British Airways’ Queens of the Skies will continue to inspire aviation enthusiasts across the UK for years to come, after permanent homes have been found for its remaining retro-liveried Boeing 747 aircraft – the last to leave the British Airways fleet.
The aircraft, registrations G-BNLY and G-BYGC, are this month due to depart from British Airways’ engineering base in Cardiff, where they will be waved off by the British Airways engineers who for many years have proudly maintained the 747 fleet. The pair were among several aircraft painted in heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary last year.
Named ‘City of Swansea’ and adorned in the iconic Landor livery, used between 1984 and 1997, G-BNLY has been given a new lease of life as a permanent exhibit at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey. It will join its sister 747, G-CIVW, which was retired in late October and features the current Chatham Dockyard livery.
G-BYGC, painted in the BOAC ‘Gold Speedbird’ livery used between 1963 and 1974, will make the short journey from Cardiff Airport to the Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan. It will be maintained as a heritage piece by aviation specialists eCube Solutions to showcase the pre-eminent contribution British Airways’ 747 fleet made to UK aviation.
Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, said: “While we will miss seeing them grace our skies, we are delighted to have found permanent homes for our remaining centenary 747 aircraft.
“We think they have great historical importance, not only to British Airways but to the entire aviation industry, and we are pleased they will be preserved for future generations in locations in the UK.
“As the final 747s to leave our fleet, their departure will be an emotional moment for former and current British Airways staff, including our engineering team in Cardiff who have lovingly looked after our jumbo jets for decades.”
G-BNLY and G-BYGC are the last two British Airways 747s to be retired, with G-BYGC being the final 747 to leave the British Airways fleet. The Negus-liveried 747, registration G-CIVB, was one of the last two 747s to depart Heathrow Airport in October and has also been found a permanent home at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire.
(Feature image: British Airways 747 in Landor livery arrives at London Heathrow on 09 March 2019. Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)
Low-cost airline Vueling launch new Cardiff to Paris flights
Low-cost airline Vueling has announced a new service from Cardiff to Paris, taking off on 2nd November 2021 – with flights starting from less than £10!
The route will operate twice a week with flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights are now on sale and available to book.
The news comes as a result Vueling’s acquisition of slots at Paris Orly, enabling the airline to expand and operate 32 new routes from November. Cardiff’s inclusion in this expansion is great news for passengers wanting to re-unite with friends and relatives, explore Paris on a city break, and for business and sports travel.
Since the collapse of Flybe in 2019, it has been Cardiff Airport’s priority to re-instate key routes lost due to the impact of the pandemic. Earlier this year, routes to Belfast and Edinburgh resumed, operated by Eastern Airways and Loganair, and Ryanair will be launching a 4-weekly service to Dublin from the end of October.
Flights to Paris Orly are currently on sale at special fares, with flights available for under £10.
Spencer Birns, CEO at Cardiff Airport said: “We are delighted that Vueling has stepped in to provide a much-needed service to Paris from Cardiff Airport. The announcement will be welcome news for our customers wanting to travel to visit family, to explore one of the world’s greatest cities, and of course for large sporting events. Paris is also hugely popular with families wanting to visit Disneyland, and it is fantastic that this will once again be easily accessible for passengers.
“I’d like to thank Vueling for their continued confidence and partnership with Cardiff Airport, and we very much look forward to launching the route later this year.”
The Cardiff-Paris route will be the fourth route in Vueling’s Cardiff programme, which currently consists of scheduled flights to Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante.
(Lead image: Cardiff Airport)
New mandatory Coronavirus testing for travellers into Wales
Passengers arriving into Wales from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally, Health Minister, Vaughan Gething has confirmed.
From 4am Monday 18th January 2021, inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train from countries outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Brazil, Denmark and South Africa.
The introduction of the measures is in response to the changes seen in the transmission of the virus both in in the UK and across the globe.
Pre-departure testing will provide an additional layer of safety from imported cases of coronavirus on top of the mandatory 10 day quarantine for arrivals, helping identify people who may currently be infectious and preventing them from travelling to Wales.
A negative pre-departure test reduces the risk of someone travelling whilst infectious, acting as another safeguard to prevent imported infections.
Passengers arriving from countries not on the Welsh Government’s Travel Corridor list must continue to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their pre-departure test result, to provide further robust protection from those travelling from high-risk countries.
Prior to departure, passengers will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to carriers, as well as their Passenger Locator Form.
The move further bolsters existing protective measures which helped to safely enable international travel last year, with self-isolation for new arrivals and Travel Corridors remaining critical in reducing the risk of imported cases from high-risk countries.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “We are doing everything we can to slow down the spread of the virus.
“These new measures will help ensure we prevent new strains of the virus developing internationally from being imported into Wales.
“We are already asking passengers returning from high-risk countries to self-isolate for 10 days and these requirements remain in place.
“Added to the requirement to self-isolate, pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence – helping us control the virus as we continue to roll-out the vaccine at pace.”
Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions, which came into force on 18 December 2020, remain in place meaning everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons, including for work.
Travelling for a holiday is not permitted under alert level 4, whether that is in Wales, elsewhere in the UK or overseas.
(Lead image: Pixabay / Pexels.com)
Wizz Air announces further UK expansion with new base at Cardiff Airport
The UK registered subsidiary of Wizz Air announced a new base at Cardiff Airport today, which will be its fourth alongside London Luton, Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield.
The airline will allocate one Airbus A321 aircraft to Cardiff, a new airport for Wizz Air’s services, and will launch nine new leisure routes.
The new base will offer year-round ultra-low fares from Cardiff for the first time, with connections to sun destinations including Alicante, Faro, Larnaca and Tenerife as well as seasonal routes during the summer to Corfu, Heraklion and Palma de Mallorca and routes to Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh during the winter season.
As Wizz Air’s first venture into Wales, the new base represents a significant investment in Cardiff Airport and the local region by creating over 40 direct jobs and over 250 indirect jobs, supporting industries such as aviation, transportation, hospitality and tourism. Connecting Wales with nine popular holiday destinations will provide a boost to the local economy by increasing the annual capacity of Cardiff Airport by over 350,000 seats, providing local passengers with even more affordable and exciting travel opportunities on their doorstep.
This announcement follows a period of recent expansion for the airline, with Wizz Air UK opening new bases at Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield Airport in October and adding an eleventh aircraft to its London Luton base in July. With the allocation of this aircraft, Wizz Air UK’s fleet will grow to 14 aircraft and the addition of these new routes from Cardiff Airport means WIZZ now operates 132 routes from 11 UK airports.
Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, said: “This is an extremely exciting time for Wizz Air as we increase our footprint in the UK even further. The creation of our fourth UK base at Cardiff Airport reflects Wizz Air’s continued commitment to serving the UK market and generating economic growth, as we create local jobs, stimulate the tourism and hospitality industries and deliver on our promise of providing affordable, direct flights to exciting holiday destinations.
“Today’s expansion into Wales brings increased connectivity to the region, so passengers can take advantage of Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares to travel to their favourite sunny holiday spots on-board our young and green aircraft fleet. With the launch of 47 new routes from the UK this year alone, we’re making sure that passengers can make up for lost time in creating amazing travel memories.”
Spencer Birns, interim CEO of Cardiff Airport, said: “On behalf of the team we are delighted to welcome Wizz Air UK to Wales. The fact that one of the leading Low Cost Airlines in the world has chosen to set up their next base at Cardiff is fantastic news for Wales. The Wizz Air UK base will bring a huge amount of choice for our customers to travel to some of the most popular holiday destinations from Cardiff, at affordable prices.
“We know many people living in Wales are craving a well-deserved holiday after such a challenging year and these new flights going on sale today from Cardiff, will give so many more opportunities for holidays to be planned now that will give us all something to look forward to for next year. We look forward to working closely with Wizz Air UK ahead of the launch of their Cardiff base in time for operations starting next Spring and building on this exciting opportunity for Wales.”
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said: “This is welcome news and a positive step that will help Cardiff Airport emerge from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new Wizz services will increase choice for passengers, create jobs and add to the airport’s economic benefits. I look forward to the nine new routes being made available in the coming months.”
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