Stansted to have summer only flights to Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas (competing with Gatwick)
At present, Stansted doesn’t have flights to the profitable destinations of Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas. Most people going to Orlando in Florida go from Gatwick, with Manchester as the 2nd largest route. Almost everyone going to Cancun from the UK goes from Gatwick. Most people going to Las Vegas go from Gatwick, with Heathrow in second place, and Manchester third. But now Stansted is planning flights by Thomas Cook to those three cities, just over a month this summer and next summer. Passengers to those three destinations make up about 3.6% of all Gatwick passengers. Passengers to Las Vegas from Heathrow only make up about 0.3% of total passengers. Manchester (same owners as Stansted) already has flights to Orlando and Las Vegas.
Summer holiday flights to Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas take off from Stansted
The first of three inaugural Thomas Cook Airlines flights to the USA and Mexico from Stansted took off on Friday (July 17) when a plane departed for Orlando in Florida.Today (Saturday) sees the first Thomas Cook flight from the Essex hub to Mexican holiday and honeymoon destination Cancun, and on Monday the airline’s first flight to Las Vegas departs.Balloons, a three-tier celebration cake and Disney singers with children’s gift bags delighted passengers from check-in through to the departure gate on Friday’s flight, creating an amazing buzz to bring the best of Orlando to Stansted Airport.Christoph Debus, chief executive of Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “This weekend is huge for us as we deliver on our promise to provide great quality flights at superb prices to iconic US destinations.
“We’re doubling our departures to Orlando next summer to four times a week, making Stansted a great partner for us to offer the best experience to our customers.”
Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’s managing director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the return of long-haul services to Stansted this weekend as Thomas Cook launch flights to the USA and Mexico.
“These flights to Orlando, Las Vegas and Cancun will be a fantastic addition to our destinations board and the first of what will be a growing long-haul offer from Stansted in the coming years, providing people in our catchment with greater choice and value.”
Orlando, the fifth largest city in Florida, is the theme park capital of the world. Last year its tourist attractions and events – including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld – drew more than 62 million visitors. Its airport is the 13th busiest in the US and the 29th busiest in the world.
When do the flights go?
Stansted to Orlando: Fridays and Sundays for July and August this summer. Summer 2016 departures are on Sunday, Monday, Wednesdayand Fridays from July 17 to August 29. Additional half-term holiday flights are scheduled for May and October 2016. Prices are from £800.
Stansted to Cancun: Saturdays from July 18 to August 15 this summer and then July 16 to August 20 next summer. Prices from £758.
Stansted to Las Vegas: Mondays from July 20 to August 17 this summer. For 2016 the flying day is a Thursday between July 21 and August 25. Prices starting from £676.
CAA data on airports already having flights to those North American holiday destinations
Gatwick 705,046 passengers (1.85% of total passengers)
Belfast International 1,243
Gatwick 388,195 (1% of total passengers)
Gatwick 317,843 (0.83% of total passengers)
Heathrow 228,236 (0.31% of total passengers)
Total passengers in 2014