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Bits: SUN-AIR suspends BA flights to August, Aberdeen loses its THIRD Hilton, Wizz adds Gibraltar and Madeira

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News in brief:

SUN-AIR suspends BA franchise flights until August 2021!

SUN-AIR is a Danish-based airline which runs a number of routes as a British Airways franchise partner. The aircraft and crew operate in British Airways livery and flights earn Avios and tier points as usual.

It operates the following routes:

  • Billund – Brussels
  • Billund – Dusseldorf
  • Billund – London City
  • Billund – Manchester
  • Billund – Oslo
  • Friedrichshafen – Dusseldorf

Via its website, SUN-AIR has announced that all flights will remain suspended until August 2021.

It is clearly taking a very negative view on the state of business travel in Europe, although SUN-AIR is heavily driven by traffic to and from the LEGO head office and theme park in Billund. The airline does say that it may restart earlier if there is demand.

SUN-AIR British Airways aircraft

Aberdeen loses its THIRD Hilton hotel

If you need proof of the impact of the collapse in the oil price on business in Aberdeen, the city has just lost its third Hilton hotel.

The Hilton Garden Inn on St Andrew Street has not opened since the March lockdown began, and will now not do so. The hotel is in liquidation and staff have been made redundant. You can read more here.

The two DoubleTree hotels – DoubleTree Treetops and DoubleTree City Centre – have also closed.

Hilton Aberdeen TECA remains open but with reportedly few facilities operating. The two Hampton hotels, at the airport and Westhill, are reportedly being used exclusively for offshore workers travelling to or from rigs.

Wizz Air launches Gibraltar and Funchal Madeira from Luton

Wizz Air adds two new Luton routes

Wizz Air is continuing its aggressive UK expansion with two new routes from London Luton.

A twice-weekly service to Gibraltar is due to launch on 11th December.

A twice-weekly service to Funchal, Madeira follows on 15th December.

Note that these routes were announced last week, before the November lockdown news, so it is possible that the start dates may move back.

Comments (25)

  • Erico1875 says:

    Aberdeen hotels were struggling even before lockdown. You could get the city centre Travelodge at weekends for £30.

    • The real John says:

      But during the week they might have been hundreds. At least in 2018.

    • ChrisM says:

      Its the weekday pricing you need to look at in Aberdeen rather than the weekends where historically there has always been oversupply. Even during the years when oil & gas was raking in the cash hotels in Aberdeen were ridiculously cheap at the weekend, it was normal to see four star properties sub £50 on the weekend whereas during the week they could be £200+ a night.

      Aberdeen sorted out it’s hotel capacity problems just as the market went pop unfortunately. Off the top of my head over the last five years there has been a Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express, Moxy, Residence Inn, two Hamptons, a full service Hilton, Aloft and Citi hotel all open. There is supposed to be a second Ibis somewhere near the airport as well but I’d imagine thats been shelved now.

      With so much new hotel stock in the city and the current downturn it’s probably a good opportunity to close down some of the older stock and make way for housing which regardless of the downturn is still sorely needed in Aberdeen. The two Doubletrees were definitely older stock, however the Garden Inn was only ten years old.

    • jil says:

      To be fair, before covid, £29 Travelodge room outside London was pretty common

  • Mark says:

    I worked for BP in 2011-2012 and was going up to Aberdeen on the BA bus regularly. At the time Aberdeen airport was looking at making the runway longer so it could take direct flights from Houston as the demand was so great, I imagine that plan has been shelved permanently with oil below half what it was back then!

    • Vit says:

      Ah the good old times — when I started out as a Graduate Engineer! Get jetted around, stay in 4 stars hotels for weeks doing training during the day and city exploring at night! Not so much now though. 🙁

  • TripRep says:

    Sad news on Hilton in Vienna last night.

  • Mikeact says:

    Bits. I have two Lloyds vouchers that were due to expire this last Summer. On calling up they were extended until the end of this month. Calling yesterday, they have now been extended until the end of December. I’m hoping that when I call again mid, late December they will be extended once more. I’m hoping to keep it going for as long as possible. Has anybody a longer date ?

    • Nonglak says:

      Why not put this in the chat thread instead?

    • Alan says:

      My voucher expires in Jan and so far they won’t extend it. I know you only have to book by then but given how uncertain everything is it’d be good to have a six month extension to that book deadline!

    • Mikeact says:

      When I come to book, I know the booking zones I want, but to book 355 days out, with a future date change in mind, is of course, virtually impossible at present.

    • Peggerz says:

      I have two Lloyds vouchers – one was due to expire Oct ‘19 – which have both been extended to Dec ‘20 too. I have plans for them and really can’t see them being extended much if at all.

    • George K says:

      Arg – I wish they told me that just three weeks ago when I did two bookings for next March and April as they were expiring…

  • Dave says:

    The Aberdeen HGI was handy as it was walking distance from the train station. Stayed there a few times.

    I wonder if another chain will take it on, Courtyard perhaps?

    • marcw says:

      I don’t believe the *chain* owned the property. Probably the promotor/property owner went bust.

  • 747_Brat says:

    Sad news about Aberdeen Hiltons.

    Stayed at DoubleTree City Centre and Hilton Garden Inn last year during a mattress run, to qualify for Hilton Diamond.

    Erico1875’s comment about hotels in Aberdeen makes sense, as I was able to book both the hotels for under £50 each for a weekend stay.

  • Jonathan says:

    Anyone know what the micro BA aircraft pictured is?

    • Bob says:

      I think it is a dornier aircraft of SUN-AIR.

    • Anthony Edwards says:

      I used to travel the Billund – City route fairly regularly. The Sun Air flights are brilliant – not many people, full service (drinks, then meal, then ice cream then cognac), flying over Jutland, the north sea, following the windfarms up the Thames to land at City as the lights were coming on in London (with Cognac in hand!)

      They were usually more expensive than the similarly timed Heathrow flight though, which made it hard to justify on expenses, however it was brilliant when the pricing worked out. Also very good use of 4000 Avios as an alternative.