Blue Islands Limited is certainly not a household name when it comes to UK air travel, but the Guernsey-based operator have recently announced a spate of new weekly services, which will enable holidaymakers to discover the unspoiled and mesmerising beauty of the Channel Islands. For those who are looking for a quick weekend getaway, this is the perfect opportunity to sample island life and take full advantage of those long summer days, just a short hop from the British mainland.
Blue Islands Limited is a franchise partner of Flybe, and as a result, has recently changed the branding on its fleet. The two companies joined forces back in 2016, and despite signing the deal, Blue Islands have continued to employ their own staff and conduct maintenance on their own planes, as well as promote the brand through their website.
In January 2019, the company announced a string of new routes, which will enable more tourists to visit the Channel Islands throughout the summer months. These will fly into both Southend and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and will be operated on a twice-weekly basis.
Rob Veron, CEO of Blue Islands spoke about how the new schedule will allow Guernsey residents to travel to London or the North West of England on a regular basis, but this increased capacity should also help bring renewed tourism to the Channel Islands. The flights to Liverpool will allow customers to sample the delights of the Lake District as well as connect to nearby cities such as Leeds and Manchester.
Liverpool's John Lennon Airport is the twelfth busiest airport in the UK with around five million commuters passing through the Merseyside hub on an annual basis, and this news helps it cement its reputation as one of the country's fastest-growing airports.
As well as attracting a large number of visitors and sightseers from overseas, the city also plays host to a number of major sporting events.
European nights at Anfield regularly attract swathes of football fans from far and wide, whilst April's Aintree Grand National is another hugely popular occasion with the world-famous steeplechase helping entice over 150,000 spectators to the course. The race is one of the most-watched sporting events on the calendar, and is very popular with bettors worldwide. Many fans choose to watch and wager on the race from the comfort of their own home and with sites such as Oddschecker collating the best free bets ahead of the race, this practice is now easier than ever before. However, nothing can beat the thrill of attending the event itself, and it's unsurprising that thousands of sports fans descend upon the city, making it one of the busiest times of the year for staff at John Lennon Airport.
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands has set a target of attracting one million tourists per year by 2030, and this increased connectivity will surely help them take a step towards this goal. The total number of visitors was up 5% between 2016 and 2017, and recent advertising campaigns for Visit Guernsey were also shown on national TV networks throughout the UK in 2018.
The Channel Islands have plenty to offer, with picturesque sandy beaches situated alongside stunning clifftop walks. Local travel firms such as Blue Islands are helping put these often overlooked destinations back on the map, and these new routes will surely give the tourism sector a huge boost throughout the summer months.