New airline routes and holiday destinations for 2018/2019

Whether you're planning a break for later this year or getting those summer 2019 dates in the diary, there's plenty to whet your appetite from the world's leading airlines. More and more exciting routes are being announced all the time, many for the will-be-here-before-we-know-it winter season, and even more for spring/summer 2019.

While new routes are popping up all over the UK to destinations in Spain, Greece and Turkey, there's also a number of edgy urban options vying for your attention - we're talking the likes of Durban, South Africa, Beijing, China, and Delhi, India. Read on to find out more about the new airline routes and holiday destinations you will be able to enjoy throughout 2018 and into 2019.

New airline routes & holiday destinations 2018/2019, Sicily © Herbert Frank - Flickr Creative Commons
New airline routes & holiday destinations 2018/2019, Sicily © Herbert Frank - Flickr Creative Commons

New airline routes 2018/2019: top holiday destinations direct from the UK

If you're after holiday inspo, here you'll find the latest information on brand new airline routes direct from airports across the UK - and there's plenty to choose from. While London airports are still seeing the lion's share, there are more routes departing from Manchester, Birmingham, and Scotland, ensuring no one is left out.

Four new flights a week from Heathrow to Marrakech with British Airways © Milosk50 - Fotolia.com
Four new flights a week from Heathrow to Marrakech with British Airways © Milosk50 - Fotolia.com

1. British Airways

British Airways has had a busy year so far, launching three new routes to North America: Nashville, Las Vegas, and Toronto. Not known for resting on its laurels, the UK-flag carrier is already exciting us with news of its upcoming routes for winter 2018.

First up is the captivating souk-city of Marrakech in Morocco, which BA will fly to from London Heathrow, four times per week, as of late October 2018. Staying on the African continent, BA is also set to launch a direct route to South Africa's third city, Durban. This route will also kick in from the end of October 2018, departing from London Heathrow three times per week.

Looking for a holiday? Use our bespoke BA holiday finder to search for your dream destination based on both the weather and the price.

Closer to home, British Airways is launching a host of new summer routes to European destinations including the glorious Mediterranean island of Corsica. BA will fly to Figari in the south from London Heathrow between March and October 2018. Then there's Almeria, on Spain's hot and sunny southern coast, which will directly connect with London Heathrow between March and October also.

The Scottish capital is also getting a new seasonal route to Florence, Italy, which will depart from Edinburgh weekly between June and September 2018. As you can see, there's a lot to look forward to and choose from all year round with British Airways in 2018.

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2. Virgin Atlantic

The sassy red tail of Virgin Atlantic will soon be sashaying through the sky from Manchester to LA, USA. The ever-cool airline, which recently announced a big shake up in its economy cabin, will fly to the City of Angels three times per week from May 2019.

Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic from Manchester to LA in 2019 © Lunamarina - Fotolia.com
Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic from Manchester to LA in 2019 © Lunamarina - Fotolia.com

Manchester Airport, which is continuing to grow year-on-year in terms of the variety of destination on offer, will also see an increase in the number of flights to Las Vegas and Boston with Virgin Atlantic in 2019. In addition, Virgin Atlantic is gearing up to move its London Gatwick to Las Vegas route: from late March 2019, this will depart from London Heathrow instead.

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3. Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways revealed an especially exciting new route for travellers in 2018: the start of daily flights between Cardiff and the Qatari capital of Doha. This route is a big deal for Wales and the southwest of England, as award winning Qatar Airways is one of the major airlines in the Middle East offering competitive fares to Asia, the Far East, and Australia.

This means passengers can now to fly via Qatar Airways' huge hub in Doha to destinations including the lush mountain city of Chiang Mai in Thailand and the Aussie capital of Canberra - both new routes for the airline in 2018 also.

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4. Qantas

The Aussie airline made headlines earlier this year with the launch of the first ever direct flight from London Heathrow to Perth in Western Australia. This record breaking route, which started in March 2018, is the longest passenger flight from London Heathrow. It now operates daily and has opened up the enormous continent within a mere 17 hours - plenty of time to cram in all those blockbuster films and sink a G&T or two...

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5. United Airlines

Scotland's leading airport is now home to a brand new route to the US thanks to United Airlines, which started direct flights from Edinburgh to Washington DC in late May 2018. The route is a first for Edinburgh Airport, and will operate daily until October 2018.

This seasonal schedule is intended to draw travellers to the USA's seat of power on the east coast during the long and sunny days of summer - fantastic if you're looking for an alternative escape next year.

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6. Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines caused quite the stir with the launch of its first direct routes to Scotland and Ireland in June 2018. The airline, whose base is in the heavenly-tropical island province of Hainan, southern China, now operates a direct route from Edinburgh and Dublin to the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The triangular route, which runs four times per week, rotates between Beijing > Dublin > Edinburgh > Beijing and Beijing > Edinburgh > Dublin > Beijing, ensuring both cities receive two direct flights and two indirect flights. The long anticipated launch promises something a little different for travellers from both east and west.

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7. Jet2

Jet2 is continuing to build on its success in the south with even more tempting routes to come in summer 2019 from Birmingham and London Stansted. Those in the Midlands will be able to choose from four new routes to Kefalonia, Greece, Pula, Croatia, Verona, Italy, and the city of Bergerac, southwest France.

The town of Assos on the island of Kefalonia, Greece © WitR - Fotolia.com
The town of Assos on the island of Kefalonia, Greece © WitR - Fotolia.com

Meanwhile, London Stansted is set to welcome three new routes to Turkey (Izmir), Greece (Crete), and Bulgaria (Bourgas) from May 2019.

Looking for a holiday? Find great value breaks with Jet2holidays to these new destinations and more - latest online offers and discounts for 2018/2019 included.

Yorkshire is getting a boost with winter 2018 flights to Turin, Italy and summer 2019 flights to the quaint Polish city of Krakow. Over the Pennines in Manchester, you'll see the launch of a brand new route to the chic port of La Rochelle on France's west coast - the perfect excuse for a sophisticated seaside escape if ever there was one.

Meanwhile, in Scotland Jet2 will offer four new routes in total: two from Edinburgh (to Bodrum, Turkey and Corfu, Greece) and two from Glasgow (Naples, Italy and Kos, Greece) - summer 2019 across the Med just opened up!

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8. TUI

Things have been relatively quiet in the TUI camp over the past year or so, as the company has been heavily focused on switching its brand from Thomson and bringing everything together under the all encompassing TUI umbrella.

Much to the joy of holidaymakers, it seems that TUI is ready to start planning ahead again. The first of what is likely to be many additions to its 2019 schedule is the southern Italian gem of Calabria. The holiday giant will be the first UK provider to offer breaks to the delightful 'toe' of Italy, with weekly flights operating from Manchester and London Gatwick as of May next year.

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9. Thomas Cook Airlines

There's an eclectic mix of new routes to look forward to this winter with Thomas Cook Airlines. While Manchester Airport welcomed the launch of direct flights to both the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle and central Cuban city of Santa Clara in spring 2018, May 2019 will see a new route straight to the vibey island stronghold of Montego Bay in Jamaica.

Che Guevara Mausoleum Santa Clara, Cuba © Guillaume Baviere - Flickr Creative Commons
Che Guevara Mausoleum Santa Clara, Cuba © Guillaume Baviere - Flickr Creative Commons

If you fancy beautiful beaches closer to home - with historic sites and tasty cannolis to hand - you might want to book your seat on board one of Thomas Cook Airlines' weekly flights to the Sicilian city of Comiso, which will commence from Manchester in time for summer 2019 as well.

Looking for a holiday? See the latest deals on holidays with Thomas Cook, and book online to save for breaks in 2018/2019 today.

Interestingly, Thomas Cook Airlines seems committed to getting Tunisia firmly back in people's minds with new routes to the northeast coastal city of Enfidha from Belfast, Bristol and Cardiff as of April 2019.

These great value fares will offer a wonderful opportunity to explore this fascinating North African nation before the crowds return - and before the searing heat of summer kicks in!

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10. Flybe

Flybe has a modest selection of new routes starting in 2018 and early 2019. Flights between London Southend and the pretty medieval Belgian city of Antwerp started spring 2018, while the new route from Leeds Bradford to Dusseldorf, the west German city famed for its vibrant art scene and burgeoning hipster vibe, started just in time for summer 2018.

The old Grote Markt in Antwerp, Belgium © Erik Verrept - Fotolia.com
The old Grote Markt in Antwerp, Belgium © Erik Verrept - Fotolia.com

Looking further ahead, Flybe has released details of its winter 2018/2019 schedule, and if you're likely to be seeking the sun from Norwich or Exeter, you won't be disappointed: Malaga and Alicante in Spain and Faro in Portugal are all on the agenda, while ski hubs like Lyon and Chambery in France and Innsbruck in Austria will be well served throughout winter from Manchester among other UK airports.

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11. Ryanair

The big news from Ryanair is the creation of a new base at London Southend from April 2019. The Leader of Low Cost, Ryanair is paving the way for those in the southeast to escape for less next summer with 13 brand new routes to choose from.

Sunny stalwarts across Europe and the Med - such as Alicante, Barcelona, Corfu and Faro - will rub shoulders with tempting alternatives such as the pretty Slovakian city of Kosice, scenic Transylvanian Cluj in Romania, and the medieval port of Brest in Brittany, northern France.

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12. Wizz Air

If you're hoping to experience a city break with a difference in 2018, then Wizz Air may be the airline for you. Seemingly determined to offer fabulous fares to underrepresented capital cities, the low cost Hungarian airline is adding new routes from London Luton to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava (daily from mid June), the Albanian capital of Tirana (which commenced in late May), and the Estonian capital of Tallinn (from mid September).

There's also a new connection from London Luton to Lviv in western Ukraine, and - for that bargain summer sun break - daily flights to Larnaca, Cyprus, which launched at the end of May.

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13. Norwegian Air

Norway's leading low cost carrier Norwegian Air is has been busily bulking up its impressive repertoire of routes, launching two real standouts direct from London Gatwick: first, there's the 13-hour flight to the vibrant delights of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which kicked off in February 2018.

Then there's Chicago, USA, which started in March 2018. Both are tempting routes already served by other airlines, which will ensure prices will remain competitive - good news for travel bargain hunters in 2018!

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14. Primera Air

One to watch, Primera Air is the latest Scandinavian airline to enter the low cost transatlantic market. This Danish carrier, which is based out of Copenhagen, launched direct routes from London Stansted to New York (daily) and Boston (four times per week) in spring 2018.

The airline has however, got itself in hot water after cancelling a slew of scheduled transatlantic flights from Birmingham to New York, USA and Toronto, Canada owing to the late arrival of its newly ordered Airbus fleet. These flights are set to start again in spring 2019, if not before, so stay tuned!

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New airline routes 2018/2019: top new holiday destinations via hubs worldwide

With more European airlines offering stopovers, it's easier than ever to book a long haul flight which includes a lengthy transfer, letting you get out and explore to your temporary host city between journeys.

Even if you don't opt to extend your trip with a stopover, there are some fabulous fares to be had flying long haul via hubs with the following airlines. Read on to see what lies beyond with some of Europe's leading airlines in 2018/2019.

The historic city of Philadelphia in the United States - courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
The historic city of Philadelphia in the United States - courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

1. Aer Lingus

Ireland's national airline is cementing its reputation as a leading transatlantic carrier by launching even more routes to the USA. Dublin is now linked via direct flights to the charming city of Philadelphia, Seattle in the northwest (competing with Thomas Cook Airlines' new direct route from Manchester), the bright lights of San Francisco, and the glitzy sights of Los Angeles. Given Aer Lingus' typically competitive fares, the addition of these new routes to the USA is sure to inspire travellers throughout 2018.

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2. KLM

The beauty of Brazil is even more accessible thanks to this Dutch giant, with twice weekly direct flights from Amsterdam to the coastal city of Fortaleza, Brazil which started in early May 2018. This expansive natural beauty is famed for its cosmopolitan party atmosphere, beaches, striking landscape, and colonial architecture.

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Stopovers: why visit one destinations when you could visit two? Don't miss our ultimate guide to airline stopovers to get even more from your next break.

3. Finnair

As well as adding exotic destinations such as Havana, Cuba, Goa, India, and Puerta Vallarta, Mexico to its 2018 schedule, the Finnish flag carrier is launching a new route direct from its Helsinki hub to the city of Nanjing on the banks of the Yangtze River in eastern China. The route will operate between May and October 2018, and offers a tempting gateway into China for travellers from the UK.

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4. Icelandair

Iceland's flag carrier, Icelandair, is contributing to the influx of new US routes in 2018 with its intriguing additions: you can now fly direct from Reykjavik to Dallas, Texas and Cleveland, Ohio. Both routes are operating four times a week and offer travellers even more choice when it comes to heading stateside.

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Sammons Park in the Arts District of Dallas, United States - courtesy of Visit Dallas
Sammons Park in the Arts District of Dallas, United States - courtesy of Visit Dallas

5. Wowair

Iceland's leading low cost carrier, Wowair, is going nose-cone-to-nose-cone with Icelandair as it reveals two new routes across the Atlantic to - wait for it - Dallas, Texas and Cleveland, Ohio, which is sure to keep fares competitive.

Other US destinations Wowair will fly to from 2018 include Cincinnati, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri. The UK is also benefiting from the new service between London Stansted and Reykjavik, which started in April 2018.

There's plenty to come from this fledgling airline as it sets its sights on the commencement of affordable flights from Reykjavik to Delhi, India, from December 2018 as well.

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6. Turkish Airlines

This award winning airline is launching a number of new routes via its base at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in 2018. For a bit of beach time with the option of seeing the red sands of Wadi Rum thrown in, head to the historic port of Aqaba in Jordan which is now connected to Istanbul by three flights per week.

Another destination which will be of special interest to culture vultures is Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Flights to this Silk Road stunner operate twice weekly from Istanbul.

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Latest airline route information

Tempted to get booking your 2018/2019 travels? Don't miss our collection of the very best online deals, discounts, and sale fares to help you take advantage of the excellent selection of new routes and holiday destinations over the coming 12 months.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton
Article updated on Tuesday 19th June 2018 in: Travel tips

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