27 OCTOBER 2014

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Addis adds Ramada

Wyndham Hotel Group, has announced the signing of a management agreement for its first property in Ethiopia, the 136-room Ramada Addis.

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easyJet ticket scan

The paperless airline gets nearer and nearer with easyJet introducing new scanning technology enabling passengers to scan their passport using a phone camera.  The Luton-based airline claims to be the first in Europe to use such a feature. 

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Free Heathrow Express

Heathrow Express is introducing a number of offers and events for families to tie in with the much-anticipated Paddington film which opens in the UK on 28 November and Paddington trail which launches on 4 November. 

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Monarch saved

Greybull Capital has agreed on Friday (24 October) the purchase of Monarch Airlines for a nominal sum.  The deal involves pay cuts of up to 30% for staff and many redundancies.  (see BTN 29 September)

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COMMENT: Wingate has got it wrong.

Gatwick Airport Chief, Stewart Wingate, put forward a compelling argument in the 23 October London Times business section “Gatwick leaves Heathrow’s plan for a third runway in its slipstream”.

In fact he got it right “but not necessarily in the right order”.

Gatwick urgently needs a new runway but not for some of the reasons he has put forward.  The airlines, his customers, want the new runway to be at Heathrow. 

The real reason that Gatwick requires a parallel track is because it is the world’s busiest airport with a single runway.  With the co-operation of NATS it can just about manage 55 movements an hour, or an aircraft every 55 seconds, but just one pilot slow to get on the runway, or not quite right on the approach, and there are problems.  As things stand Gatwick cannot expand.  It has reached its peak.  Only a second runway will suffice.

London needs expansion at both Gatwick and Heathrow.  Sir Howard should give both airports the go-ahead and let commercial considerations take over.

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Aviation Club and Declan Collier

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, was the highly articulate and amusing guest of the London Aviation Club last week.  He gave a lively speech.

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Best airline food

The US-based Swedish-owned luxury food publication Saveur has come up with what its experts say is the world’s best airline food.  Sadly the actual third party suppliers are not mentioned. 

Few airlines prepare their own food these days although of course they do supervise the various kitchens.

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Flybe airport parking

With its new key hub at London City Airport introduced today (See BTN 22 September)  Exeter-based Flybe has also launched an on-site airport parking option at British airports.  This can be booked at the same time as making the reservation.

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Hilton launches 'Canopy' brand

New brand launches seem to be the ‘in thing’ with the major hotel groups.

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New Berlin hotel

The Israeli-owned Leonardo group has opened its latest Berlin property, the Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte, in an exclusive position on the historical Bertolt Brecht Platz, not far from the famous Friedrichstrasse. 

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Northolt in Court

Royal Air Force Northolt, on the A40, 12 miles west of Marble Arch (and four miles to the north of Heathrow), is being challenged for unfair competition by the owners of Biggin Hill Airport and Oxford Airport.

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Reclining seat take-off – Qantas version

Qantas customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.

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ON TOUR: Calabria – a pilgrim’s paradise

Sally Gethin reports: Calabria has suffered from a reputation as the poor relative of southern Italy, the last stop on the mainland above Sicily in the “toe”. But Calabria is definitely Italy’s secret treasure.

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AND FINALLY: The London Airport

This short You Tube film should be required viewing at the forthcoming AOA (Airport Operators Association) gathering.  Plenty on it for pro- and anti-airport people too.

Our thanks to Malcolm Brownlie for finding the piece.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUTvuGptD6I

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Aer Lingus new Business Class

Speaking at the official launch of the new Business Class service at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, Aer Lingus Chief Executive Christoph Mueller was clearly proud of the product.

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Boeing 757 replaced by Airbus?

Airbus has begun offering airlines a long-range version of the A321neo, aimed at replacing the Boeing 757 the ubiquitous, and well out of production, single aisle mid haul jet.

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Frankfurt first for A350

Qatar Airways, the Airbus A350 XWB launch customer, has announced Frankfurt as the first route.  Still undergoing final pre-delivery preparations at Toulouse the lead aircraft will operate a daily Doha – Frankfurt service starting January.  Qatar Airways currently flies twice-daily on the route with the plan to operate both services with the A350.

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Manchester Airport trams

Metrolink’s new line to Manchester Airport will open to passengers on Monday 3 November – well over 12 months ahead of schedule.  The final stage of the pre-launch process has begun with trams starting at the Cornbrook interchange, just off Bridgewater Way (A56) operating every 12 minutes, the normal schedule once the service opens.

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Radisson Red announced in Hong Kong

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has launched its new Radisson Red hotel brand with the signing of Radisson Red Shenyang Hunnan in Northeast China.  The property is expected to open in 2016.

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Transaero to T4

Not all the departing airlines from Heathrow T1 are moving to T2 The Queen’s Terminal.

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Transavia France

Air France and its main pilots' union SNPL have reached a tentative deal aimed at ending a dispute over the airline's low-cost unit Transavia France.

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Virgin Trains and wi-fi

Wi-fi speeds on Virgin Trains are to be four times faster while travelling at 125mph thanks to an overhaul of the on-board technology.  

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World Travel Market

Make sure the dates are in your diary.  World Travel Market (WTM) is nearly upon us with the Excel, London Docklands, the event opening 10:00 Monday 3 November and running until 16:00 Thursday 6 November.

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