3 AUGUST 2015

YOUR WORDS


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Delta – Virgin O2 lounge opens

The NY-LON lounge bar by Virgin Atlantic and Delta, the O2’s latest eating establishment has opened to the public for the first time today.  It is an attractive alternative to the ‘franchise’ type outlets available at the popular North Greenwich venue. (See BTNews 20 July 2015).

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Flybe ‘One Stop to the World’

With Flybe now well established with its links to codeshare partners at both the airlines Birmingham and Manchester hubs it has gone one step further introducing ‘One Stop to the World’ a search platform that allows clients to connect to destinations anywhere around the globe.

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St Helena Airport

The brand new international airport on the island of St Helena (HLE) in the South Atlantic is finally taking shape almost four years since the contract was signed to start its construction.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Helping British Nationals Overseas – Mark Tanzer, CEO, ABTA

Mark has been Chief Executive of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) since September 2005.  He is responsible for the strategy and direction of the Association.  Before joining ABTA Mark held senior strategy and corporate finance positions in a number of industry sectors, and was Group Strategy Director of Centrica Plc, the parent company of British Gas and the Automobile Association.

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Airport Operators Conference

Bookings are now open for the Airport Operators Association (AOA) Annual Conference, Exhibition and Dinner & Awards Ceremony, this year taking place on 23-24 November, at the usual venue, the Paddington Hilton Metropole Hotel.

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BA and ‘Carry-On’

British Airways is reducing the size of the second carry-on baggage permitted on board its flights. 

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Carolyn McCall to deliver first BATA annual lecture

The British Air Transport Association (BATA) is to introduce a new annual lecture, which in its inaugural year will be delivered by Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive Officer of easyJet.  The event in October will offer BATA members and senior industry stakeholders the opportunity to hear from and question one of the aviation world’s leading CEOs.

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Chris Browne to leave TUI

Long-serving Chris Browne, Chief Operating Officer, TUI Airlines is to leave the business at the end of September, the travel group has confirmed.

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Eyeball check-in

Alaska Airlines hopes the future of aviation security will allow customers to leave their boarding passes and even their driver's licences at home.

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IAG is anti Airports Commission?

In what in sporting terms would be called “Club before Country” International Airlines Group (IAG) has initiated controversy by stating categorically that it will do everything in its power to prevent a third runway being built at Heathrow.

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MH370

The Government of Malaysia has said that it is "almost certain" that plane debris found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean on 29 July is from a Boeing 777, heightening the possibility it could be wreckage from missing flight Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared 8 March 2014.  This could be verified very quickly by the French crash investigation agency in Toulouse or take longer if no identification mark is found.  More debris is also said to have been found.

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Regional Air Connectivity Fund

Airlines and airports continue to wait on the Department for Transport (DfT) to hear about progress on the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, announced in the 2014 Budget to enable carriers to secure development funding to start tertiary routes from UK airports that currently handle less than three million passengers a year.  An announcement was suggested by the end of July.  There has been no response to a DfT enquiry.

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ON TOUR: RCCL's Vision of the Sea

Wendy Long was the Editor’s long suffering Secretary for many years.  Now retired and settled near Saillac, north of Toulouse, she and husband Peter enjoy an annual cruise.  Barcelona, now overtaken by Rome as Europe’s largest cruise port, is a 300-mile drive.  She reports on an early July trip.

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CRUISE NEWS AUGUST 2015

The really big news this month is that Crystal Cruises, under the new ownership of Genting Group (GHK)  (see  BTN  6 July), the global hospitality and leisure company, has ordered three 100,000 ton ships from the German yard Lloyd Werft.  Each will accommodate just 1,000 passengers in suites of a minimum 400sq ft, twice that of any other luxury liner.  As a means of comparison the current Crystal Serenity, one of the most highly rated of all ships by Douglas Ward, is 68,000 tons for the same number of guests.

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AND FINALLY: Giovanni’s Restaurant

It is not in Venice but recommended by RCCL’s Vision of the Seas Casino Manager.

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CityJet and Cork

Dublin-based CityJet is gearing up for its London City – Cork service (see BTN 13 July), the first time Ireland’s second city has been linked to the docklands airport with a full scheduled operation.  These start on 1 October.  The three times weekdaily flight takes 1hr 25mins.   There are also services on Saturday and Sunday.

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Fastjet expands

Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) to Lilongwe (Malawi) is the latest introduction by Fastjet, the Pan African low-cost airline’s sixth route.

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Gatwick Motorway upgrade

The M23 past Gatwick Airport is to be upgraded to 'smart motorway' status, including the stretch from the M25 junction.  But do not get too excited.  Work is not expected to start until 2017/18.

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Lufthansa’s new fares

A new price concept for flights in Europe is to be introduced by Lufthansa and is on sale.

Economy Class fare options ‘Light’, ‘Classic’ and ‘Flex’ apply from 1 October, for European flights and will offer different services depending on the price.  The booked fare can be complemented with additional services by individually adding further options.

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Plaza Premium

Now having passed its 17th anniversary Plaza Premium Lounge Management Ltd has rebranded as Plaza Premium Group reflecting its business strategy and expansion plans, unveiling a new logo and adopting ‘Making Travel Exceptional’ as its purpose statement.

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Ryanair profits

The Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, said that lower oil prices and industry-wide discounting would lead winter fares to be slightly lower when it announced last week its first quarter results to the end of June, .

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Skywork back at London City

London City Airport (LCY) has announced the return of the Swiss independent airline Skywork after a brief sojourn to Southend (See BTN).  The airline originally came to LCY in 2011.

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VIP BAe 146

While Southend Airport seems to be having a difficult time (it lost 21% passengers in May 2015 against May 2014), resident charter company Jota Aviation is expanding with the addition of a fifth King Air turboprop, a C90 GTX plus updating its BAe 146-200 50-seat VIP executive jet with 2+2 seating.

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World airline figures

Air Transport World, the long-established Washington-based US publication, has published its “World’s Top 25 Airlines 2014.”

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