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Caithness.org News Bulletins -  November 2002

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The Sun Gets Closer To The Highlands
A major new series of holiday flights to the sun from Inverness Airport and the first ever charter flight from Stornoway were announced today. (Friday November 15)

This tremendous boost for holidaymakers in the Highlands and Islands comes courtesy of tour operator Transun and follows the huge success of the enterprising company’s recent spring, summer and autumn programmes at Inverness Airport.

Transun will be making local history when it operates an inaugural charter flight direct from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis to the Algarve in Portugal in June 2003.

Senior Operations Executive, Simon Gauge, said the company was delighted to be able to offer islanders a unique opportunity to enjoy a week’s summer holiday in the Algarve from their doorstep.

“We are confident this option is going to be extremely popular and if we are proved right then further flights could be an option,” he said.

Transun is also stepping up its now well-established holiday operations from

Inverness by flying to Chania on Crete and to the Italian volcanic island of Sicily for the first time next Autumn.

Mr. Gauge said the exciting and unique new 2003 programme had been prompted by the jet-away success of the recent series of flights to the Algarve, Sardinia, Malta and Madeira.

“Our Portugal summer 2003 series, operating from June to August, offers great family value and will have seven departures. It features new holiday hotels in Lagos and Burgau in the Western Algarve as well as special golf packages allowing enthusiasts to play unlimited golf for a whole week for just £60,” he said.

“While next year’s Malta progamme comprises seven departures and will also operate from June to September, our six flight series to Sardinia will include some summer dates and will feature the popular resorts of Alghero and Bosa.

“Madeira has also proved popular with travellers from the Highlands and Islands so we have included two Spring and two Autumn departures,” said Mr. Gauge.

“We have also chosen Autumn as the time to launch our new flights to the up market resort of Chania, in Crete, and also to Sicily which both traditionally retain good weather until the end of October,” he added.

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, that operates both Inverness and Stornoway Airports, welcomed the expansion of Transun’s Inverness operations and the historic development of the first direct charter flight from Stornoway.

Alex Johnson, commercial and marketing manager with Highlands and Islands Airports said: “This is fantastic news for travellers in the Highlands and Islands and reflects the ongoing and expanding popularity of Transun’s holiday flights from Inverness. The option of travelling to holiday destinations direct from Inverness is very appealing to people in the Highlands and removes long and often inconvenient journeys to other locations from the equation. The first holiday charter flight out of Stornoway is also a tremendous step and we hope it will be warmly welcomed in the Western Isles.

“We are also delighted at the success of our ongoing relationship with Transun and hope that their services will continue to grow in popularity and see further expansion in the future.”

Bob Macleod, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports added: “This is the latest in a series of new route announcements by airlines using our network of airports and is confirmation of the hard work our marketing and commercial people have put in to developing relationships with tour operators.”