25 JULY 2016

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Ryanair taps business routes

Important business destinations are included in Ryanair’s newly-announced summer 2017 schedules, which include the airline’s biggest commitment yet to Newcastle and Leeds airports.

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SIA goes transatlantic from UK

Cementing its relationship with the north of England, Singapore Airlines is to launch its first transatlantic flights from the UK to the US with a Manchester – Houston service from 30 October.

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Virgin Australia connects

Inflight wi-fi on domestic and international services is being introduced next year by Virgin Australia. The airline says it will begin fitting out its B737-800, B777 and A330 aircraft with the necessary equipment from mid-2017.

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COMMENT: Let's all take a break

Maybe it’s the relatively-new phenomenon of the 24hr news cycle, but there seems to be a feeling about that someone needs to say something about anything every few seconds.

We are beset, surrounded and submerged by comment, opinion and propaganda on any subject you care to name. Take any current news story and if there hasn’t been a development in the past few seconds then there has to be one now. The readers/viewers/Tweeters expect it.

Or do they?

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BA's Cruz to speak at BATA

Following the success of its inaugural 2015 event (Carolyn McCall easyJet), the British Air Transport Association (BATA) has announced that British Airways chairman and chief executive officer Alex Cruz will deliver this year’s annual lecture. The event will be held in central London on 12 October. Further details are due to be issued nearer the date.

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Dublin US passengers gain lounge

Booming business to the US has led Dublin Airport to open a new passenger facility after US Pre-clearance in Terminal 2. The new lounge, known as 51st & Green to reflect the theme of connecting Ireland and the US, is available to transatlantic passengers only travelling with Aer Lingus,  Delta, United and American Airlines in Business Class or with airline club cards.

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Heathrow revenue moves up

A “strong financial performance” in the first half of 2016 with revenue up by 1% to £1,320m and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) up by 4.4% to £781m was reported by Heathrow last week. The airport said the EBITDA figure reflected “lower costs and better value”.

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Manchester new-look lounge

Passengers at Manchester Airport are being invited to start their journeys in style after a new look and expanded Escape Lounge was unveiled in Terminal Two last week.

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Qatar boosts Muscat flights

Responding to demand from business travellers, Qatar Airways is providing UK-based passengers with more capacity to Muscat from 1 August with the addition of an extra flight to its existing schedule.

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Regional airports name new chair

Neil Pakey, until recently CEO of Shannon Group and formerly CEO of Liverpool Airport, is to succeed John Spooner as chair of the Regional and Business Airports (RABA) group.

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Shanghai new Hyatt Regency

Travellers to Shanghai have a new Hyatt Regency to explore with the opening by the hotel group of a property in the city’s business zone at Hopson International Centre in the trendy Wujiaochang sub-district.

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TAP in stopover deal

Passengers with business in Lisbon or Porto on their way by TAP Portugal to North America, Brazil or Africa can now take advantage of a new stopover promotion.

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FLYING AT THE FRONT END: Norwegian to LA

Low-cost airline Norwegian (DY) has taken another significant step in its huge investment programme by opening a British headquarters by Gatwick Airport which is at the heart of the airline’s UK operation.

Norwegian’s office is the airline’s first permanent workspace outside Norway and home to Norwegian staff based in Britain. Key staff in flight operations, training, technical, safety and compliance, communications, marketing and sales in the UK are now based at the headquarters.

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AND FINALLY: Adventure at the airport

Airports may be a challenge but now Heathrow admits it's an adventure too. A new Mr Men character, Mr Adventure, has been introduced there to help to ensure smooth journeys for passengers – especially young ones.

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ATC faces digital change

Digital technology could take over from the traditional air traffic control towers at major British airports, according to the Swedish defence and security contractor Saab.

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Four in line for Haneda prize

One of the big prizes in US aviation is set to be handed out this autumn with the announcement on Wednesday that Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and United have won tentative approval to launch daytime flights serving Tokyo Haneda Airport.

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Future airshows in prospect

Farnborough International’s consultancy business had a bumper year at this month’s airshow, with a string of new agreements for future overseas events.

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Hilton's Baltic trio

Hilton Worldwide says it will be serving each of the Baltic countries by 2018 after it unveiled plans to take its Hilton Garden Inn brand to Lithuania and Latvia. The company opened its first hotel in the region, the Hilton Tallinn Park in Estonia, last month.

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Irish debut for Macdonald

A first meetings and conference property in Ireland for Macdonald Hotels has opened with the arrival of the Macdonald Kinsale Hotel & Spa, overlooking Oysterhaven Bay, near Cork.

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MH370 search to be suspended

Officials at Malaysia Airlines are bracing themselves for a backlash from relatives of passengers who were on board the missing flight MH370 after it was announced the search for traces of the aircraft may be suspended soon.

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Priority Pass adds T5 facililty

Priority Pass has added Club Millesime at the Sofitel London Heathrow to its lounge programme, plus seven more around the world.

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Sheraton Grand for Park Lane

One of London’s showpiece hotels, the Park Lane, which dates from 1927, is being redesignated by Sheraton Hotels and Resorts as the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, marking the completion of a multi-million-pound renovation.

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Veterans' walk for charity

Airline sales veterans John Hepworth (Scot Airways, Aurigny, SkyWork Airlines) and Brian Brett (Dan-Air, bmi, SkyWork) are setting off on a sponsored walk next Sunday (31 July) across Morecambe Bay to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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