Monday, August 21, 2017
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Leeds – Thomson and First Choice increase capacity from Leeds Bradford Airport and introduce two new routes.

Thomson and First Choice are pleased to announce that in summer 2016 they will be increasing capacity at Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) through the introduction of additional seats and new routes to Mahon, Menorca and Paphos, Cyprus.

The move to introduce these routes is part of the UK’s leading holiday company’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the best hotels in some of the most exciting destinations. The new routes go on sale on the 23rd April 2015.

Not only will customers from Leeds Bradford be able to fly to 9 fantastic Mediterranean destinations, but they will also have the opportunity to choose varying durations – not just the standard seven and 14 night stays. Customers travelling from the airport will also have access to some of Thomson and First Choice’s most popular flagship hotels including Sensatori Resort Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus – new for summer 2015 and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the resort is home to an award winning spa, family swim up rooms and a range of restaurants.

Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning for Thomson and First Choice, said;

“Adding more capacity from Leeds Bradford and with the introduction of new routes to Menorca and Cyprus demonstrates our commitment to the airport and the local area. Following the success of similar routes across a number of regional airports, we know that the demand is there.

Tony Hallwood
Tony Hallwood

“Expanding access to our portfolio of destinations and hotels is a key part of our overall strategy and we hope that this move will enhance the holiday experience for our customers.”

Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airports Aviation Development Director commented;

“Leeds Bradford Airport welcomes the expansion and introduction of new routes to the island of Menorca and Paphos in Cyprus by Thomson and First Choice for summer 2016.

“With their widest ever holiday choice, holidaymakers in West and North Yorkshire can choose between a First Choice all inclusive holiday or choose from a range of popular exclusive Thomson hotels flying from locally from Leeds Bradford Airport.

“We welcome Thomson and First Choice’s increased commitment to the region and we are confident that these new Leeds Bradford routes will be a resounding success.”


Rio de Janeiro never fails to impress us with its modern outlook that reflects its progression through the times of yore. The historic sites, sparkling beaches, green belts and jubilant attitude of the locals embrace the tourists to the world where heaven meets the earth.

If Ronaldo played football at the Maracanã stadium, then Christ the Redeemer puts Rio on the world map. Rio’s carnival with its effervescent samba dancers jiggling their hips attracts thousands of tourists around the world. The rain-forests, museums, beaches and the glitz of the city have made Rio what it is today – Brazil’s top-notch tourist attraction.


Rio was founded in 1565 by the Portuguese as a fortification against French privateers who trafficked wood and goods from Brazil. Piracy played a major role in the city’s history, and there are still colonial fortresses to be visited (check below). The Portuguese fought the French for nearly 10 years, both sides having rival native tribes as allies.

e204624d-3668-4eac-8bca-5c1c0bb37785For the next two centuries it was an unimportant outpost of the Portuguese Empire, until gold, diamonds, and ore were found in Minas Gerais in 1720. Then, as the nearest port, Rio became the port for these minerals and replaced Salvador as the main city in the colony in 1763. When Napoleon invaded Portugal, the Royal Family moved to Brazil and made Rio capital of the Kingdom (so it was the only city outside Europe to be capital of a European country).

When Brazil became independent in 1822, it adopted Monarchy as its form of government (with Emperors Pedro I and Pedro II). Many historians and Brazilians from other places say cariocas are nostalgic of the Royal and Imperial times, which is reflected in many place names and shop names. In 2009, the city won their bid to host the games of the XXXI Olympics in the summer of 2016. This was the fifth bid by the city, whose 1936, 1940, 2004 and 2012 bids lost.


Minivians – Called vans in Rio, Minivians are an alternative form of transportation in Rio and usually much faster than buses. They run along Av Rio Branco to the Zona Sul as far as Barra da Tijuca. On the return trip, they run along the coast almost all the way into the city centre. They run frequently, and cost between R$2 and R$4.50. They do get crowded, and are not a good idea if you have luggage. Call out your stop (‘para!’) when you want to disembark.

Car – Getting a car is fairly simple as long as you have a driver’s license, a credit card and a passport. Most agencies require renters to be at least 25 years old, though some will rent (with an added fee) to younger drivers. Prices start around R$100 per day for a car without air-conditioning, but they go down a bit in the low season. If you are quoted prices on the phone, make sure they include insurance, which is compulsory. Car-rental agencies can be found at both airports or scattered along Av Princesa Isabel in Copacabana.

Carnival in Rio: Elaborate costumeCity Bus – Rio’s new BRS (Bus Rapid System) bus scheme got an Olympic-size efficiency makeover in 2011, with a new streamlined system that now includes dedicated public transportation corridors in Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Centro. Buses are frequent and cheap, and because Rio is long and narrow it’s easy to get the right bus and usually no big deal if you’re on the wrong one. Nine out of 10 buses going south from the centre will go to Copacabana, and vice versa. Fares on most buses are around R$3. Every bus has its destination written on the front. If you see the bus for you, hail it by sticking your arm straight out (drivers won’t stop unless flagged down).

Boat – Rio has several islands in the bay that you can visit by ferry. Another way to see the city is by taking the commuter ferry to Niterói. Niterói’s main attraction is the Museu do Arte Contemporânea, but many visitors board the ferry just for the fine views of downtown and the surrounding landscape. The ferry costs R$9 return and departs every 20 minutes from Praça Quinze de Novembro in Centro.


Christ the Redeemer

Perched atop the 710 meter (2,330 feet) high peak of Corcovado Peak, the statue of “Cristo Redentor” stands with arms outstretched, gazing serenely out over the city. Construction of the statue began in 1922 during the heyday of the Art Deco movement, and the concrete and soapstone statue is considered the largest statue designed in the genre in the world. Most visitors take a vertical cog train to reach the base of the summit.


Separated from Ipanema to the west by surfer-favoured Arpoador beach, Copacabana has a more active vibe than its equally famous neighbour. Rio locals, called “cariocas,” always seem to have a game of soccer or volleyball in play, and vendors vociferously hawk their drinks and snacks from the kiosks that line the beach. Fort Copacabana, a military base with a wartime museum that is open to the public, stands at one end of the beach. On the length of beach fronting the fort, fishermen offer up their morning catch for sale.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Rising 400 meters (1,300 feet) above the mouth of Guanabara Bay, Sugarloaf Mountain is a monolith of quartz and granite that visitors can crest via a glass-walled cable car known as a “bondinho” or “teleférico.” The cable car departs every 20 minutes from the base of Babilônia hill and climbs to the top of the Morro da Urca hill. From there, visitors can take a second cable car up to the mountain’s summit.


The beach made famous in the bossa nova song “The Girl from Ipanema” in the 1960s remains one of Rio’s most popular tourist spots today. A long, arcing expanse of soft white sand and rolling waves, Ipanema routinely reaches the top of the “Best Beaches in the World” lists year after year. The beach is bordered by a well-organized grid of shops, cafés and restaurants as well as an array of art galleries, theatres and clubs. Located in the upscale South Zone, or “Zona Sul”, Ipanema lies between the beaches of Copacabana and Leblon. Posts or “postos” mark off the beach into sections, and different types of people tend to congregate in each area. Families favour the section between posts 11 and 12 while the area near post 9 attracts dedicated sunbathers and free-wheeling artists.

Lapa Neighbourhood

Located in the downtown section of Rio known as “Centro”, the Lapa neighbourhood was once the city’s red-light district. Today, the area is known for its vibrant nightlife. Lined with samba and choro bars, the music and dancing spills out into the street on weekend nights. Most of the neighbourhood’s architecture dates back to the 1800s, providing a scenic backdrop to all the festivities. It’s the perfect place to meet up with friends and cariocas to sample local cuisine and to sip caipirinha, the national cocktail made with sugarcane hard liquor and lime. Escadaria Selarón, a set of famous steps connects both the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighbourhoods.


The Entertainment Capital

Ranked as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Dubai is seen as as a global city and business hub of the Persian Gulf region.

Culture in Dubai is rooted in Islamic traditions that form UAE National’s lifestyles. It is highly important that when tourists visit Dubai they must respect and behave suitably, as the minority group of Emiratis are very protective over their culture and traditions.

IMG_1327_2Dubai is famously known as the entertainment capital of the Middle East which attracts many party lovers from all over the world, especially those who are wealthy enough to splash out on the most expensive bars and clubs in the city.

The Emirate of Dubai is the second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates but has the biggest population at over 2.1 million inhabitants. Size has been synonymous with Dubai as it continues to build the first, largest and the biggest constructions in the world. Dubai’s dynamics are always transient and ever-changing with its constant urge to construct something better and bigger than the previous. If there was a Palm Island, Nakheel thought of the World Island. Burj Al Arab seemed too timid when Burj Khalifa cropped up, distancing itself to being a loner in the crowd. Dubai constantly dwells in a suppressive competition with itself trying to magnetize tourists to a dreamy world of attractions and unheard of luxuries. The emirate’s scoring points lie in its entrepreneurial abilities to create the inconceivable found in its tourist attractions, landmarks, shopping centres, nightlife and hotels. Although it strictly safeguards its traditional practices, it allows space for other religions to breathe, a rare quality amongst the conservative Arab world. Thankfully, it has been successful in shielding 266cf0db7d-dubai-nightlife-desktop-2880x1800itself from extremism, much-needed for it to survive. Today, Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown steadily to become a global city and a business and cultural hub of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.


Car – If you’d like to explore the city on your own, renting a car gives you flexibility and control of your journey. To hire a car, all you need is an international driver’s licence, passport and credit card.

Bus – When it comes to the most convenience possible, the bus routes are hard to beat. Over 75 bus routes operate within Dubai city and 15 routes run from Dubai to the other emirates. The double decker and public buses are air-conditioned, comfortable and will get you where you need to go at minimal cost.

Water – Water taxis have more privacy than other forms of waterborne transport and often have amenities such as premium seating. There are water taxi stations along the coast, from Al Mamzar to the Atlantis Resort on the Palm Jumeirah. Dubai Ferry travels between Al Ghubaiba and the Marina Station, and all the boats boast the latest in navigation systems. In addition to creating an important link to our transport system, they give passengers and tourists a great view of the Dubai coast and skyline.

3621868385_5db2c63144Tram – Dubai’s metro is a world-class, fully automated, driverless Railway System. It is is split into two branches: The Red Line and the Green Line. Most of the Metro is above ground, offering great views, but in congested parts of the city, the lines run underground.


Fun things to do in Dubai can be found for every visitor to this delightful and vibrant city. Dubai is packed with attractions that appeal to children, like the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. It is also home to a number of must see places for adults like the Emirates Towers. There are quite a few lovely sites to enjoy while in Dubai, but here are a few of them you won’t want to miss on your next visit.

One of the top spots for kids in Dubai is the Wild Wadi Water Park, home to 23 thrilling rides. If you and your family enjoy the water on its own, you’ll want to take Dubai excursions to one of the area’s fabulous beaches like the one located at Al Mamzar Park or Jumeria Beach and Park.

Adults have their choice of Dubai activities too. You can take one of the Dubai tours through the Jumerirah Mosque to learn more about the Muslim culture. You can also opt to take Dubai excursions to local favorite the Dubai Museum to learn about the history of this area. If you enjoy being on the water, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Bur Dubai Abra Dock for a relaxing stroll or a quick boat ride. After an enjoyable day visiting the best tourist locations in Dubai, you can head to the Dubai Fountains at night for a music, light, and water celebration you have to see to believe.


gal-hotel-underwater-jpgDubai Marina

Located in what is known as ‘new Dubai’, Dubai Marina is a man-made canal city built to encourage luxurious lifestyles through exclusive waterfront constructions along the Persian Gulf shoreline. These include swanky hotels, aristocratic residential palaces and extravagant shopping and entertainment centres.

Palm Islands

When innovation meets hard work, the results are astounding as seen at the Palm Islands in Dubai, an ambitious project visualized by Nakheel Properties; these man-made islands were constructed to accommodate the ever-growing tourist influx in Dubai. Shaped to resemble a palm tree, the Palm Trilogy defines everyday luxury living.

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai used to be called Downtown Burj Dubai and is home to several of the city’s key landmark sites, including Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain (see below). Downtown Dubai has a population of about 100,000 and covers an area of 2 square kilometres. On completion, it is estimated to cost in the region of US$20 billion.

dubai-1Ski Dubai

The words winter and desert are diametrically opposite yet Dubai manages it by constructing a Ski resort inside the Mall of Emirates, the largest mall in the world. Featuring 22,500-square metres of ski area covered in snow all year round, the indoor ski resort features various ski jump slopes and play areas to entertain children and adults alike.

Al Bastakiya

Today Dubai is all about modern, hi-rise constructions, but a part of it remains umbilically connected to the narrow lanes and wind-towers of the historic Al Bastakiya district. The oldest residential district in Dubai dating to 1890, the area is significant for its old-time architecture and the unaffiliation for the busy lives of Bur Dubai.


Leeds Bradford Airport is pleased to confirm the addition of 9 new holiday destinations for Summer 2015 flying from Yorkshire’s gateway airport flying with 7 major leisure airlines and tour operators.

Airport_1374071cAs the peak holiday booking season takes off, LBA is offering exciting new summer routes offering a relaxing beach holiday or an exciting city break.  For those travellers who have a property overseas the new flights will provide more flight choice and frequency  to Greece, Turkey, Malta, Italy and Spain. and Jet2holidays are offering 4 new routes from LBA to Malta, Tunisia, Greece (Cephalonia) and Turkey (Antalya) providing a total of 42 destinations this summer.

Monarch and Cosmos Holidays have introduced Naples (Italy) offering a direct flight to gain easy access to Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Meanwhile the addition of Alicante (Spain) widens their choice of summer flight only and holiday routes to 10 from Leeds Bradford.

Leeds-Bradford-Airport1The UK’s largest tour operator Thomson and First Choice have introduced new all inclusive holidays and packages to Crete, Omega Holidays have commenced a Lakes and Mountain programme flying to Friedrichshafen, whilst Ryanair have reintroduced services to Riga the capital of Latvia, offering a new city break option for this summer.

Tony-Hallwood-Leeds-Bradford-Airport’s-Commercial-Director-promotes-the-region-to-leading-airlinesTony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airports’ Aviation Development Director commented;

“January is the peak time for holidaymakers to start choosing and booking their summer holiday and with exciting new destinations on offer there has never been a better time to choose Leeds Bradford, flying locally from Yorkshire.”

For more information on the new summer 2015 routes from Leeds Bradford Airport visit the destination section on our website