Heathrow is now the UK’s gateway to sea and sand with extended short-haul network

Published on : Saturday, July 25, 2020

Heathrow is welcoming back passengers ready for a summer getaway, offering them increased choice in direct, short-haul travel at some of the airport’s lowest prices. The airport’s new routes come as a raft of safety protocols and the adoption of an array of technology are put in place to protect passengers and colleagues from COVID-19.

Heathrow’s new summer network follows airlines’ decision to consolidate their operations into the UK’s Hub Airport. As a result, passengers flying from Heathrow are now spoilt for choice on short-haul, low-cost, leisure destinations to fly directly to, including numerous routes that are brand new to the airport – Dubrovnik, Genoa and Verona. Those looking for a beach getaway need not look any further as a number of tempting destinations are on offer, including 13 weekly flights to Greece via Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Heraklion. For passengers in need of Italian romance and riviera waters, there are 10 weekly flights to Naples and three weekly flights to Genoa. And for those wishing to stay closer to home, there are now five weekly flights to the beautiful Cornish coast, via Newquay and 21 weekly flights to Jersey for an island break. Many of these routes are being offered by Heathrow’s biggest carrier – British Airways.

Heathrow has also welcomed new carriers, such as Czech Airlines – offering passengers competitive rates on popular, low-risk tourist destinations, including Prague.

Airlines have restarted their operations after the launch of new travel corridors by the UK Government, allowing holiday makers to travel between low-risk countries without the need to quarantine on return. In anticipation of the arrival of these passengers, Heathrow has adopted an extensive array of technology to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 at the airport. This includes UV technology to ensure the continuous disinfection of moving handrails, UV-ray cleaning robots, and self-cleaning anti-viral wraps fitted to security trays. “Fly Safe Pit Stop” points are now available across the airport, where passengers can pick up face masks, anti-viral wipes and hand sanitiser free of charge.

Heathrow’s food and retail experience has also been transformed, in anticipation of consumers choosing to travel this summer. In line with UK Government guidance, a wide range of retail is now open, from World Duty Free and Dixons Travel to the Harry Potter Shop. All shops, cafés and restaurants accept contactless payment, and by using the Heathrow app and Heathrow Boutique service passengers can ensure an entirely contact-free experience, ordering takeaway food to pick up and pre-reserving items before even getting to the airport. Just last week, the Heathrow app saw more takeaway food orders than took place during the whole of 2019.

Gordon Ramsay Plane Food is the first full service restaurant to fully open, at T5, with table booking available and a revised seating plan to allow for safe distancing, while the Government’s ‘Eat out to Help Out’ offer available at participating outlets including Pret and Café Nero.

Ross Baker, Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer said:

“ Heathrow is ready for another summer getaway season, with new technology and processes now in place to ensure our passengers are safe to fly. With our departure boards filling up with short-haul, low-cost destinations, travellers may be surprised with what’s on offer at the UK’s Hub airport and find themselves at Heathrow’s doors for the first time. Whether you are new to the airport, or if we are welcoming you back, Heathrow is ready to help you travel to reunite with your friends and family, to visit somewhere exciting and new, or to find some much-needed calm and relaxation.”

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