Something To Declare: fare fight at Manchester; London link cut; route of the original Orient Express

Bargain of the week: fare fight at Manchester

Manchester airport has had an exceptional year. Earlier this month, bosses at the busiest UK airport outside London announced that 21m passengers have passed through over the last year. And next year is looking even better, thanks to an increase in the number of flights.

When the winter schedules begin in November, increased competition on existing routes will force down fares. Maersk Air (020-7333 0066; www.maersk-air.com) is already selling seats on its new Manchester-Copenhagen (below) link for just £61 return - undercutting both British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com) and SAS, who are certain to respond.

From Hallowe'en, British gamblers heading to Las Vegas will have a choice of flights, after BMI (0870 60 70 555; www.flybmi.com) announced it is to run three services a week from Manchester. The airline is selling seats at £399 return, which is likely to trigger a fares battle with Virgin Atlantic (0870 380 2007; www.virgin-atlantic.com), which currently flies from Gatwick.

The range of exotic destinations from Manchester is expanding quickly. Twice a week, SyrianAir (020-7631 3511; www.syrian-airlines.com) departs from Manchester for Damascus, with connections to a wide range of Asian destinations. And from Monday, Air Baltic (00 371 720 7777; www.airbaltic.com) will start flying three times a week to the Latvian capital, Riga.

Warning of the week: London link cut

Four weeks from today, a winter of disruption begins for rail passengers. Work on a new Thameslink station beneath St Pancras, itself being rebuilt as London's new Eurostar terminal, will disrupt services for the next eight months.

Thameslink will continue to operate south from King's Cross to Brighton. But northbound services to St Albans, Luton and Bedford will run from the temporary terminus at St Pancras - a 15-minute walk from King's Cross Thameslink station.

Because Thameslink will temporarily occupy half the platforms at St Pancras, Midland Mainline has been forced to axe its service to Manchester, though additional trains will run to Nottingham.

For details call the "All Change" helpline run by Thameslink (0845 330 3661; www.thameslink.co.uk).

Destination of the week: route of the original Orient Express

From next spring you can relive the eastern section of the original Orient Express route, which once linked Paris with Istanbul. The Royal Hungarian Express, formerly owned by the Hungarian government, has been chartered by Great Rail Journeys (01904 521900, www.greatrail.com) to run between Budapest and Istanbul. A package departing on 27 April, including first-class rail travel from London to Budapest, costs £2,750, returning from Istanbul to London Heathrow by air.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003