Eastern Airways, UK, is to serve the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar with the first services operating from Birmingham and Southampton.
Image courtesy Eastern Airways
The UK based airline will make this major step operating to Gibraltar from Southampton beginning 24th May and Birmingham from 28th May, both initially twice weekly on a Monday and Friday. This will be the first scheduled passenger service to Gibraltar from Southampton with strong maritime, finance and tourism links to the British peninsula, while the Midlands are restored following a four year hiatus following the demise of Monarch.
The services between Birmingham, Southampton and Gibraltar will be operated on the airline’s Embraer 190 e-Jet fleet which includes the type being based at Southampton for the first-time.
Roger Hage, GM for Eastern Airways, said: “This marks a major development in the network Eastern Airways offers as our first regular scheduled services to the Mediterranean peninsula adjoining Spain. The new services see both our return to Birmingham Airport as an operator while extending the growing number of destinations served from our Southampton hub. With a quality array of hotels, beaches, water-sports and heritage, this UK territory offers an exciting short-break destination aside from its role in UK business, notably financial services and maritime. With easy access to the south-coast of Spain also a benefit, working together with HM Government of Gibraltar has enabled this to be the first service to be announced, supporting UK regional airports and their role in direct UK and European connectivity.”
Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP said, “I stated recently that I would be able to announce the addition of another airline with services to Gibraltar and therefore it gives me great pleasure to make this announcement of Eastern Airways today. The links with both Birmingham and Southampton will open up a new catchment areas’ for Gibraltar. Work by this Government to ensure that the tourism sector recovers and flourishes after this pandemic does not stop. The news will no doubt be welcomed by the local business community and the tourism, retail and hospitality industries. This Government is delivering air services to Gibraltar in an unprecedented manner and is committed to adding further routes and more carriers in due course.”
Steve Szalay, operations director at Southampton Airport, said: “The introduction of Eastern Airway’s first-ever service to Gibraltar is tremendous news and demonstrates the airline’s continued desire to grow its operations at Southampton Airport.
“This is also a new destination for the airport and a positive step forward given the challenging conditions our entire industry continues to face. We look forward to working with Eastern to develop this service further and welcoming the first passengers later this year and indeed the basing of an Eastern Airways’ Embraer 190 aircraft to make this route and others possible.”
Tom Screen, Aviation Director for Birmingham Airport said: ”It is great news that Eastern Airways are back at Birmingham offering customers the chance to fly direct to Gibraltar again, this route has been unserved from Birmingham since 2017. Gibraltar is a popular destination to our leisure customers, for a sunny getaway, but also an important business route providing access to this British territory. We believe this route will be a sign of things to come as they develop their network further.
“Both Birmingham Airport and Eastern Airways have a full enhanced cleaning structure in place and can reassure customers that their safety if is of paramount importance.”
Eastern Airways’ services have been carefully reintroduced, aligned to changes in Covid-19 restrictions, with extensive cleaning measures on-board and throughout all aspects of the airport for the safety of all passengers.
The independent UK-based carrier was formed in 1997 and already serves hubs including Aberdeen, Anglesey, Belfast-City, Cardiff-Wales, Humberside, Leeds-Bradford, London Heathrow, Manchester, Newquay, Southampton and Teesside with Birmingham, Dublin, Nantes, Rennes and now Gibraltar added in so far this year.
Eastern Airways also has a codeshare partnership focused on Southampton with Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, to optimise increased passenger connectivity to the Channel Islands.