Return of Gatwick Route to Increase Airport Capacity by 120,000 Annual Passengers Additional Boost of 200 Onward Connections from Gatwick for Region
Today, Friday 14th December 2007, the inaugural XL.com flight took off from Ireland West Airport Knock to the seventh busiest airport in the world, London Gatwick Airport. XL.com is the UK’s third largest travel provider and the new Ireland West Knock - Gatwick route is the company’s first ever scheduled service. Ireland West Knock’s connectivity to London airports is boosted to 1,200 seats per day with 410 onward connections available for travellers into, and out of, the West and North West of Ireland. The new XL.com service will operate six-days-a-week and it will be flown using new generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft carrying 189 seats providing a capacity boost of up to 120,000 annual passengers for Ireland West Knock.
Bill Smith, Managing Director, XL Airways Ireland, comments: “I am delighted with the start of the Ireland West Knock to London Gatwick service which is the first of XL.com’s scheduled routes. XL.com is a very significant player in the UK market and we are a growing operator in the Irish market. We operate from 12 UK airports serving some 50 international destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Americas. This new route is part of our pledge to expand our flight services in Ireland including our expansion from Ireland’s fourth international airport at Ireland West Knock. We look forward to continue to work with the team at Ireland West Knock and we hope that the general and business public in the West and North West will avail of the service and support XL.com in making the route a success.“
Welcoming the start of the new London Gatwick service at the inaugural ceremonies, Robert Grealis, Chief Executive of Ireland West Airport Knock said: “The new route comes as welcome news to the many thousands of customers who travelled on Ireland West Knock’s previous Gatwick services, operated by other airlines, which were suspended in September /October last year. London and the South East is the single biggest market for the Airport. The XL Gatwick service will connect friends and family and will provide tourists from Ireland with easy access to central London and to the South coast as well as supporting the business community by providing greater access to London and onward connectivity worldwide. We hope that this new service will strengthen tourism and trade between the two regions and those customers in our region will support this new service.”
Tourism Ireland has warmly welcomed the introduction of scheduled XL.com flights from London Gatwick to Ireland West Airport Knock. Paul O’Toole, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland said: “These new services are welcome news for the West and for tourism across the western seaboard. Britain is a key source market for the island of Ireland and these new flights will help boost business to the Western region. The development of direct, convenient and competitive access services is critical to achieving tourism growth and strategic targets. The new services will make it even easier for visitors from this important market to explore the delights of the West.”
Annette Kearney, Marketing and Route Development Manager, Ireland West Airport Knock commented: “The introduction of a new scheduled airline brand to our Airport offers more flight choices to customers in the UK, in our region and indeed in the Irish marketplace. We are delighted that XL.com chose Ireland West Airport Knock to be the first airport to start its scheduled route network from. In addition to the new scheduled Gatwick service, XL Airways will operate holiday charter flights to Bourgas in Bulgaria and to Faro in Portugal in summer 2008. Our Airport team look forward to working with the XL team in making these services a success.”
Around 90 airlines operate from Gatwick`s two terminals, serving over 200 destinations. London Gatwick (www.gatwickairport.com) is the busiest single runway airport in the world, the second largest airport in the UK and the seventh busiest international airport in the world. Owned by BAA, London Gatwick serves 32 million passengers annually with its future development strategy focusing on expanding as a single-runway, two-terminal airport, as it grows to handle around 40 million passengers a year by 2010/2011. Gatwick provides easy access to London Central and South London areas as well as to the southern counties of West and South Sussex. There are bus and rail links from Gatwick including the Gatwick Express www.gatwickexpress.com which takes passengers into Central London within 30 minutes. Gatwick serves a catchment of 12 million and also provides easy access to South Britain tourism attractions such as the vibrant City of Brighton and many other seaside resorts on the South Coast.
Ireland West Knock – London Gatwick flight times between Monday and Thursdays depart from Gatwick at 08.30am arriving into Ireland West Knock at 10.05am. Flights depart Ireland West Knock at 10.55am, arriving into Gatwick at 12.30pm. On Fridays, flights depart Gatwick at 16.45pm arriving into Ireland West Knock at 18.20pm with the return flight from Ireland West Knock departing at 19.00pm arriving into Gatwick at 20.35pm. Flights on Sunday depart Gatwick at 13.35pm arriving into Ireland West Knock at 15.10pm, with flights departing Ireland West Knock at 16.10pm arriving into Gatwick at 17.45pm. To book seats between London Gatwick and Ireland West Airport Knock visit www.ie.xl.com, www.xl.com, phone XL.com on 0818 220 220 or through your local travel agent. Group bookings will be facilitated and you can book seats right now right up to October 2008 already!