Russia is set to significantly increase its expenditure on defence and national security according to a draft 2023 to 2025 budget.
Aer Arann debut at London City on Isle of Man route
Irish regional airline, Aer Arann will be a new airline at London City Airport when it commences scheduled air services from the Isle of Man on 19 January, 2009. The Dublin-based carrier will operate three times daily flights with its latest, 72-seat new-generation ATR72-500 aircraft, pending certification. The move restores one of the most important air services for the Island and gives a massive boost to the Isle of Man's finance sector. "From the start of next year, regular flights will be available to London's premier business airport, less than four miles from London's commercial and financial heartland at Canary Wharf," commented Isle of Man Airport Director Ann Reynolds.
The Island has retained just one flight a day to City Airport (operated by VLM) since the closure of the airline, EuroManx, in May this year. Aer Arann's announcement restores the weekday frequency to four daily flights and, critically for the Island's business sector, provides the much missed morning and evening services, enabling Isle of Man travellers a full day's work in the Capital. The first flight from the Island will depart at 08:25, arriving at London City at 09:50. The return evening flight allows almost 10 hours in London, departing at 19:45 and arriving at the Isle of Man at 21:10. In addition, there will be an afternoon flight departing from the Island at 13:55, which returns from London City at 15:45 for those requiring a shorter day in the Capital. As well as the three daily flights on weekdays, Aer Arann will also operate a service on Saturday mornings, plus two flights on Sunday evenings, catering for more leisure driven traffic.
The Aer Arann Isle of Man route will also bring another first to London City Airport as its debuts the 72-seat ATR72-500. It will be the first of its type to operate into London City, bringing high standards of passenger service to the route. Aer Arann is currently participating in a certification programme with the manufacturer, ATR, the UK Civil Aviation Authority and London City Airport.
The Isle of Man Airport has been working since May to restore the schedule the Island so desperately needs. There were a number of critical issues which presented challenges, including the securing by Aer Arann of London City "slots" for the route, coupled with the current economic downturn, but both The Airport and Aer Arann are confident about the future of the route.
"The Isle of Man to London City route has performed consistently well since it commenced in 2000, carrying an average of 5,500 passengers per month flying between the two airports in 2007," said Ann. "Although VLM has continued to operate its daily service originating from London, the monthly average has recently dropped to less than 1,000 passengers. We know that Isle of Man business and commerce have suffered substantially without the frequent service to London City and, despite the economic situation, there is still heavy demand for the route."
Isle of Man Minister of Transport, David Anderson MHK is delighted with the Aer Arann announcement. "We are in no doubt whatsoever about the value of a frequent link with London City with good timings to meet the Island's business needs," he said. "Aer Arann showed real enthusiasm for the route and I am over the moon that they have decided to take it up and have managed to obtain the London City timings we all desperately need. This is a real boost to the Island's business travel and again helps to make the Isle of Man the very attractive offshore commercial centre that it is."
DTI Minister David Cretney MHK said "The London City route has proved to be very valuable for the Isle of Man's economy by providing a convenient link to the centre of London both for our business community and for business visitors from London and internationally. I am delighted to see the restoration of a frequent service to London City by Aer Arann, with the excellent timings they have obtained, and I know this will be enthusiastically welcomed throughout the Island's business community."
"This new route is an example of the focus that Aer Arann is placing on building a strong business by developing a regional route structure that provides critical links and access to major centres", said Aer Arann CEO designate, Paul Schütz.
"The schedule offers excellent access opportunities for the business and financial services community who need to travel frequently between the two airports", he continued, "and it also offers a high quality service with ideal travel times for leisure passengers who will now have greater access to the Isle of Man from the very central and convenient Docklands airport", Mr. Schütz concluded.
Due to its close proximity to London's primary commercial and business centre, which celebrated its 21st birthday this year together with the Docklands Light Railway link into the airport, London City is highly sought after for business travel to the capital. As a result, it has been increasingly difficult for airlines to secure good business timings for flights into the airport. "This has been a key issue for the restoration of the London City route for the Island," added Ann. "We are very pleased that Aer Arann has obtained these London City timings and will be working with them to ensure that they remain available for the Isle of Man route in the future."
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