Tag: Travel

Ryanair to publish list of cancelled flights

Ryanair today confirmed that it has published the full list of flight cancellations (now less than 50 per day) between Thurs 21st Sept. to Tues 31st Oct. next. These cancellations have been allocated where possible, to Ryanair’s bigger base airports, and routes with multiple daily frequencies so that Ryanair can offer these disrupted customers the maximum number of alternate flights and routes in order tominimise inconvenience to them.
The full list of these flight cancellations (from Thurs 21st to Thurs Oct 31st) will appear on the Ryanair.com website later today, and customers affected by these cancellations will be emailed with offers of alternative flights or full refunds, and details of their EU261 compensation entitlement.
The airports where one line of flying will be removed for the next 6 weeks are as follows, (these airports have been selected because of the high frequency of flights Ryanair operates to/from these airports where customers can be offered the most accommodating options):

1 of 12 lines of flights

Brussels Charl
1 of 13 lines of flights

1 of 23 lines of flights

1 of 4 lines of flights

London Stan
2 of 41 lines of flights

1 of 13 lines of flights

Milan Bergamo
1 of 14 lines of flights

1 of 8 lines of flights

Rome Fiumi
1 of 3 lines of flights

While Ryanair sincerely regrets and apologises for these cancellations, it pointed out that they will affect less than 2% of all customers over the next 6 weeks, and the majority of these passengers will be offered alternative flights on the same or next day. For those passengers who cannot, or do not wish to take the alternative flights offered they will receive a full refund and their EU261 compensation.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said;
“While over 98% of our customers will not be affected by these cancellations over the next 6 weeks, we apologise unreservedly to those customers whose travel will be disrupted, and assure them that we have done our utmost to try to ensure that we can re-accommodate most of them on alternative flights on the same or next day.
Ryanair is not short of pilots – we were able to fully crew our peak summer schedule in June, July and August – but we have messed up the allocation of annual leave to pilots in Sept and Oct because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a 9 month period from April to December. This issue will not recur in 2018 as Ryanair goes back onto a 12 month calendar leave year from 1st Jan to 31st December 2018.
This is a mess of our own making. I apologise sincerely to all our customers for any worry or concern this has caused them over the past weekend. We have only taken this decision to cancel this small proportion of our 2,500 daily flights so that we can provide extra standby cover and protect the punctuality of the 98% of flights that will be unaffected by these cancellations.”

Discover the real Spain  

Those looking to explore the ‘real Spain’ are being offered tailored trips and tours that aim to offer something completely different to those organised by large tour companies. These, arranged by local Spanish lady Begoña Josa del Portillo, aim to discover the hidden gems of Spanish heritage and culture, with traditional food and wine weaved in for good measure.
For many years Begoña has been an integral link between the local Spanish and ex-pat communities offering Spanish language and Spanish cooking lessons.
It is the popularity of these courses and the influence of her students that has led to Begoña organising tailored trips and tours. The next trip organised by Begoña is to Morella and Peniscola in the north of Castellon. This region is steeped in history. In the 14th Century the was a unique phenomenon, there were not one but two Popes in the world; the Pope in Rome and another living in Avignon, France, known as Papa Luna. Papa Luna came to live to Spain in Peñiscola and Morella. There is a huge amount of history connected to this story in the region and this will form the basis of the tour, taking in the heritage he encouraged and the legacy he left behind. Peñiscola is a beautiful town on the coast and Morella is an inland medieval Town. The hotel in Morella that Begona has booked is a stunning converted palace linked directly to Papa Luna.
The trip will take place on the 8th, 9th and 10th June. The price includes coach travel, a double room, full board and local tour guides who have excellent historical knowledge and know all the hidden gems. Places are limited so speedy booking is advised; to do so please call Begoña on 622 188 772.
Begoña said: “I always like to offer something extra and special; I don’t use run of the mill hotels, but centrally located boutique-style accommodations that reflect the character of the area and I arrange meals in traditional, good quality, restaurants used by local diners. The food and wine is always excellent and reflects the typical local cuisine and traditional regional dishes. I never have more than 20 people booked, this way the group soon get to know each other and there is always a great sense of fun and camaraderie.”
Several local pick up and drop off points are available for passengers and range from Los Alcazares to Torrevieja. The first evening will be spent at the converted palace and the second at a 4 star hotel in the old town of Peniscola where the group will take a scenic evening train tour. On the final day of the trip, the group will have lunch at a privately owned traditional Spanish country house.
Mireille Toddington

New Spanish routes from Ryanair

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is planning to capitalise on Spain’s tourism bonanza by opening up new routes from the country where it is already the market leader. As of February, the carrier plans to launch flights from Madrid to the Italian city of Bari, and to Glasgow and Prague, while Barcelona is expected to see new services to Krakow, Luxembourg, Prague and Venice.
At the same time, the airline will extend its winter flight schedule for both Madrid and the Catalan capital and boost the number of flights on a total of 12 existing routes from the two cities.
Under the plans, Ryanair forecasts it will carry 6.7 million people a year out of Madrid, or 12 percent more than current capacity, while the predicted rise in passenger numbers from Barcelona is 10 percent to 7.1 million.
The company headed by Michael O’Leary built on its position as the biggest airline in Spain in 2016, carrying 34.7 million passengers, a number it hopes will grow to 38 million this year, according to the carrier’s marketing director Kenny Jacobs.
The executive said Ryanair would pass savings on to customers in the wake of a Spanish government move to reduce airport taxes by 11 percent until 2021. The average ticket price for Ryanair flights in 2016 was €46 but this is expected to come down to €41 at the end of March. That’s against an average of €151 across all other airlines, according to estimates made by the Irish carrier.
Jacobs said the airline would continue to focus on short- and medium-haul flights in Europe with plans to add 220 new planes to its current fleet by 2024, but he noted that Ryanair was also looking at cooperating with IAG and Norwegian on long-haul flights.
Luggage clampdown
Ryanair has advised passengers that if they fail to comply with new more flexible cabin baggage rules, tougher restrictions could once again come into force. Currently passengers on the airline can bring one cabin bag weighing up to 10 kilograms with maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm, plus one small bag up to 35cm x 20cm x 20cm on board the aircraft.
But Ryanair’s marketing director Kenny Jacobs said many passengers had abused the system over the summer by trying to bring large pieces of luggage on board, especially backpacks. This delays flights and puts the airline’s punctuality record at risk, he said.
While Jacobs said the airline had improved its image with its ‘Always Getting Better’ program, he said staff had been told to be especially vigilant when it comes to cabin baggage weighing over 10 kilograms and to ensure the second item of baggage is not oversize.

Summer is cooler in the North

Burgos is a city which has seen the presence of notorious warriors like Napoleon Bonaparte, The Duke of Wellington, and many of the Catholic monarchs. A city which has played a major role in the history of Spain . What a pleasant surprise therefore to find a beautifully built, well preserved old city, with sturdy old stone walls, an ancient city gate, magnificent cathedral and beautiful tree lined walkways along banks of the river Arlanzon. All this sitting below a medieval castle which sits astride the hilltop overlooking the city. As our hotel is based in the centre of the city there will be plenty of time to explore everything on offer.
An excursion takes us to the city of Santander, on the northern side of Spain, extending over a wide bay with views over the Cantabrian sea. Its historic quarter includes a group of impressive buildings which are situated against the natural backdrop of sea and mountain. Main attractions are the Cathedral which is one of the oldest buildings in the capital, The Menendez Palayo Stateley Home which has been declared a historic artistic site.
Another excursion to Logroño and the Rioja wine country. Logroño is a small city which more than anything is famed for its tapa bars. This is a day of indulgence because immediately after spending the early part of the day sightseeing and trying out the tapas, there is a visit to one of the largest and most famous vineyards and bodegas, not just in Rioja country, but in Spain. At the end of an exciting bodega visit, you have the chance to sit on the balcony sipping a glass of Rioja wine whilst surrounded on all sides by the vineyards and mountains of Rioja.
This 6 day 5 night excursion is based in a 4* City Centre Hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis & includes bodega entry. 25 -30  June. ONLY 319€ `per person.   
The historical city of Valladolid is a sizeable town with a population of approximately half a million and under the rule of the Habsburg King Charles III was, for a few years from 1601 to 1606, the capital city of Spain. The Catholic Monarchs Isabel and Ferdinand were married here, Miguel Cervantes, author of Don Quixote,  worked here and his former home is now a museum, and Christopher Columbus died here and as a result his home was also converted into a museum.. Now a thriving modern city, with broad avenues, palaces, churches , squares. and plenty of street cafes and bars to rest in and our city centre hotel gives you the ideal base in which to explore this wonderful city.
Valladolid : A city situated t
An excursion to the charming little town of Peñafiel which sits on the banks of the River Duero is surrounded by more vineyards than you are ever likely to see in your life. An impressive castle towers over the town.  This castle even has its own underground bodega.  In Plaza de Coso from time to time bullfights are held. The plaza is surrounded by a ramshackle selection of old, mainly wooden houses. Traditionally the balconies on these houses are rented out on bullfighting days to allow the better of to watch the festivities in relative safety. The less well of take their chances standing outside the bar, with the option of rushing into the bar if the bull comes their way. This excursion includes a visit to the Castle and a bodega.
In July the nearby town of Sepulveda celebrate their festival of fire.  After a day of festivities, all the lights go out at midnight and a torch lit procession through the town completes the days festivities.  A wonderful
sight to see and a chance to enjoy one of Spains different fiestas.
This 5 day 4 night excursion is based in a 3* City Hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis and includes entry into the Castle & bodega in Peñafiel.  12-16 July.  ONLY 299€ per person..
These excursion will be  accompanied by a well informed English speaking courier who will help you to make the most of your visit. Great value for money and an experience not to be missed.
 Reservations can be made by phone on (0034) 966785910 or online at www.coachtripsonline.com

Ten new routes for Spain

Easyjet launches ten new routes
Airline doubles growth

British low-cost airline easyJet has announced that it is planning to start operating 10 new international routes to and from Spain. The company said that the new flights on offer will increase the number of seats available to and from Spain by 11 percent. This equates to 16.4 million in 2017, compared with 14.7 million in 2016.
The airline plans to open a new base in Palma de Mallorca, start operations in two new airports in Granada in southern Spain and La Palma (Canary Islands), and to add a fourth plane to its fleet in Barcelona. Javier Gándara, General Manager of easyJet Spain, said this expansion will create around 150 jobs.
The new routes will be Valencia to Hamburg, Valencia to Toulouse, Palma de Mallorca to Venice, Granada to Milan, Granada to Manchester, Bilbao to Paris, Santiago de Compostela to Milan, Menorca to London – and the one of most interest to Costa Blanca People readers – Murcia to London, the company said.
Gándara added that easyJet is not considering increasing routes to and from the Spanish capital, given that a large number of flights from competing airlines already take off from Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport, and there is not the same scope for growth as at other airports. The company closed its base of operations in Madrid two years ago.
In the wake of the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union, easyJet, the fourth most popular airline in Spain, is planning to protect itself against the possible effects of so-called “Brexit” by applying for a license in an EU country so that it can continue operating its European routes, Gándara explained. Currently, more than 50 percent of the company’s flights take off and land outside of the UK.
The low-cost carrier also predicts that the cost of tickets will continue to decrease over the next year, despite the possibility of oil prices increasing.
When asked about remarks made by Michael O’Leary, CEO of easyJet competitor Ryanair, who recently stated that within the next five or 10 years the Irish airline will be able to give tickets away for free, Gándara was dismissive. O’Leary’s comments, which made reference to the profits budget airlines can make from selling passengers optional extras and airport taxes, were, said the easyJet chief, “free and easy publicity.”

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