23 JANUARY 2017

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Embraer on the move

Following what it called “a year of major challenges in 2016”, Brazilian manufacturer Embraer has begun 2017 with a contract from Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, for up to 15 E2 family aircraft. The deal consists of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 family models.

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Gurney for Aviation Club

The 18th birthday of oneworld, which has been called the most highly prized global alliance, with its 14 member airlines, is to be marked at the February lunch of the Aviation Club UK when the group’s new CEO, Rob Gurney, will be the speaker.

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COMMENT: All change at Gatwick

How times change. A while ago, it was all Heathrow hogging the headlines. That little matter having been (temporarily) quietened down, things are now on the move at Gatwick as the airport takes on the not-inconsiderable task of moving its major airlines to new homes within and between the North and South terminals.

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ACE returns to Biggin

The 2017 edition of Air Charter Expo (ACE’17), the private aviation showcase for owners, operators, international charter brokers and their customers, returns to Biggin Hill (BQH) on 12 September.

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BA brushes off strike

The latest strike action against British Airways ended at the weekend with the airline claiming it had operated nearly all flights throughout the dispute and as of 21:00 on Saturday the schedule was “operating as normal”.

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BMI opens new hub

A new hub is being created at Birmingham Airport by bmi regional to launch three new European routes – to Graz (Austria), Nuremburg (Germany) and Gothenburg (Sweden) over the next four months.

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Ethiopian chases new record

Already recognised as one of the fastest-growing carriers, Ethiopian Airlines, which took delivery last June of Africa’s first A350 XWB, is adding seven new destinations over the next six months in what it says will make 2017 probably a record year of new cities served out of Addis Ababa.

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Kimpton comes to Europe

Final plans are in hand for the opening this spring of the first member of the InterContinental Hotels Group’s brand Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant outside the Americas.

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London City Moves West

Whilst still not completely finished, the west wing of London City Airport, Gates 2-15, has opened its new lounge areas and refreshment stations on the same level as the main waiting area airside. Beneath the wing, the gates themselves are currently being refurbished.

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Malaysia ‘recovery working’

A plan to break even by the end of this year and make a profit by 2018 has been revealed by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) CEO Peter Bellew in an interview with a Far East business publication.

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More of Europe for Cathay

Further expansion into Europe is on the cards from Cathay Pacific in July with the introduction of a link between the Hong Kong hub and Barcelona, host city for this year’s World Routes conference.

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Punctual Virgin

A “strong performance” over eight months and record punctuality have earned Virgin Trains a 5-star rating for reliability in the latest Annual Passenger Survey from Which?

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Target USA for Manchester

Manchester Airport has launched its first multi-channel, multi-audience marketing campaign to showcase the breadth of destinations it offers to the US.

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United's new Spirit

A new era begins next month for United Airlines as its latest aircraft and first B777-300ER pushes back from the gate with a new name – New Spirit of United – and equipped with the new Polaris all-aisle access lie-flat seat.

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ON TOUR: WOWing it in Iceland

Edward Dee reports on a trip to Reykjavik last month and reviews his WOW Air flights between Gatwick and Keflavik

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AND FINALLY: Imperial v Metric – What after Brexit?

Miles v Kilometres – Pounds v kilogrammes

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Aloft alights in Dublin

Marriott International’s Aloft Hotels brand will make its debut in Ireland in spring 2018 through a franchise agreement with Blackpitts Hospitality with a property in Dublin’s historic Liberties quarter.

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Delta lands LHR slots

Five morning slots at Heathrow on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays have been sold to Delta Air Lines by the state-owned carrier Croatia Airlines, clearing the way for the US company to expand its UK presence.

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Flybe staying with Cardiff

Citing “positive support” from business passengers, Flybe last week said it was continuing its service between Cardiff to London City Airport as part of its extensive summer 2017 schedule that starts on 26 March.

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Pilots criticise MH370 move

The organisation for Britain’s airline pilots last week demanded action to prevent further incidents like the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 after the hunt for the missing B777 was suspended.

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Private jet use grows

Users of private jets are no longer the mega-rich tycoons or A-list celebrities of legend but are more likely to be an ordinary business traveller who prefers the convenience of last-minute booking and has an appointment in Paris.

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Raffles at 130

A 16-month “sensitive restoration” of one of the Far East’s best known icons, the Raffles Hotel Singapore, begins next month as the property celebrates its 130th anniversary this year.

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SpiceJet plots growth

The growing field of low-cost long-haul travel could soon be joined by India’s SpiceJet after reports it has optioned B787s as part of its latest order with Boeing for a large fleet of B737 MAXs.

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Vietnam Airlines expands again

A three times weekly service between Ho Chi Minh City and Chengdu has joined the network of Vietnam Airlines as the fast-growing carrier continues to enhance its presence in China.

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