For the business traveller things are getting better and better. On the hotel front guests are no longer being simply pigeon holed and chains and independents are rolling out a whole host of concepts to meet every taste. Prepaid currency cards are making laborious petty cash procedures a thing of the past and advances in phone and tablet technology mean that valuable working hours are not lost in transit. We are also living in a great time for connectivity, with a steady stream of new air routes coming on line. Here are just some of the new routes that have either launched from or been announced at UK airports this year.
When Heathrow’s Terminal 5 opened, Gatwick Airport lost a lot of lucrative transatlantic routes as American carriers switched to the bigger hub and its increased capacity. But this summer saw Gatwick step back into the American arena with the help of an unlikely source. Low cost airline Norwegian showed huge commitment to the West Sussex Airport when it launched Dreamliner services to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale in July.
Stansted Airport further strengthened its European network this year, and in one week in April alone flights to nine new destinations started. Stansted giant Ryanair introduced the lion’s share of these – connecting Essex with Athens, Basel, Bucharest, Osijek, Prague, Skelleftea, Brive and Podgorica. Flybe meanwhile started a twice daily connection to a city closer to home – Dundee.
Some routes were announced in summer and are yet to commence – Luton’s new Wizz Air service to Poprad in Slovakia being an example of these.
It’s not just the London airports that are witnessing route growth though. Flybe will fly from Birmingham to Berlin five times per week from October, and amidst a handful of new holiday routes from Glasgow Jet2 confirmed that it would be linking the Scottish city with Prague. Earlier in the summer Bristol Airport saw respected airline SAS launch a season of flights from the southwest to its Swedish hub in Stockholm.
And the regions are increasing their long haul share too. December will see air service between Manchester and Hong Kong reinstated, when flag carrier Cathay Pacific arrives in the northwest. Edinburgh Airport meanwhile gains from summer 2015 a high profile new service to Abu Dhabi, courtesy of Etihad Airways.
Where will your business take you in 2015? Wherever it is, with your smartphone, travel money card, comfortable hotel room and more accessible flights, business travel is getting more… leisurely.