17 JULY 2017

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Air France KLM bonus for Ireland

Further expansion in the Irish market from 29 October was announced by Air France KLM last week with the member airlines set to operate five daily flights on the Dublin – Amsterdam route and four daily flights on Dublin – Paris.

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Emirates expands wi-fi offer

Free inflight wi-fi services on Emirates have been expanded by the airline in response to a growth in popularity, with all Skywards Platinum and Gold members now eligible for free unlimited access regardless of class of travel.

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Titanic prepares to set sail

Set in the former headquarters and drawing offices of shipbuilder Harland & Wolff, Belfast’s much-anticipated Titanic Hotel has named its opening day as 10 September. The £28m luxury development is bringing more 75 new jobs to the city.

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COMMENT: Government should assess the Northolt situation, says BTN

Last week, secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling was guest of honour at the Aviation Club. Business Travel News editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg used the occasion to ask the minister about RAF Northolt, in west London and six miles north of Heathrow, which is about to close for refurbishment.

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A350 XWB joins Delta fleet

Delta Air Lines became the first North American operator of the state-of-the-art Airbus A350 XWB on Thursday in a move it said continued its “ongoing effort to transform the travel experience and deliver innovative products and services”.

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Airport noise initiative

Hundreds of homeowners around Heathrow Airport are to be given the chance to upgrade the noise insulation in their houses free following the launch by the airport of a Quieter Homes Scheme for those most affected by aircraft noise.

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Aviation airs its views

Brexit negotiations and the Airports National Policy Statement were among predictable talking points at the industry’s annual summer reception at the House of Commons last week with incoming aviation minister Lord Callanan in attendance.

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Boeing MAX for Crawley

Demand from airlines across Europe, the Middle East and Africa is causing Boeing to enhance its flight training services at Crawley, near Gatwick, with the unveiling of a new B737 MAX 8 simulator and construction of a new annex to accommodate the growth.

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Hong Kong in a hurry

A US mainland market debut is being planned by Hong Kong Airlines towards the end of this year using its incoming fleet of Airbus A350-900s, the first of which is due next month.

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JAL in London expansion

A second frequency using the Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner is being added by Japan Airlines on its nonstop Heathrow – Tokyo Haneda route from 29 October. The airline is also increasing frequency between Tokyo Narita and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi from the same date until 24 March next year.

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McCall heading for ITV?

After weeks of speculation and as easyJet prepares to form a European airline in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the carrier’s chief executive Carolyn McCall was said yesterday to be virtually certain to become the next head of ITV.

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More growth at Hainan

Non-stop flights between Shenzhen and Brisbane are being launched by Hainan Airlines on 20 September in a further extension of its plans to develop an international network.

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Swire's Shanghai 'House'

A new Swire hotel due to open in Shanghai at the end of 2017 has been named the Middle House as the fourth property in the company’s House Collective division. It is part of the mixed-use development HKRI Taikoo Hui on Nanjing Road (West).

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ON TOUR: Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s growing hub

Kazakhstan’s flag carrier Air Astana is going from strength to strength, with the added boost of EXPO 2017 this summer, which is taking place in the capital city, Astana. Stephanie Taylor reports.

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AND FINALLY: Bargains at Brooklands

Known for cars and aeroplanes, Brooklands Museum puts on a new face next Sunday, 23 July, when goods ranging from traditional autojumble to vintage items and quality gifts are on offer at the annual Retrojumble organised by the Brooklands Trust.

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Aberdeen marches on

New domestic arrivals facilities opened ahead of schedule at Aberdeen International Airport on Friday, marking the completion of the first phase of a three-year terminal transformation project.

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American in codeshare row

Codeshare partnerships between American Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are being terminated by the US carrier in a continuing dispute over state subsidies American claims the Mid East companies receive from their governments.

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Dublin looks to Beijing

Russia is being asked for overflying rights to enable Norwegian international to launch a direct flight between Dublin and Beijing, according to the airline’s chief executive, Tore Jenssen.

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Indigo for Leicester Square

Another hotel company is moving into London’s Leicester Square, hard on the heels of Accor, whose MGallery by Sofitel opens within the heritage site of Victory House next month (BTN last week).

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Iran carriers prepare

This year’s flurry of activity on the aviation front in Iran has reached a climax with the director of the country's civil aviation organisation, Ali Abedzadeh, confirming ten start-up carriers have been approved to begin moving towards full certification and launch.

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Major airlines cut British regional links

UK regional airports faced bad news last week as Air France and United said they were both quitting Glasgow this winter and United said it was cancelling its Birmingham – New York Newark operation from 5 October due to poor financial performance.

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New-look lounge for TAP

TAP Portugal last week reopened its exclusive lounge in Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport after a major refurbishment, with access to Victoria Gold, TAP Corporate Top, Star Alliance Gold and TAP Platinum American Express passengers.

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Nobu opens in London

London acquired its latest big-name hotel last weekend with the opening of the Nobu Hospitality Group’s property in Shoreditch. Features include 143 guest rooms and seven suites, meeting space, a lobby bar and a 240-seat restaurant.

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