20 OCTOBER 2014

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Birmingham Airport and Regus

Regus Express is pressing on with its series of executive lounges landside at Britain’s major airports. 

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easyJet in-flight

Locally sourced products are showcased in the redesigned in-flight brochure by Britain’s largest airline, easyJet. 

The line-up includes handmade Scottish shortbread, Bonne Maman Lemon Tartlets and a selection of fresh sandwiches.  In addition the range features the popular Vita Coco Coconut Water. 

For passengers looking to indulge in some inflight retail, easyJet has added new fragrances from Marc Jacobs and Mont Blanc – a move which is set to appeal to business passengers looking to freshen up before their meetings. 

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Indigo Paris

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has debuted Hotel Indigo, its boutique brand, in France, with the opening of Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera at the heart of the capital’s entertainment district. 

The new property marks a milestone for the brand as the 60th Hotel Indigo globally, opening in its 10th anniversary year.

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M&S at Edinburgh Airport

There’s good news for shoppers at Edinburgh Airport with the opening of an M&S Simply Food store.

The new outlet joins M&S at Gatwick (two stores), Heathrow (three stores), Birmingham and Luton. A new store is due to open in Stansted in November.

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One hour gained – Put your clocks back 60 minutes next Saturday night (25 October) before retiring.

Business Travel News is published midnight on a Sunday regardless of the season.

The Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Business Travel Journalism Awards 2014 were presented last week.  Whilst not taking the top prize Editor in Chief Malcolm Ginsberg was the joint runner-up in the Journalist of the Year section.

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COMMENT: UK Airport Policy - is the mood changing

Laurie Price was for eight years the civil airline consultant to the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Transport and is the Aviation Adviser to the UK House of Commons All Party Aviation Group.  He is a regular contributor to  Business Travel News.  Laurie sees a change in the government attitude to the world of airline operations.  He is also of the view that the civil use of RAF Northolt would be of real value to the regions giving back their air links to London.  This COMMENT serves as a nice warm up for the Airport Operators Association conference 10/11 November. 

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Ebola update

According to the British government the risk of Ebola to the general public in the UK remains very low.  The outbreak of the virus primarily affects three countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Around 9,000 cases and more than 4,500 deaths have been reported across these countries by the World Health Organisation (17 October 2014).

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Lufthansa strike

Once again Lufthansa passengers will suffer as, at very short notice, the airlines pilot union has called an official strike.  The dispute is mainly over retirement benefits. A special timetable has been published on the LH website.

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Airport sale

Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd has agreed to sell its 100% interest in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports to a consortium formed by Ferrovial of Spain and Australia’s Macquarie for £1,048m.  The sale is subject to EU merger regulation clearance.

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BA and fuel surcharges

IAG is accused by travellers of not being transparent with fuel surcharges.  Previously British Airways was very open in the way it added to the ticket cost as the oil price surged in early 2011.  Now with the price of crude oil down 25% this does not seem reflected in a drop in the cost of air travel people are saying.  IAG declines to comment on its policy.

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Business aviation gathers

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 2014 kicks off at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, FL today (20 October).

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Etihad connectivity

If you are about to fly on an Etihad Boeing 777 don’t worry about mobile and internet connectivity.   All the airline’s 24 triple sevens now have wi-fi.

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Jota goes jet

Best known for its fleet of Beechcraft King Airs – an 8-passenger B200 twin turboprop – and the largest operator in Europe, Jota Aviation has taken delivery of a BAe146-200 for charter and ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance).

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Pilot training at Coventry Airport

With the demand for commercial pilots seemingly unabated (Boeing predicts going on for 40,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years – each needing five two-man crews) the long-established Command Pilot Training based at Coventry Airport has launched a new commercial pilot ab initio tuition package.  It is specifically aimed at graduates looking for a career in civil aviation.

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ON TOUR: Europe’s regional airlines meet in Barcelona

Alison Chambers has joined the chiefs of Europe's regional airlines (and some important guests from all over the world at their annual gathering.  Here is her report.

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AND FINALLY: Crazy air hostess

Okay, so BTN is jealous of the passengers on this Southwest Airlines flight.  When they were getting ready for takeoff, they definitely weren’t ready for what was to come.

Meet Martha Cobb, flight attendant extraordinaire. Martha gave passengers a safety speech that they would never ever forget.  https://www.martha

CLICK "Miss ad" right hand corner!

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Dublin to Los Angeles by Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines has succeeded in gaining fifth freedom traffic right through Dublin and will introduce a three times per week service from the Irish capital to Los Angeles in June 2015.  The service will start at Addis Ababa and will use the US customs and immigration facilities at Dublin Airport.  Passengers from the UK provinces can also join the flight using the Stobart Air – Aer Lingus Regional services saving a trip through Heathrow or a continental gateway.

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Glasgow to Halifax, Nova Scotia

WestJet, the Canadian budget operator is to introduce daily, direct flights between Glasgow and Halifax, Nova Scotia during summer 2015.
 
It will be the first time the airline will have served an airport in the UK and it is only its second transatlantic service following the launch in 2014 of flights to Dublin.

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London to Santiago (Chile)

Iberia is making a great effort to attract customers on its Heathrow – Madrid – Santiago services, a route British Airways dropped many years ago.  It faces competition from TAM via São Paulo and the US airlines via gateways such as Houston.  The Spanish airline has upped the service from seven to 10 flights per week and on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays there is a morning service out of Heathrow, which gives a full daytime flight.

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Madrid “Living Lab” hotel

Following three months of intense refurbishment and a multi-million pound investment, NH Collection Eurobuilding has opened its doors.  Located in the heart of the financial district, the 15-storey 4-star, 431-room hotel offers pioneering tourism technology, thanks to the trailblazing decision to turn the hotel into the only “Living Lab” in the industry. 

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Nick Barton appointed at Luton

As predicted by Business Travel News  (see BTN 29 September)  Luton Airport has announced the appointment of Nick Barton as Chief Executive. 

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Noisy Virgin Atlantic 787

Unlike British Airways with its low key approach, Virgin Atlantic will introduce its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Thursday (23 October) with a special high profile charter flight to its new destination – Atlanta. 

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September Heathrow

Heathrow saw 6.58m passengers passing through in September, an 0.3% increase on the figure of 12 months ago.  Average seats available per aircraft increased 0.4% to 204.8, while load factors rose 1.1 percentage points to 81%.  Passengers per aircraft improved 1.5% to 165.9.

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