Leeds Bradford Airport is one of the UK’s fastest growing airports and that’s down to our continual drive to introduce new routes and flight frequencies to meet the demands of Yorkshire business and leisure travellers.
It is with great excitement that a new airline for Leeds Bradford is being launched; Aurigny - the longest serving airline in the Channel Islands – today takes off on its inaugural flight to Guernsey operating four flights a week during the summer season.
This new Channel Island link from Leeds Bradford with Guernsey will provide a relaxing weekend getaway, perfect destination for mid-week breaks, as well as delivering an important commercial link for businesses based in both regions.
Leeds Bradford is pleased to be able to offer yet more flight choice for our record 3.4m passengers a year. With the introduction of Aurigny's new service, the airport will now have 70 direct destinations flying to 23 different countries.
But how do we decide where to introduce new routes from Leeds Bradford?
Travel and tourism accounts for around 7% - more than 120bn - of the UK economy and is always evolving to the needs of customers. In the aviation industry, airports and airlines work together to create flight options that work for our business and leisure customers.
In addition, we presently work with a range of tourism partners, both here in Yorkshire and also at the destinations we fly to in order to generate awareness, stimulate demand and drive growth of services.
The island tourist board, Visit Guernsey, is pleased to see the introduction of Aurigny to the Leeds Bradford Airport programme, as this new route provides an excellent opportunity to attract additional visitor numbers from Yorkshire and the North East to Guernsey; an island offering outdoor adventures, great cuisine and a fascinating heritage.
Similarly, York and Leeds, both top UK cities for inbound tourism, are looking forward to welcoming new visitors from the island.
Visit York, Visit Leeds and Visit Harrogate will pleased to see yet more choice for inbound traffic flying into explore the regions' tourism hotspots and will I am sure they will all look forward to working with the airline as it grows its services at Leeds Bradford.
From a tourism perspective we have seen an significant increase in the number of people choosing to take short breaks - with average stays of three nights; I see this trend continuing. With Aurigny's new service the opportunity to visit and explore Guernsey for a few days relaxation can now become reality.
That’s why it is exciting for Leeds Bradford to be able to work so closely with new airlines partners and tourism boards to bring in exciting new routes to Yorkshire for passengers to enjoy year round.
We are pleased to have worked closely with Aurigny to launch this important new route route today and it has certainly added an additional buzz and excitement for passengers jetting off over the Bank Holiday weekend.
For Leeds Bradford this inaugural service to Guernsey speaks volumes about how Leeds Bradford are delivering increased destination choice for our valued customers; providing choice to more than 70 direct destinations and onto hundreds more through our four prestigious hubs.
As we enter the summer peak season, Aurigny joins Vueling (flying to Barcelona) as our new airline partner for 2016 and in addition we are already looking forward to further route developments in 2017.
Recently we announced the reintroduction of Thomas Cook holidays for next year and the growth of both Jet2 and Thomson holiday choices including new destinations to Gerona, Ibiza, Algarve and Berlin.
Recent capacity announcements and new business and leisure routes introduced with a number of our existing airlines, including Aer Lingus (Cork), Flybe (Newquay) and Ryanair (Warsaw and Las Palmas) are being received well by customers.
So, Guernsey being the latest addition to Leeds Bradford programme is in good company and we are working hard to introduce more new routes for 2017.
We welcome everyone on board the new Aurigny service today and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with the airline.
We also hope that our passengers will enjoy the tranquil island of Guernsey, which is now only a short plane journey away from Leeds Bradford and Yorkshire.
For more information, visit www.leedsbradfordairport.co.ukour-destinationsdestination-guidesunited-kingdomguernsey