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Cruise DESTINATIONS


LINING THEM UP


The cruise business not only adds significant passenger volume to airports but is also beginning to affect infrastructure and processes


WORDS: GRAHAM NEWTON A


irports stopped thinking purely in terms of air services long ago. Connectivity is now seen in


intermodal terms. Flight information nestles alongside train times and bus schedules, ensuring the passenger can travel door-to- door in the most seamless fashion possible. For many airports, incorporating the


Kasper Hyllested


comings and goings of cruise passengers must be added to the mix. It is big business for those airports lucky enough to be aligned with a nearby port facility. In Malta, for example, in the first six months of 2017, there was a 10% increase in fly-cruise passengers from the UK market. It will push total passenger numbers for the airport close to 6 million by the end of the year, a record increase of 16% compared with 2016. A Thomas Cook Airlines and P&O Cruises partnership out of Bristol is one reason for Malta’s fly-cruise success from the UK. Thomas Cook Airlines’ director of sales and planning, Henry Sunley, says P&O Cruises from Malta will offer a fantastic new opportunity for customers. “It’s a really great departure point for exploring the Mediterranean and in


luxurious style. Flying out on our Airbus A321s with refurbished cabins will be a great start and end to their holiday.” Elsewhere, Copenhagen Airport is a major calling point for a number of cruise lines and the gateway is working hard to facilitate the extra business. “We meet with cruise lines on a regular


basis to understand their needs and wishes regarding new routes,” says Kasper Hyllested, head of media relations. “We are members of Cruise Copenhagen Networks and also have a close cooperation with travel agents and tour operators.” Copenhagen provides an 800 m sq tent on one of its parking lots for the storage of cruise luggage. This involves closing down 75 car parking spaces for the six months of the summer cruise season. “When Copenhagen Malmö Port has a lot of cruise ships in at one time, they have a hard time finding space to store all the cruise luggage in their terminals,” Hyllested says. “We therefore give them the opportunity to load cruise luggage directly from the ship on to trucks in the harbour and drive it straight to our tent in Copenhagen Airport. Here baggage can


w routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2017 ISSUE 5 101


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