23 NOVEMBER 2015


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Aviation Conference today

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of BALPA, and Bob Schumacher, managing director UK & Ireland for United Airlines, have joined the line-up of speakers for the UK Aviation Conference.

The event takes place today (Monday 24 November) and tomorrow at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London.

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Cam Force One

In a public relations coup for Airbus, Prime Minister David Cameron is to have an A330 to use on official trips as Britain’s answer to the American presidential jet Air Force One.

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COMMENT: Mr Cameron’s exercise in drab

There’s nothing like a debate over ministerial perks to get the fur – ahem – flying. This time it’s David Cameron’s jet. Reports last week said the PM and senior ministers are to get a refitted RAF A330 tanker aircraft to transport them on official visits. (see Cam Force One)

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Aer Lingus joins Avios

Avios, which operates the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus frequent-flyer schemes, is to operate a relaunched Aer Lingus loyalty programme called AerClub from next spring.

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BA hits back at eco-report

British Airways hit back last week at a report accusing it and Lufthansa of burning more fuel and emitting more environmentally-damaging CO2 than any other carriers flying between Europe and the US.

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Crystal’s new heights of luxury

Luxury cruise line Crystal is acquiring a Boeing B777-200LR to join its previously-announced B787-8 Dreamliner in offering holidays around the world under its expanded brand extension Crystal Luxury Air.

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EasyJet double celebration

Record annual profits of £686m, up 18% year-on-year, and a big Airbus order kept easyJet flying high last week in its 20th-anniversary year.

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Flybe quits Bournemouth

Bournemouth is losing its Flybe presence next year after an “exhaustive review” by the airline of its route network. The company began operating from the airport only on 29 March this year.

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HGI grows in Dubai

Strengthening its presence in Dubai, Hilton Garden Inn has announced the launch of its Dubai Al Mina hotel, the second of three mid-market properties to open in the city.

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LH, SQ move closer

Lufthansa (LH) and Singapore Airlines (SQ) have strengthened their commercial links in a move widely interpreted as a way of combating the increasing power of rival Gulf carriers on Europe – Asia routes.

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Marriott-Starwood merger

The world’s largest hotel company was born last week after Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced they were merging.

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Premium economy for MAS?

A Premium Economy Class aimed at long-haul business travellers is under consideration by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under plans by chief executive Christoph Mueller to return the company to profitability.

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Supersonic business jet

Reno, Nevada, USA-based Aerion Corp has announced that Texas-based Flexjet, will be the inaugural fleet purchaser of its Supersonic Business Jet, AS2.

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ON TOUR: Dubai AirShow

With the Airport Operators Association annual conference opening today (as noted elsewhere in BTN, and for the first time the airline industry organisations involved too) we feature another side of the air travel business, the actual hardware. 

Alison Chambers reports from the Dubai AirShow.

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AND FINALLY: Caffeine rules

In case you think airport statistics can’t be fun, London City (LCY) found a neat spin to highlight its latest figures. And it’s not good news for tea drinkers.

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Airbus VIP

Lufthansa’s 14th Airbus A380 was given a VIP send-off on Wednesday when it starred in an official naming ceremony performed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Freshly christened Deutschland, the aircraft took off next day on Lufthansa’s Frankfurt – San Francisco service.

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Bombardier setback

Canada’s Porter Airlines has been told the country’s new government is not planning to reopen an agreement to allow jets to fly out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

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Delta goes gourmet

Cuisine from a New York restaurant group is to the fore as part of a shake-up by Delta Air Lines of its inflight catering.

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Gatwick’s Silvertown?

BTN's Andrew Sharp, former director general of the International Air Rail Organisation, reports on the “Delivering High Speed Rail” conference

Readers will know of BTN’s interest in reopening Silvertown Station, historically on the North London Line and now on the southern (Abbey Wood) branch of Crossrail – and very convenient for London City Airport. Crossrail is unwilling to contemplate this now: if the decision is reversed, it will be a retrofit (and therefore could be expensive).

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Hawaiian plans Business Class

A new Business Class cabin on its long-haul A330-220 fleet and an increase in Premium Economy seats from 40 to 68 have been announced by resurgent Hawaiian Airlines in response to growing competition on the Auckland – Honolulu route.

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Indonesia ultimatum

Domestic airlines in Indonesia are being told to expand overseas or have valuable international routes offered to foreign airlines that are “knocking at the door”.

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Slots tussle at NY

The US Justice Department has blocked United and Delta from trading take-off and landing slots at New York JFK and Newark Liberty International airports.

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Upper Hill welcomes Radisson Blu

Nairobi’s up-and-coming business district Upper Hill has welcomed its latest new hotel in the shape of the 271-room Radisson Blu.

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