Here are the most exciting new flight routes – either opening up new areas, or just making travel to some of the classics much more comfortable.
1. Heathrow – Brindisi (British Airways)
BA’s new, twice-weekly service to southern Puglia – it already flies to Bari, further north – offers a more comfortable alternative to existing Brindisi services by easyJet (from Gatwick) and Ryanair (Stansted), and further evidence of how a sand-happy coastline – and the Baroque splendour of Lecce – is in vogue.
2. Jaipur – Bangkok (Air Asia)
Running four times per week, this debuting service enables ‘Rajasthan and beach’ itineraries, ones which combine tiger-spotting, desert, temples, exotic cities and time at the Taj Mahal with Thailand’s superior sandy shores, from Koh Samui to Phuket, and divine spa retreats.
Starts: 28 September 2017
3. Gatwick – Ivalo (Finnair)
Ivalo is Finland’s northernmost airport, and one of the premier gateways for Northern Lights holidays at premier hotspots like Lake Inari and Kakslauttanen. Until now, one had to connect via Helsinki, but a first UK direct flight – running on Thursdays and Sundays until late March – makes life much easier.
Starts: 14 December 2017
4. Heathrow – Perth (Qantas)
This non-stop passenger link between the UK and Australia will double as Europe’s sole direct route to Down Under. It’ll take 17-18 hours, run daily, and cost over £1,000 for returns. With a bustling cultural scene, stellar beaches and gobsmacking nearby natural wonders, Perth is well worth a visit. After a brief touch-down, the plane continues on to Melbourne.
Starts: 25 March 2018
5. Heathrow – Nashville (British Airways)
Come in, Music City! Not only does BA’s newest American destination boast over 160 live venues for everything from jazz to jive, but it makes a great starting point for Southern fly-drives incorporating New Orleans, Memphis and the Music Highway. Flights will operate five times per week.
Starts: 4 May 2018