• The best things to do in London this Winter

    • 1. WARM UP WITH COFFEE & DONUTS AT LONDON’S BOROUGH MARKET

      Borough Market is filled with food trucks, coffee shops, and little storefronts and pubs.

      If you’re visiting during a London winter, this is the perfect place to buy a warm cup of coffee and take in all the smells of warm food and treats under the covered market.

      At Borough Market in winter, vendors are selling fresh produce and Christmas goods like wreaths, decorations, and gifts.

      I suggest tasting the seasonal mulled wine, holiday bakes, and other delicious Christmas treats.

      Local Tip: Make sure to bring plenty of cash to the markets. Many of the mobile food carts to do in London require cash because they are commonly small and move around the city.

      If you're looking for the best things to do in London during winter, this post is for you! We're sharing why this time of year is the ideal time to visit London - hardly any tourists, cheaper prices, and of course, Christmas cheer!

      2. VISIT THE TOWER BRIDGE (& GO INSIDE, TOO!)

      When you think of essential things to do in London, you probably think immediately of this iconic landmark!

      Tower Bridge has long been a famous symbol of progress and history, and it has been converted into a beautiful walk-through museum for visitors to enjoy.

      This combination of outdoor beauty and indoor activity makes it one of the best things to do in London in winter!

      Tower Bridge was built in the late 1800’s and is actually three bridges in one: 2 suspension bridges with a bascule bridge in the middle!

      Pedestrians and cars are free to walk across the base of the bridge and admire the structure from up close. You can also take a tour inside the bridge, learn about its history, and walk across the glass floor walkways inside.

      Pro Tip: During the wintertime in London (October – March), the museum opens at 9:30 am. We recommend coming as early as possible to avoid crowds!

      3.  SOAK IN ALL THE CHRISTMAS CHEER AT OXFORD & PICCADILLY CIRCUS

      If you’re looking for fun things to do in London during Christmas, Oxford and Piccadilly Circus is a must-visit.

      This area of London is famous for connecting modern and historical London together in one huge and beautiful space.

      This is very prominent in Piccadilly Circus, with elegant buildings sharing the same space with Times Square-styled electronic billboards.

      If you're looking for the best things to do in London during winter, this post is for you! We're sharing why this time of year is the ideal time to visit London - hardly any tourists, cheaper prices, and of course, Christmas cheer!

      4. SEE THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD

      The Shard is one of the tallest buildings in Europe, and one of the best things to do in London during winter. (Hellooo indoors!)

      The Shards gets its name because the top resembles a “shard of glass”. Up at the top of the tower, you can get a spectacular 360-degree view of the entire city of London from the 72nd floor.

      If you’re looking for things to do in London to keep warm during the cold winter months, this is a great place to defrost and see the city from a new perspective.

      5. GET LOST IN THE STREETS OF SHOREDITCH + SPITALFIELDS

      The neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Spitalfields are known to be the stomping grounds for creatives, trend-setters, and young people.

      If you’re looking for festive and fun things to do in London, stay a while and do some christmas shopping for family and friends from local vendors scattered in the neighborhood.

      Many of the sellers are sharing homemade bits & bobs (even clothing), which means you can choose a unique and local London gift for your loved ones!

      If you’re a vintage or artisan lover, you’re definitely going to want to check out Old Spitalfields Market. 

      This market has everything from hand-made fashion to food trucks, art, and jewellery . On a weekend it gets packed, but I believe it’s open daily during the week for fewer crowds.

      6. EXPERIENCE THINGS TO DO IN LONDON IN DECEMBER (CHRISTMAS TIME!)

      There are many things to do in London in December where you can find the Christmas spirit alive.

      Streets and storefronts are decorated with lights and garlands, and Christmas markets sell delicious food and great gifts. You can even find pop-up ice rinks around the city to partake in the quintessential season ice skating! Here are some notable London Christmas markets around the city…

      • Southbank Center Christmas Market
      • Christmas By The River (London Bridge neighborhood)
      • Leicester Square
      • Greenwich Market
      • Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
      • Kingston Christmas Market

      7. VISIT LONDON’S FREE MUSEUMS

      One reason to visit London in the winter is the sheer amount of attractions you can see indoors.

      Many museums around the city are free and open to the public. If you get cold wandering the streets, just pop into one of these!

      Listed as free admission museums in London are:

      8. EXPLORE THE TOWER OF LONDON

      Yes, we know. This is one of the more touristy things to do in London.

      But in the wintertime in London, you pretty much have the entire Tower of London to yourself! This time of year, you can roam around and explore one of the most famous English landmarks at your own pace. 

      Here at the Tower you can explore the armory, see the Crown Jewels, and hear shocking and gruesome stories from the past.

      You will also find that the entire staff is dressed as yeomen, which serve as costumes for the servants or workers of the Tower back in history. It’s like a blast from the past!

      9. FIND HIDDEN GEMS IN THE CITY OF LONDON

      We love visiting in the winter because you can get places in London all to yourself!
      I once found an abandoned church in the centre of the business district and decided to explore around inside. There were only a few others there which seemed to help preserve this place’s quiet nature.

      Sometimes just by allowing yourself to wander, you’ll stumble across the most beautiful hidden gems.

      10. TAKE A WALKING TOUR OF WESTMINSTER

      Sometimes the best way to stay warm while visiting London in winter is to keep moving.

      Stop by Westminster Abbey for a quick visit to see a historical place that is still used today. Many royal weddings and coronations happened here, most recently Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.

      After warming up inside, continue on your way to Buckingham Palace to catch the changing of the guards.

      There are also gorgeous London parks in this area to discover (yes, even during winter in London!). Take a walk through Green Park and St. James Park – they really are beautiful on a crisp winter morning.

      11. OTHER INDOOR ACTIVITIES TO DO IN LONDON DURING WINTER

      Thankfully, there are plenty of indoor attractions in London when there is bad weather outside! Here are some places to discover:

      • Kew Gardens Glasshouse (Beautiful botanical gardens) or Barbican Conservatory
      • Somerset House
      • Greenwich Market
      • Watch a show or take a tour at The National Theatre.
      • Wander around the London Aquarium

      Need a shipment booked while you’re here? – Book with us.

  • Staying Healthy and fit at the office

    • In celebration of National Fitness Day (22nd of September), we thought we would share our tips on how to stay fit and healthy whilst working in an office. It’s hard to stay fit when you sit all day. It’s not just your fitness that’s at stake either. All that sitting is slowly hurting your overall health. Lack of physical activity is linked to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even breast or colon cancer. Unfortunately, desk jobs are becoming more common in our modern life. And we need those jobs to take care of our basic necessities. So, how can you balance your desk job with your health and fitness? It takes some work, but it’s possible. Try these ideas.

      Take mini breaks 

      Just because you work at a desk job doesn’t mean you are glued to your desk all day. Get up at least once an hour to walk around. Go to the bathroom. Get a drink. Chat with a coworker about an upcoming project (just make sure you aren’t sitting).

      Take advantage of lunch breaks 

      It’s tempting to sit and relax on your lunch break. But, by lunch, your body can benefit from a short walk. You don’t even need to go far for it to be effective. Invite others and make it a daily routine.

      Stretch or move at your desk 

      You need a quick break more often than every hour. Take 30 seconds to stretch. Touch your toes, do some quick jumping jacks, or even sit ups 9no-one is going to judge you). It doesn’t take much to get your blood pumping. Get an under-desk elliptical to help get your blood pumping during an easy project. Whatever you can do to move while in place will help your body stay active and healthy. And on that note…

      Posture Points

      We’ve probably all heard the term ‘tech neck’ by now; the physical stress caused to the neck and upper shoulders by peering into a device. You’re probably doing that right now, huh? Yep, us too. Having bad posture when sitting at a computer is something nearly all of us are guilty of; it’s a short-term relief provider from the aches and pains accrued throughout a day of sitting and typing. Ultimately though, it can lead to long-lasting damage, causing issues with sleep and exercise which can have a more all encompassing, negative effect on your health. 

      When sitting at your desk, imagine there’s a string attached to the top of your head that’s pulling you up, like a puppet, and allow your spine to follow its natural curvature accordingly. Avoid the urge to seek momentary comfort in a slouch, and really sit back in your chair, at the bottom, rather than perching on the edge of it. Don’t be afraid to ask your employers for an ergonomic chair or stand up desk to really encourage both better posture and a little additional activity.

      Rethink your commute

      The daily commute, particularly in the capital, just seems to eat up so much time which could otherwise be spent keeping fit and healthy. But if you reframe how you think about that commute, it can actually present a great fitness opportunity. 

      For commuters who are lucky enough to be within walking, running or cycling distance of the office, for heaven’s sake, abandon the car, bus or train and make the most of it! If you don’t want to take this option every day, even just a return journey a few times a week which raises the heart rate could help boost your fitness levels and keep those threats from a sedentary lifestyle at bay. And if you aren’t close enough for this to be feasible, try getting off a couple of stops earlier than normal and walking the remaining distance to work.

      Keep stress levels at a healthy level 

      Because a healthy mind equals a healthy body and vice versa…it’s all inextricably linked, right? It’s vital, then, that you keep on top of that workplace stress. With over half a million workers in the UK last year saying they suffered from stress, depression or anxiety, it’s something of a national epidemic. Having the tools to confront that feeling of being under pressure head on and methodically will help you keep holistically, wholly healthy, we think. As such, we’ve written these tips about ways to beat workplace stress; check it out!

      Skip the elevator 

      It’s easy to let the elevator become part of your daily routine. If you find yourself using it too often, try taking the stairs regularly instead. Also, try parking farther away from the building so you are forced to walk across the parking lot. Little decisions can add up to more physical activity.

      HYDRATE!

      Coffee anyone? It’s a question which soundtracks the working week in every office across the country. It’s no wonder you can spell coffee from the word office. Well, nearly. And while there are often reports concerning the subtle health benefits of the good stuff, it’s not wise to treat it (or the nation’s other favourite drink, tea) as a substitute for water.

      Indeed, experts recommend that you should be aiming to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration, boost energy levels and even keep your skin looking radiant and glowing. Avoid quenching your thirst with sweet stuff, even fruit juice, as these don’t actually hydrate you efficiently and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. 

      And on the topic of what you’re putting in your body…FOOD

      1. Eat a healthy and filling breakfast 

      This is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. A wholesome breakfast can provide you with the energy you need to get through the first half of the day and will keep you fuller longer. This will help curb your desire for convenient and often unhealthy pre-lunch snacking.

      2. Cut out sugary snacks  

      Yes, they can be tasty, but unhealthy snacks don’t satisfy true hunger and are digested quickly, leading to a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. Instead of visiting the vending machine, bring healthy snacks from home, such as baby carrots, cheese sticks, nuts, hummus, cucumber slices, whole or sliced fresh fruit, small amounts of dried fruit, or savory crackers. If you really can’t survive a sleepy afternoon in the office, a bit of dark chocolate won’t hurt. BUT remember, everything in moderation, so have a slice of Margaret’s bday cake as long as it’s not every day!

      3. Bring your own healthy lunch

      Restaurant meals often include large portions and high-calorie choices. You can eat healthier and spend much less money if you prepare your own lunch.

      We’re trying our best to stay fit and healthy in the run up to Christmas (yes, those mince pies and pigs in blankets are already on our minds).
      #itsbetterbyairBook with us.

  • Charity: Why is it so important for Society?

    • Darcy running 10km

      After the events of last weekend, we wondered why (other than the obvious) it is important to support a charity whether you’re a business or an individual. We managed to raise £1200 (and still rising) for the British Heart Foundation, and it felt great! There were so many people running and walking to raise money for various causes and it was awe-inspiring. The atmosphere was electric; everyone that was there to support and to run was there for completely altruistic motivation.  

      Firstly – What is Charity? 

      Charity is defined as giving resources like time and money without expecting anything in return. This selfless giving serves the most vulnerable in society and helps ensure that peoples’ human rights and needs are met. Organizations built on this belief are nonprofits, which means they do not benefit financially from donations intended for the causes they serve. Charities have existed for hundreds of years in various forms. Today, you can find charities for countless causes focusing on: health, culture, education, the environment, jobs, and more. So, why does charity matter? 

      #1. Charity harnesses the power of community 

      When people come together, they can make a significant impact. Charities depend on individuals who commit to giving small amounts. While donations from big groups are great, a community that cares about a charity and who they serve is essential. It is those small donations that add up. The power of community proves that when people care and come together, change is more than possible. This inspires others around the world and encourages more participation in charities. 

      #2. Charity teaches the next generation about generosity 

      Giving to charity is a selfless act. There’s no financial return. Generosity for its own sake creates a more compassionate, community-focused world. Modeling the value of generosity and selflessness to children makes it more likely they will continue to give as adults. This creates a lasting change and a legacy of kindness. 

      #3. Charity helps communities become sustainable 

      Countless charities focus on sustainability and helping communities become more self-sufficient. Donated funds provide a strong foundation, whether they’re used for training programs, schools, and so on. When sustainability is a priority, individuals and communities can support themselves and no longer depend on donations. This benefits the world at large, so in that sense, there is a return on donations. 

      #4. Charity improves gender equality 

      Gender inequality remains one of the world’s biggest problems. While progress has been made in many places, it’s estimated that it will take around a century for gender equality to be realized. Many charities tackle this issue directly and focus on the needs of women and girls. Education access, better job opportunities, and healthcare services all contribute to closing the world’s gender gap. 

      #5. Charity improves racial equality 

      Racial discrimination can be found all over the world. Because of historic and systemic racism, people are caught in cycles of poverty. Often, racial minorities are part of a country’s most vulnerable populations. Charities help improve racial equality by addressing the ways racial minorities have been oppressed. Actions include lobbying for more progressive legislation, providing essential services, and offering pro bono legal representation. 

      #6. Charity reduces poverty 

      Charitable organizations are amazingly effective at reducing poverty. This is thanks to a focus on the factors that contribute to poverty, such as gender inequality and limited access to education. Over the years, the poverty rate has been cut down significantly. In 2015, the 1990 poverty rate was cut in half five years ahead of schedule. Charity played a crucial role in that achievement. 

      #7. Charity benefits donors, as well 

      Charity is about giving without expecting anything in return, but donors get intangible benefits. Helping others creates feelings of peace, pride, and purpose. These feelings translate into a more fulfilled life. When people experience this positivity, they’re more likely to continue giving and participating in other ways, as well. The world is a better place when people have a purpose. 

      #8. Charity brings attention to the most serious issues 

      Because it fosters a sense of community and purpose, most people want to help those around them. However, many do not understand the urgency of certain issues or know how to help. Charity is important because it raises awareness of issues and gives donors the power to do something about them. 

      #9. Charities protect public health 

      Lack of access to good healthcare is a serious issue. This includes reproductive care, dental care, and preventative healthcare. Problems like contaminated water also contribute to sickness and death for hundreds of thousands of people every year. When people aren’t healthy, it affects every aspect of their life and fuels poverty. Charities that focus on health through vaccine programs, clean water, and other services allow communities to improve their lives. 

      #10. Charity ensures human rights are respected 

      Human rights are not something anyone should have to earn. These rights include the right to life, education, work, and free speech. Many charities focus on life’s essentials like shelter, food, water, and education. While governments should be responsible for caring for those within their borders, it often does not happen for one reason or another. That’s why charities are so important. Many nonprofits also hold governments accountable when they are the ones violating human rights. 

      If you want to know anymore about what we are doing to support our charities, please drop us an email charities@aircourieruk.com.
      #itsbetterbyair

  • What do our customers think of us? Find out below!

    • Case Studies, Testimonials & Reviews for Air Courier

      This week, we thought we would look back at some of our customers’ words over the last two years. Air Courier has continued to stay steadfast throughout the pandemic and Brexit, and we will continue to prove ourselves moving into the ‘new normal.’ We want to thank our customers for their continued support and welcome our new customers. 

      Testimonials

      • “We have used Air Courier International for some 5 years now, having previously utilized DHL. As we are a small company, we have found that Air Courier are much more attentive and flexible to our needs than our previous provider. The service itself is second to none, the staff are amazing, and our expectations are always exceeded. We would happily have paid more for the superior service we receive, but amazingly Air Courier have saved us in excess of 30% on our shipping costs. Please keep up the good work, as we would be lost without you!” 
        Jazz Brar 
        Kraimer Industries 
      • “I had to organize a courier late in the evening from London to reach the final destination the same evening. Not only the team was present to receive my request, they of course managed to get a driver to collect the item within 30 minutes from the booking and have it delivered before the expected delivery time. Superb service and best courier company around.” 
        Matteo Delrio 
        Head Concierge at The Charlotte Street Hotel, London 

      Case Studies

      Bicester Village

      The Challenge

      Being based outside of London, but having tourists as a major source of revenue requires creative thinking in terms of encouraging those visitors to come and enhancing their experience when they get there. As part of a project to accomplish this, Bicester Village set out to provide shipping services for visitors and tasked a variety of suppliers with producing a proposal of services based on the demographics available.

      The Process

      Air Courier Worldwide Express t/a Air Courier International spent time with Village management, and with other existing external suppliers in different sectors to ascertain the type of tourists that currently visited, and their highest priorities in being offered a transport solution. We then came up with a low cost solution for same night deliveries back in to central London hotels, and next day delivery across the UK. To further enhance the offering, low cost fully insured international shipping was essential, and this too was a part of our proposal. By combining collections for different high end brands within the Village with collections for visiting shoppers, we were able to minimise costs for both client types, and our detailed and comprehensive proposal was unanimously accepted by the client.

      The Result

      An automated, highly efficient local, national and international delivery system is now in place and running successfully from the Bicester Visitor Centre, and centre staff receive regular training to ensure new services and improvements are fully exploited. An already successful enterprise, this major shopping destination now boasts a truly complete and streamlined set of services to offer its visitors.

      Reviews

      • “Always feel confident with Air Courier. First class service, prompt customer service. The greatest of care shown with their deliveries. Worth a follow on Instagram. Won their competition recently and the voucher was delivered without fuss. Efficiency at its highest level.” 
        Bobby Shad 
        Head of Reservations at The Lanesborough Hotel 
      • “Darren and Lee helped us so much with a shipment from Liberia to the Netherlands. It was really great having the guys respond to any issues/delays so quickly and they couldn’t have been more helpful. The package arrived safely and in good time. Would use again and highly recommend!” 
        Joseph Jeffcoate 
      • “Excellent service! Breakables were packed extremely well and have made it in one piece to the US. Would highly recommend!” 
        Tara Barge 
        Mojo 
         
      • “I loved their customer service. The brilliant company ensure that your parcel can get to any destination even with little notice! They achieve the impossible!!” 
        Jemima Fennel 
        Dash Drinks 

      If this doesn’t convince you that we are the best of the best, give us a call and we’ll make sure you get your parcel wherever you need it, whenever you need it. All the paperwork and packing can be done our end, and you’ll never receive a bill from us after the agreed amount. You shouldn’t have to worry whether your parcels will arrive – and with us you won’t, because its always #betterbyair.

      @aircourier

  • Brexit: The impacts and opinions 18 months on

    • We can hardly believe it has been over five years since the British public voted to leave the European Union. Below we will look at two main questions: Firstly, are the voters still content with their decision; secondly, how well voters think Brexit has been executed. After this, we will look at the real-life impacts; the good, the bad and the ugly. (okay..its really just the bad and the ugly!) 

      What we found to be quite surprising is that the UK is still evenly split as to whether we should rejoin or stay out of the UK. Back in 2016, 48% voted remain, 52% voted to stay. In the NatCen Panel surveys conducted throughout the last five years, it examines first whether individual voters have changed their minds about Brexit and whether collectively there has continued to be majority support for leaving the EU. The conclusion after analysis was that 48% would vote to rejoin the EU, and 52% would vote to stay out. It seemed to us, at least, that the consensus was that the public had started to think we had made a mistake – however this does not appear to be the case.  

      However, overall, voters feel quite strongly that we obtained a bad Brexit deal, with only 21% coming out in support of it. When we look at the real impacts of Brexit for the UK, it may explain why those that voted to leave have stuck with their decision. The larger more negative consequences have not filtered down through to the average voter yet: In fact, 6 out of ten people in the UK revealed that Brexit has not impacted their daily lives. But anyone who listens to the news will have heard about how underwhelming the deal that we received really was.  

      Brexit

      GROWTH 

      Brexit’s biggest disadvantage is its damage to the U.K.’s economic growth. Most of this has been due to the uncertainty surrounding the final outcome. 

      Uncertainty over Brexit slowed the U.K.’s growth from 2.4% in 2015 to 1.0% in 2019. The U.K. government estimated that Brexit would lower the U.K.’s growth by up to 6.7% over 15 years. It assumed the current terms of free trade but restricted immigration.  

      The British pound fell from $1.48 on the day of the referendum to $1.36 the next day. That helps exports but increases the prices of imports. It has not regained its pre-Brexit high. (Figure source) 

      JOBS 

      Brexit hurts Britain’s younger workers. Germany is projected to have a labor shortage of 3 million skilled workers by 2030. Those jobs won’t be as readily available to the U.K.’s workers after Brexit. 

      Employers are having a harder time finding applicants. One reason is that EU-born workers left the U.K., their numbers falling by 95% in 2017. This has hit the low-skilled and medium-skilled occupations the most. 

      TRADE 

      The U.K. must negotiate new trade agreements with countries outside of the EU, which had more than 40 trade agreements with 70 countries already in place 

      BREXIT IN IRELAND 

      Northern Ireland remains with the U.K. The Republic of Ireland, with which it shares a border, stays a part of the EU. The agreement avoids a customs border between the two Irish countries. 

      A customs border could have reignited The Troubles, which was a 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists and pro-British Protestants. In 1998, it ended with the promise of no border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. A customs border would have forced about 9,300 commuters to go through customs on their way to and from work and school. 

      BREXIT IN LONDON 

      Brexit has already depressed growth in the U.K.’s financial center of London, which saw only 1.4% in 2018 and was close to zero in 2019. It also diminished business investment by 11% between 2016 and 2019. 

      International companies are less likely to use London as an English-speaking entry into the EU economy. Barclay’s moved 5,000 clients to its Irish subsidiary, while Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley switched 10% of their clients. Bank of America has also transferred 100 bankers to its Dublin office and 400 to a broker dealer unit in Paris.32 

      BREXIT IN SCOTLAND 

      Scotland voted against Brexit. The Scottish government believed that staying in the EU was the best for Scotland and the U.K. It had been pushing the U.K. government to allow for a second referendum.  

      To leave the U.K., Scotland would have to call a referendum on independence. It could then apply for EU membership on its own. 

      What has Brexit meant for us…? 

      We have tried to make the transitional period of Brexit as easy as possible for our customers but there have been some changes in the way we have to operate to the EU. Everyone shipping to the EU from the UK now needs to have their IORI numbers to ship which wasn’t a requirement before. More information on this can be found in our Q1 Newsletter, if you have any more questions about shipments, just give us a call.   

      #itsbetterbyair @aircourier

  • What to do August Bank Holiday weekend 2021

    • This weeks blog is a rundown of what we think are fantastic things to do in and around London on what is looking to be a scorcher of a three day weekend! August Bank Holiday is going to be the first ‘normal’ bank holiday for a very long time. For starters, there are actual music festivals happening – Yam Carnival and All Points East are both going ahead, as is Field Day, but that last one is long sold out. Looking for something a little more low-key? Take a trip to Tate Modern for the Sophie Taeuber-Arp retrospective, or have a wholesome day on a pick-your-own fruit farm. This is the last gasp of the summer, so now is the time to make plans. You’ve gained this extra day off, after all, so make it count. 

      Our List

      1. Head to Seabird at The Hoxton Hotel, Southwark for Oysters and Sky High Dining

      With London’s most extensive Oyster menu, Seabird has fantastic views, food and cocktails for to make for a wonderful day or evening. With the weather looking bright, you can enjoy tapas dishes that are out of this world, alongside the ‘cocktail of the day’, which is always delicious. Or, enjoy the ‘Afternoon Sea’ which includes a huge array of dishes – but make sure you order this 48 hours in advance. This restaurant and hotel is really one to watch. 

      1. See the Northern Lights in Greenwich // Aug 27th-Sept 11th

      London’s spectacular, (mostly) free, outdoor Greenwich + Docklands International Festival returns for 2021 with an edition sure to be dominated by talk of ‘Borealis’, a laser show which aims to recreate the Northern Lights over Greenwich and Woolwich. But there’s plenty of other cool stuff besides, from a version of Dennis Potter’s classic ‘Blue Remembered Hills’ on a forbidden landfill site, to ‘Black Victorians’, a dance piece celebrating Britain’s pre-Windrush Black population. A cultural option this August Bank Holiday.

      1. Watch Lily Allen in ‘2:22 A Ghost Story’ // Now-Oct 16th

      Lily Allen makes her West End debut in this spooky new play written by Danny Robins of hugely successful supernatural podcast The Battersea Poltergeist. Matthew Dunster’s production stars Allen as Jenny, who moves into a new home with her husband Sam (Hadley Fraser) and becomes convinced it’s haunted. Lauren (Julia Chan) and Ben (Jake Wood) play their friends who come round to dinner one fateful night – the truth will be revealed at… 2.22! At the Noel Coward Theatre. 

      1. Yam Carnival // Aug 28th

      Afro Nation’s new festival of afrobeat, reggaeton, R&B, hip hop and dancehall acts will be taking over Clapham Common this bank holiday weekend. The organisers have promised some top-quality Caribbean and Latin American street food, but nobody is shelling out more than £66 for access to good snacks. Rest assured Yam has some big names on the bill: Davido, Kehlani, Femi Kuti, Koffee, Honey Dijon, Ari Lennox, Ms Banks and Princess Nokia will all be performing. Other Festivals taking place this August Bank Holiday are: All Points East, Return ii Dance, Junction 2, Field Day amongst others.

      1. Pick your own Fruit and Veg // (Summer)

      Spend a day out on a pick-your-own farm in (or near) London this bank holiday weekend. Whether you want to pluck summer-ripe berries, leafy greens and root veg or gather autumnal apples, pumpkins and squashes, these farms all have acres of PYO fields to keep you busy. Strawberries are getting harder to find, but there’s still plenty of apples and blackberries to fill your punnet. Remember, always call your chosen farm ahead of your visit to check what’s ripe for picking. 

      1. See the Beautiful Landscapes by Bernardo Bellotto // Now-Oct 31st

      You’re dwarfed by these paintings as you walk in. Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto’s five views of Königstein in Dresden are big, towering, heavy works. They loom over you with their pillars of grey stone and stark, sharp angles. He was commissioned to do these in the eighteenth century as a court painter and, like any court painter, his job was to make his boss look big and impressive. And it worked. Bellotto uses every weapon of perspective in his arsenal to create vistas that are intensely dramatic and tell a story of fearsome power and impenetrable defences. You can see them at the National Gallery.

      1. Have some fun at London Wonderground // Now-Sept 26th

      There is something deeply soothing about London Wonderground. During an unsettling time, the Empress Place,  Earl’s Court attraction offers immersion in the frivolously extra paraphernalia of the festival season. There’s an artificial beach with deckchairs, a helter-skelter, bumper cars, endless bars… and, of course, a giant inflatable upside-down purple cow, aka the Udderbelly performance venue. You could probably spend a nice enough evening there without taking in a show if the weather was right. But it’s the shows that provide the main impetus to go. As ever with the Wonderground, the genre is ‘a bit of everything’: you’ll find comedy, music and a smattering of cabaret.

      1. National BURGER DAY! // Aug 27th

      National Burger Day is a thing, and it’s a big deal for bun huns AND it falls on this August Bank holiday weekend. Devoted to everything burgers, Vinegar Yard will be celebrating the mighty meaty patty with a whole bunch of burger traders in one place, and you’ll be able to sample slider sizes to try them all without getting too full up. Tickets cost £12 and include two free cans of Two Tribes lager or ale (or soft drinks). Tables of four and eight are available. 

      1. West End Drag Brunch // Every Sunday

      Sashay down to The Folly with your fabulous queens & experience London’s first drag brunch that has an exclusive line up from the glittering West End stage. You can choose from two time slots: 1-4pm or 7-10pm so whether you’re up for brunch or going all out for the evening (with the bonus Monday off the hangovers don’t matter!), get ready to party!  Expect jaw-dropping dance moves, fabulous lip-syncing & plenty of sass. Alongside this knockout entertainment, enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless cocktails & a delicious brunch dish all for £49.95pp. 

      1.  Luxurious Breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park

      With a backdrop of knightsbridge, enjoy delights such as French Toast with apricot and toasted almond compote, Full English/Vegan, or Coconut and Chia Pudding. This can all be washed down with Detox Juices/Smoothies, or for those of you who are indulging themselves this Bank Holiday weekend, Billecart Rose-Salmon Brut, or a breakfast cocktail such a bellini. This is all served in the Rosebery, one of London’s most fashionable destinations. After breakfast, why not head to the award winning spa for a treatment or two. 

      #itsbetterbyair // @aircourier

  • Sustainability: Delivering on our Promise

    • We have always been environmentally aware but from the beginning of 2021 we set a goal to be more proactive with delivering on our sustainability promise.  As a company, we have set out to become more environmentally friendly through various avenues.  Our service is still our top priority but the environment is way up there in our pecking order, therefore we have done much research into alternative materials that could be used for our packaging and office stationery.  We simply want to share with you our developments, and how you may notice the changes. 

      Pouches 

      All of our pouches have been recyclable for a number of years; however, we have now sourced an even more environmentally friendly material and to highlight this, we have placed the recyclable symbol on these new pouches just to remind you. This means, when you want to throw them away, they can go straight into your recycling bin.  As Sustainability has been a top focus this year, we are researching even further into compostable and biodegradable pouches. For now, the technology is not quite there for demands of courier and shipping and the safe delivery of your packages is paramount.  We are consistently reviewing the newest advances in the packaging industry, and as soon as we test a batch that is up to standard, we will make the switch.

      Our Company mascot loving the new pouches!

      Tape 

      Similarly, to the pouches, from this point, all our tape is fully recyclable and can avoid landfills if disposed of correctly at home or at the office. We are currently trialing two new paper-based parcel tapes that are also compostable. If, after our trials, they meet our stringent measures, we will be crossing over.  

      Packing Peanuts (Chips) and Boxes
       
      From 2019 we have ensured that all of our packing materials are eco-friendly, all materials used for packing purposes are not only biodegradable but compostable as well.  

      HQ 

      Lightbulbs

      At our HQ, we have moved to the more eco-friendly LED lights. This was quite are large undertaking as the square footage and ceiling heights of both office and warehouse spaces is considerable, making sustainability hard to achieve. These LED lights produce more ‘lumens’ than the traditional lightbulbs and have a lifespan of nearly 25 years, and they use the least energy for the most output which allows us to be energy efficient without compromising service. 

      Working From Home

      Since the start of the Pandemic the implementation of remote working has had an enormous impact on our carbon footprint. We too, initially through necessity, ensured that some of our teams were well equipped to work safely and efficiently from home. However, since the end of lockdown we have continued with this strategy where we can, as the benefits for both the environment and the wellbeing of our staff are irrefutable. 

      Plastic Usage

      We have endeavored to remove as much plastic from our HQ as possible and have replaced all plastic cups with biodegradable ones and have supplied all of our teams with our exclusive branded reusable water bottles, which means less waste. All of our branded masks are washable and reusable and are supplied to all team members within HQ and on the road. 

      Looking to the Future 

      We are currently looking to move our fleet of vans to fully electric vehicles and our target for this to be achieved is 2022. The team are working really hard and researching vehicles that meet the demands of a very busy courier company.   We are nearly there and will keep you updated as to our progress, not just with the vans but as to any upgrades we make to ensure that Air Courier International delivers on its environmental responsibilities. 

      @aircourierinternational
      #itsbetterbyair

  • 9 Heartwarming moments of the Tokyo 2020

    • FRIENDS FIRST

      Olympic friends, friends for life

      Japan’s Misugu Okamoto qualified for the women’s park skateboarding olympic final with the highest score.

      The 15-year-old world number one was last to compete in the final, but suffered heartache when she fell off her board after attempting an indie flip on her final run.

      She slipped off her board and down to fourth in the rankings, meaning GB’s Sky Brown secured the bronze medal.

      As Okamoto lay on the ground in tears, her fellow finalists, who had an average age of 17, rushed over to console her, lifting her on to their shoulders and clapping her out of the bowl.

      Talk about sportsmanship at its finest.

      TOM DALEY FINALLY GETS OLYMPIC GOLD

      There was barely a dry eye when Tom Daley ended his long wait for an Olympic gold medal, with his superb performance alongside Matty Lee in the synchronised 10m platform.

      Daley has lived most of his life in the public eye after making his Olympic debut in 2008, aged 13.

      Sixteen years later his dream was finally achieved and he was crowned Olympic champion.

      His reaction says it all.

      SHARING OLYMPIC VICTORY

      Why have one Olympic champion when you can have two?

      After an exhausting two-hour men’s high jump final, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy couldn’t be split, having recorded best clearances of 2.37m.

      They were offered an opportunity to take part in a jump-off, but quickly decided to share the gold.

      Cue wild celebrations.

      The image of the two sharing the podium will be an iconic reminder of the Games.

      MAIDENHEAD MADNESS

      A back garden in Maidenhead was the place to be for the men’s 200m freestyle final.

      With no family or friends allowed to travel to Tokyo to watch their loved ones, GB swimmer Tom Dean’s mum had a plan B.

      Though her son entered the race as an outsider, Jackie Hughes wasn’t missing the chance to make an occasion of his Olympic debut, and it’s a good job she didn’t.

      Keen to not upset the neighbours, she invited them round to watch the race along with about 70 of Dean’s family, former coaches and friends as he claimed a stunning gold ahead of GB team-mate Duncan Scott.

      COMEBACK QUEEN

      The Olympics is all about seeing the world’s best athletes go head-to-head on the global stage.

      So it was a real shame that US gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of the all-around, vault, floor and uneven bars after suffering with the ‘twisties’.

      The four-time Olympic champion returned for the beam on the final day of artistic gymnastics action in Tokyo, and bounced back in style to earn a place on the podium.

      ‘THEN TWO COME ALONG AT ONCE!’

      Team GB had never won an Olympic BMX medal, then Kye Whyte and Bethany Shriever claimed two within a few minutes.

      Whyte’s silver in the men’s race came first, before Shriever held off two-time champion Mariana Pajon to win the women’s event.

      Shriever, who needed crowdfunding to be able to go to Japan, was lifted into the air by Whyte as the pair celebrated their historic achievements.

      You love to see it.

      ENTHUSIASM WINS OLYMPIC GOLD

      Jill Douglas’ post-match chat with New Zealand rugby sevens star Ruby Tui will go down as one of the greatest interviews of Tokyo 2020.

      The Black Ferns centre won us all over after her side thrashed The Russian Olympic Committee to reach the last four.

      They went on to win gold.
      Watch it HERE.

      ONE FAMILY, THREE OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS

      Galal Yafai won Team GB’s first gold in the boxing ring in Tokyo.

      The new Olympic flyweight champion is the younger brother of boxers Kal and Gamal, who both competed at the 2008 Games before turning professional.

      After receiving his gold medal on the podium, emotions ran high as Galal was reunited with Kal over the phone, live on the BBC.

      Galal’s first question to his brother?

      “How did I box?”

      A WORLD RECORD BROKEN

      There was a brilliant moment at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre when South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker realised she had won gold and broken the 200m breaststroke world record.

      As she clocked the big screen clearly in shock, Schoenmaker broke down in tears as the record which stood for eight years was finally broken.

      Schoenmaker’s compatriot Kaylene Corbett, plus the USA’s Lilly King and Annie Lazor were quick to congratulate her and the four embraced in the pool as the news sunk in.

      Team GB did stunningly well after more than 12 months of lockdowns and interrupted training across all sports. Not only that, there were no supporters allowed so the athletes travelled without any family or fans, and made us so proud. These moments highlight the amazing tenacity of the human spirit. 

      #TeamGB #itsbetterbyair

      Book with us HERE

  • How has Covid-19 changed our lives for good?

    • The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the way people have lived their lives over the past year. Lockdown has forced people away from pubs, gyms and shops and turned their attentions to online quizzes, zoom calls and Netflix binges. Office workers stopped commuting and began working from home while students became accustomed to learning away from the classroom. Some reinvented the way they exercised, while others took the time to become more charitable. (Like us, check out what we’re doing to support the British Heart Foundation HERE). Here’s 10 ways that Covid-19 has changed our lives for good since lockdown began:

      Shopping

      Covid-19 has sped up the gradual decline of the traditional high street in the eyes of many, but some experts suggest it could have a positive effect on local businesses. Isabelle Szmigin, professor of marketing at the University of Birmingham, said: “I guess apart from the obvious increase in online shopping, the most interesting is the growth in local shopping. “We may see city high streets suffer and small, local shops and delivery businesses gain somewhat. This may link with a drive for more sustainable consumption, less driving to big shopping centres.

      “But remember the queues outside Primark after last lockdown – some people still need their high street shopping fix.”

      However, others warn the future is bleaker than ever for stores. Professor of consumer behaviour Andrew Smith, of Nottingham University, told the PA news agency: “Consumers have been retrained over the last year to shop from home. This change was happening anyway but Covid has induced a step change. “Some recreational high-end retail venues will likely benefit from the opening up but things will never be the same again.”

      Work

      Millions of office workers have been working from home for the past year, which could force businesses to rethink how workplaces around the country operate post Covid-19.

      Insurance brokerage firm Gallagher conducted a survey of 1,000 business leaders, with nearly half of respondents saying they will reduce office space by the end of 2025. It is estimated that around 18 million square feet of office space will become redundant in the next five years. Another survey suggests only one in five people want to go back into the workplace five days a week after Covid restrictions end. The polling, commissioned by the 4 Day Week Campaign, showed just over half of workers want to see permanent changes to working life after the pandemic. Workers showed support for a hybrid model of remote working and a four-day working week.

      Education

      Lockdown has brought a huge disruption to face-to-face teaching, but it has brought several benefits to school-age education. Teachers have discovered tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom, which allow them to monitor their students’ progress. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department for Education launched the Oak National Academy, an online schooling platform, which saw students access two million lessons across the country in its first week. These online platforms could become a regular part of school life after lockdown is lifted, increasing the amount of teacher-student interaction.

      The way GCSEs are conducted was temporarily replaced by teacher assessments last summer which could pose a viable permanent alternative to the previous examination system. The pandemic could also alter how university lectures are carried out, with students previously complaining about a lack of teaching time on their courses. Tutors are also able to use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to allow them to interact with students more often.

      Hygiene

      Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said Covid-19 has changed how Britons view hygiene. He also said that some habits we have adopted will still stay with us. Back in January he told The Sun: “The pandemic has changed a lot of things. It has changed the way you and I approach hand hygiene.

      “We all carry hand sanitiser around now. We all expect in most of the places we go into that hand sanitiser is provided at the door.” Hand sanitiser will become a mainstay in workplaces and public areas, it has been predicted.

      Technology

      Being in lockdown has massively increased society’s use of technology as a source of entertainment, shopping and communication. Broadband firm, Zen Internet, said its latest research showed demand for streaming services, news content and online work tools skyrocketed by 78% in the first lockdown in March last year. Remote work meetings will largely become normalised, experts have predicted, and certain appointments or engagements could shift to digital platforms. Hotel keys could also be scrapped in favour of phone-based applications alongside QR Menus.

      Transport

      Planes across the nation have been grounded, train and coach operators have suspended routes and there has been a major drop in the use of buses and cars. The AA has suggested that road and railway use be reduced further after the crisis, saying that people travelling up and down motorways to hold meetings is “not good for the environment”.

      There has also been a shift towards cycle use over the pandemic, with Ebikes predicted to outsell electric cars within the next few years.
      The Government has made a series of announcements relating to funding boosts for sustainable transport as part of a £2 billion package introduced to get people walking and cycling, which is clearly going to a permanent investment for the ‘post Covid-19 era’.

      Environment

      Those living in the city have noticed an improvement in their urban environments, with fewer planes flying, cleaner-smelling air and calmer roads. Satellite data has indicated a fall in atmospheric levels of air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide. Global carbon emissions from energy usage also fell by almost 8% in 2020, the biggest drop in history, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

      It predicts a year-on-year reduction of around 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from energy use including electricity, transport and heating, bringing emissions to levels they were 10 years ago. The fall is down to predicted declines in coal, gas and oil this year and the impact of recessions. Others have also called for the pandemic to be used as an opportunity to reset the effects caused by global warming.

      Charity

      The coronavirus lockdown has showed the nation at its best in terms of community spirit and acts of charity. Thursday’s Clap For Our Carers, Captain Sir Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts, local food deliveries and free book giveaways are among the many acts of kindness seen up and down the country over the past year.

      A huge survey of nearly 160,000 people earlier this month indicated that society in the UK has pulled together during Covid-19. Most people have got to know their neighbours better, want to keep the benefits of closer communities and build on them, while millions have volunteered for the first time, said the report. Bishop Nick Baines said there is a “clear public appetite for a society in which we are more connected”.

      Clapping during Covid-19 for Sir Tom Moore.
      NHS staff members gather outside the entrance of University Hospital of North Tees to show their respects and applaud Captain Sir Tom Moore (Getty Images)

      Fitness

      The fitness industry has gone largely virtual in lockdown – a change which could continue for the next few years. Gyms across the country have moved classes online and many are looking into introducing more digital platforms, with millions of users engaging in daily home workouts. Joe Wicks has said lockdown has caused a “massive shift” in people’s attitudes towards exercise and has encouraged parents to work out in front of their children. The 34-year-old, known professionally as The Body Coach, said this could encourage those unwilling to pay a gym membership to exercise from home, making fitness more accessible.

      Face masks

      Face masks are set to be around for much longer, according to scientists, and it is likely people will voluntarily choose to continue wearing them on public transport. Sir Patrick Vallance has said people in the UK may still need their face masks until winter, while Professor Van-Tam said it may shape attitudes for good. Prof Van-Tam told a Downing Street press conference back in December that coverings “may persist for many years and that may be a good thing”. He has also previously said that Britons may make the “personal decision” to opt to wear a face covering while on the underground or any other form of public transport.

      What will be a permanent feature in your life?
      #itsbetterbyair

  • Wimbledon, it’s History and how we are involved

    • Air Courier International & Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships

      The History of Wimbledon Tennis

      The first Wimbledon Championships were held on 9 June 1877 and were advertised as a ‘lawn tennis meeting, open to all amateurs.’ They hosted the tournament at Worple Road in Wimbledon which isn’t far from the current home of the tournament.

      ‘No Women Allowed’

      22 men turned up and paid the £1 1 shilling fee to take part, however women weren’t allowed to enter. A modest crowd of 200 people watched the first matches. These were played with wooden rackets and hand-sewn flannel balls.

      It wasn’t until 1884 that the All England Club agreed to open the Championships up to both sexes. Lottie Dodd, from Cheshire, made her mark on Wimbledon a few years later as the (still unbeaten) youngest woman to win the title at the age of 15! She went on to win the Championships over the next four years. This proves that women deserved a place in the game.

      Growth in Popularity of Wimbledon

      William Renshaw sparked a rise in public interest in the sport in 1889 with the first of his string of seven consecutive Wimbledon victories.

      By the 1900s, the Championships at Wimbledon had become an international affair and in 1905 May Sutton from the United States became the first overseas champion when she won the Ladies’ Singles title.

      In 1908, Wimbledon hosted the Olympic tennis tournament at its Worple Road base. Then, in 1922, the Championships moved to its current home on Church Road.

      A Royal Following

      The Championships at Wimbledon have long attracted a royal following and have even seen a royal take to the court. In 1926 the Duke of York, who later became King George VI (the Queen’s father), competed in the men’s doubles. His match formed part of the Jubilee Championships where King George V and Queen Mary presented the commemorative medals. Unfortunately he and his partner lost in straight sets.

      Long-standing British favourite Fred Perry grabbed the nation’s attention when he won the Championships in three consecutive years from 1936. Murray’s victory in 2013 remains the last British win at Wimbledon.

      In 1937, live sports coverage was added to the bill and the Wimbledon Championshipswere broadcast to those within a 40-mile radius of the BBC transmitters in north London.

      Today

      Now, Wimbledon demands huge viewing figures and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. Many of them queuing for days to secure one of the much-coveted Centre Court tickets. Matches play across 19 courts (Centre Court, plus courts 1-19 – there is no court 13, which is deemed unlucky).

      2020-2021

      This year Wimbledon returns; as has Andy Murray after a 4 year break from Tennis. 2020 is the only year that the tournament has been cancelled during peacetime; the only other cancellation being during both world wars.

      The 2021 Wimbledon Championships will be the 134th edition of the tournament, the 127th staging of the Ladies’ Singles Championship event, the 53rd in the Open Era, and the third Grand Slam tournament of the year. While Novak Djokovic is the men’s singles defending champion, Romania’s Simona Halep would have been defending her title, however she has withdrawn due to injury. Johanna Khonta has also withdrawn due to her team testing positive for Covid. The women’s competition has been blown wide open! 

      The tournament will be working up to 50% capacity across the two weeks with no queue. Tickets being offered online instead of through a ballot for the first time ever. Centre court will go ahead with 100% capacity (15’000 people) for finals weekend under the government’s pilot scheme.  This year begins the first scheduled play on middle Sunday, which is a permanent change for all foreseeable tournaments. This comes after unpredictable weather has caused crazy scheduling for some of the players and restriction of play on manic monday. 

      Air Courier International and Wimbledon

      We have been providing on site worldwide shipping services to guests at Wimbledon for almost a quarter of a century!  It was Originally situated within the new merchandise shop under what was then the new Number 1 Court when it opened in 1997. Now we are situated outside the entrance to the shop due to its popularity with visitors and space limitations within the store.  We have many regular returning overseas customers that entrust their merchandise to us to get it home safely and securely, whilst they continue to enjoy the tennis, Pimms and strawberries!  We are not on site this year as the visitors will overwhelmingly be from the UK due to Covid travel restrictions, but we look forward to returning next year when ‘normality’ returns…

UK – 020 3790 8786

International – +44 (0)20 3790 8786

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