Flybe are the largest airline operating from Southampton Airport, with an extensive network of flights to destinations in the UK and Western Europe. Southampton flights to Europe include destinations in Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Italy and Belguim

Overview and History of Southampton Airport

Southampton Airport served 1.96 million passengers in 2007, serving destinations both within the UK and throughout central and southern Europe; a far cry from the airports modest beginnings, when in 1910 Eric Rowland Moon conducted the first recorded flight on the site of the present airport.

While details of this first flight are sketchy, the airports contribution to the war effort during the Second World War are well known, and particularly the links with the famous Spitfire fighter jet, which was designed, produced and tested in the Southampton area.

The 1960′s and 70′s saw steady infrastructural improvement in the face of slowing demand, but in the mid-80′s, Airports UK Ltd., a subsidiary of BAA, were appointed to run the airport day-to-day, leading in 1990 to
BAA purchasing the airport in its entirety, a move which heralded a sharp rise in the level of investment.

Recently, 2005 saw the completion of a £5m redevelopment of the departure lounge, as well as the launch of Southampton Airport’s ‘Master Plan’ of its future development to 2030. Spanish firm Ferrovial took control of the airport in June 2006.

Parking Facilities at Southampton Airport

The car park is located close to the terminal, with prices for short stays ranging from 50p for 30 minutes to £18.50 per day, with additional days charged at £18.50. Long stays are priced at £9 per day, with a minimum stay of three days.

Places can be pre-booked online at +44(0)121 410 5105 (from overseas). For arrivals by car, passengers should exit junction five of the M27, or follow signposts from the A34 from Oxford and Newbury. Car rentals are available from the dedicated rental centre adjoining the airport terminal; Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and National Alamo are represented.

Transport Links to Southampton

Southampton Airport terminal is only 99 steps from the Southampton Airport (Parkway) train station, making it one of the quickest transfers from plane to train in Europe. Once at the train station, passengers are served by high-speed links to other Inter-city destinations as well as an average of three trains per hour to London Waterloo.

Two bus services run from the airport to Southampton city centre; the U1C ‘Unilink’, which departs every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends; and the 14 service, which runs hourly until 13.26, with two services later in the day. A leaflet on bus services is available.

Southampton Town Profile

Southampton Airport is roughly four miles outside the city centre, with most major attractions being in the city itself. Local sightseeing spots not to be missed include the New Forest, the Maritime Museum as well as the Southampton City Art Gallery.

The New Forest is one of the last parts of the British Isles to be not to be deforested: its soil has proved unsuitable for farming, meaning much of the area has remained uncultivated since Norman times, enhanced by the healthy level of wildlife in the area including deer, horses and wild birds.

Formerly used as a prison and latterly as an aircraft factory, the Maritime Museum (023) 8022 3941, Apr-Oct: Tue-Sun 10:00 – 16:00) gives details of the awful story of the maiden, and only, voyage of the Titanic, as well as offering a view of the graffiti carved by former inmates.

Theatre lovers can take in a show at The Mayflower, the largest theatre in southern England , 02380 711811), while food fans can head to the Old Town for a range of options including American diners, Greek taverns, Thai restaurants and Italian and Indian eateries.

Southampton’s history is strongly linked to maritime endeavours. In 1620 the Mayflower set sail from Southampton, bound eventually for Cape Cod, carrying some of the first English settlers of North America.

Another, less successful, departure left Southampton docks on the 14th of April 1912 when the Titanic set sail for New York. Southampton’s strong naval heritage is evident to the present day, with 240 cruise ship departures annually, Southampton can rightly describe itself as the cruise ship capital of Europe.

Settled at various times by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons, Southampton eventually became the major commercial port for trade between England and France. Later, Southampton again took full advantage of its seafront position in its role as chief port for imports and exports from the British Colonies, coming to be known as The Gateway to the Empire.
During World War Two, Southampton was a key strategic platform for the Allies, and was bombed severely, resulting in intense post-War reconstruction.

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