengers will be available before the end of the month, ahead of the busy summer. 

Thomas Cook new summer 2018 destinations 

  • New destinations are: Preveza in Greece, Bourgas in Bulgaria, Spain’s Costa Brava, Paphos in Cyprus, Kos and Hurgharda in Egypt
  • Seven new Thomas Cook own-brand hotels and 11additional flight routes from Bristol Airport on Thomas Cook Airlines (flights from £49.99)

 

Thomas Cook has launched its Summer 2018 programme for Bristol Airport, with an exciting range of new destinations to choose from.

These include the Preveza in Greece and Hurgharda in Egypt, both of these routes are exclusive to Thomas Cook from Bristol, in addition Bourgas in  Bulgaria and Gerona on Spain’s Costa Brava, Kos and Paphos have been added to the programme.

As well as new destinations, Thomas Cook is offering customers three new own-brand hotels to choose from including new smartline and Sunconnect resorts.

In addition, Thomas Cook Airlines is introducing  11 additional flight routes from Bristol Airport, both to existing destinations and to new destinations.

Thomas Cook UK managing director Chris Mottershead said: “Our new destinations for summer 2018 from Bristol offer a good mix of holiday types.

“We’re expecting a revitalisation in the traditional package holiday destination of Costa Brava and we’ve worked hard to secure some of the best quality hotels for our customers.”

Bristol Airport aviation relations head Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted with Thomas Cook’s exciting Summer 2018 programme from Bristol. 

“The new flights including Hurghada and Preveza are particularly welcome as these routes have been high on passengers wish-list of flights from Bristol Airport. 

“The improved range of destinations in 2018 will help ensure Thomas Cook offers customers throughout the South West and Wales a great choice and options of holidays available from their regional airport.”

COSTA BRAVA

The ‘classic’ Costa Brava was first offered to Thomas Cook customers in 1949 who travelled by steamer and rail.

It was last featured in 2009 and has been re-introduced for 2018 with one flight per week from Bristol, and a revitalised product range that includes four hotels in the resorts of Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar which are exclusive to Thomas Cook in the UK.

All of the hotels featured are within the top 15 on Trip Advisor, and within their respective resorts, many in the top five.

One holiday example is seven nights at the Evenia Olympic Park Hotel in Lloret de Mar on an all-inclusive basis, from £679 per person, departing from Bristol on Friday, May 19, 2018 on Thomas Cook Airlines.

 

Three new, exclusive Thomas Cook Hotels and Resorts properties:

Lanzarote – smartline Lanzarote Palm

Paphos – Sunconnect Sofiana

Ibiza – smartline Xaloc

Thomas Cook Airlines Bristol programme for S18 (new routes in bold) from Bristol (BRS)    

  • Girona (GRO) Saturday

  • Bourgas (BOJ) Wednesday

  • Hurgarda (HRG) Tuesday

  • Kos (KGS) Monday

  • Paphos (PFO) Friday 

  • Preveza (PVK) Sunday

  • Arecife (ACE) Thursday and Sunday

  • Corfu (CFU)    Monday and Thursday 

  • Heraklion (HER) Tuesday and Friday

  • Almeria (LEI) Saturday

  • Antalya (AYT) Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday

  • Dalaman (DLM) Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

  • Gran Canaria (LPA)    Monday

  • Ibiza (IBZ) Sunday

  • Kefalonia (EFL) Friday

  • Larnaca (LCA) Wednesday and Saturday

  • Majorca (PMI) Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday

  • Malta (MLA)     Thursday

  • Rhodes (RHO) Wednesday

  • Skiathos (JSI) Wednesday

  • Tenerife South (TFS) Monday and Friday

  • Zante/Zakynthos (ZTH) Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

  • Menorca (MAH) Monday and Friday

Warm welcome back British Airways to Bristol Airport

British Airways is to start flying from Bristol Airport again with the launch of four new summer-only routes to popular European sunspots.

From May the airline will begin direct flights from Bristol to the popular Spanish destinations of Malaga, Ibiza and Palma and to the Italian city of Florence.

It will operate on modern Embraer 190 jet aircraft, with spacious cabins and two abreast seating so every customer can have an aisle or window seat.

The new return flights will operate once a week at weekends.

British Airways last flew from Bristol in 2007 when the regional airline business was sold to Flybe.

British Airways general manager commercial and customer Luke Hayhoe said: “We are very excited to be returning to Bristol with four very popular routes.

"Customers can once again enjoy competitively priced flights to the sun direct from their doorstep with British Airways to those destinations they tell us they want to fly to.

"We look forward to a busy summer at Bristol.”

Basic each way fares from Bristol to Palma from £45, to Florence and Ibiza from £49 and to Malaga from £59 are available to book by clicking HERE.
Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement which will see the iconic British Airways brand returning to Bristol Airport.  

"It will be the first time an airline has operated a scheduled service between Bristol and the Italian historic city of Florence which we are sure will prove very popular.

"These additional flights to Palma, Florence, Ibiza and Malaga offers passengers in the South West and Wales region further choice of scheduled flights for the summer season.

"We look forward to working with British Airways on the new routes and further enhancing the services available from Bristol.“

Bristol Airport: is the hird largest regional airport in England, the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London.
Traffic includes direct flights to 117 destinations across 30 countries 
The airpost a stone's throw from Nailsea is ranked number one in the world in OAG’s punctuality league table measuring on-time performance across 4,000 airports worldwide in 2014, and top in the UK in 2015.
In 2016 handled 7.5m passengers, forecast to handle 8m in 2017.  

Planning permission in place to develop and enhance facilities to enable Bristol Airport to handle 10 million passengers per annum.
Since 2010 more than £150m invested in developments at the airport 

New year, new airport job

 

Bristol Airport is hosting not one but two job fairs in the next few weeks.

Following the success of previous events last year, Bristol Airport will be hosting two jobs fairs to highlight the range of current job opportunities on offer.

The airport will be teaming up with other employers based across its site at the two events in January and February, giving prospective candidates the chance to find out more about the different roles available from customer service, hospitality, retail, airline handling and security.

Approximately 3,000 people are employed at the airport, which handled 7.5 million passengers in 2016. 

But, with permission to develop facilities to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum in future, the workforce is forecast to grow.

 The jobs fairs will provide an insight into seasonal jobs available for anyone interested in working at the airport, with several of the 45 different employers on site represented, including security provider, ICTS, travel catering specialist, SSP, and duty free shopping operator, WDF. Other companies present will include airline handling agent, Swissport, Superdrug, Moneycorp, Hilton, Europcar, Claires Accessories, bmi regional and special assistance company, OCS. 

Both jobs fairs will be held in the Administration Building at Bristol Airport on these dates:

  • Friday, January 27, 5-7pm; and

  • Saturday, February 4, 10am-noon

For further information click HERE.

PHOTO: Craig Hinxman and Szabina Simko

£20M new car park spend

Bristol Airport is investing £20 million in car park Improvements.

North Somerset Council planners gave the go-ahead for the work on three car parks across the Silver Zone, staff and long-stay car parks, with a new reception building for customers headlining the improvements.

The new facility will be located at the heart of an extended Silver Zone, which will see the addition of more than 3,500 new spaces in order to meet expected demand next summer.

On a typical day during the peak summer season, thousands of people will pass through the reception building, which will also host up to 50 staff from the airport ground transportation team.

The new two-storey structure will be designed to create a more positive first impression for passengers, helping to make sure trips get off to a stress-free start.

Work has begun to meet landscaping and ecological conditions ahead of construction of the new parking areas.

At the same time, preparations are underway for the first phase of a multi-storey car park, to be located opposite the terminal and set to open in May 2018.

An extension to the airport staff and visitor car park was also approved by the council, catering for the growing number of staff and contractors on site.

This will ensure flight crew can park close to the administration building, reducing the potential for delays which could adversely impact airline punctuality.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “Taken together, these developments demonstrate our continued drive to enhance passenger and staff facilities at Bristol Airport.

“By bringing forward improvements to Silver Zone we can meet customer demand for good quality, secure car parking at a competitive price.

“Once completed, the multi-storey car park will provide a complementary offer for those wanting the added convenience of close proximity to the terminal.”

Public transport options will also be enhanced, with a Weston Flyer express bus service between the airport and Weston-super-Mare scheduled for launch in spring next year.

This follows the successful introduction of the Falcon service from Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton earlier this year.

Surface access from the north, east and west will also be enhanced by the opening of the South Bristol Link this winter, improving journey time reliability for the Bristol Flyer express bus between the airport and Bristol city centre, including Bristol Temple Meads railway station.

The investment in car parks follows major extensions to the terminal building, including a £24 million upgrade to the security search, baggage reclaim and arrivals areas.

Improvements to the immigration hall totalling £2.3 million are scheduled to take place this winter, and a 201 room Hampton-by-Hilton hotel will open in early 2017.

The route network available from Bristol Airport is also growing, with direct flights to 116 destinations and frequent daily services to major hubs including Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Frankfurt.

From May 2017, Thomson Airways will operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Florida and Mexico, highlighting the scope for more direct long-haul destinations in future.

In the third quarter of 2016, Bristol Airport was ranked number one in the UK by the customer satisfaction benchmarking programme, Airport Service Quality (ASQ), and has been the UK’s most punctual airport for the past two years in league tables measuring on-time performance published by data specialist OAG.

Bucharest makes 16th EU flights from Bristol

Bristol Airport welcomed the first Ryanair flights operating between Bucharest and Bristol on Wednesday, November 9, – the first ever scheduled service between the south west and Romania.  

Dr Razvan Constantinescu, the Honorary Consul of Romania in Bristol, was on board the first flight to depart from Bristol and passengers enjoyed complimentary cakes decorated with Romanian flags at check-in. 

Bristol Airport head of aviation Peter Downes said: “Today is a special day as we celebrate the inaugural flight to Bucharest from Bristol Airport.  

"This is the first ever scheduled service to Romania from this region, reflecting our continued growth at Bristol and our mission to offer greater travel possibilities to our passengers.

"This latest launch brings the number of European capital cities we now serve to 16, further opening up the region for inbound tourism opportunities.

“The route is already proving extremely popular with customers, with plans in place to double frequency to twice-weekly from April 2017 as part of Ryanair’s biggest ever summer schedule from Bristol Airport.”

Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely said:  “We are pleased to launch our new route from Bristol to Bucharest, offering a great city break destination for customers in the south west.

"The good news is that this route will continue into the summer 2017 season, and with even lower fares this winter, there’s never been a better time to book a low fares getaway from Bristol.” 
And Dr Constantinescu said: “The launch of the first direct Bristol-Romania flight confirms yet again the strength of the economic, business, tourism and academic links between Romania and the south west of England.  

"Despite the current political context, this elaborate network of economic and social relationships between the south west and Romania will continue to grow, thus bringing long-lasting and far-reaching benefits to both areas.  

"Like Britain, Romania is also open for business and extends a warm welcome to our friends and partners in the South West of England and beyond.”

More £millions investment at Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport has unveiled plans for a  £2.3 million immigration hall upgrade.

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport is to address congestion in arrivals. 

The £2.3 million project will take the number of passport control points from the current 10 to a total of 17 when it opens in spring next year, including 10 of the latest ePassport gates which provide a safe, secure and speedy alternative to the conventional border control process. 

As well as introducing new equipment, the work will enlarge the immigration hall which will be redesigned to create a more welcoming environment and streamline the border process for passengers.

These improvements build on upgrades to other arrivals areas delivered as part of the current £24 million west terminal extension, including enlarged meet and greet and baggage reclaim zones, and a new World Duty Free store for arriving passengers.

The new generation ePassport gates are faster, and can be used by passengers aged 12 years and over - currently the ePassport gates at Bristol Airport are limited to over-18s. 

In the meantime, arriving passengers can help keep time spent at the border to a minimum by having passports open to the photograph page and removing hats and sunglasses in advance of inspection, with families encouraged to go through the border together.

A further £2.3 million will be invested in a new reception centre and other improvements to the popular Silver Zone car park, often the first experience of the Airport for many passengers.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “Completion of the west terminal extension will enable us to turn our attention to the immigration area, where passengers can sometimes wait longer than we would like at the busiest times. 

"By enlarging and reconfiguring this area and introducing the latest Border Force technology we aim to make arriving at Bristol Airport as fast and efficient as possible.”

Monkeying around with old fire hose

Bristol Airport’s fire department is working with Monkey World in Dorset to set up a recycling project with a difference by donating old and unwanted lengths of fire hose.

Over time, firefighting hoses become damaged and worn and are no longer suitable for its intended use.  

Rather than destroying old hoses, the fire department donate them to good causes where alternative uses can be found.  

For example, local zoos and animal sanctuaries can use the redundant kit to create interesting surroundings for animals.

This year, more than 175 metres of soft collapsible fire hose and 15 metres of hard fixed hose have been donated to Monkey World in Dorset where it will be used to mimic branches, trees and foliage for the residents to swing and play on.

Bristol Airport fire department spokesman Matthew Kilyon said: “We are delighted to support Monkey World by contributing the old, unwanted and damaged lengths of fire hose.  

"It is great to see kit that has served us well continue to be put to such good use.”

Monkey World was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home.

Today it is home to more than 250 primates of more than 20 different species, most of whom have been rescued from neglect, abuse, or inappropriate living conditions.

The sanctuary allows the monkeys and apes in its care to live as naturally as possible, with others of their own kind.

A Monkey World spokesman said: “We are grateful for the support of Bristol Airport in donating their old fire hose.

"The fire hose serves as a great enrichment for the orang-utan and chimpanzee enclosures in particular, creating a stimulating environment and enabling them to climb and move around their homes in a more natural manner.”

“We are grateful for the support of Bristol Airport in donating their old fire hose. The fire hose serves as a great enrichment for the orang-utan and chimpanzee enclosures in particular, creating a stimulating environment and enabling them to climb and move around their homes in a more natural manner.”

Bristol to Gran Canaria with easyJet

 
easyJet, Bristol’s largest and Europe’s leading airline, has started its new flights from Bristol Airport to Las Palmas airport in Gran Canaria.

The inaugural flight took-off this week and will fly up to twice a week through autumn and Winter. 
 Passengers from across the south west and Wales will be able to take advantage of Gran Canaria’s winter sun from a little as £26.99* per person.

The route is ideal for families wanting to escape to warmer climes during the October half term, or for those wanting to simply get away from it all before the Christmas rush.

Flights can be booked at www.easyjet.com 
 easyJet UK commercial manager Ali Gayward said: "We’re really pleased to launch yet another great route from Bristol Airport which is already proving extremely popular with our passengers.

"Gran Canaria has a something for everyone – from enduring beaches to the sand dunes in Maspalomas, the shopping in Las Palmas to the night time entertainment in Playa del Ingles.
 “We’re absolutely committed to making travel easy and affordable for our passengers in the south west and Wales - we now fly to 60 destinations from Bristol Airport and it’s one of the biggest bases in our network.” 
At the beginning of 2016 the airline marked a milestone in carrying more than 40 million passengers since launching operations in Bristol just over 14 years ago. 

Passengers can also take advantage of other winter sun destinations from Bristol Airport such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Funchal in Madeira. 

Bee 'bed and breakfast'

A ‘bee bed and breakfast’ has been built at Bristol Airport as part of a programme to enhance biodiversity on and around the site.

Located in a meadow between the Long Stay car park and nearby Downside Road, the specially designed habitat aims to encourage pollinators by providing the perfect nesting environment for solitary bees and introducing a wildflower ‘breakfast patch’ for all pollinators to enjoy and feed on.

Working in partnership with Balfour Beatty - who are building Bristol Airport’s west terminal extension - Bee Bristol ran a number of workshops educating the children from West Leigh School, Backwell on the importance of bees.  

The school classroom activity session included a live beehive, a talk and presentation on bees and their habitat with the opportunity to make seed balls to use in their own gardens.

Pupils then visited the airport to plant the wildflower meadow and help install the B&B which consists of twigs with hollow sticks that the children had made, allowing the bees to burrow in and rest after a busy day.

Bristol Airport environment manager Melanie King said: “It was great to be able to work with Balfour Beatty and Bee Bristol in creating this unusual wildlife habitat.  

"With bee numbers in the UK declining it is more important than ever they have a helping hand.   

"The Downside Road meadow is becoming a real haven for wildlife just a stone’s throw away from one of our busiest car parks, and the children of West Leigh have played their part in creating this little piece of paradise for bees.”

BeeBristol director Tim Barsby said: "We're delighted to see that both Bristol Airport and Balfour Beatty’s environmental work supports local educational projects while drawing attention to the plight of pollinators.

"We must all take steps to ensure their survival for generations to come.”

 Later this year, West Leigh pupils will return to the Airport meadow to help sow more wildflowers so there will be more food for its pollinating visitors.

You can find simple steps to help bees in your garden by clicking HERE.

First phase £24 million extension opens July

The opening of Bristol Airport’s bigger and better terminal extension is just three weeks away as the first phase a 12 month construction programme nears completion.  

The first section of the £24 million facility, including a bigger and better security search area, will open on Monday, July 18.

The airport has experienced a very busy summer so far, with record passenger numbers expected throughout the holiday season.  

Combined with the temporary loss of space while construction work is underway, this has resulted in congestion in the terminal at the busiest times of day.  

This has been compounded by air traffic control strikes in France, Greece and Italy which have caused disruption across Europe, resulting in some delays at the UK border when flights have arrived off-schedule.

The 9,000 square metre terminal extension features state-of-the-art technology in a significantly enlarged security search area which will deliver a faster, more efficient service to departing passengers.  

The first tranche of new security lanes opens in mid-July ahead of the school summer holidays, with the remaining new lanes coming on line from the end of the month.  

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “Undertaking a major construction project in what is a live operational environment 24/7 can be challenging.

"This has inevitably had some impact on our usual service standards so far this summer, but I am confident the new facility will deliver an excellent experience for passengers.

“By opening the extension in phases we wanted to make sure passengers travelling during the busy summer holiday get the benefit of this investment.  

"While the extension will not be fully completed until the end of the year, we expect this first phase to deliver immediate improvements for departing passengers.”

In total, the new extension will comprise 12 security lanes, including a dedicated Fast Track zone which will go live later this year.  

A pre-boarding preparation area will provide a new space for passengers to get their belongings ready for screening, and an automated tray return system with extended conveyor belts will streamline the process through metal detectors, x-rays and security scanners where required.

While the priority of this first phase of development is to address bottlenecks for departing passengers, an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, and meet and greet area will be completed by the end of the year, also enhancing the arrivals experience.  

Completion of the current extension will then enable the immigration hall to be developed in 2017, with plans including the installation of up to 10 of the latest ePassport gates.  

In the meantime, Bristol Airport continues to work closely with Border Force to ensure adequate staffing levels are in place, including utilising the Airport’s second immigration point whenever possible during peak times.

An additional exit lane from the airport site onto the A38 has also been created, improving the flow of vehicles during busy times.

Passengers are being advised to allow sufficient time for their journey to the airport this summer, taking into account busy holiday traffic as well as possible disruption to the local transport network as a result of road and rail improvements across the West of England.  

Those travelling on scheduled flights should aim to check in two hours before their flight departure time, and holidaymakers on charter flights can check in up to three hours ahead.

Bristol Airport direct to Las Palmas

Europe's leading airline easyJet has added a new route from Bristol Airport to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria. 
From Wednesday, September 28 and throughout the autumn and winter passengers from across the South West and Wales will be able to take advantage of Gran Canaria’s winter sun and can fly directly to Las Palmas once a week from a little as £25.49 per person with easyJet.

Tickets are on sale now by clicking HERE.

The new route is ideal for families wanting to escape to warmer climes over the October half term, or for those wanting to simply get away from it all before the Christmas rush. 
easyJet UK commercial manager Ali Gayward said:  "We're delighted to be adding Las Palmas to our network from Bristol Airport. 
“Gran Canaria has a bit of everything – from enduring beaches to the sand dunes in Maspalomas, the shopping in Las Palmas to the night time entertainment in Playa del Ingles.

"We are confident this will be a popular choice for families and holidaymakers over the winter season.

"easyJet now flies to 59 destinations from Bristol Airport meaning our passengers have a great choice of some of Europe's best city, ski, summer and winter destinations to choose from, including Amsterdam, Innsbruck, Porto and Reykjavik in Iceland."
Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: "We are delighted to welcome this additional route to the easyJet network.

"This will offer customers flights to all of the four key Canary Islands and further extends the choice of destinations available.

"We look forward to working with easyJet on developing the route network available from Bristol Airport."  

Gran Canaria is a Spanish paradise isle that serves up a tourism treat with its world famous resorts, never ending golden beaches, picturesque mountain villages and desert-like rolling dunes. 

It might be located 130 kilometres off the African coast, but the island of Gran Canaria is as Spanish as sangria.

Most people choose to come to Gran Canaria for its bustling tourist resorts located along its sunny, southern shores.

Here you’ll find the island’s best hotels, best beaches and a nightlife catering for all tastes.

easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe's primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.
It flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline carrying more than 70 million passengers every year including 12 million business passengers.

With 240 aircraft on more than 800 routes to over 130 airports across 31 countries more than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport.

80 years of aviation history

Bristol Airport celebrated the 80th anniversary of Aer Lingus this week with a visit from the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain and series of very special flights.  

The Irish airline, which operated its very first route from Baldonnel (Dublin) to Bristol back in 1936, also marked the occasion by announcing the introduction of additional daily flights linking the two cities and consolidating operations in the South West of the UK to Bristol.

Along with a daily flight to Cork, the current Bristol-Dublin service (operated by Stobart Air on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional) provides an important link between Ireland and the South West of England, as well as opening up onward connections to North America.  

Its popularity with business and leisure passengers has resulted in demand for additional frequency on the route.  

The airline will now operate four daily flights every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, alongside the existing three daily flights each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  

In total, Aer Lingus Regional will now fly 25 flights per week between the two cities,  taking weekly capacity to 4,500 seats – a contrast to the first ever flight 80 years ago which carried just five passengers on a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon.

A sister aircraft and exact replica of the original Dragon, named Iolar (meaning eagle), took to the skies over Bristol, taking in the original site of the city’s airport in Whitchurch, with passengers including the Irish Ambassador, Daniel Mulhall and other VIP guests.  

The occasion was also marked with a presentation of specially commissioned Bristol Blue glass shamrocks to the Ambassador and senior airline representatives.

Aer Lingus chief operating officer Mike Rutter said: "As the destination for the very first Aer Lingus flight, Bristol has a special place in our history.

"Looking to the future, the introduction of a fourth daily Dublin flight underlines our commitment to serving the South West of the UK and carrying even more passengers between Bristol and Ireland over the coming years.

"For hundreds of thousands of South West passengers Aer Lingus flights have become not only the gateway to Ireland but also their gateway to North America.”  

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “We wanted to celebrate Bristol Airport’s long and successful association with Aer Lingus, and also to highlight the strong links between Ireland and the South West.  

"Frequent flights benefit business and tourism at both ends of the route, so the announcement of a fourth daily service between Bristol and Dublin is great news.”

Stobart Air chief commercial officer Martin Saxton said: “We are very pleased to be able to mark this historic milestone with the introduction of increased capacity on our Bristol to Dublin route.  

"The route has come a long way since the inaugural Aer Lingus Flight in 1936, carrying a modest five passengers on a six seater plane.  

"Today it continues to prove a hugely popular route for both business and leisure passengers, and the additional frequency will now bring Aer Lingus Regional’s weekly route capacity to 4,500 seats.”  

PHOTO: From left top Bristol Airport CEO Robert Sinclair, Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall and his wife Greta, North Somerset MP Liam Fox and  Aer Lingus cabin crew who are also pictured below wearing vintage uniforms 

Get in flower frame with Chelsea Fringe

Passengers on route to exotic places can pose with a giant-sized watering full of tropical plants linked to their destinations at Bristol Airport and have an opportunity to win a prize if the photo is posted on social medea.
Cleeve Nursery planted what is probably the biggest watering can in the world in the main check-in area of the terminal as part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival.
It will be there until Sunday, June 12.
Street artist Damien Jeffery planted the watering which will soon a large bee shaped wrought-iron sculptures made by Strawberry Steel hovering above the display. 
The Chelsea Fringe is an alternative to the Chelsea Flower Show, celebrating everything to do with gardening, growing, community engagement and nature.

This is the second year Bristol Airport has supported the Chelsea Fringe.  
In 2015 a honeycomb shaped meadow of wildflowers highlighted the importance of creating bee and pollinator friendly habitats in an urban environment.  
This the third time that Cleeve Nursery has been involved with this alternative flower show.
Previously they have filled a car parking space at Park Street in the city with more than 35 edible plants in pots and last year their pickup truck was planted with crops that rely on bees for pollination and plants that attract the insects.
At the end of the festival the plants will be donated to a number primary schools near the airport.
Bristol Airport public relations and community manager Jacqui Mills said: "For the duration of Chelsea Fringe we encourage families to send us their photographs taken in front of the watering can, and one lucky family will win a fantastic prize..” 
Cleeve Nursery joint owner Alan Down said: "Plants play a vital role to life on earth and they have an important place in offsetting our impact here. 
"Indoor plants in particular have repeatedly been shown to reduce stress and enhance health and well-being when placed in the home, office and the workplace. 
"We hope that our installation will set travellers thinking about the role that plants play but also that they will set off on their travels with a smile on their faces.”
During the three weeks of Chelsea Fringe all customers using Bristol Airport will be able to have the opportunity of taking a family photo in front of the plant filled watering can.  
By using the social media #canfly and posting the photo on Bristol Airport’s Twitter account @OfficialBRS.  
All entries will be placed in a lucky draw and with one lucky family selected at random winning a prize of a VIP departure from Bristol Airport for their next visit  which inlcued eight days parking and four Fast Track Security and Executive Lounge passes plus £150 of National Garden Scheme Vouchers. 
The lucky draw is on Tuesday, June 14.

Seven million milestone

 

More than seven million passenger used Bristol Airport in the past 12 months marking a major milestone.

It is the first time in its history the airport has reached this mulit-million number.

The upward trend saw annual passenger numbers reach 6.76 million in 2015 - a sixth consecutive year of growth for England’s third largest regional airport.

Scheduled and charter airlines contributed to the rise, taking the total number of destinations served to 116, including 16 capital cities.

The south west and south Wales’ major airport has also attracted new entrants into the regional market, with Wizz Air commencing services to Katowice in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia, and the Bulgarian capital of Sofia within the past 12 months. 

In addition, Bristol Airport is the only the second UK departure point for Icelandic low-cost airline, WOW air, with flights to North America via Reykjavik. In April, Thomson Airways announced it will be operating weekly flights to Orlando and Cancun from next spring, which will see the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fly from Bristol for the first time.

Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work well underway on a £24 million west terminal extension which will transform the security search process for passengers when phase one is completed this summer, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities and meet and greet area by the end of the year.

A 201-room Hampton by Hilton hotel is also set to be open this winter.

Beyond the airport boundary, the completion of the South Bristol Link (SBL) will enhance access to the airport from the north, east and west.

The SBL forms part of the MetroBus network of rapid transit routes in the West of England, to which Bristol Airport is contributing more than £4.7 million towards the cost of construction as part of planning permission for development to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum.

To celebrate the seven million milestone passengers and staff were treated to free ice creams sourced from local supplier, Gloucestershire-based Marshfield Farms.

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “It is amazing to think that when commercial flights commenced on our current site in 1957 just 33,000 passengers used the airport in the entire first year.

"We now see a similar number pass through the terminal on a busy summer day!

“Increased demand for air travel is a positive sign that our region’s economy continues to thrive.

"Given the growth in our route network and continued improvement in facilities and services, passengers are increasingly turning to Bristol as the premier gateway airport serving the south west and south Wales.”

Bristol Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the UK and the fifth largest outside London.

Planning permission is in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum, accompanied by a comprehensive package of controls, monitoring and mitigation measures covering noise and night flying, air quality, nature conservation and surface access.

Flights operate to 115 destinations across 30 countries, including 15 capital cities. 

Bristol Airport went to Iceland

 

Bristol Airport welcomed the first WOW air flight from Reykjavik on Friday, May 13.

Travellers arriving on the first flight were presented with goody bags containing local and regional produce, plus discount vouchers for local attractions and restaurants. 

Also on board were eleven international media and visitor organisations, guests of Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus wishing to build stronger links with the region for inbound visitors.     

During the course of a three day visit to the area, the international delegation will visit local tourist attractions including the National Trust property Tyntesfield House near Nailsea, ss Great Britain in Bristol and the Roman Baths, followed by a walking tour around Bath. 

The delegation will also enjoy local cuisine at a variety of restaurants and bars across North Somerset, Bristol and Bath. 

Skúli Mogensen, founder and CEO of WOW air, said: “Today is a momentous day for us at WOW air as we launch our Bristol service, our second route between Iceland and the UK.

"This is a reflection of our continued growth in Britain and our mission to offer greater travel possibilities on either side of the Atlantic.  

"We’re delighted to be bringing ultra low-cost travel to Iceland and beyond to the south west of England and we look forward to welcoming travellers from the region onboard.”

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “We are thrilled to welcome the first WOW air flight from Reykjavik to Bristol Airport.

"The airline not only provides direct flights to Iceland but also affordable onward connections via the world-class hub of Reykjavik to North America.

“The response from customers in the region since WOW air’s flights first went on sale has been fantastic, highlighting the growing demand for travel to the US, Canada, and of course the breath-taking landscapes, natural wonders and unique charm of Iceland. 

"We are delighted to be the first UK region to host WOW flights and look forward to working with the airline to grow passenger numbers on the route.”

The introduction of new WOW Air flights has the potential to bring thousands of visitors to the West of England, and it is estimated could generate millions to the local visitor economy.

  • Flights will depart Bristol Airport for the airline’s hub in Reykjavik on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Passengers travelling through will then have a short stopover before continuing on to one of the airline’s North American destinations - Boston, Washington DC, Montreal, Toronto, with Los Angeles and San Francisco being available from June 2016. For more information on flights to Iceland and North America click HERE.

 

PHOTO: Top Visit Bath chief executive David James,

Destination Bristol head of tourism Kathryn Davis,

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne and

Bristol Airport head of aviation Peter Downes join

WOW air crew on the tarmac and right is the Icelandic

tourists arriving at Tyntesfield

Ryanair tops Bristol Airport tracker league

 

Ryanair has topped the table in Bristol Airport annual Tracker Awards. 

Based on flight records for 2015, the scheme measures compliance with departure routes set up to minimise noise disturbance for local residents and also encourages airlines to use procedures which reduce their noise impact.

Ryanair, which serves 30 destinations from the airport and operated more than 3,500 flights during the 12 month period, was the only airline with more than 99 per cent on departure track compliance and more than 95 per cent for continuous descent approach.

Ryanair base captain Craig Hope was presented with a certificate to mark the achievement and a large cake to share with his fellow flight crew. 

In a close-run race, Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines were also recognised for their outstanding performance during 2015 in achieving over 99 per cent for departure track compliance and more than 90 per cent for continuous descent approaches.

The Tracker Awards were introduced in 2013 to recognise outstanding operational performance by airlines at Bristol Airport, based on monitoring of compliance with noise preferential routings (NPRs).

Continuous descent approaches are also encouraged, where aircraft stay higher for longer when approaching the airport, reducing noise and emissions for some local communities.

The league table format is an effective way of encouraging continuous improvement and ensuring any deviations from track are taken seriously. 

Bristol Airport environment manager Melanie King said: “Ryanair had to see off strong competition from several airlines at Bristol Airport and we are delighted to recognise their commitment to improving their operational excellence. 

"It is an outstanding achievement to operate more than 99 per cent on-track flight departures combined with more than 95 per cent of flights on continuous descent approach. 

"Initiatives like the Tracker Awards can only encourage further improvements which will help to minimise the noise impact on local communities.”

We are sailing via Bristol Airport

 

Forget fly-drive as you can now fly-cruise with as Thomas Cook Airlines and P&O Cruises partner direct from Bristol airports for flights to Malta.

Bristol departures every Thursday from April 6 to October 19 starting in 2017 on new Airbus A321s.

The weekly flights from Bristol Airport to Malta support the new P&O Cruises Malta programme to the Mediterranean. 

As well as destination breaks for Thomas Cook Airlines customers purchasing only seats, P&O Cruises customers will also be offering Thomas Cook Airlines flights when booking for luxury cruises departing from Malta next year.

P&O Cruises vice president of sales Alex White said: “We have a range of new and exciting Mediterranean fly-cruise itineraries departing from Malta and visiting a number western, eastern and central Mediterranean ports - Malta is our 2017 cruising hotspot.

"Our fly-cruise programme is popular with guests wishing to enjoy the convenience of flying to a destination to board a ship but also wanting to discover a variety of new and interesting ports in one holiday.”

Thomas Cook Airlines’ director of sales and planning, Henry Sunley, said: “P&O Cruises from Malta will offer a fantastic new opportunity for Midlands and south west guests.

"It’s a really great departure point for exploring the Mediterranean and in luxurious style.

"Flying out on our A321s with refurbished cabins will be a great start and end to their holiday.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said:  “We are delighted to see the relationship between Thomas Cook Airlines and P&O Cruises.

This will provide customers from the South Wales and south west region a new and exciting fly-cruise programme for 2017.

"We are sure the cruise flights will be well received and offer customers a wider choice of fly-cruise holidays using their local airport.”

The service will also run from Birmingham airport.

The Thomas Cook Group Airlines consist of four sun and beach focused leisure airlines: Thomas Cook Airlines UK , Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and Condor Flugdienst.

The airlines carry 17.2 million passengers every year and has a combined fleet consists of 91 aircraft.

P&O Cruises has a fleet of eight ships offering holidays tailored to British tastes.

easyJet new flights to Venice and Nantes

 

Europe’s leading airline easyJet has added two new European destinations to its flights from Bristol Airport.

And the first passengers to Venice and Nantes were welcomed on board with a happy Easter smle and chocolate.

The airline’s first flight from Bristol to Venice Marco Polo took-off on Wednesday afternoon, March 23, with flights to Nantes the next day.

Together both routes are expected to carry approximately 70,000 tourists in and out of Bristol Airport every year.

Passengers in the south west can take advantage of easyJet’s flights from Bristol to Venice from just £32.24 per person, with flights to the romantic destination taking-off up to four times a week year-round.

Flights to the French city of Nantes will operate on Mondays and Thursdays over the summer period with prices starting from only £22.24 per person for a one-way journey including taxes and based on two people on the same booking.

easyJet’s UK commercial manager Ali Gayward said:  “We’re thrilled to have welcomed our first passengers onboard our Bristol to Venice and Nantes flights.

"Since we announced we’d be starting the routes in October and November last year, they’ve proved extremely popular with bookings from both inbound and outbound tourists.

“Being one of the most romantic and magical places in the world, Venice often tops peoples list of places to visit at least once in their life.

"Meanwhile, Nantes attracts flocks of holidaymakers every year thanks to its numerous art galleries, museums, fine dining and beautiful architecture.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted with these new services to Venice and Nantes with easyJet. 

"The Italian and French markets are vitally important for us and we see continued growth both from a business and inbound visitor perspective.”

Bristol is a key market for easyJet with 58 destinations available from the airport to the rest of Europe and beyond.

Earlier this year the airline marked a milestone in carrying more than 40 million passengers since launching operations in Bristol 14 years ago.

The airline last month opened its 27th base in Venice as part of its growth strategy in Italy.

As part of the base opening, easyJet unveiled an aircraft with a special livery featuring one of Venice’s iconic gondolas to promote the city across the 32 countries it flies from.

PHOTO: easyJet first officer Kate Newton, easyJet cabin crew and

Shaun Browne from  Bristol Airport next to easyJet’s special Venice

livery to mark the start of  easyJet’s new flights from Bristol Airport

 

Backwell company trains airport  drivers in fuel economy 

 

Bristol Airport ground transportation (GT) team has been put through its paces on a North Somerset safe and fuel efficient driving (SAFED) course.

The SAFED course develops driver skills and knowledge specifically in the area of road safety and fuel efficiency – perfect for members of the GT team, whose responsibility includes driving the buses serving the airport on-site car parks as well as a fleet of vehicles which patrol the 194 hectare site.

Driving style is a major factor in the fuel consumption of a vehicle and by following the SAFED guidance drivers can save a considerable amount.

Increasing fuel costs and a desire to improve staff environmental awareness were the drivers behind Bristol Airport involvement in the SAFED course.

Working in partnership with Somax Ltd, a Backwell-based company, 16 drivers took part in a one day’s training course which consisted of a 50 minute driving assessment where fuel consumption and driving technique was monitored. 

This was followed by classroom activities learning how driver behaviour can affect a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. 

After a classroom session, drivers followed the same route, allowing for the recently acquired tips to be put into practice. 

On average, the drivers improved fuel consumption by more than 12 per cent. 

The fuel consumption figures were taken from the buses on-board computer system.

Bristol Airport environment manager Melanie King said: “We are delighted to be working with Somax Ltd. on this driver training initiative which follows other initiatives to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, including electric charging points in car parks for use by staff and customers, and the introduction of an electric vehicle used by the IT department when installing and maintaining equipment across the Airport site. 

“Taken together, these projects will make a real difference to the energy we consume through ground transport use.”

Somax Ltd managing director Simon Werkshagen said: “We have been delivering SAFED since 2004 and have delivered the program to more than 800 drivers with similar fuel efficiency seen with all our customers; it is a tried and tested training program. 

“All the drivers that took part in the program not only learnt new driving techniques to minimise fuel but also reinforced areas of practise within driving that had diminished over the years. 

“Each driver was open to criticism and fun was had by all. 

“The most important part of SAFED was achieved in that the drivers will adopt these slight changes in driving technique whilst at work and also for themselves when away from the airport keeping the environment clean and our roads safer.”

TOP MEN: Bristol Airport CEO Robert Sinclair

and Martyn Osborne, of Balfour Beatty

 

Key milestone for £24 million airport build

 

A ‘topping out’ ceremony this week marked a key milestone in the construction of Bristol Airport’s west terminal extension.

The celebration – a longstanding tradition in the construction industry – followed the completion of the steelwork for the £24 million structure.

To mark the occasion guests from the design team including architects, structural engineers, M&E engineers and main contractor, Balfour Beatty, joined Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair and senior management team to view the extension’s highest point.

The west terminal extension is Bristol Airport’s single biggest investment project since the terminal building opened in March 2000. 

Once completed later this year it will transform the security search process for passengers, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area.

The new security search facility will house 10 customer channels, a dedicated Fast Track zone, an enlarged area in which customers can prepare for search in a more comfortable and relaxed environment, and significantly longer 21 metre security lanes. 

The combination of design, space and new technology is expected to deliver an industry-leading passenger experience.

The 9,000 square metre facility will be opened in three phases following a 14 month construction build, involving more than 200 people working on site. 

Phase one will open in summer 2016, closely followed by phase two and three, with the entire project completed before the end of 2016.

Mr Sinclair said: “Feedback on the east terminal extension - which enhanced and extended the departure lounge when it opened last summer - has been very positive. 

"On completion, the west terminal extension will address other key stages of the airport journey – security search – as well as enhancing the baggage reclaim and meeters and greeters space. 

"By the end of next year, we will have transformed the passenger experience, providing another powerful reason for people across the south west and Wales to choose to fly from Bristol.”

Balfour Beatty south west and Wales managing director Martyn Osborne said: “Balfour Beatty is dedicated to delivering first-class projects and we are delighted to be working with Bristol Airport on the west terminal extension.

“This topping out ceremony marks a significant milestone in the development and provides an opportunity to showcase the progress of the terminal as well as recognise the hard work and collaboration of all of the teams involved.”

During preparation of the site for the west terminal extension more than 15,000 tonnes of material was excavated, with the majority of this material recycled for use on the South Bristol Link.

Bristol Airport generates an estimated £388 million in Gross Value Added and supports more than 11,000 jobs, including around 3,000 on site.   

Last year, 6.76 million passengers passed through the terminal, and planning permission is in place for development of facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum. 

The west terminal extension is a major component of this development, and will take investment since 2010 to more than £120 million.

Earlier this month Bristol Airport was ranked the most punctual airport in the UK for the second year running, and the 10th most punctual in the world, in a league table compiled by aviation data specialists, OAG, measuring on-time performance at 4,000 airports worldwide.

Bristol Airport in top 10 worldwide

 

Bristol Airport has been named the best performing UK airport for the second year running in a league table measuring punctuality of flights across the globe.

With an on-time performance rating of 88.64 per cent, Bristol ranked sixth in the European, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) region and 10th overall in the world.

Leading global aviation intelligence provider, OAG, based the league tables on 50 million flight records across 900 airlines and 4,000 airports worldwide.

The report covers the 2015 calendar year and is based on the proportion of flights arriving and departing within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “We are delighted that Bristol Airport has been rated the UK’s most punctual airport for the second year running, and one of the10 best airports in the world in terms of on-time performance. 

"In our busy modern world where time is precious, knowing that - nine times out of ten - your flight will operate on time is important.

"Of course, delays do still occur, but with uncongested airspace providing flexibility in the event of any disruption, we are in a strong position to keep inconvenience to our passengers to a minimum. 

"This resilience is another reason increasing numbers of passengers from the south west and Wales are choosing to fly from Bristol.”

OAG senior analyst John Grant said: “Huge congratulations to Bristol Airport for achieving the ‘best UK airport’ in OAG’s punctuality league 2015. With 88.64% of flights being on-time, it’s a great result for the regional airport.”

Click HERE for OAG’s full punctuality league 2015 report.

Bristol Airport best ever year

 

Nearly 6.76 million passengers used Bristol Airport in 2015 which was half a million more than the year before and for 2016 the prediction is it will be more than seven million.

The record annual number represents a 7.7 per cent increase year on year, and a sixth consecutive year of growth for England’s third largest regional airport.

Both charter and scheduled airline sectors contributed to the rise, with increased capacity on existing routes and the introduction of a raft of new destinations. 

The ‘big two’ tour operators - TUI and Thomas Cook - sold more seats and holidays, and traffic over hub airports such as Amsterdam, Dublin and Frankfurt was strong, with many making onward connections to long-haul flights.

Established airlines easyJet, bmi regional and Ryanair launched new routes to destinations including Basle, Bilbao, Munich, Düsseldorf and Vienna, while 2015 also saw a new entrant to the south west market in the shape of Wizz Air, which commenced services to Katowice in Poland and Kosice in Slovakia, with the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, to follow later this month.

Alongside growth from existing carriers, Bristol will become only the second UK departure point for Icelandic low-cost airline, WOW air, when it commences flights to North America via Reykjavik in May.  

Another exciting new addition for travellers looking further afield is Cape Verde. 

Thomson Airways commenced flights last November, and the destination is expected to prove popular in 2016.

Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work underway on a £24 million west terminal extension which will transform the security search process for passengers when completed later this year, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities and meet and greet area. 

Work has also commenced on the construction of a 201-room Hampton by Hilton hotel set to be completed this winter.

This follows the opening of an £8.6 million extension to the departure lounge in July 2015, featuring new shops, food and drink outlets, a distinctive outdoor terrace, second executive lounge and hundreds of additional seats. 

Beyond the airport boundary, the completion of the South Bristol Link (SBL) will enhance access from the north, east and west. 

The SBL forms part of the MetroBus network of rapid transit routes in the West of England, to which Bristol Airport is contributing more than £4.7 million towards the cost of construction as part of planning permission for development to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “Increased demand for air travel is a positive sign that the South West economy continues to thrive. 

“Given the growth in our route network and continued improvement in facilities and services, passengers are increasingly turning to Bristol as the premier gateway airport serving the south west and Wales.”

Bristol Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the UK and the fifth largest outside London.  Planning permission is in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum, accompanied by a comprehensive package of controls, monitoring and mitigation measures covering noise and night flying, air quality, nature conservation and surface access.

Flights operate to 117 destinations across 30 countries, including 17 capital cities.

Rugby versus romance

 

bmi regional is aiming for a bonus point with customers by adding capacity that ties in with rugby and Valentine’s weekend!

Demand for travel between the UK and France by keen rugby fans has prompted independent British airline, bmi regional, to add capacity on its Paris to Bristol route for dates throughout February and March.

 The airline has added additional flights as follows:

  • Additional rotations on Friday and Saturday, February 12-13 February to enable travel to the romance capital of the world on Valentine’s weekend and also to tie in with the France vs Ireland match on the Saturday;

  • Paris fans will also benefit from additional rotations on Saturday and Sunday, February 27-28 to reach the Wales vs France match in Cardiff on Friday, February 26; and

  • Finally the England vs Paris match on Saturday, March19, has seen the airline add rotations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 18-20 between Bristol and Paris

Chief commercial officer Jochen Schnadt said: “In our effort to constantly improve our customer offering and become more responsive to our customers’ demands, we are happy to announce these additional services between Bristol and Paris so that the many passionate rugby fans and customers looking for some Valentine’s Day magic can conveniently travel between both cities at optimal times with the usual comfort bmi regional offers its customers.

“The increase in inbound visitors is a huge boost to the local economies and we’re delighted that travellers to Wales are able to reach the rugby so easily using Bristol Airport, with a short onward journey to the Welsh capital.”

All passengers travelling with bmi regional always benefit from a full service product onboard modern and comfortable jet aircraft.

The additional flights include:

 

•           Friday 12 February:

BM1883          BRSCDG         1000   1220

BM1884          CDGBRS         1250   1310

•           Saturday 13 February:

BM1883          BRSCDG         0900   1120

BM1884          CDGBRS         1150   1210

•           Saturday 27 February:

BM1883          BRSCDG         1215   1435

BM1884          CDGBRS         1505   1525

•           Sunday 28 February:

BM1883          BRSCDG         1330   1550

BM1884          CDGBRS         1620   1640

•           Friday 18 March:

BM1883          BRSCDG         1140   1400

BM1884          CDGBRS         1430   1450

•           Saturday 19 March:

BM1883          BRSCDG         1215   1435

BM1884          CDGBRS         1505   1525

•           Sunday 20 March:

BM1883          BRSCDG         1250   1510

BM1884          CDGBRS         1540   1600

 

For more information about these and other flights click HERE.

bmi regional operates an all-jet fleet comprising 18 Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft.

The airline now operates more than 300 scheduled flights a week across a network of 21 destinations in 10 European countries and employs more than 400 staff.

bmi regional has held the title of the UK’s most punctual airline for the past nine consecutive years, most recently in 2013.

The airline also operates an extensive ad hoc charter business and flies on a contract basis on behalf of other carriers.

Its scheduled network includes Oslo, Norway; Brussels and Liege, Belgium; Esbjerg, Denmark; Toulouse and Paris, France; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Bern, Switzerland; Bremen, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Munich, Germany; Milan, Italy; Jonkoping and Karlstad, Sweden, and Aberdeen, Bristol, East Midlands, Newcastle and Norwich, UK.

New year, new job

 

The new year takes off at Bristol Airport with three different career fair dates.

Following the success of similar events last year the airport will be hosting a series of careers fairs to showcase the range of job opportunities on offer.

The airport will be teaming up with business partners based across its site at the three events in January and February, giving prospective candidates the chance to find out more about the different roles available and the skills and qualifications required.

Around 3,000 people are employed at the Airport, which is expected to handle 6.7 million passengers in 2015. 

But, with permission to develop facilities to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum in future, the workforce is forecast to grow.

The careers fairs will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone interested in working at the airport, with several of the 45 different employers on site represented, including security provider, ICTS, travel catering specialist, SSP, and duty free shopping operator, WDF.

Roles on offer span customer service, PCV drivers, security, catering and retail, including fixed term seasonal contracts commencing April until the end of October 2016.

The standard of recruits from last year’s careers fairs was very high, including 10 additions to the airport’s customer service and ground transportation departments.

The careers fairs will be held in the administration building at Bristol Airport on:

•             Friday, January 8, 6-8pm;

•             Friday, January 22, 4-6pm; and

•             Saturday, February 6, 10am-noon.

To find out more and register to attend click HERE.

Royal approval for £8.6 million Bristol Airport new development

 

 

Thursday, December 17, marked a major milestone and special occasion for Bristol Airport when Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opened a multi-million pound terminal extension.

This is not the first time Her Royal Highness has visited the airport, having officially opened the terminal building back in March 2000. 

That year just 2.2 million passengers passed through the new facility. 

Annual throughput has since increased to an expected 6.7 million in 2015, highlighting the development opened today.

The major terminal extension follows a 12 month build programme and £8.6 million investment.

The development provides a significantly enlarged departure lounge featuring hundreds of additional seats as well several retail and catering brands and a second executive lounge.  

A stand-out feature is an outdoor rooftop terrace area with views of arriving and departing aircraft, including bar and restaurant seating under a retractable roof.

Design features of the terminal extension include finishes, colours and textures taking inspiration from the airport’s local area. 

The use of timber and reeds alongside interior planting reflect the region’s natural beauty, while a striking lighting feature makes use of Bristol’s iconic blue glass to dramatic effect, with the glass chandelier sculpted in the shape of the River Avon flowing through the city.

During the visit and tour of the terminal Her Royal Highness met key stakeholders, representatives of the local community, business partners and staff. To add a festive spirit to the event, pupils from Wrington and Winford primary schools sang traditional Christmas carols in the main check-in area.

One of the first stopping points on the tour showcased work already underway on a second terminal extension, to the western end of the main building. 

This £24 million project, the largest since the terminal opened in March 2000, will transform the security search process for passengers when it opens in summer 2016, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area. 

Once completed next year, this will take the total investment in infrastructure at Bristol Airport since 2010 to more than £120 million.

Work has also commenced on the construction of a 201 room Hampton by Hilton hotel set to be completed in 2016.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to Bristol Airport today.

"It gave us the opportunity to show the major improvements that have taken place since she opened the terminal 15 years ago, during which time passenger numbers have increased threefold and the range of destinations served has more than doubled.

“This development is a significant step towards achieving our vision to provide passengers from the South West and Wales with a world-class customer experience when flying in and out of their local airport.”

At the end of the visit Her Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque which will be permanently placed within the terminal building.

Her Royal Highness was also presented with handmade Bristol Blue Glass Christmas decorations as a memory of her visit.

 

PHOTO: Bristol Airport CEO Robert Sinclair with Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal

Bristol Airport bear goes under hammer

 

100 year old teddy left in departures to get new
home and help children’s charity

 

The story of the 100-year-old teddy bear found abandoned in Bristol Airport's departure lounge is set for a new chapter. 

The bear will go under the hammer on Thursday, December 3, at Special Auction Services of Newbury in Berkshire having been put up for sale by its owner.

The story started in February 2012 when staff at Bristol Airport found the antique bear, which has one eye and a floppy ear, in a bag with a frayed black and white photo (dated March 1918) of him being cuddled by two little children.

The toy had no name tag but a message in faded ink on the back of the picture read 'With dearest love and kisses to our darling Daddie from your loving little daughter and sonnie Dora and Glyn'.

Christening the new arrival ‘Bristol Bear’, the Bristol Airport team sent out an appeal for help and were overwhelmed by the response both from the public and a variety of ancestry forums.  

A number of expert family historians from Rootschat.com even stepped in to help with the search.

They were able to trace more information from the picture after they researched a second message on the photograph, which said 'taken on Baby's birthday March 4th 1918, one year and five-months-old'.

But, despite tracing who the children were they were unable to track down any living relatives. 

With so little information to go on, the assistance received from media, ancestry forums and teddy bear specialists played a vital role in filling in the gaps.  

Cyprus resident, Robert Glyn Baker, read about the story and recognised the bear as a family heirloom he lost while travelling through Bristol Airport. 

Robert is the only son of Glyn Baker, born in 1916, who is pictured with his sister in a photograph found with the bear. 

The card, which was found with the teddy, was written by Dora and Glyn to their father - Robert’s grandfather - Nicholas Glyn Baker.

Nicholas was a baker by trade, but was stationed in Baghdad during World War I, where he died from malaria in 1918 shortly after receiving the photograph. 

It is thought the bear was originally bought by Glyn’s uncle in Glenover in Pembrokeshire, where he grew up, and was a present to Kenneth, the brother of Dora and Glyn who died aged three years old. 

Robert, a retired policeman, is the only child of Glyn and Elsie.

Bristol Airport  public relations and community manager,Jacqui Mills said: “We were delighted when Robert came forward to claim ‘Bristol Bear’ as we always wanted to reunite him with his family. 

"It was an accumulation of nearly two years work with very little information to go on.

“Finding out that the father in the photograph served in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) during WWI and received the picture of his family shortly before his sad death, really brings these lost property items to life.   

"The little bear has been on an amazing journey and which will continue in December.

“As Robert does not have any younger members of the family to pass ‘Bristol Bear’ on to, he has made a decision to sell the bear at auction and help find him a new home.”

A donation from the purchase of ‘Bristol Bear’ will be made to Bristol Airport’s charity of the year, Children’s Hospice South West at Charlton Farm near Nailsea.

During the two year search for the family, many offers of help were received including an artist from West Sussex wanting to tell the bear’s story in a painting. 

A limited edition print of ‘Bristol Bear’, with a suitcase, a lost property tag, WWI coins and a recreation of the photograph has been painted by artist Sandra Busby. 

One of the limited edition prints will be donated to Children’s Hospice South West, where the children and families at the hospice will be able enjoy ‘Bristol Bear’ fascinating story.

  • The antique teddy bear which sparked an international search for its owner when it was left behind at Bristol Airport was sold at auction in December 2015 for £2,200.

Airline gate lounge gets makeover for frequent flyers

 

Frequent flyers and travel specialists from some of the south west’s highest profile companies joined passengers travelling to Frankfurt and Munich this week to see a newly refurbished £50,000 gate lounge open for business at Bristol Airport.

The new gate lounge will provide passengers with a dedicated area to wait for their flights prior to boarding, just metres away from the aircraft steps. 

Practical features primarily aimed at business passengers include a workstation area, free wifi access with charging points, a hot drinks vending machine and additional seating, while a Bristol Blue inspired theme gives the gate lounge a distinctive new look.

The boarding gate lounge was officially opened by special guest and Bristol resident,Carol Vorderman. 

Several of Bristol Airport’s key corporate clients and representatives of the airline, bmi regional - which operates seven routes from Bristol to major European business destinations - joined passengers to see the facility for the first time.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “The opening of this dedicated gate lounge area is another demonstration of our commitment to the business community in the south west and south Wales. 

"We know many of our customers travel regularly for work and we want to make the experience as comfortable and efficient as we can.”

bmi regional chief commercial officer Jochen Schnadt said: "Customers travelling for business are especially focused on value for money, convenience and quality of service.

"Our Bristol customers already benefit from check-in that remains open until 30-minutes prior to departure, and the new departure gates ensure the airport experience is even smootherand more seamless.”

Work continues on a £24 million west terminal extension which will transform the security search process for passengers when it opens in summer 2016, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area. 

Once completed next year, this will take the total investment in infrastructure at Bristol Airport since 2010 to more than £120 million.

Other developments underway include improvements to car parks and the construction of a 201 room Hampton by Hilton hotel set to be completed in 2016. 

Beyond the airport boundary improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed in 2016.

Jet plane beats train in race to Paris

 

bmi regional showcases speed and convenience
of twice-daily service from Bristol

 

bmi regional has put its Bristol to Paris flight to the test by staging a race between passengers travelling by plane and train.

The resulting short film – titled The Race to Paris - launched at the end of October showcases the speed and convenience of bmi regional’s twice-daily service to the French capital.

The Race to Paris captures key stages in the journeys of two travellers from Bristol using different modes of transport before rendezvousing in the centre of Paris to compare notes on journey times, comfort and costs.

Although bmi regional offers fares cost from £59 one way and a Euro train from London says from £39 when we checked for a journey this week we were quoted £210.60-306.60 one way by train and £193.73-£325.23 by plane with the highest price for business class!

As well as beating the train by two and a half hours, the bmi regional service to Paris Charles de Gaulle also provides complimentary refreshments, online check-in, Fast Track security for frequent travellers and a free 20kg hold baggage allowance.

Filming was completed on the same day and at the same time to provide a fair comparison of the journey time involved.

Train and flight tickets were also booked on the same day to provide accurate prices. bmi regional’s Paris service launched earlier this year and is one of seven destinations now served by the airline from Bristol.

The flight operates six days a week, with two flights a day from Monday to Friday, and one flight on Sunday.

Weekday flights are timed to enable business travellers to do a day’s business without the necessity of an overnight stay.

One way fares start at £49 one way, including all taxes.

As standard, all fares include an in-flight full bar and snack service and 20kg of checked baggage.

The Race to Paris will be used to demonstrate the benefits of flying direct from Bristol Airport to Paris with business travellers, agents and travel bookers.

bmi regional chief commercial officer Jochen Schnadt said: "This video perfectly demonstrates the speed, efficiency and most importantly convenience of travelling with bmi regional.

"We’ve worked very hard over the years to ensure we have optimised departure and arrival times in and out of our airports.

"Combine this with our speedy check-ins, value fares and in-flight catering and as you see from the video, our passengers arrive at their chosen destinations in a timely fashion having enjoyed a relaxing and fulfilling flight.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “The film is a fun way of showing the serious time and cost savings businesses in the South West can make by choosing to fly from Bristol Airport.

"We recognise that business passengers in particular value speed and convenience, so we are continuing to invest in improvements to the terminal which will make the passenger experience even better.

"Put this together with the great service airlines like bmi regional provide and we have a product which stands comparison not just with other airports, but other modes of transport too.”

Extra flights for French rugby fans

 

Demand for travel to the UK by French rugby fans keen to support their team in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final match test at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium has prompted independent British airline, bmi regional, to add capacity on its Paris to Bristol route.

Chief commercial officer Jochen Schnadt said: “France’s progress into the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup has seen demand for our scheduled services on the Paris to Bristol route surge.

"Responding to our customers’ needs we are offering additional flights at convenient times on Saturday and Sunday to accommodate the increase in French rugby fans wishing to travel to Bristol and onto Cardiff.

2This in turn allows us also to offer great value to our customers in the West Country and Wales to fly to Paris for a mini-break on short notice.

“This increase in in-bound visitors is a huge boost to the local economy and we're delighted that travellers to Wales are able to reach the rugby so easily using Bristol Airport, with a short onward journey to the Welsh capital."

All passengers travelling with bmi regional always benefit from a full service product onboard modern and comfortable jet aircraft.

The additional flights include:

  • Saturday, October 17 BM1881 BRS CDG 0800 1020BM1882 CDG BRS 1045 1105

  • Sunday, October 18 BM1883 BRS CDG 1400 1620BM1884 CDG BRS 1650 1710

For more information about these and other flightsclick HERE.

bmi regional operates an all-jet fleet comprising 18 Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft.

The airline now operates more than 300 scheduled flights a week across a network of 21 destinations in ten European countries and employs more than 400 staff.

bmi regional has held the title of the UK’s most punctual airline for the past nine consecutive years, most recently in 2013.

The airline also operates an extensive ad hoc charter business and flies on a contract basis on behalf of other carriers.

Its scheduled network includes Oslo in Norway; Brussels and Liege in Belgium; Esbjerg in Denmark; Toulouse and Paris in France; Rotterdam in the Netherlands; Bern in Switzerland; Bremen, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Munich in Germany; Milan in Italy; Jonkoping and Karlstad in Sweden, and Aberdeen, Bristol, East Midlands, Newcastle and Norwich in the UK.

Aviators charity chocks away

 

A second charity aviation fair at Bristol Airport a great success.

The event at the end of September 2015 in the administration building at Bristol Airport.was organised by Bristol based aviation enthusiast Simon Fewkes who is the founder of Bristol Airport Spotting the organisation behind the fair.

The fair is the second of its kind to happen at the airport and attracted more than 440 visitors during its opening times of 10.30am-4.30pm.

Visitors young and old including families, individuals, groups and enthusiasts were able to watch aircraft land, taxi and depart very close to the room where the event was taking place giving them a very rare opportunity to get up close to the action.

This year’s fair attracted a larger number of exhibitors and more than 23 tables occupied by companies and organisations from the aviation world, items for sale included postcards, airline amenity kits, model kits, plastic and metal model aircraft and framed photographs.

Exhibitions from the Bristol Aero Collection, Bristol Airport Police, Fly2Help and South West Aviation Photographers provided interesting information on local projects and organisations that visitors may like to join.

Entry fees this year were £1.50 for adults and free for children, all proceeds going to the airport charity of the year Children’s Hospice South West. The fair raised £563 through entrance fees and donations for CHSW,

Another aviation fair is planned for 2016.

For more details click HERE.

Record passengers for August

 

Passenger numbers at Bristol Airport have topped three quarters of a million during a single calendar month for the first time.

A record number of  768,587 people passed through the terminal this August – up six per cent over the previous year.

Growth is the result of the enhanced flight and holiday programmes on offer this summer from the ‘big two’ tour operators – Thomas Cook and TUI Group, which operates the Thomson and First Choice brands, as well as a raft of new services from scheduled airlines and increased load factors across all sectors, meaning flights are operating with more passengers on board.

Thomson Airways added a third aircraft to its Bristol-based fleet in May, opening up new destinations including Dubrovnik, Pula and Santorini, while Thomas Cook operates two Airbus A321s to a total of 20 destinations from the Airport. 

New easyJet flights to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Porto, Gibraltar, Lanzarote, Catania and Zante all commenced earlier this year. 

Wizz Air also entered the South West market for the first time in June, launching twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland.

Inbound traffic also received a boost recently with the high profile opening of Banksy’s Dismaland in nearby Weston-super-Mare. 

This is expected to attract visitors on scheduled services from across the UK and Europe, as well as private charter flights from further afield.

An enlarged departure lounge opened in July to help meet this growing demand, and work is already underway on a second major extension to the terminal building which will deliver significant improvements to the security search and arrivals areas next year.

Bristol Airport chief exective Robert Sinclair said: “The growing number of passengers choosing Bristol Airport demonstrates the strong demand for air travel to and from the South West and Wales and underlines why we continue to invest in enhancing facilities for passengers.  By combining a comprehensive route network with a friendly and efficient airport experience we want to be the number one choice when customers in our region are making their travel plans.”

Prospects remain strong for the rest of the year, with a range of new scheduled routes commencing in the coming months.  Wizz Air launches a new service to Kosice in Slovakia in October, and easyJet flights to Vienna and Basle begin in November.  The Rugby World Cup in September and October is expected to provide a further boost to inbound passenger numbers this autumn.

PHOTO: Andy Hammerhead

Eastern Europe from Bristol

 

Wizz Air announced this week it will expand its route network from Bristol Airport and will commence a new scheduled service to Sofia, Bulgaria.

Starting from Monday, March 28 2016, flights will operate twice a week on a Monday and Friday.

This new direct scheduled service will bring the total number of capital cities served by Bristol Airport to 17.

Sofia is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Bulgaria and one of the oldest in Europe. 

It lies at the foot of popular ski mountain, Vitosha, an ideal location for a winter skiing holiday.

With its rich cultural history and cobblestone boulevards it offers a great summer vacation option and is an all year-round destination.

Wizz Air corporate communications manager Tamara Mshvenieradze said: “This is our second route from Bristol and with fares starting from £24.49 we hope to carry many passengers on our new Sofia route.”

Bristol Airport head of aviation development Peter Downes said:

“We are delighted that Wizz Air has added this new scheduled route to our network from Bristol, further enhancing the range of destinations available to people living in the south west and Wales from their local airport.

“With a unique blend of east-meets-west culture, ancient and modern architecture, as well as renowned winter sports facilities, Sofia has something for everyone and is sure to be popular with passengers.”

Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe, currently operates a fleet of 63 Airbus A320 aircraft and offers more than 380 routes from 22 bases, connecting 112 destinations across 38 countries.

At Wizz Air, a team of approximately 2,200 aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low ticket prices making Wizz Air the preferred choice of 16.5 million passengers in the financial year ended 31 March 2015.

Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker: WIZZ and is included in the FTSE 250 and FTSE All-Share 

Bristol Airport is the ninth largest airport in the UK and the fifth largest outside London, serving 6.3 million passengers per annum. 

Flights operate to more than 100 destinations in 29 countries, including 16 capital cities.

Planning permission is in place for facilities to handle 10mppa and work is set to be completed summer 2016 on an £24m extension to the terminal building providing enhanced security and arrivals areas.

STOP PRESS: Wizz Air announced this week it will add yet another new route from Bristol Airport to Kosice, Solvakia.

The route will commence on Saturday, October 10, and will be operated with two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

This announcement closely follows Sofia, Bulgaria being added to Wizz Air’s routes from Bristol.

The addition of the Kosice flight brings the total number of Wizz Air destinations to three from Bristol namely Katowice, Sofia and Kosice.

Kosice is situated on the river Hornad and offers a well preserved historical centre with many historical buildings, palaces and churches.

The city is near the border with Hungary and close to the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, Kosice is the second largest city in Slovakia after the capital Bratislava.

Wizz Air corporate communications manager Tamara Mshvenieradze said: “We are thrilled to announce the excellent news for customers in the south west of the UK.

"From October 10th we will fly from Bristol to Kosice every Tuesday and Saturday, making our newest Slovakian destination famous for beautiful architecture and rich cultural heritage ideal for short city breaks."

Fares start at £15.49.

Switch on to electric car power at Bristol Airport

 

New electric car charging points have been installed at Bristol Airport for use by staff and passengers.

The electric car charging points are front of the administration building for staff use and within the short stay car park for passengers use.  

This will provide passengers with an electric car and charge card, the opportunity to use the recharge points while at the airport.

The electric charging points are easy to use and the points managed by Charge Your Car and are suitable for most electric vehicles. 

The charge point features an active display which indicates the status of the charge point, together with a telephone helpdesk number for assistance or to report a fault.

Simple to follow instructions provided at the charge point.

The installation of the electric charging points is combined with a recent purchase of a Nissan electric vehicle, the first 100 per cent electric powered vehicle at the airport. 

The Nissan e-NV200 electric vehicle is used on site by the in-house Information Technology (IT) team.

Both the purchase of the electric vehicle and charging points has been provided with support from the TravelWest Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Julia Dean, of TravelWest said: “Increasing the use of electric cars is one way to helping to improve air quality across the West of England and we are committed to working with local businesses to increase the use of electric vehicles. 

"People need to feel confident that they will have somewhere to recharge their electric car before they buy one, and this new point at Bristol Airport provides another charge point in our network.”

Bristol Airport environment manager Melanie King who is pictured with the IT team car said: "We are looking at many ways of maintaining a proactive approach in delivering a sustainable future for the airport. 

"The introduction of electric vehicles and charging points is only one of several initiatives we are progressing during the next 12 months in recognition of Bristol’s status as European Green Capital.

"We also recently played host to Nissan where staff had the opportunity to test drive a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. 

"It helped to highlight the benefits of using an electric vehicle compared to other alternatives and have questions answered by the experts on hand on the day.”

Travelwest is the brand of the West of England Councils which includes Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and is used for travel initiatives funded by a DfT (Department for Transport) Local Sustainable Transport Fund grant. 

Polite reminder: 

 

More than 95,000 passengers are expected to use Bristol Airport over the next four days - from Friday to Monday, July 24-27 - as the summer holiday season gets into full swing.

Top destinations proving popular for the summer getaway so far are Palma, Faro, Dubrovnik, Pula and Santorini.  

But passengers heading off for some sunshine are being asked to follow a few simple steps to ensure a smooth start to their journey.

Bristol Airport head of security Chris Ware said: “Since the start of the busy summer season we have noticed an increase of oversized liquids in passengers’ cabin baggage, and often these items are not being placed in clear plastic bags ready for checking by our security team.  "It seems that younger passengers in particular are having their bags packed for them, often by well-meaning mums and dads who may not be aware of the rules about taking liquids through security.

“The policy for liquids, gels and pastes - which can include toiletries, perfumes, cosmetics and food - was introduced at all UK Airports in 2009.

"Initially the implementation was supported by a high profile advertising campaign, but with the passing of time it is easy for passengers to forget to have liquids in 100ml containers placed in a clear transparent re-seable bag, no larger than 20cm x 20cm holding a maximum of 10 items.

“Passengers arriving at security can save time by following simple guidelines - have their boarding pass ready, liquids in a clear bag separate from hand luggage, remove jackets or coats, and take laptops, iPads and tablets from hand luggage. By keeping these steps in mind, passengers can reduce delays for everyone and start enjoying their holiday that little bit sooner.”

This summer passengers will be able to enjoy the recently opened £8.6m extension to the departure lounge for the first time. 

The new look departure lounge offers enhanced facilities featuring hundreds of additional seats as well several retail and catering brands new to Bristol Airport, including bar and restaurant providing al-fresco dining under a retractable roof.

£8.6 million terminal extension opens

 

New brands and bigger departure lounge
completed ahead of 2015 holiday season

 

 

The first of two major extensions to Bristol Airport’s terminal opened to passengers on Friday, July 3, following a 12 month build programme and £8.6 million investment.

At the heart of the east terminal extension is a significantly enlarged departure lounge featuring hundreds of additional seats as well several retail and catering brands new to Bristol Airport.

A stand-out feature of the new development is an outdoor terrace area with views of arriving and departing aircraft, including bar and restaurant seating under a retractable roof.

New shops include the leading sports retailer, JD Sports, and popular fashion outlet, Accessorize, while the new Traveller store brings a range of major clothing brands under one roof, including Superdry, Gant, Barbour, Boss Green and Joules. 

Claire’s Accessories returns after a brief closure during the construction period, and Superdrug, WHSmith and The Bookshop at WHSmith have moved to new, improved units in the enlarged departure lounge.

Refreshments options include a new-look Starbucks, which has relocated to the terminal extension, and The Cabin, offering fine wine, craft beers and locally sourced food in a relaxing atmosphere, including a stylish outdoor terrace.

Outdoor space can also be accessed by those not dining, with a rooftop garden featuring quirky sculptures expected to prove popular. 

Along with a second executive lounge, this will open as part of phase two within a few weeks’ time.

The open air terrace is not the only feature intended to make the new look departure lounge stand out from the crowd. 

The terminal extension has been designed to capture the essence of the South West, with finishes, colours and textures taking inspiration from the airport’s locale. 

The use of timber and reeds alongside interior planting nod to the region’s natural beauty, while a striking lighting feature makes use of Bristol’s iconic blue glass to dramatic effect.

Work has already begun on a second terminal extension, to the western end of the main building. 

This £24 million project will transform the security search process for passengers when it opens in summer 2016, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and meet and greet area. 

Once completed next year, this will take the total investment in infrastructure at Bristol Airport since 2010 to over £120 million.

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “More than 750,000 passengers are set to fly from Bristol Airport during July and August alone, and we are confident they will be wowed by this new extension and the space, comfort and wider choice it provides. 

"Combined with the west terminal extension we recently announced, this development is a significant step towards achieving our vision to provide passengers from the South West and Wales with a world-class customer experience when flying in and out of their local airport.”

Other developments also underway include improvements to car parks and the construction of a 201 room Hampton by Hilton hotel set to be completed in 2016. 

Beyond the Airport boundary improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed in 2016.

Earlier this year Bristol was named the world’s most punctual Airport in a league table measuring on-time performance compiled by leading global aviation provider OAG based on more than 43 million flight records.

Latest European destinations

 

easyJet is flying to Vienna and Basel direct from Bristol Airport from November this year.

Bristol’s largest and Europe’s leading airline made the announcement of the two new routes this week to Vienna in Austria and Basel in Switzerland.

Tickets are on sale now by clicking HERE.

This takes the total number of destinations served by easyJet from Bristol to 55.

Since the beginning of this year easyJet has started flights to seven other new destinations, including Bilbao, Catania, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Lanzarote, Porto and Zante.

The airline also added a 12th aircraft to its Bristol base this summer to accommodate the extra demand.

The two new services are expected to carry around 78,000 passengers annually.

  • Bristol to Basel is a year-round service flying four times a week from 6 November 2015. Prices start from £23.49 one-way*

  • Bristol to Vienna is a year-round service flying twice a week from 6 November 2015. Prices start from £23.99 one-way*

easyJet UK commercial manager Ali Gayward said: “These two new destinations are a fantastic addition to our offering from Bristol Airport and further highlight our commitment to serving the South West.

“Vienna is a beautiful city with a rich heritage where visitors can enjoy its historic past and some of the world’s most wonderful architecture.

“Having been home to famous composers such as Beethoven and Mozart, music lovers can enjoy wandering around the music and art museums, while the renowned Spanish Riding School gives travellers the opportunity to view performances by the charming Lipizzaner horses.

“Basel is a unique medieval town, providing plenty of opportunity for travellers to explore and boasts a number of galleries, museums and theatres with plenty of entertainment. It is also a business hub for corporate travellers, providing a vital link for those in both Bristol and Basel.

“We’re proud to be Bristol’s largest airline and are confident that our ever-growing range of routes will prove popular with passengers and help to further enhance inbound tourism for the city.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We’re delighted that easyJet have added Basel and Vienna to their network of over 50 destinations served from Bristol Airport.

“Basel’s unique location on the Swiss, French and German borders makes it ideal gateway to a wide range of business and leisure destinations.

“Like the South West and Wales, the region is home to thriving banking, insurance and hi-tech sectors, so this new link will provide the business community with more convenient flights direct from their local airport.

“The addition of Vienna links Bristol to yet another capital city, taking the total number of European capitals served to 16.

“As one of the top ten most visited cities in Europe, this new year-round service will be a fantastic addition to easyJet’s growing network from Bristol Airport.”

* Fares based on two people travelling on the same booking

Three's company

 

This week Thomson and First Choice added another aircraft to their fleet at Bristol bringing the total operating from the South West’s biggest airport to three.

The enhanced fleet will operate the largest ever Thomson and First Choice flight programme and holidays available from Bristol Airport.

With the addition of the third aircraft, four new routes will be added to the network - Santorini and Thessaloniki in Greece, plus Pula and Dubrovnik in Croatia.  It will also provide additional seats to Zante, Crete and Ibiza.

As well as this year’s additional destinations, this commitment by Thomson and First Choice will also result in three new summer routes in 2016 - Catania in Italy, Hurghada in Egypt, and Sal in Cape Verde.

The move to introduce these routes is part of the UK’s leading holiday company’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the best hotels in some of the most exciting destinations.

Thomson and First Choice director of aviation planning Karen Switzer said: “Adding more capacity in basing three aircraft demonstrates our commitment to Bristol Airport and the local area. 

“Expanding access to our portfolio of destinations and hotels is a key part of our overall strategy and we hope that this move will enhance the holiday experience for our customers.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted to welcome the third based aircraft to Bristol Airport - and the additional jobs that will be created. 

"The growth of Thomson and First Choice’s destinations offers passengers across the South West and wider region even more exciting destinations to choose to fly from their local airport.”

Busy half term at Bristol Airport

 

Charter airline growth at Bristol Airport since the start of the year has reached almost 10 per cent after a strong performance in May, contributing to a 7.8 per cent increase in passengers across all sectors for the calendar month compared to 2014.

More than 656,000 passengers used Bristol Airport in May following similar growth in April.

Charter holiday traffic was particularly strong, benefitting from two Bank Holidays and culminating in a bumper week coinciding with the half term school break.

Both of the ‘big two’ tour operators in the UK have extensive flight and holiday programmes available from Bristol Airport this year.  

A third Thomson Airways aircraft was added to the Bristol-based fleet in May, opening up new destinations including Dubrovnik, Pula and Santorini, while Thomas Cook operates two Airbus A321s to a total of 20 destinations from the airport throughout the summer season.

Passenger numbers also increased on scheduled flights to both domestic and international destinations. 

New easyJet services to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Porto, Gibraltar and Lanzarote commenced in April, followed by flights to Catania and Zante in May. 

Wizz Air will enter the south west market for the first time with twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland later this month.

In response to passenger growth, investment in enlarged and enhanced facilities continues, with work on an eastern terminal extension nearing completion.  In addition, a major announcement is expected to be made soon on significant improvements to the security search and arrivals areas.

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “The high levels of growth experienced already this summer highlight the importance of the significant investment we are making to enhance passenger facilities. 

"Completion of the eastern terminal extension will be followed by another major project to improve key aspects of the airport experience, and we expect to announce details of this exciting development soon.

“In the meantime, we do ask passengers to make sure they leave sufficient time to complete essential processes such as security search when travelling from Bristol Airport throughout what will continue to be a busy summer of travel.”

Going green at Bristol Airport

 

Bristol Airport has been awarded Airport Carbon Accreditation under the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe scheme, recognising efforts to map the carbon output of the business and commitment to reducing its impact.

Airport Carbon Accreditation is an independent, voluntary programme which certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality).

It is independently administered, institutionally-endorsed and has already won praise from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nation Environment Panel (UNEP) and the European Union (EU).

Bristol Airport becomes the 127th airport in the world, and the 23rd in Europe, to achieve accreditation, and has joined the scheme at Mapping level, having measured energy use during the past nine years and committed to a Carbon Management Plan to reduce carbon emissions across the 176 hectare site. 

Accreditation takes the Airport’s carbon management to the next stage by incorporating a wider range of carbon emitting sources, such as fleet vehicles and air conditioning units.

In the last few weeks solar photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof of the new east terminal extension.

The panels will provide 35,028 Kwh of electricity per year, enough to make over 1.4 million cups of tea for thirsty passengers!  The new structure will also utilise air source heat pumps as an efficient, low carbon solution to heating the terminal.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “We are proud to have been recognised for our work in this area, and it is fitting that this has been achieved during Bristol’s year as European Green Capital. 

"Reducing carbon emissions is essential to a sustainable future for aviation, and airports can play their part by taking control of energy use on the ground.”

New shopping mall at Bristol Airport

 

New brands and bigger departure lounge for

passengers this summer

 

An exciting line-up of retail and catering facilities has been confirmed ahead of the opening of Bristol Airport’s eastern terminal extension this summer.

The £8.6m project – the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000 - opens to passengers in early July and is a major component of development plans to enhance facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum.

As well as creating space for hundreds of additional seats in the departure lounge, the extension provides more than 1,000 square metres for retail and catering units which will be occupied by a range of new and existing brands.

New to Bristol Airport are the leading fashion sports retailer, JD Sports, and popular fashion outlet, Accessorize, while the new Traveller store will bring a range of major brands and the latest fashion under one roof, selected to capture the excitement and exhilaration of traveling, including Superdry, Gant, Barbour, Boss Green and Joules.

Claire’s Accessories returns after a brief hiatus during the construction period, and Superdrug, WHSmith and The Bookshop at WHSmith will move to new, improved units in the enlarged departure lounge, completing an exciting refresh of the shopping experience.

Passengers will also have more options to choose from this summer, including a new-look Starbucks located in the terminal extension. 

The food and drink offer, created in partnership with SSP, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, will also be bolstered by the addition of The Cabin, offering fine wine, craft beers and locally sourced food in a relaxing environment which includes a stylish outdoor terrace with retractable roof.

Outdoor space can also be accessed by those not dining, with a rooftop garden featuring quirky sculptures expected to prove popular, particularly during the summer months. 

With the popularity of the Aspire Lounge, other new additions include a second executive lounge, Aspire Plus, which promises a VIP experience in quiet, relaxed surroundings ideal for the business traveller.

Bristol Airport head of commercial development Kate Ridgers said: "We are excited about these new additions to the departure lounge, and we hope passengers will be too.

"It is not only about new brands at the airport, as Superdrug and WH Smith will have much needed enlarged shops to provide our passengers with the last minute travel essentials.  

"There are now even more reasons to arrive early at the airport this summer, whether you want to do some last minute holiday shopping or get your trip off to a relaxing start over a meal or drink in one of our bars, cafés or restaurants.”

A total of 6.3 million passengers used Bristol Airport last year, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2008, and continued growth is forecast throughout 2015. 

The Airport’s largest carrier, easyJet, recently launched a raft of new routes, including year-round services to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Porto, while Thomson Airways will operate flights to Cape Verde for the first time this summer, alongside new services to Hurghada in Egypt and Paphos, Cyprus. 

In addition, Wizz Air will enter the south west market with twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland from June.

Other developments underway include improvements to car parks and the construction of a 201 room Hampton by Hilton hotel set to be completed next spring. 

Beyond the airport boundary improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed in 2016.

Earlier this year Bristol was named the world’s most punctual airport in a league table measuring on-time performance compiled by leading global aviation provider OAG based on more than 43 million flight records.

Come fly with us

 

As Bristol Airport prepares to cut the ribbon on its £8.6 million terminal extension early next month, bmi regional is also celebrating a milestone from its south west hub, with the launch of its eighth route, Nantes in France.

The new bmi regional Nantes service takes off on Saturday, July 4, flying twice-weekly to the Loire region gateway.

The same month, Bristol Airport opens its extension, offering more departure lounge seating alongside new retail and catering outlets, further enhancing the passenger experience and reinforcing Bristol’s position as the South West’s airport of choice.

Fares to Nantes with bmi regional start from £79 one way and the launch is the latest milestone in the successful partnership between bmi regional and Bristol Airport.

It follows the introduction in April of services to Paris and Dusseldorf and the re-introduction of Milan at the beginning of the year.

These routes, in addition to existing services (to Aberdeen, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt), bring the number of destinations currently serviced by bmi regional from the South West to eight.

Following the success of bmi regional’s first route out of Bristol to Aberdeen - launched back in October 2012 - expansion followed, with Hamburg launching in February 2013; Frankfurt in April 2013; and Munich and Milan a month later. 

The airline now has 110 staff based at Bristol Airport: 63 pilots, 36 cabin crew and 11 engineers.

Every week, 3,200 people fly with bmi regional from Bristol, taking advantage of its reputation for consistent punctuality and customer service. In addition, bmi regional staff check in about 2,000 bags each week.

Bristol Airport is the fifth largest outside of London handling 6.3 million passengers in 2014 and planning approvals in place for up to 10 million passengers per annum.  

A new Hampton by Hilton hotel is due to open next spring and a £1.3 million road improvement scheme is nearing completion on the A38.

bmi regional chief operating officer Paul Sies said:  “In the south west, 5,000 companies are interested in or are already exporting to France and Germany.

"Nantes is the gateway to the Loire region, perfect for a weekend break.

"Meanwhile flying twice a day to Paris means that our passengers can have a full day of business in the French capital, rather than having to overnight there. Dusseldorf is an international business and financial centre and bmi regional is the only airline to directly connect the hub with businesses in the South West.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted with the addition of the Nantes route to the bmi regional network.

"With large Airbus aerospace manufacturing sites in both Nantes and Saint Nazaire, the route will provide enhanced connectivity which is a key business focus for us.

"This region of France, with Nantes as the gateway provides easy access to both the Atlantic coast and the French countryside.”

New look for airport ground staff

 

Passengers using Bristol Airport this summer will notice new look uniforms for the customer operations teams working in the terminal and car parks, with more than 100 staff wearing the specially designed clothing.

The uniform is designed around the airport’s brand colours and logo, while staff can add a touch of individuality by choosing from navy trousers or skirt, waistcoat, or jacket and smart branded scarf or tie.

The introduction of the new uniform is the culmination of a nine month project involving representatives from the various customer-facing teams. 

A working group was formed to come up with ideas for the uniform,  researching the various  options available.

The teams wanted a professional, practical look, in a similar style to airline uniforms – but it was important that this complied with airport security standards by avoiding any metallic elements, for example.

A local company was sourced to design and supply the uniforms.

Bristol Airport head of customer operations Alison Roberts said: “Our teams love the new uniform, and enjoyed being involved in the selection process.

"The project has taken over nine months of work looking at different styles and designs.

"We are confident the end result will help to give a positive first impression to our passengers, demonstrating our commitment to customer service during what will be a busy summer.”

It has been a busy year in more ways than one with the construction of the £8.6m eastern terminal extension set for completion in July, the building of an on-site 200 bed Hampton by Hilton hotel set to open in spring 2016 and the £1.3m road improvement works to the A38.                          

More than 230 additional staff have also been recruited across a variety of departments and business partners, with roles ranging from customer service, catering, retail, car parks, security and handling agent positions.

During the busy summer season passengers are reminded to allow sufficient time for their journey to the airport, and should arrive at least two hours ahead of their scheduled time of departure to ensure all essential processes can be completed.

Busy summer predicted

 

More than half a million passengers used Bristol Airport in April, a record for the month. 

An increase of 7.1 per cent on the same period in 2014, April’s strong performance ensured a thirteenth consecutive month of growth at the south west’s largest airport.

The number of people travelling was put at 538,879.

Charter and scheduled airlines carried more passengers, with standout figures for bmi regional which saw traffic grow following the launch of new services to Paris and Düsseldorf. 

Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Ryanair and Thomas Cook also recorded strong growth in April.

With charter airlines commencing their summer programmes in May, further growth is forecast this month, setting up what is expected to be a record holiday season. 

New destinations on offer include Bilbao, lsle of Man, Porto, Gibraltar and Catania (Sicily) with easyJet, and new Thomson flights and holidays to Cape Verde, Paphos (Cyprus) and Hurghada (Egypt) from Thomson. 

In addition, Wizz Air will enter the south west market for the first time, with twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland from June.

Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work underway on an eastern terminal extension scheduled to open in July. 

Beyond the airport boundary improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, are in the pipeline and will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed.

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “Growth in passenger numbers supports investment in facilities such as the eastern terminal extension which will create additional space and seating, as well as a wider choice of shops and restaurants. 

"It also demonstrates to airlines the strength of the market for air travel in the south west as we work to attract exciting new routes to add to the 100+ already on offer from Bristol.”Earlier this year Bristol was named the world’s most punctual airport in a league table measuring on-time performance compiled by leading global aviation provider OAG based on more than 43 million flight records. 

However, during the busy summer season passengers are reminded to allow sufficient time for their journey to the airport, and should arrive at least two hours ahead of their scheduled time of departure to ensure all essential processes can be completed.

Parisian and Germanic new summer routes

 

The eagerly awaited new all-jet flights to Paris Charles De Gaulle and Düsseldorf from Bristol Airport operated by bmi regional take off today, Monday 27 April.

The Bristol to Paris service will operate six days a week, with two flights a day Monday to Friday, and one flight on Sunday. Bristol-Düsseldorf will fly six times a week, Sunday to Friday.

The flights bring the number of Bristol routes served by bmi regional to eight, alongside Aberdeen, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Milan and Nantes* in France.

One-way fares from Bristol to Paris start at £69 and fares to Düsseldorf start from £79, including all taxes.  

As standard, all fares include at-seat in-flight full bar and snack service, 20kg of checked baggage and 30-minute check-in.

bmi regional CEO Peter Simpson said: “The launch of bmi regional’s Paris and Düsseldorf routes from Bristol mark another milestone in our expansion.

"The double-daily weekday service to Paris Charles De Gaulle is conveniently timed for business passengers who can now have a full day of business in the French capital, rather than having to overnight.

“Düsseldorf is the centre of the Rhine-Ruhr and an international business and financial hub, renowned for its fashion and trade fairs, and bmi regional is the only airline to connect businesses in the South West directly to the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We welcome the additional routes on bmi regional’s network from Bristol Airport, which are a further demonstration of bmi regional’s commitment to Bristol.

"The addition of these flights provides additional connectivity for business travellers to two major European business centres. 

"The timings of the Paris flights will enable the busy business traveller to depart Bristol early in the morning and return the same day, saving valuable time without the necessity of staying overnight.  

"Both Paris and Dusseldorf also have lots to offer for leisure visitors with a wealth of culinary delights and cultural history making for great city breaks. "These new destinations will shortly be joined by another new route to Nantes commencing early this summer.” 

bmi regional operates an all-jet fleet comprising 18 Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft.

The airline now operates more than 300 scheduled flights a week across a network of 22 destinations in ten European countries and employs more than 400 staff.

bmi regional has held the title of the UK’s most punctual airline for the past nine consecutive years, most recently in 2013.

The airline also operates an extensive ad hoc charter business and flies on a contract basis on behalf of other carriers. Its scheduled network includes Oslo in Norway; Brussels and Liege in Belgium; Esbjerg in Denmark; Toulouse, Paris and Nantes in France; Rotterdam in the Netherlands; Bern in Switzerland; Bremen, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Munich in Germany; Milan in Italy; Jonkoping and Karlstad in Sweden, and Aberdeen, Bristol, East Midlands, Newcastle and Norwich in the UK.

PHOTO: From left bmi regional founder and board member Ian Woodley; bmi regional flight crew and Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne

Air Smiles Day for youngsters

 

More than 40 young people, aged seven to 16, from charity Kids Company went flyiing at the weekend.

The youngsters were specially selected for light aircraft flights over their home town as part of the Airbus sponsored Air Smiles Day at Bristol and Wessex Flying Club, Bristol Airport.

Airbus teamed up with leading UK aviation charity fly2help and Bristol Airport to host the action packed fun day on the airfield which included a pleasure flight in a light aircraft, activities with Avon and Somerset police, exploring fire-fighting equipment and clothes with the airport fire and safety team, and learning how to take fingerprints with police cadets.

The beneficiaries also graduated from the Airbus Wing Academy by testing and flying model aircraft.

Kids Company, with centres in London, Liverpool and Bristol, provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable children, young people and families, of which many have experienced multiple trauma and neglect and live in severe deprivation. 

Kids Company Bristol director of services Esther Keller said, “We are absolutely delighted that fly2help and Airbus has offered Kids Company this marvellous opportunity for our young people. 

"They don't often get the chance to experience such an exciting adventure. 

"The children have been very excited about this for a long time.

"We can't thank Airbus enough for their generosity.”

fly2help chief executive officer Felicia Willow said, “It was amazing to be able to work with Kids Company for this event.

"An Air Smiles Day can be a life-changing experience and the day gave these young people the chance to leave their troubles on the ground and see the world from a different perspective as well as being able to take part in some very special activities.”

fly2help provides Air Smiles Days - exciting experience days, centred around a short flight in a light aircraft - to people living in difficult situations, including illness, disability, bereavement and isolation.

Air Smiles Days aim to bring joy and laughter, create and capture magical memories, boost confidence and self-esteem and offer respite to individuals, families and groups.

In the photo is fly2help volunteers andone of the aircraft that flew children around the skies of Bristol.

Drunken trio taken off plane at Bristol Airport

 

Police were called to Bristol Airport at 6.40pm on Friday to reports of three people being disruptive and intoxicated on a flight ready to depart to Faro, Portugal.

Two 49-year-old women and a 23-year-old man were arrested for being drunk and disorderly on a plane.

Bristol Airport head of security Chris Ware said: “Our airport police team were requested by flight crew to attend a delayed departing flight to Faro.

 “Three passengers were removed from the aircraft and subsequently arrested.

“Abusive, aggressive or anti-social behaviour on board an aircraft or at the airport will not be tolerated, the normal protocol of dealing with disruptive passengers was implemented.

“Unfortunately the actions of these individual passengers further delayed the aircraft’s departure.”

Airport team sergeant Mick Parminter said: “We want everyone who travels through the airport to have a safe and enjoyable start to their trip.

“We would warn anyone travelling through the airport to know their limits.

“Passengers have a personal responsibility for their own behaviour.

“On average over half a million passengers travel through the airport every month without incident however we will not allow the behaviour of a few to spoil the enjoyment and travel plans for everyone else.

“Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”

An increase in intoxicated passengers are a significant concern for aviation authorities.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who represent 240 airlines (equivalent to 84 per cent of total air traffic), ‘unruly passenger incidents’ are a ‘significant daily operational challenge’ for their members.

Last year the organisation received reports of 8,000 such incidents, with alcohol a high-ranking contributing factor (not being allowed to smoke, and getting annoyed with other passengers are other common causes).

This is big jump; in 2011 6,000 incidents were reported, in 2007 just 500.

Arrow Cars airport taxi contract

 

Arrow Cars has been awarded a five year contract to provide private hire vehicles for passengers travelling to and from Bristol Airport, making it the UK’s largest airport taxi provider.

From Tuesday, April 1, Arrow Cars will run a fleet of dedicated on-site taxis, ensuring that vehicles are available to passengers 24 hours a day and can be pre-booked both to and from the airport.   

Passengers will be able to book online, by telephone or in person at the Airport and new app will be available soon to provide updates on bookings in real time.

The number of staff employed as part of the dedicated taxi operation at Bristol Airport will increase from 60 to 85 as part of the announcement. 

Arrow already operates taxi services at Manchester, Leeds Bradford and East Midlands airports.

Bristol Airport ground transportation manager Liz Macnaughton said: “Following a detailed tender process, Arrow Cars was successful in securing a five year contract which we believe will deliver an enhanced service for our passengers. 

"Several improvements will be introduced as a result of passenger feedback, including self-service check in which allows pre-booked customers arriving at the Airport to access their taxi without attending the booking office, saving valuable time in the process.”

Arrow Cars chairman, David Richmond said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to operate the private hire concession at Bristol Airport.

"It now gives us a national presence to complement our existing operations at Leeds Bradford, Manchester and East Midlands Airport.

"Our existing operations have gone from strength to strength with sustained growth.  

"Our focus is always on our customers - giving them a high quality customer experience from the initial booking process through to the journey itself is paramount.

"Whether booking online, at one of our airport desks or by phone, we give our customers a seamless experience and we will shortly introduce the new booking app for Bristol Airport which will further enhance the service.

"We are looking forward to offering our Bristol customers the same high quality Arrow service."

  • TAXI TEAM: Pictured from left is Tom Hack and Liz Macnaughton, of Bristol Airport with Daniel Graham, Arrow Cars

Getting ready to run

 

More than 100 Bristol Airport staff took to the runway on Monday, March 9, as part of a charity event which raised more than £3,500 for Children’s Hospice South West, Charlton Farm.

The ‘runway run’ took place after the evening’s last scheduled flight movement at 11pm  and kicked off with a warm-up led by airport firefighters. Participants ran, walked or cycled with one intrepid member of the team roller skating the length of the 2,011 metre strip in both directions.  

Both directions of the runway and the taxiway back to the old terminal building making up an unusual 5k.

As well as staff from departments from across the airport business, teams from partner organisations including FirstGroup, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, easyJet, NATS, Swissport and various other companies based at the airport also took part.

Bristol Airport public relations and community manager Jacqui Mills said: "We are delighted to be able to support Children’s Hospice South West in such a unique way.  

After the success of last year’s event we decided to repeat the unusual opportunity for staff unable to participate last year.  

"The runway is at the heart of the airport’s operations, so we thought it made sense to use this valuable asset to raise money for such a good cause.

“Two thousand metres may not seem far when you are speeding down the runway in an Airbus A320, but it’s a different proposition on foot on a chilly night in March!  

"It was a great effort from all concerned, whether taking part, marshalling or ensuring the runway was ready for the resumption of normal operations first thing the following morning.”

CHSW corporate partnerships fundraiser Janey Hellmen said: "We were delighted to benefit from, and be a part of the airport’s runway run.  

"It was a fantastic and unique way to kick off the airport’s support for local life-limited children and their families who visit our hospice in Wraxall.  

"We can’t wait to see what else the team at the airport have in store this year and are so grateful for their support.”

Children’s Hospice South West was chosen as Bristol Airport’s charity of the year for 2015 in a vote by staff.  

CHSW provides hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions.

Charlton Farm near Nailsea supports families from Bristol, Bath, and Somerset.

Each year Bristol Airport selects a local charity, voted and selected by the Airport staff.

Since 1999 more than £255,000 has been raised and donated to local charities through various fund raising activities.

 

Summertime for new terminal

 

Fifteen years after it was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal, pictured right arriving in sunnier climes at Kingston Airport, the first major expansion to Bristol Airport’s terminal is nearing completion.

The terminal building welcomed its first flights on March 7, 2000 after a two year build programme costing £27 million.  

In the first year following its opening the terminal handled a little more than two million passengers, compared to 6.3 million per annum today.

Fifteen years on work is underway on an £8.6 million extension to the east of the building which, when it opens this summer, will create additional seating in the departure lounge, as well as extending the range of retail and catering facilities for passengers, including an eye-catching outdoor terrace area.

When it opened on its original site in Whitchurch, Bristol Airport became only the third civil airport in the country.

Since moving to its current location in North Somerset in 1957, Bristol has developed into one of the UK’s most successful regional airports, and the country’s fifth largest airport outside London.

Several of the team involved in the transition to the newly built terminal in 2000 are still involved today.  

Bristol Airport head of commercial development, Kate Ridgers, is now working with existing and potential retailers to identify opportunities in the eastern terminal extension, but back in 2000 she was in charge of the transition of airport operations to the new building as new terminal logistics manager.

She said: "My main role was to manage the transfer of the airport operation from the existing terminal, now our administration and security building, to the new terminal.

“This involved working very closely with all of our business partners from ground handling agents to security, immigration and customs.  

"Before we opened the new terminal, I organised a 'trial flight' to fully test the building before we opened the doors to passengers.

"Friends and family of staff members arrived at the terminal with boarding cards and suitcases and got to experience the new terminal before anyone else, including testing all of the catering outlets.

“The overnight transfer itself was one of my career highlights and a night I will never forget – seeing the last flight of the day depart from one terminal and the first flight on the following day depart from another terminal was very exciting. The transfer was organised with military precision.”

Bristol Airport in-house head of security Chris Ware was an Inspector in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary back in 2000, responsible for planning major events including royal visits.

He said: "The security challenges were very different then.

“The main threats were still connected to the troubles in Northern Ireland and as the terminal was a building site until a few days before the visit of Princess Anne, the security operation was particularly challenging.

“As the event was so high profile and media interest was intense, the logistics of the opening ceremony were complex.  

"Coordination was managed between the police team, the Aarport and the Lord Lieutenant’s office on behalf of Buckingham Palace.  

"The striking memory for me was the total pride and excitement all of the staff working at the airport had in their new building and the opportunities it would open up.  

"The combination of aviation, an exciting new building and inspirational people was infectious but little did I realise that Bristol Airport would feature so much in my future working life."

Fifteen years later, Chris is focused on planning a new security search area as part of the anticipated next phase of development which will see the terminal extended to the west.

The current development work is part of overall plans to enhance facilities to enable Bristol Airport to serve 10 million passengers a year.  

Other major components include a new multi-level car park with public transport interchange on its top level, and an on-site hotel which is expected to open in spring 2016.

Beyond the airport boundary, improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, are underway and will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed.

Earlier this year, Bristol was named the world’s most punctual airport in a league table measuring on-time performance compiled by leading global aviation provider OAG based on more than 43 million flight records.

A timeline in progress: 

• 1927: A group of local businessmen raised £6,000 through public subscriptions to start a flying club at Filton Aerodrome. This later becomes the birthplace of Concorde.

• 1929: These pioneers attract so much interest in their project that they became more ambitious and decide to develop a fully-fledged airport for Bristol. An area of farmland at Whitchurch is bought and the new airport is born.

• 1930: Bristol Airport is officially opened on 31 May by HRH Prince George becoming only the third civil airport in the country.

• 1930 – 1939: Whitchurch develops slowly with passenger numbers of 935 in 1930 increasing to 4,000 by 1939. With the outbreak of the war the airport is requisitioned by the Air Ministry and has the distinction of being the only civil airport in operation in the U.K.

•1939 – 1945: Flights operate to Lisbon with links to the United States via the Azores. The comings and goings of statesmen, spies, film stars and others are shrouded in secrecy, but Winston Churchill and Amy Johnson certainly use the Airport during this period.

• 1955: Bristol wins its ten-year battle for a new City airport. Lulsgate Bottom Airfield, which had not been in use as an RAF airfield in the 10 years since the war is purchased for £55,000 by the Bristol Corporation. It is announced that Bristol's new aerodrome will officially be known as 'Bristol (Lulsgate) Airport'.

• 1957: The Duchess of Kent, whose late husband - killed during the war - had previously opened Whitchurch Airport, opens the new airport. The first year of operation is successful with a throughput of 33,000 passengers.

 

Airport Environment Improvement Fund

 

A fund set up to benefit the community around Bristol Airport has donated more than £258,000 to 66 local projects since it was established three years ago.

The Airport Environmental Improvement Fund was set up in 2012 as one of the commitments the airport agreed to provide in connection with its planning permission for development over the next decade.

 Each year Bristol Airport contributes a minimum of £100,000 to the fund, with the figure increasing in line with growth in passenger numbers.  

The fund’s management committee includes representatives from both the airport and North Somerset Council and is independently chaired.

Winford Parish Council chairman Paul Hatherall said: “We are delighted with the grants we have received from Bristol Airport’s local community fund.  

“The fund has assisted the parish with a number of initiatives in Felton, Regil and Winford villages.

“It has supported a wide range of projects including school and pre-school educational visits, safer road crossings, improved church car park and a tree planting project.  

“Since the fund started in 2012 a total of 12 local projects has now been supported, benefiting communities which would have been difficult to achieve without financial contributions from the fund.”

Projects is has helped include:

  • An improved footpath in Winford;

  • Play equipment for Cleeve Kids’ Corner;

  • Eco lighting at Cleeve village hall;

  • Diamond jubilee tree planting at Felton;

  • Farm project at Court de Wyck Primary School;

  • An educational and art project at Backwell School including a community arts day;

  • Hartcliffe Park Farm educational and environmental project;

  • King George V Playing Field at Cleeve refurbishment of pavilion;

  • Barrow Gurney War Memorial planting project;

  • Winford Pre-School educational trip;

  • Flax Bourton Primary School educational outdoor equipment;

  • Backwell Swimming Club educational camera system;

  • New footpath on the A38 by Barrow Gurney providing local residents with a pedestrian access to a newly-created Flyer bus stop; and

  • A puffin crossing on the A370 in Backwell.

Groundwork South west of England operations manager Tim Cooper said: “The grant from Bristol Airport’s local community fund has enabled us to buy an outdoor archery range which is now an important part of our activities at Goblin Combe Environment Centre and has enabled us to provide a new fun activity for children and young people visiting our site from local schools, youth groups and other events.

“We are very grateful to the community fund for supporting us to develop our work and continue to provide fun and enjoyment for the community.”

 The fund’s purpose is to help mitigate the impact of the airport’s operations and to give something back to surrounding communities who are situated in close proximity to the site. 

Projects which could be eligible for support include initiatives to mitigate the impact of aircraft and ground noise, improvements to transport infrastructure, measures to reduce community severance, nature conservation, educational projects and local sustainability initiatives. 

The fund’s area of benefit includes the parishes of Winford, Wrington, Backwell, Brockley, Cleeve and Barrow Gurney.

Applications are currently inviting applications for grants for noise insulation within a defined area close to the airport where the noise impact is greatest.

For further information contact the Bristol Airport Local Community Fund administrator on 01275 473615 or email communityfund@bristolairport.com.

Fly from Bristol to Paris, Düsseldorf and Nantes

 

  • Boost for business travellers heading to Germany and France

  • Paris now twice a day from Bristol

  • Nantes new French leisure destination for airline

  • Düsseldorf increases the number of bmi regional German routes from Bristol to four

  • Airline now offers eight routes from Bristol

 

bmi regional is launching three new routes to Paris, Düsseldorf and Nantes, bringing the number of routes served by the regional airline from Bristol to eight.

Adding to its direct fights to Aberdeen, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Milan.

Paris and Düsseldorf flights commence on Monday, April 27, with Nantes flights starting Saturday, July 4 , and operating throughout the summer months.

Flights are on sale now.

Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “These new flights will strengthen links to key markets in France and Germany for business and leisure passengers in the South West. 

"Building on bmi regional’s existing services to Aberdeen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Milan, these new destinations further enhance the airline’s growing base at Bristol Airport.

“Direct flights to European cities such as Paris, Düsseldorf and Nantes provide passengers with a convenient local alternative to the London airports, saving them time and money in the process, and bmi regional’s reputation for reliability and service will make this option even more attractive. 

2The double-daily weekday service to the French capital’s major airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle, adds capacity to another major global hub and makes a same day return possible for business passengers.”

bmi regional CEO Cathal O’Connell said: “bmi regional is delighted to launch these new routes from Bristol Airport today. 

"Bristol is already a substantial hub for the airline, allowing us to service some of Europe’s most exciting business and leisure destinations.

"Flying twice a day to Paris means that business travellers can now have a full day of business in the French capital, rather than having to overnight.

"Düsseldorf is the centre of the Rhine-Ruhr and an international business and financial centre, renowned for its fashion and trade fairs, and bmi regional the only airline to connect businesses in the South West directly to the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.

"Nantes is the gateway to the Loire region, and the perfect place for a weekend break, or a holiday among the world famous vineyards and chateaux”.

Minister gets terra firma tour

 

Bristol Airport had a visit this week from a high flying goverment transport minister.

Aviation minister Robert Goodwill MP visited Bristol Airport on Thursday to view the latest developments to the terminal, including construction of an £8.6m eastern terminal extension set for completion this summer.

The parliamentary under secretary and MP for Scarborough and Whitby toured the terminal with the airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair viewing existing facilities, including the new central walkway which opened last summer.  

The pair are pictured top wearing building site jackets.

He was also shown computer generated images of the airport’s overall development plans which will enable it to handle up to 10 million passengers per annum in future.

Mr Goodwill said: “I was pleased to hear that Bristol Airport have seen their highest ever passenger numbers of more than 6.3 million last year, breaking their own record from 2008. 

"Supporting our airports is part of this government’s long term economic plan.

"This growth is driven by the significant investment the airport is making in new infrastructure that I have seen today.”

Mr Sinclair said:“Regional airports have an important role to play in providing connectivity for the catchment areas they serve, making best use of the capacity that exists outside London and helping to rebalance the economy.

“We were delighted to show the Minister first-hand how Bristol Airport is making significant investment in new infrastructure which will enable us to grow the network of routes available, serve more passengers from South West England and South Wales, and enhance the customer experience in the process.”

A total of 6.3 million passengers used Bristol Airport last year, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2008. 

This represents a 3.45 per cent increase year on year, and a fifth consecutive year of growth for the South West’s largest airport.

Further growth is forecast in 2015, with flights to a raft of new destinations set to commence this spring.

The airport’s largest carrier, easyJet, has put new destinations on sale, including year-round services to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Porto, while Thomson Airways will operate flights to Cape Verde for the first time, alongside new services to Hurghada in Egypt and Paphos, Cyprus. 

In addition, Wizz Air will enter the South West market for the first time, with twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland from June.

Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work underway on an eastern terminal extension, improvements to car parks, and the construction of a 201 room Hampton by Hilton hotel. 

Beyond the Airport boundary, improvements to the transport system across the West of England, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, are underway and will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed.

Last month Bristol was named the world’s most punctual airport in a league table measuring on-time performance compiled by leading global aviation provider OAG based on more than 43 million flight records.

Glowing in the dark

 

Bristol Airport new night lights use less energy than a kettle.

Passengers flying into Bristol Airport during winter’s darker evenings, may notice new signage on the façade of the building. Bristol Airport’s logo has been created into a new energy efficient sign and provides a shining welcome to passengers.

The new signage has utilised LED lighting to illuminate Bristol Airport’s logo throughout the night.

Provided by Bristol-based Lighting Services, the installed lights are IP66 rated, ensuring that it is waterproof and suitable for all weather.

Lighting Servies project manager Tony Ludlow said: "LED has helped Bristol Airport reduce their energy output throughout the site.

"The new signage is just one example of using modern lighting solutions to keep energy low.

"The signage lighting runs at just 266 watts compared to the average kettle which uses 1800 watts.”

Bristol Airport environment manager Melanie King said: “Low energy lighting is part of our site-wide approach to energy efficiency, and part of our ongoing commitment to improving our environmental performance.”

Bristol Airport welcomed 6.3 million passengers in 2014, with an expected continued growth in 2015.

With Bristol Green Capital holding their official launch recently, with a high-wire stunt show at the Cumberland Basin, many Bristol-based businesses will be turning their focus towards lowering energy and carbon consumption over the coming year.

Lighting Services encourage and support businesses save energy and reduce carbon through the latest in lighting technologies and controls.

Airport hotel set to open spring 2016

The giant hotel group Hilton is behind a ‘made in China’ new budget hotel for Bristol Airport.

The 201-room hotel will include flexible meeting ‘spaces’, 24-hour fitness room, parking for 120 cars, complimentary WiFi and Hampton’s ‘On The House’ hot breakfast.

It is due to open in spring 2016.

It is to be marketed under The Hampton by Hilton brand – once part of Holiday Inns – which operates more than 2,000 mid ranged hotels across the globe.

Financed and owned by construction company CIMC which built the Travelodge at Heathrow, the hotel will be managed under the Hilton Worldwide umbrella.

 The hotel will be manufactured and put together in China before being shipped to the UK for final assembly on site.

 Hilton Worldwide Europe and Africa development senior vice president Patrick Fitzgibbon said: “CIMC’s capacity to deliver modular sections of the building to the final hotel site offers an incredible opportunity to overcome many of the challenges faced during construction.

“Alongside potential time and cost efficiencies, CIMC’s ability to provide senior debt to developers using its modular building technique underpins its robust growth model, and we are seeing more and more opportunity for this structure in mature markets such as the UK, and developing economies, most notably in Africa.”

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said:  “The development of a high quality on-site hotel to be operated under such a world-renowned brand will be a very welcome addition to our facilities for the growing number of passengers choosing to fly to and from Bristol Airport. 

“Alongside the terminal extension currently under construction, this is another statement of our ambition to be a world class regional airport serving the South West of the UK.”

Bristol is the only top ten UK airport to see passenger growth every year since 2009 and saw record volumes last year when 6.3 million people passed through the terminal, making it the UK’s ninth busiest passenger airport.

It was also named the world’s most punctual airport in a league table measuring on-time performance based on data compiled from more than 43 million flight records by aviation data provider, OAG.

The 132-bed Cadbury House at Congresbury trades under the more upmarket branding of Doubletree at Hilton which boasts 400 hotels at 133 locations worldwide.

FLAT PACK: Constructed in China and assembled on North Somerset site

Bristol Airport is world's most punctual airport

 

Bristol Airport has topped flight punctuality league tables published on Tuesday, January 6,, with an on-time performance rating of 94.6 per cent making it the world’s best.

Leading global aviation intelligence provider, OAG, based the league tables on 43.5 million flight records from 4,000 airports worldwide. 

The report covers the 2014 calendar year and is based on the proportion of flights arriving and departing within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “We are delighted that Bristol Airport has topped the table in OAG punctuality league measuring flight punctuality across the world in 2014.

“This achievement is a joint effort and is testament to the collaborative approach taken by airlines, ground handlers and our own team. 

“It demonstrates the advantages offered by regional airports such as Bristol, where airlines operate in uncongested airspace with greater flexibility and resilience in the event of any disruption. 

“It also shows the clear benefits of our continued investment in infrastructure over the last decade or more, from the installation of a CATIII all-weather landing system to the construction of new boarding facilities such as the central walkway which opened last summer.”

European destinations dominated the timekeeping list when it comes to small airports, with Bristol followed closely by Brussels South Charleroi Airport at 93.1% and Berlin Schoenefeld at 92.3%.

Japan's Osaka International Airport claimed the top spot for medium sized airports with 93.2 per cent, followed by Moscow Sheremetyevo at 89.8 per cent and Copenhagen Airport 89.8 per cent.

The most punctual large air hub was named as Munich Airport at 89 per cent.

Bristol Airport CEO Robert Sinclair is pictured with OAG executive vice president John Grant, OAG executive vice president.

OAG full punctuality league 2014 report can be found by clicking HERE.

Power to the IT peeps sustainable transport

 

After a bus powered by poo along comes an electric car for the IT crew adding to the range of vehicles at Bristol Airport.

The Nissan e-NV200 is the first 100 per cent electric powered vehicle on the 176 hectare site, and has been purchased with support from TravelWest.

The e-NV200 combines storage space, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency, and will use an electric charging socket installed at front of the administration building. 

In addition, passengers using electric vehicles to get to and from the airport will soon be able to make use of two further charging points in the short stay car park which will be available from early January 2015.

Bristol Airport environment manager Melanie King said: “The new vehicle has been well received by the IT team in their work maintaining equipment and supporting staff across the airport site. 

“Sustainability is a key focus for us and we are always looking to explore technology which can help us reduce our impact on the local environment. 

“This is one of several initiatives we will be progressing over the course of the next 12 months in recognition of Bristol’s status as European Green Capital.” 

The addition of the electric vehicle to the Bristol Airport fleet follows the introduction of the UK’s first ever bus powered of food and human waste on the service between Bath and Bristol Airport.

The Bath Bus Company and Wessex Water are trialling the ‘bio bus’ with the objectives of utilizing renewable fuels and cutting emissions.

Pictured is Melanie and the electric car at Bristol Airport.

Passenger numbers for 2014

 

A total of 6.3 million passengers used Bristol Airport last year, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2008. 

This represents a 3.45 per cent increase year on year, and a fifth consecutive year of growth for the largest airport in the south west.

The landmark total included record passenger figures for a single day, set on Thursday, August 14, when 25,390 arrived or departed during 24 hours. 

Growth was achieved without increasing the number of commercial flights, reflecting the introduction of larger aircraft on a number of established services, including KLM’s four times daily service to Amsterdam.

Further growth is forecast in 2015 with flights to a raft of new destinations set to commence this spring and at least one airline launching operations at Bristol Airport for the first time.

The airport’s largest carrier, easyJet, has put new destinations on sale, including year-round services to Bilbao, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Porto, while Thomson Airways will operate flights to Cape Verde for the first time, alongside new services to Hurghada in Egypt and Paphos, Cyprus. 

In addition, Wizz Air will enter the south west market for the first time, with twice weekly flights to Katowice in Poland from June.

Coupled with the fall in the value of the euro which could see travellers save up to 20 per cent on holiday expenses such as eating out, this increased programme of flights and holidays makes the offer from Bristol Airport more competitive than ever.

Development of passenger facilities to cater for this increased demand continues, with work underway on an eastern terminal extension and improvements to car parks. 

Beyond the airport boundary improvements to the transport system across the West Country, including the construction of a South Bristol Link, are in the pipeline and will enhance access from the north, east and west once completed.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said:“Airports are useful barometers for the economy of the region they serve, so growth of passenger numbers at Bristol Airport is good news for the south west. 

“This strong performance is set to continue throughout 2015, with leisure travel in particular being stimulated by the euro exchange rate and reductions in Air Passenger Duty for children.

“Work is already underway to ensure we maintain and enhance the customer experience as passenger numbers grow, and we continue to explore opportunities with existing and potential airline partners to strengthen and extend the route network available from Bristol. 

“It is set to be an exciting year in which we will continue to work towards our goal to be a world class regional airport serving the south west of the UK.”

about you.

Three new year jobs fair at Bristol Airport 

 

Bristol Airport is hosting a jobs fair for the new year.

It is teaming up with business partners to showcase job opportunities available across its site. 

The three events in January and February will provide prospective candidates the chance to find out more about the different roles available and the skills and qualifications required.

Around 3,000 people are employed at the Airport, which currently handles 6.3 million passengers per annum (mppa).

But, with permission to develop facilities to handle up to 10mppa, the workforce is forecast to grow.

The careers fairs will provide a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone interested in working at the airport, with several of the 45 different employers on site represented, including security provider, ICTS, travel catering specialist, SSP, and duty free shopping operator, WDF.

Roles on offer span customer service, PCV drivers, security, catering and retail, including fixed term seasonal contracts commencing 

April until the end of October 2015. 

Each session will operate on a drop-in basis and will provide an opportunity to meet with representatives of various departments and businesses to discuss relevant vacancies.

The careers fairs will be held in the Administration Building at Bristol Airport on:

  • Tuesday, January 6,  6-8pm DONE

  • Friday, February 6, 4-6pm

  • Saturday, February 28, 10am-noon

Due to the anticipated high demand people are asked to send an email to recruitment@bristolairport.com to register interest in attending, indicating your preferred date.

Wizz Air is landing at Bristol Airport

 

A new airline will be flying from Bristol Airport from June next year with a twice-weekly service to Katowice, Poland.

Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe and the Katowice service makes Bristol the 106th airport in its route network. 

Flights will operate every Monday and Friday from June 26.

Katowice is the principal city of the Upper Silesian region of Poland and is a centre for science and industry, as well as being home to an eclectic mix of architectural styles with Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings alongside Modernist structures from the Communist era, and a neo-Classical cathedral which is the largest in Poland.

 As well as making an interesting city break destination for visitors from the UK, the Wizz Air service will provide a convenient link for Poles from the region living and working in the South West.

 Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted to welcome Wizz Air to the South West of the UK. 

“The Katowice service will be a popular addition to the route network available from Bristol Airport, further strengthening links with Poland.”

Wizz Air spokesman Daniel d Carvalho said: “With six UK airports, the Wizz low cost offer is a great opportunity for UK consumers explore central and eastern Europe and we look forward to carrying many passengers on our new Bristol-Katowice service.”

 Tickets are on sale now from £25.99 one way which includes taxes, non-optional charges and one small cabin bag and can be booked by clicking HERE.

Flights will be operated by a 180-seat Airbus A320.

Last year Wizz Air carried more than 13.9 million passengers on its fleet of 54 Airbus A320 aircraft from 19 bases covering 350 routes.

Bristol Airport is the ninth largest airport in the UK and the fifth largest outside London, serving 6.3 million passengers per annum. 

Flights operate to more than 100 destinations in 29 countries, including 15 capital cities.

Planning permission is in place for facilities to handle 10million passengers per annum and work is currently underway on an £8.5m extension to the terminal building.

Bristol Airport predicts a very busy Christmas and New Year

Bristol Airport is preparing for a busy Christmas and New Year with more than 200,000 passengers expected to pass through the terminal over the course of the festive  holiday.

Peak times are during school holidays from Friday, December 19, to Saturday, January 3,  with daily passenger numbers forecast to peak on Sunday, December 21, when they expect approximately 20,000 people arriving and departing during the course of 24 hours. 

Preparations are underway to provide a stress-free start to the festive period for those flying off to see friends and family or heading home for the holidays.

However, departing passengers are advised to allow sufficient time to complete check-in, bag drop, security and boarding processes, as well as taking holiday traffic into account when planning the journey to the airport. 

If using public transport, passengers are requested to check timetables in advance as no services will be operating to or from Bristol Airport on Christmas Day and a reduced service will be in place on other days over the holiday period.

As well as passengers travelling to be with loved ones over Christmas, festive figures are boosted by those seeking winter sun or hitting the slopes with skis or snowboards. 

Popular winter sun destinations this year include the Canaries, Egypt and Marrakech, while winter sports enthusiasts can choose from Verona for easy access to the Italian ski resorts, Geneva for the Swiss Alps, Innsbruck for Austrian resorts, and a wide range of other scheduled and charter services. 

An alternative winter getaway is available for the second year running courtesy of easyJet’s service to Reykjavik.  Ideal for those passengers wanting something a little bit different, the Icelandic capital offers dramatic scenery alongside a bohemian music and nightlife scene.

But it is not just one-way traffic.  The run up to Christmas also sees families and friends reuniting in Bristol Airport’s arrivals area, with flights from international hubs such as  Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt and Munich enabling travellers to connect to Bristol from  across the world.

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “December is historically a busy month at Bristol Airport, but with more seats available than ever to sun and ski destinations we are seeing particularly strong demand over the Christmas period this year. 

“We expect this to continue into 2015, which already looks like being a busy 12 months as we continue to enhance the range of routes and facilities available to passengers.”

While thousands of people will be starting their holidays at Bristol Airport, it will be business as usual for the staff on shift over the festive period - including on Christmas Day itself, when a limited number of flights will be operating to Amsterdam and Sharm el Sheikh, with the flight schedule returning to normal on Boxing Day.

easyJet's big expansion at Bristol adds 3 new routes

 

  • Bilbao, Isle of Man and Zante added to easyJet’s expanding Bristol operations
  • Announcement follows the release of four other new routes earlier this year

 

easyJet, Bristol Airport’s largest airline, has announced a further three new routes to its growing portfolio.

From April and May next year, the airline will start flying to Bilbao, Isle of Man and Zante from Bristol Airport.

The announcement follows easyJet’s October announcement of four additional new routes to Gibraltar, Porto, Lanzarote and Catania.

In total, easyJet will add seven new destinations to its Bristol operations next summer as part of its five year agreement with Bristol Airport for continued growth.

The trio of new routes went on sale this week by clicking HERE.

More than 47,000 passengers are expected to fly on the three new routes in summer next year, and more than 115,000 on the seven new routes combined. 

  • Bristol to Bilbao is a year-round service flying twice a week from 19 April 2015. Prices start from £30.99 one-way;

  • Bristol to Isle of Man is a year-round service flying four times a week from 19 April 2015. Prices start from £28.99 one-way; and

  • Bristol to Zante is a summer service flying on Wednesdays from 13 May 2015. Prices start from £34.99 one-way.

easyJet UK commercial manager Ali Gayward said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to add Bilbao, Isle of Man and Zante to our Bristol operations.

“Whether our customers want to marvel at Bilbao’s striking architecture, soak up the sun on Zante’s pristine beaches or wander the unspoilt hills and valleys on the Isle of Man, we’re confident that our new routes will be a popular choice.

“easyJet now flies to 53 destinations from Bristol – more than any other airline from the airport.

“We’re committed to making it easy and affordable for our customers to travel, and our growth at Bristol has made it simpler for people in the surrounding areas to fly directly into Europe’s top airports, with no need for stop-offs or additional fuss.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “These three new routes show the further commitment by easyJet to Bristol Airport.

“They are a welcome addition to the expanding route network and provide improved connectivity for business and leisure passengers in the South West and Wales region.”

As part of easyJet’s Bristol expansion a 12th aircraft will be located at the base in summer 2015.

FACTFILE

 

  • easyJet operates Europe's number one air transport network with a leading presence on Europe's top 100 routes and at Europe's 50 largest airports;

  • easyJet carries more than 64 million passengers annually, of which more than 12 million are travelling on business;

  • easyJet flies more than 200 aircraft with more than 700 routes on sale across 32 countries and over 130 airports;

  • More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport, more than any other airline;

  • The airline takes sustainability seriously; and

  • easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger's carbon footprint is 22 per cent less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.

Bristol to Stockholm summer flight returns 

 

Scandinavian Airlines has announced direct flights between Bristol and Stockholm for summer 2015, following a successful first summer season in 2014.  Ideal for weekend breaks, twice weekly flights on Friday and Mondays will commence on Friday, June 26, and continue until Friday, August 14, with prices starting from just £126 return, including all taxes and charges.

Tickets are on sale now and those booking early will secure the lowest prices. 

Convenient flight times mean west country residents need only take a half day’s holiday to enjoy a Swedish summer weekend break, with flights departing at 2.35pm on Friday afternoons and returning in time to impress workmates with Swedish tales on Monday morning, arriving into Bristol at 8.40am.

Flight times are Bristol to Stockholm:

  • Monday: depart 9.20am, arrive 12.50pm

  • Friday: depart 2.35pm arrive 6.05pm

And returning from Stockholm to Bristol:

  • Monday: depart 7.10am arrive 8.40am

  • Friday: depart 12.25pm arrive 1.55pm

Prices start from £74 one way, or from £126 return, in SAS Go, the airline’s economy service, which includes all taxes and charges, a checked bag at no extra cost, newspapers, coffee and tea on board and several services to save time, including mobile check-in and seat selection. 

The 2015 flights have been confirmed following a successful first summer season for the route in 2014.  

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: "We’re delighted to welcome the return of SAS to Bristol Airport for summer 2015, following such strong bookings in 2014.  

"Not only does the route offer an exciting destination option to West Country residents, but it also brings significant numbers of Scandinavian holidaymakers here too.”

For North Somerset  residents looking for a short break destination, summer’s the perfect time to visit Stockholm, one of the world’s most beautiful capital cities.  

Built on 14 islands around one of Europe’s largest and best-preserved mediaeval city centres, Stockholm offers trend-setting restaurants and vibrant nightclubs, or step back to the seventies at ABBA The Museum, only opened in 2013.

For culture vultures, there are masses of sights such as the Royal Palace and City Hall, or do as the locals do in summer and take an easy trip to Stockholm’s idyllic archipelago. 

To book or for more information click HERE or call 0871 226 7760

For more information on Stockholm click HERE

Bristol Airport poo bus

 

  • The first bus in the UK to run on human and food waste;

  • Environmentally friendly bus could improve air quality in Britain’s urban areas; and

  • Forty-seater bus is sustainably fuelled by people

The UK’s first ever bus powered on food waste and human poo has taken to the road today which engineers believe could provide a sustainable way of fuelling public transport - cutting emissions in polluted towns and cities.

The 40-seater Bio-Bus, which runs on gas generated through the treatment of sewage and food waste that’s unfit for human consumption, helps to improve urban air quality as it produces fewer emissions than traditional diesel engines.
Running on waste products that are both renewable and sustainable, the bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas generated at Bristol sewage treatment works – a plant run by GENeco, a subsidiary of Wessex Water.
This week GENeco became the first company in the UK to start injecting gas generated from food waste and sewage into the national gas grid network and at the same time installed a gas refuelling plant for the bus.
GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq said: “Through treating sewage and food that’s unfit for human consumption we’re able to produce enough biomethane to provide a significant supply of gas to the national gas network that’s capable of powering almost 8,500 homes as well as fuelling the Bio-Bus.
“Gas powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities, but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.
“Using biomethane in this way not only provides a sustainable fuel, but also reduces our reliance on traditional fossil fuels.”
The Bio-Bus can travel up to 300km on a full tank of gas, which takes the annual waste of around five people to produce. 
Using the annual waste generated from one bus load of passengers, would provide enough power for it to travel a return journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
This week the first passengers to get on board the Bio-Bus were visitors to the UK who were commuting from Bristol Airport to the historic city of Bath.
Bath Bus Company, which is operating the service, said the bus was greener for the environment and added that it was extremely pleased to be using the Bio-Bus for its rapidly growing A4 service from Bath to Bristol Airport via South Bristol.
Bath Bus Company engineering director Collin Field said: “Up to 10,000 passengers are expected to travel on the A4 service in a month, which is available not only for airport travel, but also local journeys along the route through Saltford, Keynsham, Brislington, Knowle and Hengrove.
“As part of the RATP Dev UK group, this represents RATP Dev’s involvement in the latest of a number of initiatives to gain experience of alternative fuels, with sister companies also experimenting with different alternatives.

“The information we gain, will be shared with other group companies across the UK and Europe.
“The timing of this initiative could not be more appropriate as we approach 2015 when the City of Bristol itself becomes European Green Capital.

“With so much attention being directed towards improving air quality generally, the public reaction to the appearance of this bus on a service between a World Heritage City and an airport will further focus on the potential for this particular fuel.”
Bristol Airport environmental manager Melanie King said: “Sustainability and surface access are key areas of focus for us and we welcome new technologies which could reduce the environmental impact of getting to and from the airport. 

“With Bristol set to be European Green Capital in 2015, this is one of several exciting initiatives we hope to be involved with over the course of the year.”

 

New flights

 

Britain’s fastest-growing airline bmi regional has added two routes from Bristol Airport ahead of its summer schedule.

From the beginning of February an additional 7,000 seats from Bristol to Frankfurt and Munich will enable three daily departures to Frankfurt and two daily departures to Munich three days a week.

Flights to Frankfurt will now depart at 6.40am, 11.50am and 4.30pm with a flight time of 100 minutes with return flights arriving at 10.30am, 3.40pm and 8.45pm.

The new Munich service will depart Bristol at 6.55pm on Tuesday and Thursday or 5.25pm on Friday, returning at 11.25pm on Tuesday and Thursday or 9.55pm Friday. 

Passengers will now be able to get back home directly from international destinations via Munich with codeshare partner, Lufthansa, instead of spending an extra night travelling.

Likewise, the new evening departure to Munich from Bristol allows customers to do a full day’s work in Munich on the back of a good night's sleep, and get home the next evening back to Bristol.

bmi regional flights from Bristol to Frankfurt are codeshares with Lufthansa, which offers  customers flying from Bristol Airport the opportunity to continue their journeys from their local airport to destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa and America on the Lufthansa network.

bmi regional chief commercial officer, Paul Sies said: “Due to customer demand we’ve brought forward our summer 2015 schedule with flights now starting February 2.

“Travellers from Bristol and the southwest now have more flexibility and choice to get to Frankfurt and Munich.

“For our Munich customers, the addition of an evening flight means that you can avoid the hassle of the ‘red eye’ early morning flights, and enjoy a good night sleep ready for any meeting the next day.

“Of course, all customers flying with bmi regional benefit from our ‘bags fly free policy’, our complimentary full bar, as well as our free breakfast and bistro service on board.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “This announcement is a further demonstration of bmi regional’s commitment to Bristol.

“The addition of a third daily flight to both Frankfurt and additional frequency to Munich is great news for businesses across the South West and Wales, enhancing links to these key business centres.” 

bmi regional, which operates an all-jet fleet of Embraer aircraft from Bristol, offers signature customer-focused service across its network, including free 20kg baggage allowance; 30-minute check-in and allocated seating; complimentary in-flight catering and full drinks service; and a schedule tailored to the needs of business travellers.

Seats are on sale HERE.

Fast track Bristol Airport to USA

with Aer Lingus 

 

Bristol Airport passengers can now fast track to Washington flying via Dublin.

  • Passengers can save up to two hours when travelling to North America via Aer Lingus Regional, thanks to Dublin Airport’s US pre-clearance;

  • Extra flights on Dublin routes to San Francisco and Orlando also announced; and

  • Ireland is the only country in Europe to offer US immigration and customs pre-clearance.

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, today announced details of the newest phase of its transatlantic strategy, allowing Bristol-based passengers to fast track their journey to the United States through Dublin.

From May 2015, passengers flying out of Bristol Airport will be able to travel Aer Lingus to Washington-Dulles Airport via the Dublin Airport transatlantic hub.

Completing pre-clearance at Dublin Airport—operated by US Customs and Border staff—means that on arrival in the United States, Bristol passengers will be treated similarly to domestic passengers and avoid delays of up to two hours at security checks.

Ireland is the only country in Europe to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to destinations in the United States.

The Dublin—Washington route will operate four times weekly. Passengers will be able to fly in the airline’s newly launched Business Class, featuring award-winning cabin service and luxurious reclining sleeper seats.

From summer 2015, Aer Lingus will also operate daily flights from Dublin to San Francisco and four weekly flights from Dublin to Orlando, which will allow greater flexibility for passengers travelling from Bristol.

Stobart Air chief commercial officer Simon Fagan said: “We are very pleased to continue facilitating our Bristol-based customers with alternative routes to the United States. 

“This service is designed to save passengers from Bristol time on their transatlantic travel. 

“Now local business and leisure passengers can travel to the American capital of Washington with greater speed and ease.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted with this announcement. 

“Washington is mentioned time and time again by passengers as a required destination to be added to the Bristol Airport route network. 

“This is great news, particularly for defence-related industries in the region and the benefits of US pre-clearance via the Dublin transatlantic hub, saving passengers time on arrival in America.”

Direct flight to Gibraltar from Bristol announced

 

Jump on a jet and fly direct to Gibraltar, Lanzarote, Catania and Porto direct from Bristol Airport next summer – that’s easy door-to-door travel for Nailsea people in half a day.

This week easyJet announced new flights between Bristol and Gibraltar making it the only airline to serve the route with more than 19,000 seats from April to September next year.

The airline announced the new route at the World Travel Market exhibition this week.

This brings the total number of destinations served by easyJet from Bristol Airport to 50.

The new year-round connection to Gibraltar will take off from Bristol airport on its inaugural flight on Sunday, April 19, 2015, flying up to three times a week with low-cost affordable fares.

And all the flights went on sale on Thursday, November 6.

easyJet UK commercial manager Ali Gayward said: “We’re really pleased to be introducing Bristol’s only direct air link to Gibraltar Airport.

“With a year round service, affordable fares and flight time of approximately two and a half hours, we’re confident that it will prove a popular service for both business and leisure travellers.

“We will have more than 19,000 seats available on the new service next summer alone.”

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “We are delighted to play our part in extending the air links between the UK and Gibraltar.

“The city of Plymouth in the south west has a strong connection to Gibraltar through its rich naval and marine industry history and more recently the financial services sector plays an important role in both our economies.

“This new flight will provide easy access and improve connections for both business and leisure passengers.

“It is interesting to note that this new route will offer the closest direct air link between Gibraltar and any UK airport, according to Great Circle Mapping.

“We are pleased that Bristol Airport can contribute to the strengthening of ties between Gibraltar and the UK.”

Gibraltar is renowned for its rocky landscape and is ideal for those looking to escape to sunnier climates.

Travellers can take advantage of Gibraltar’s breath taking views from the top of the rock, vast history and wealth of shopping, as well as giving tourists an opportunity to explore the deep caves and caverns of the country.

easyJet carries more than 64 million passengers annually, of which more than 12 million are travelling on business.

easyJet flies more than 200 aircraft with more than 700 routes on sale across 32 countries and in excess of 130 airports.

More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport, more than any other airline.

UP AND AWAY: From left Shaun Browne - Bristol Airport; Ali Gayward - easyJet; the Hon Neil F Costa MP - Minister of Tourism, Gibraltar; Nicky Guerrero - CEO Gibraltar tourist board

The airline takes sustainability seriously.

easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger's carbon footprint is 22 per cent less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.

Tickets for Bristol’s largest airline to Lanzarote, Catania and Porto and for summer 2015 also went on sale this month.

The new destinations follow easyJet’s five year agreement with Bristol Airport last winter to continue growth at the airport, and will result in an extra aircraft being located at the base.

There will now be up to 12 easyJet aircraft based at the airport from summer 2015.

To buy easyJet tickets click HERE.

  • Bristol to Lanzarote is a year round service, flying twice a week from 18 April 2015. Fares start from £34.99 one-way;

  • Bristol to Catania is a summer service, flying twice a week from 14 May 2015. Fares start from £34.99 one-way;

  • Bristol to Porto is a year round service, flying three times per week from 19 April 2015. Fares start from £32.99 one-way; and

  • Bristol to Gibraltar will be Bristol’s only direct scheduled flight service to Gibraltar. It is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 2015. Fares start from £32.99 one-way.

Firefighters new £1million training centre

A new £1million training centre for fire fighters opened at Bristol Airport this month.

Located on the south side of the aerodrome Bristol Airport’s Rescue and Fire-Fighting Service (RFFS) opened the £950,000 fire-fighting training facility on Tuesday.

Bristol Airport commissioned Simulation, a specialist fire training company, to provide a state-of-the-art fire training facility, comprising equipment simulating a Boeing 737, an R27 helicopter and a villa complex. 

These are all built within the airport’s dedicated fire training ground. 

The aircraft, helicopter and villa complex can be used for numerous fire training scenarios while being controlled and monitored remotely.

All of the equipment can be set alight using an eco-friendly LPG gas fuelled system. 

This enables a number of fire and rescue scenarios to be recreated using the aircraft, helicopter or building in any combination, encompassing all of the scenarios necessary for a dedicated airport fire team training to face any fire and rescue situation.  

The new facility enables the RFFS team to maintain the high levels of competence and aviation training required by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

Bristol Airport chief fire officer Gary O’Neill said: “This is a significant investment by Bristol Airport and demonstrates our continued commitment to safety and ongoing investment in employee training.

“This facility means a great deal to the RFFS team as it ensures we have the best available facilities to train with. It will also, in the longer term host training in partnership with other local emergency services to help maintain our position as one of the best performing airport fire services in the country”.

This latest development follows the recently opened central walkway which was completed ahead of the busy summer holiday period to meet passenger and airline demand. 

The construction of an eastern terminal extension also commenced in September. 

The £8.6m project – the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000 - will be finished in summer 2015.

Another busy day at Bristol Airport breaking records

NATO VIPs use Bristol Airport to attend 2014 SW summit

Passenger numbers at Bristol Airport continue to soar, with nearly three quarters of a million journeys made during August – the highest total for any month in the airport’s history. 

Approximately 723,000 people used the airport.

August also included another milestone, with the busiest ever day recorded on Thursday the 14th, when a total of 25,390 passengers passed through the terminal in 24 hours.

This followed record-breaking figures for June and July, with growth of 3.2 per cent continuing the airport’s return to pre-recession passenger numbers. 

With September’s total swelled by VIP arrivals for the NATO Summit in South Wales, the annual total is expected to exceed the previous high of 6.2 million in 2008.

Growth has been driven by the introduction of larger aircraft on existing services, high load factors during the holiday season, and the launch of routes to new destinations. For example, KLM increased capacity on its four-times daily Amsterdam service by 20 per cent, easyJet operated an eleventh Bristol-based aircraft throughout summer, and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) commenced a seasonal service to Stockholm.

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “It is encouraging to see that when we offer the right frequencies and destinations, passengers will choose to fly from their regional airport.

"Reducing the number of passengers from the South West using airports outside the region is key objective for us, and these figures suggest we are heading in the right direction.”

To ensure facilities keep pace with growth in passenger numbers work is set to start on an eastern terminal extension. 

The £8.6m project – the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000 – will be finished in summer 2015. 

This follows completion of a new central walkway earlier this summer.

Last month www.nailseapeople.com posted that Bristol Airport recorded another major milestone on Thursday, August 14, experiencing its busiest ever day with a total of 25,390 passengers passing through the terminal in 24 hours.  

This landmark follows record passenger numbers in the months of June - 646,000, and July - 690,500, up 3.34 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively compared to the same periods in 2013.

The history of our airport

During 1927 a group of local businessmen managed to raise £6000 through public subscriptions to start a flying club at Filton.

By 1929 the flying club was proving to be a great success and it was then decided a farm located at Whitchurch on the outskirts of Bristol could be developed into a new airport. 

The first airport was opened in 1930 by Prince George the son of King George V.

This new airport was the third such airport in the UK and early passenger numbers grew from approximately 900 in 1930 to well over 4000 in 1939.

 It was thought that there was limited future for the airport after the Second World War, but in 1955 Bristol managed to win a 10 year battle for a new city airport.

This new airport was to be constructed at Lulsgate Bottom and the airfield was purchased by the Bristol Corporation for £55,000.

The Duchess of Kent opened the new airport in 1957 and the first year of operation saw 33,000 passengers and 608,000 kilos of freight pass through the newly opened airport.

All of the Whitchurch airline operations and the Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club moved there. In its first year it was used by 33,000 people.

In 1963 the runway was lengthened and in 1965 extensions were made to the terminal. In 1968 a new 5,000 square foot (460 m²) building was constructed.

Early success at the airport was reduced when in 1973 the collapse of “Court Line” had a dramatic effect on passenger numbers. 

However by 1980 things had improved and 17 tour operators were now flying from Bristol. 

Additions in 1984 included an international departure lounge, duty free shops, a 24-hour air-side bar, an arrivals concourse, and a short-term car park.

On 1 April 1987 all employees were transferred from Bristol City Council to Bristol Airport Public limited company.

The operation and net assets of Bristol Airport were transferred from the City of Bristol and the company commenced trading.

During the next few years business boomed with more than 100,000 passengers each month in the summer of 1988.

The growth of the airport at this time is attributed to the work of the managing director Les Wilson, who died in a car crash in November 1995.

In March 1997 the airport’s name was changed to Bristol Airport, and in December 1997 51 per cent of the airport company was sold to FirstGroup plc, while the remaining 49 per cent was retained by Bristol City Council.

A new terminal building was built in April 1999 and opened in March 2000 by HRH the Princess Royal.

The old terminal building closed to the public and was converted to offices for many of the staff.

2000 also saw its first direct transatlantic flight in many years operating to Toronto by Royal Airlines.

By 2000, passenger numbers exceeded two million for the first time.

The airport was purchased in January 2001 by Macquarie Bank and Cintra for £198m.

Passenger numbers had passed through three million in 2002, largely due to the arrival of the low-cost airline Go Fly.

Continued expansion by easyJet led to another increase in passengers now approximately 3.8 million.

In May 2005, Continental Airlines introduced a direct flight from Bristol to Newark using Boeing 757 aircraft, this then ceased on 7 November 2010 due to low load factors.

In March 2010, the airport was rebranded as Bristol Airport.

The airport gained a new logo, said by the airport’s owners to represent ‘people’, ‘place’ and ‘region’ with a new slogan Amazing Journeys Start Here.

Bristol Airport currently does not operate any jetways, so all aircraft have to park on the apron and passengers either walk out to their flights, or are carried by bus.

On 28 May 2010, an £8M project finalised with the opening of a 450 metres (1,480 ft) walkway, which connects the terminal building to eight new pre-boarding zones.

The promise is to “make the airport journey more convenient, easy and enjoyable”, and reducing the need for buses to take you to the aircraft.

Airport announces next
phase of development

 

Within days of opening a £6.5m central walkway Bristol Airport has announced plans for an extension to its terminal building for summer 2015.

The central walkway was designed to ease congestion at peak travel times and houses four pre-boarding zones serving six departure gates.

It has been designed for the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787.

Provision has been made for the addition of an airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future. 

Completed in time for the busy summer holiday period, the central walkway will be officially opened by aviation minister Robert Goodwill MP later this year.

Construction of an eastern terminal extension will begin in September. 

The £8.6m project – the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000 - will be finished in summer 2015. 

The development is expected to attract exciting new retail brands to Bristol Airport as well as creating more space for existing retailers. 

It will also see the installation of hundreds of additional seats in the departure lounge and offers the potential for a second executive lounge facility. 

Behind the scenes, it will deliver an improved baggage processing area, while other features including an outdoor terrace for passengers waiting to board their flights.

Bristol Airport chief executive officer Robert Sinclair said: “The central walkway sets a new benchmark for passenger facilities at Bristol Airport and the eastern terminal extension will raise the bar higher again. 

"This significant investment demonstrates our ambition to become the airport of choice for passengers across the South West and South Wales.

“High quality infrastructure will also make Bristol Airport even more attractive to airlines, helping to extend the choice of destinations available – including long haul services to north America and the Middle East in future.”

Photo: artist impression of the departure lounge terrace

The central walkway and eastern terminal extension form part of a comprehensive development of the Airport, with overall planning approval in place for facilities to handle 10 million passengers per annum. 

This consists of 30 separate components which will be developed over time in line with passenger demand, including a further terminal extension to the west, a public transport interchange, multi-storey car park and an on-site hotel.

Other enhancements in recent years include a second immigration point, additional security search channels and three new aircraft stands featuring fixed electrical ground power, all of which opened in summer 2012.

Bristol Airport is the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London and the ninth largest in the UK, handling 6.1 million passengers in 2013.  Passenger numbers in June reached record levels for the month, and the total for the rolling 12 month period reached 6.23 million, surpassing the record total for a calendar year achieve in 2008 for the first time.

Bristol Airport has recorded its busiest ever June with more than 646,000 passengers during the month. This represented a 3.34 per cent increase over the same period last year, which was also the previous record. 

Passenger numbers for the past 12 months reached 6.23 million, surpassing the record total for 2008 for the first time.

Particularly strong performance was seen on Aer Lingus Regional’s Dublin service, which exceeded 8,000 passengers in a calendar month for the first time. 

Strong year on year growth was also seen on bmi regional routes to Frankfurt and Munich, indicating that the airline’s codeshare agreement with Lufthansa is generating additional traffic.

Another factor contributing to increased passenger numbers was the introduction of a larger aircraft on KLM’s four times daily service between Bristol and Amsterdam. 

The airline carried nearly 20,000 passengers on the route which opens up connections to hundreds of destinations worldwide via KLM’s Schiphol hub.

June also saw the launch of a summer service between Bristol and Stockholm, operated by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). 

The twice-weekly flight is already proving popular with Scandinavian tourists as well as travellers from across the south west and Wales visiting Sweden.

The outlook for the rest of summer is equally positive, with new facilities now in place to enhance the airport experience for passengers. A £6.5m central walkway, pictured above, opened last week and includes four new pre-boarding zones serving up to six departure gates. 

The 3,880 square metre structure connects directly to the departure lounge and is served by an escalator, six lifts, food and drink vending, and toilet facilities to ensure passenger comfort levels.

The design of the new facility takes into account the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787, with provision made for the addition of an airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future.

Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne said: “The strong performance across all airline sectors is particularly encouraging, with business, leisure and inbound traffic all contributing to June’s record passenger numbers.

“New facilities are in place to ensure we maintain service levels as passenger numbers continue to grow, and we are already focusing on further improvements we can bring to the route network from Bristol.”

Record passengers

Bristol Airport is the UK’s fifth largest airport outside London and the ninth largest in the UK.

Planning permission is in place to develop and enhance facilities to enable Bristol to handle 10 million passengers per annum.

Development commenced in November 2011 and the first of more than 30 separate projects – the construction of three new aircraft stands – was completed in spring 2012.

Other major components include:

 

  • a central walkway designed to accommodate future long-haul services and set for completion in June 2014;

  • an extension to the terminal building to almost double its size;

  • new multi-level car-park with public transport interchange on its top level; and

  • on-site hotel.

 

Bristol Airport directly employs approximately 200 people with a wider employee community of nearer 3,000 from North Somerset and beyond and offers direct services to more than 100 airports across the world.

  • PHOTO: Left is Bristol Airport business development executive Shirley Knight at check-in for the first flight which departs Bristol at 19.35 and arrives at Enfidha 22.50. The return journey departs Enfidha at 15.30 and arrives  Bristol 18.45. From left on the tarmac is Paul Davies and Robert Sinclair, of Bristol Airport with Graeme Ritchie and Inez Bartolo, of the Civil Aviation Authority

Sand, sunshine and safety

You can take-off for a summer holiday in Tunisia from Bristol Airport with independent tour operator Just Sunshine.

Just Sunshine offers all inclusive, active, family friendly and spa hotel holidays. 

And Tunisia as a destination has a lot to offer from sun, sea and sand, to historical monuments plus and a culture rich in tradition.

Just Sunshine is part of the El Mouradi Group one of Tunisia’s largest corporations, with more than 15,500 employees.

The group also includes El Mouradi Hotels which, with 17 hotels and more than 25,000 beds, is Tunisia’s largest hotel group.

Just Sunshine national sales manager Tony Blakey said: “As part of our continuing expansion we are delighted to introduce flights from Bristol Airport for summer 2014.”

 Weekly flights from Bristol started last Saturday, July 19, and will continue through the summer season until Saturday, October 25.

Bristol Airport business development executive Shirley Knight said: “We are really excited to be welcoming this new specialist tour operator to Bristol Airport this summer.  

“We have worked in partnership with the travel agents in the South West and South Wales to raise awareness of Just Sunshine with holidaymakers. 

“We would like to thank them for their continued support. 

“This new addition extends the range of holiday options available through the high street travel agents across the region.”

And in more good news Bristol is the first airport in Europe to meet new safety standards.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is at the heart of a new 

Europe wide regulatory system, with UK airports required to comply with its rules by 2018. 

Bristol Airport was one of a small group of airports selected to work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority to trial the transition from a CAA Aerodrome Licence to an EASA Certificate.

 After18 months’ work, Bristol Airport received final sign off all required certification on Monday, July 28, becoming the first airport in Europe to complete the process.

Last month Bristol Airport recorded its busiest ever June, serving more than 646,000 passengers. 

This represented a 3.34 per cent increase during the same period last year, which was also the previous record. 

Passenger numbers for the past 12 months also reached 6.23 million, surpassing the record total for a calendar year achieved in 2008 for the first time.

The outlook for the rest of summer is equally positive, with new facilities now in place to enhance the airport experience for passengers. 

 A £6.5m central walkway opened last week and includes four new pre-boarding zones serving up to six departure gates. 

The 3,880 square metre structure connects directly to the departure lounge and is served by an escalator, six lifts, food and drink vending, and toilet facilities to ensure passenger comfort levels.

The design of the new facility takes into account the latest generation of twin-engine, wide-body jets, such as the Boeing 787.

And provision has been made for the addition of an airbridge for passengers boarding potential long-haul flights in future.

Bristol Airport news 2013-2014

 

Budget airline Ryanair operates 28 destinations from Bristol for the summer season 2014 which includes a new route to Bologna in Italy.

Ryanair spokesman Lisa Cashin said: “This is the first summer where Ryanair customers can enjoy a free small second carry-on bag, ‘quiet flights’, allocated seats and use their personal electronic devices at all stages of their flight, making Ryanair the ideal choice for families and friends looking to get away this summer, with a new website, smartphone app, and family and business products coming soon.”  Its winter schedule boasts 14 routes with the capacity to carry 1.3 million passengers and support 1,300 jobs at the airport.

  • German airline Lufthansa add Bristol to its global network this season thanks to an agreement with bmi regional. The move enables business and leisure travellers from Bristol Airport to connect  twice daily to Frankfurt and daily to Munich, providing access to Lufthansa’s worldwide network offering flights to 235 global destinations, and represents a welcome return to the southwest for the airline.

  • Aer Lingus Regional is operating a new daily return flight to Shannon Airport and aims to fly up to 20,000 passengers on the route this year and 35,000 in 2015. The airline’s growth strategy is to fly up to two million passengers in total by 2016.

  • Thomson and First Choice are pleased to announce that in summer 2015 they will be increasing capacity at Bristol Airport through the introduction of more than 21,000 additional seats and four new routes to Santorini, Greece; Pula, Croatia; Marrakech, Morocco; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The plans also include the addition of further weekly flights for existing routes Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and Heraklion, Greece bringing the total destinations on offer from Bristol Airport to 25.

  • For 2015 you will be able to fly from Bristol Airport with Thomson Cruises to European port to go cruising to some of the most beautiful Mediterranean and Adriatic destinations. These include Dubrovnik, Durres (Albania), Hvar (Croatia), Itea (for Delphi, Greece), San Remo (Italy)and Marmaris, Turkey. Tickets for the new summer 2015 line up are on sale now. Thomson Cruises managing director Helen Caron said: “Summer 2015 will be a record year for Thomson Cruises as we introduce a total of 28 new ports of calls, 13 new itineraries and an exciting new home port of Dubrovnik for Thomson Celebration.”

  • Passengers on the inaugural Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) flight between Stockholm and Bristol were welcomed by costumed characters from the West of England’s history. Isambard Kingdom Brunel and a Georgian housekeeper posed for photos with delighted Swedes, representing two of the area’s most popular tourist attractions – Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol and No.1 Royal Crescent in Bath. The SAS service – the first direct link from the South West to the Swedish capital for five years - will operate twice a week on Mondays and Fridays until August 17, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.  The schedule has been designed with long weekend leisure breaks in mind, and is expected to prove equally popular with UK and Swedish travellers alike. Bringing the stylish Swedish capital just a 1hr 40 minute flight away, prices start from just £75 one way, or from £126 return, including all taxes and charges.

  • Bristol Airport staff has raised more than £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. It is Bristol Airport’s charity of the year for 2014 in a vote by staff.   Macmillan improves the lives of people and families affected by cancer, providing nurses, therapists and independent advice when it is needed the most.  Each year Bristol Airport selects a local charity, voted and selected by the Airport staff. Since 1999 more than £220,000 has been raised and donated to local charities through various fund-raising activities.

  • A fund set up to benefit the community around Bristol Airport has donated more than £180,000 to 44 local projects since it was established two years ago. The Airport Environmental Improvement Fund was set up in 2012 as one of the commitments the airport agreed to provide in connection with its planning permission for development over the next decade. Each year Bristol Airport contributes £100,000 twith the figure increasing in line with future growth in passenger numbers.   In 2013 26 projects received contributions ranging from £370 to £11,000. Local initiatives supported include an improved pedestrian crossing on the A38 at Cowslip Green in Wrington; a community art programme at Backwell School; improved road safety signage on the A370 at Cleeve; courses for small businesses based in North Somerset; outdoor play equipment in Flax Bourton; and a Countryside Day at the North Somerset Showground for more than 2,000 primary schoolchildren learning about food production. 

  • Pictured above is the Aer Lingus crew ready to fly to Shannon; right from left: Bristol Airport aviation director Shaun Browne with Bologna passengers Sophie Hannah and Zachary, aged nearly 4 with Davide Vaccarino, of Ryanair. Below from left is Bmi representative Cathal O'Connell, Bristol Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair and Christian Schindler, of Lufthansa at launch the new codeshare at Bristol Airport

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