26 JANUARY 2015
The Business Travel News
PO Box 758
Edgware HA8 4QF
+44 (0)20 8952 8383
© 2015 The Business Travel News.
In light of the decision to devolve the power to charge Air Passenger Duty (APD) to the Scottish Parliament there are serious ramifications.
Mark Tanzer, CEO of ABTA, sums up an industry view of the position.
Munich is to become an important hub for bmi regional with the announcement of a bmi regional (BM) and Lufthansa (LH) codeshare effective 29 March. Bern, Liège and Rotterdam will in effect join the Lufthansa Munich network opening up around 200 global destinations, all with seamless connections.
Following a High Court hearing brought about by Biggin Hill and Oxford airports, civil aircraft control at Royal Air Force stations could be brought under the regulatory authority of the CAA. At present executive jets at RAF Northolt, the Falklands services at Biggin Hill and the scheduled Cardiff flights into Anglesey Airport (RAF Valley) all operate to military guidelines rather than their civil counterparts.
Last week the London Evening Standard ran a piece by its Political Editor, Joe Murphy. One did not have to be a brain surgeon to spot some lobbying. www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/heathrow-noise-complaints-soar-in-flight-path-test-9992331.html The accompanying editorial was along the same vein To be fair the next day the newspaper featured the Heathrow Hub but with noise being mentioned by only as a side issue. www.standard.co.uk/business/markets/the-third-challenger-taking-on-heathrow-and-gatwick-in-the-dogfight-over-airport-expansion-9998365.html
The real facts are not the same as those articulated by the Evening Standard, which are completely misleading.
Heathrow received 94,114 complaints last year from 8,458 different people. In other words an average of 11 complaints per person. In fact it was a very small number of people who were responsible for a large proportion of these complaints.
Reports over the weekend indicate that the Irish government is prepared to accept a fresh bid by IAG for the airline at €2.50 a share for its 25.1% holding against the original €2.30, valuing it at €1.34bn.
The deal is far from done.
BTN made a mistake last week in reporting that the cabin width of the Airbus A350XWB was greater than the Boeing 777. That has now been corrected on the website. (See 19 January A350 XWB – First impressions)
With the arrival of the new Airbus we thought it was a good opportunity to list the current jets available and the average interior cross section. Last week we published the official Airbus price list. See in this issue Boeing prices.
www.airbus.com www.boeing.com/commercial www.sukhoi.superjet100.com www.mrj-japan.com http://english.comac.cc/products/ca/pi www.bombardier.com/en/aerospace/commercial-aircraft.html http://cseries.com www.embraer.com
The aircraft cabin widths
The slump in oil prices has given a new lease of life to passenger jets that until recently were destined for retirement.
Aircraft such as the four-engined Airbus A340 and early Boeing 747-400’s which have been sentenced to desert storage or dismantling, are winning a stay of execution because lower oil prices make them economic for some carriers.
The year just passed has proved a record 12 months for the Italian/French aircraft manufacturer ATR, whose assembly plant is on the Airbus site at Toulouse.
Following our publication of the 2015 Airbus (nominal) price list (BTN 19 January) we thought it only fair to highlight the Boeing list figures. Interestingly a 747-8 comes out at US$367.8m against US$428m for the A380. With the Max v Neo single aisle competition the Boeing -8 version published price is US$106m, the same as the A320 Neo.
Airports and airlines are being urged to bid for government funding of up to £17.5m in the next year to help launch new routes. Whether this includes potential operations such as Northolt remains to be seen.
A second County Council has withdrawn its support for another runway at Gatwick Airport because of the high level of local opposition. West Sussex County Council (WSCC) voted by 37 to 26 to reverse its decision in July 2013 to support expansion of the airport.
The UK’s regional airports have told the government’s Transport Select Committee that the importance of regional and business aviation to local economies cannot be underestimated.
Last week, the Transport Select Committee sat to hear evidence from the aviation industry on the importance of regional aviation and how it supports both the transport infrastructure and–most importantly – the development of regional economies.
On Thursday (22 January) the Department of Transport supported this view with the announcement £56m being made available over the next three years for regional route funding (See in this issue).
The United States has its fair share of unusual and quirky events and festivals taking place throughout the year.
Make a trip to America in 2015 to experience everything from lookalike contests to masquerade marches, polar plunges to crate races. You are sure to be fascinated and amused and maybe just slightly confused!
Specialist tour operator My America Holiday have revealed their pick of whacky events coming up this year.
The French government majority owned (52%) Aéroports de Paris (ADP) handled 92.7m passengers last year, a 2.6% rise over 2014. In total ADP operates 14 airports in the Paris area including Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Le Bourget.
The new Alitalia commenced operations on 1 January 2015, following the completion of equity investments by Etihad Airways (49%) and Alitalia’s existing shareholders.
The strategy is clear says the airline: “New routes, new product and service standards, a new cost management strategy and new branding”.
Naomi King, the Secretary of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom, has decided to retire in July this year after 20 years in the role.
DHL Express has announced the launch of a helicopter delivery service from Heathrow to Canary Wharf in a bid to slash delivery times between the US and UK.
New rules have come into effect as part of moves to improve US – Cuba relations.
The new regulations will allow Americans to visit the island for any of a dozen specific reasons, including family visits, education and religion, without first obtaining a special licence from the US government as was previously the case.
But trips purely for tourism remain specifically prohibited.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, took the opportunity of the Davos World Economic Forum last week to say he would buy 100 more Airbus A380s if the price was right. The aircraft would have to be updated with new, more economical, engines.
Celebrating its 30th year Ryanair is to introduce a five times per week flight from Glasgow International (GLA) to Berlin Schönefeld, as part of its expanded winter 2015 schedule. The airline already operates to the airport, part of the Berlin Brandenburg site, from Stansted, Birmingham, Dublin, Shannon, Milan (Bergamo), Olso (Torp) and Porto.
There is something to suit all budgets among the new crop of London hotels opening in 2015, from 5-star luxury with the re-opening of the Lanesborough following an 18-month renovation to three new affordable but trendy places to stay in Shoreditch.
Phil Whittingham has been appointed as Managing Director for the Virgin Trains West Coast franchise. He has been Lead Executive at Virgin Trains for the last year, during which time he has led the company through negotiations for a new franchise which concluded successfully with the Department for Transport in June.