clickair is expanding its low cost services from London Gatwick with the start of daily flights to Bilbao in Northern Spain.From March 30, 2008, clickair is taking the route over from Iberia, offering outbound one way fares from just £40 (£32.00) and return flights starting at 20� or £16.00 (price difference owing to the airport’s higher airport taxes).
Pending final confirmation of the schedule, flights will depart London Gatwick at 09.55 arriving in Bilbao at 10.45 and from Bilbao at 11.35, arriving London Gatwick at 14.20.
Bilbao will be clickair’s second destination from London Gatwick and its fifth Spanish destination from the UK. The airline already operates daily flights from London Gatwick to Seville, complemented by daily services to both Valencia and La Corua from London Heathrow and thrice-weekly flights from Edinburgh to Barcelona.
Bilbao is a driving force of social and economic development in northern Spain. With a population of nearly one million people, Bilbao’s ambitious architectural and general infrastructure projects have fuelled the regeneration of the city and turned it into an international model of post-industrial urban renewal. Bilbao’s cultural calendar is hard to resist: from avant-garde art and fashion to classical music; from some of Spain’s best art galleries to architect Frank Gehry’s signature titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum, straddling the city’s river at a site that barely a decade ago symbolised the demise of heavy industry.
The city, Spain’s fifth largest, is surrounded by lush meadows and forests, rolling hills and a picturesque coast. Thanks to a modern urban transportation system - with tube stations designed by Norman Foster- and express roadways reaching out in all directions, the other Basque cities of Vitoria and San Sebastian are barely 45 and 60 minutes away, respectively, offering attractions as diverse as visits to the world-famous Rioja wineries or all-year surfing at some the best beaches on Spain’s Atlantic coastline such as Sopelana and Zarauz.
The Basque Country has a rich gastronomy and offers a wide variety of restaurants, with dishes ranging from traditional cuisine to the most refined culinary creations. In fact, no other region in the world has a higher ratio of Michelin stars “per capita” and is home to acclaimed chefs such as Juan Mari Arzac - considered by many as the ‘heir’ to Paul Bocuse, Mart�n Berasategui and Pedro Subijana.
But five star dining is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, Basque cuisine is home to the widest and most imaginative variety of “tapas” (called “pintxos” in Bilbao) that can invariably be found at hundreds of bars and restaurants. The locals prefer to indulge in the “chiquiteo”, the custom of bar-hopping and drinking several small glasses of wine (“chiquito” means small) along with their “pintxos” in the Siete Calles (Seven Streets) as the old quarter is popularly known. But all of Bilbao and its surroundings offer a unique experience in food and wine that can be enjoyed in a wide range of prices without compromising quality and friendly service.
“We are very pleased to be adding another popular cultural destination to our network from London Gatwick,” said clickair CEO Alex Cruz, himself a Bilbao native. “Furthermore, any travellers flying with us from London Gatwick will soon be able to experience our innovative click&fly check in.” click&fly eliminates the need for the check in process, enabling UK and European-originating passengers to select their seat online and print their boarding pass as soon as the booking is confirmed - even if the date of travel is six months’ away. (click&fly is already operational at London Heathrow.)
clickair, Spain’s leading low cost carrier, carried 4.6 million passengers in 2007 and achieved top ranking as the most punctual operator at Spanish airports - on both international and domestic services.