All Bar one opens for business
Birmingham airport has been busy over the past few weeks, Firstly All Bar one who have 50 bars nationally have opened up two bars within the airport. the first bar opened in the south departure lounge back in April, but All Bar One have completed the opening with a second bar in the North landside terminal. All bar one offers a range of meals and light bites in its stylish food menu and an array of great tasting cocktails. This means both passengers and visitors can enjoy what the bar has to offer.
Susan Chappell, All Bar One Brand Operations Director, comments: “We are delighted to be launching our second All Bar One within one of the country’s most vibrant and expanding airports. It follows on from the recent success of Euston station, representing another step forward for the brand into the travel sector.”
Richard Gill, Birmingham Airport’s Head of Commercial, added: “The arrival of All Bar One to Birmingham Airport is great news for our passengers, who can now enjoy their delicious menus and extensive bar choice before they fly.
We’re confident these stylish bars will prove to be tremendously popular, whether that is for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.”
Both units are open seven days a week, between 04:30 and 22:00.
Thomas Cook Expand Operations
Thomas cook have announced the expansion of operations from Birmingham airport from 2015 this will begin with the replacing of the three existing Boeing 757 aircraft’s with Airbus A321 aircrafts and increasing to a fourth by adding an Airbus A320 this will offer a further 47’000 seats and holidays for it, Thomas cook has added 6 brand new aircraft to its fleet over the last few months this is set to continue into 2015 with further 25 aircrafts delivered from Airbus by 2016. Birmingham Airport will become the base featuring the new sunny heart livery
Rob Thompson, Thomas Cook Airline’s Director of Planning, said, “With increasing demand from holidaymakers for regional departures, it’s great news for travellers from the Midlands as we add more flexibility and choice with flights and holidays from Birmingham Airport.
“As a base that will include one of our new aircraft, we’re convinced that our customers will love the new comfort and reliability offered by our new fleet – and the great range of brand new flights for Birmingham Airport to Mytilene and Kalamata in Greece, and Djerba in Tunisia – and the daily service to Dalaman in Turkey, our most popular destination.”
William Pearson, Aviation Development Director at Birmingham Airport, said: “Thomas Cook’s decision to base an additional aircraft at Birmingham and introduce these exciting new routes means passengers looking to book a holiday for summer 15 now have even greater choice. Holidaymakers flying from Birmingham will also be able to take advantage of Thomas Cook’s new fleet of aircraft, including the brand new Airbus A321.
“The increased capacity, which includes an additional 47,000 seats being made available, demonstrates the strong demand that exists for flights to these summer destinations from Birmingham.”
First Direct China Charter Flight
The final piece of news for today is that the arrival of the first charter flight direct from china, This charter flight bring package holiday travellers from china direct to the heart of the UK, this is the only direct flight to and from china that does not land within London, The Airbus A330-200 operated by the leading Chinese tour operator Caissa travel management co ltd, arrived fully laden with 248 tourists venturing into the UK on organised package deals.
The tours are selling out quickly showing the high demand for more flights between the two countries.
“This is a historic day for Birmingham, and indeed the Midlands region. Never before has a commercial airliner touched down on a runway outside of the Capital from China and we are enormously proud to be the first to make this happen,” said Paul Kehoe, the Airport’s Chief Executive.
“We have invested more than £200m in recent years to create an airport that can accommodate more traffic, particularly to and from long-haul markets, and today we saw the first use of our runway extension for what it was intended: to provide direct global connectivity from the Midlands,” Paul added.
These flights are a result of three years’ collaborative working with Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham, VisitBritain and the Government. The partnership forms part of the wider VisitBritain ‘GREAT China Welcome’ campaign, which was announced during the Prime Minister’s visit to China in November 2013 and aims to make the UK the most welcoming destination in Europe for Chinese visitors.
Helen Grant, Minister for Tourism, visited the airport today to congratulate it on becoming the country’s first gateway to offer Chinese charter packages to the UK.
The Tourism Minister, said, “Our tourism industry helps us sell the country to the world and is contributing to our long-term economic plan. The new route opened today with a vital trade and tourism partner in China; this is great news for tourism businesses in the Midlands, making it easier and more attractive for Chinese visitors to explore all the fantastic attractions in the Midlands such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Warwick Castle and the vibrant city of Birmingham itself.”
Lord Popat of Harrow, the Government’s aviation spokesperson in the House of Lords, was at the Airport to welcome the arrival of this historic flight and to greet the passengers, including Mr Ren Jun, Vice President of Caissa Travel Management.
Lord Popat said: “I welcome this inaugural flight from Beijing to Birmingham Airport. As the first direct flight from Beijing to a UK regional airport, this is a very significant moment. This is great news for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK, and underscores the role our regional airports have in generating growth as part of the UK’s long term economic plan.”
Other VIPs welcoming the service at the airport included the Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands, The Lord Mayor of Birmingham and The Mayor of Solihull, as well as representatives from the Airport and Midlands’ Chinese community.
Chen Xiaobing, the President of CAISSA, said: “The successful launch of the first tour group not only presents CAISSA’s spirit of advancing and innovating with the times, which has attracted wide attention, but also suggests that this strategic and successful cooperation has opened up a new channel for travelling to England. In the future, CAISSA will continue to enhance the partnership and make greater efforts in promoting the further growth of Chinese tourist numbers.”
The runway extension has been part of a £200M pound investment within the airport infrastructure allowing Birmingham airport to tap into direct flights to further destinations the runway extension has given aircraft an unlimited take off length to cater for larger and heavier aircrafts, China has become one of the fastest growing visitor sources for the UK, its growth has triple over the past decade with a 20% increase year on year, in 2012 was worth £62 million pounds to the west midlands economy making Birmingham the 4th most popular destination for Chinese visitors in England.
To mark this historic occasion, the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, hosted a Chinese themed Civic Reception at Birmingham Council House for 150 guests.
Sir Albert Bore, said: “This is an important day for Birmingham’s future as we directly connect our city with one of the world’s biggest markets. Birmingham’s reputation as a destination city is growing quickly in China due to profile-raising work over the past few years by many city stakeholders.
“This year foreign investors have created record numbers of jobs in Birmingham and this is due partly to our connectivity with Europe and the rest of the world.
“We are increasingly being seen by the Chinese as the gateway to the rest of the UK with nearby historic sites, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, very close and London a short train ride away. They are realising that they don’t have to fly in to a London airport to visit the UK.”
The Beijing schedule will operate weekly through to the 5th August 2014, arriving into Birmingham at 0640 and departing for Beijing at 1200 each Tuesday. The departure to Beijing today carried UK tourists travelling on an organised two week package tour, provided by Birmingham based Chinese travel agent, United Travel.
Chinese students from local universities were on hand to assist the airport and the arriving Chinese tourists through the terminal. 2014 is a year of milestones for Birmingham Airport as it also celebrated its 75th anniversary on the 8th July. During this period, it has handled more than 200m passengers through its doors.