A stopover programme breaks up a long-haul trip and allows clients to explore an extra destination at no additional flight cost.
Stopover route: London-Taipei-Phuket.
Duration: One night.
Cost: City excursions from $70pp, flights from £634pp return.
Clients departing London for Phuket can take advantage of Eva Air’s new Taipei-Phuket route with a one-night stopover in the Taiwanese capital.
“Eva Air and MyTaiwanTour have teamed up to create tours to meet the needs of stopover passengers in Taiwan,” says Eva Air UK branch general manager Bruce Wang. “These cover all the city’s main highlights such as the National Palace Museum, Din Tai Fung restaurant, the Taipei 101 skyscraper and Dadaocheng neighbourhood.”
With four different guided options (from $70pp) departing daily, clients will be collected from the airport before their jaunt to Taipei. With many bars and clubs too, there are plenty of after-hours options, including the Zhang Men microbrewery and Driftwood – a tiki-style bar with a happy hour.
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Stopover route: London-Lisbon-Salvador.
Duration: Up to five nights.
Clients with a penchant for historic cities should consider TAP Air Portugal’s London-Lisbon-Salvador stopover programme (flights from £547pp return). Before boarding the onward connection to Brazil, passengers can spend time exploring the Portuguese capital and its famous landmarks, including the Jeronimos Monastery, the cafes and bars of the Bairro Alto neighbourhood and city-wide vistas at Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
A partnership between the airline and Tivoli Hotels and Resorts offers clients a five-star accommodation option too, says Tivoli director of communications Andrea Granja.
“TAP Air Portugal’s London-Lisbon-Salvador programme offers the perfect opportunity to experience two of Tivoli Hotels & Resorts’ iconic properties – Tivoli Avenida Liberdade in Lisbon (from £189pn) and Tivoli Ecoresort Praia do Forte in Bahia (from £277pn). Guests can enjoy a city break and a beach escape in one trip. Be sure they make time for cocktails and dinner at SEEN, Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa’s rooftop bar and restaurant in the heart of the city.”
Stopover route: UK and Ireland to various routes.
Duration: Up to 30 days.
Cost: Free, with one-month visa costing extra.
Emirates has reported a growing number of passengers breaking up their onward journeys with a stopover in Dubai. Its stopover programme offers a Meet & Assist service at the airport, as well as transfers, preferential hotel rates and experience packages such as desert safaris and theme park tickets.
From October this year, Dubai will host Expo 2020, giving travellers even more reason to stopover and experience the destination. The show will feature more than 190 country pavilions showcasing architecture, hundreds of unique experiences, interactive exhibits and live entertainment.
Stopover route: London, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburgh to destinations including Tallinn, Stockholm and St Petersburg via Helsinki.
Duration: Five hours to five days.
Cost: Manchester to Tallinn from £185pp return.
Finnair’s European StopOver programme, which launched in 2018, offers clients flying from the UK to the airline’s European hubs the chance to spend time in Helsinki.
“Flying with Finnair from Heathrow, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburgh to destinations including Tallinn, Stockholm and St Petersburg offers the perfect opportunity to combine a short-haul European break with a visit to Finland,” says Andrew Fish, Finnair general manager for the UK, Ireland and Benelux.
“The centre of Helsinki is just half an hour from the airport, enabling StopOver customers to enjoy the city’s unique seaside atmosphere, design district, cafes, restaurants and hotels.”
Stopover route: All transatlantic journeys between Europe and North America via Iceland.
Duration: Up to seven days.
Cost: Free, with up to £55pp on air passenger duty. Gatwick to New York fares from £340pp return.
Icelandair has been marketing its stopover programme since the 1960s, and it continues to lead in this area. Clients travelling onboard one of the airline’s transatlantic flights can choose to spend a week in Iceland.
“Icelandair was one of the first airlines to market the stopover, and geography works in its favour. Many people might think Iceland is in the middle of nowhere, but actually, it’s in the middle of everywhere – at least between Europe and North America,” says chief commercial officer Birna Osk Einarsdottir.
“Passengers can stop and explore the airline’s beautiful home for one to seven days, without adding to the ticket price. With a day to spare, explore the highlights of Reykjavik, the world’s coolest little capital. With more time, clients can use Reykjavik as a springboard to check out the landscapes that make Iceland so magical.”