12 NOVEMBER 2018

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Aberdeen Airport new MD

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst graduate Steve Szalay, who has held a series of senior executive roles within the aviation sector including positions with Jet2.com and ground handling company dnata, has been appointed managing director of Aberdeen International Airport.

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SOAPBOX EXTRA: Andrew Bell, RCA

Andrew Bell is chief executive of Regional & City Airports (RCA). In this ON THE SOAPBOX, based on his speech at this year’s Airport Operators Association (AOA) conference, he calls on the aviation industry, alongside the government, to help support its post-Brexit vision of turning the UK’s regional airports into free ports, in order to guarantee the continued success of the sector.

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COMMENT: The EUs aerial traffic jam

After a quarter-century of talks, Europe still does not appear able to agree within itself how to sort out aerial navigation. This is the uncomfortable fact lurking behind last week’s call by airline lobbying group A4E for the EU to take “immediate action” to remove what it called European airspace “inefficiencies”.

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Alitalia debate hots up

EasyJet and Lufthansa were back in the spotlight in the Alitalia debate last week in moves to meet an Italian government deadline for expressions of interest in the bankrupt carrier (BTN 23 July).

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Bombardier sells Q400 programme

In a major cost-cutting move which could have implications for Belfast, Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier said last week it was selling its Q400 regional turboprop programme to Longview Aviation Capital for $800m.

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Crossrail row breaks out again

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London were again accused last week of misleading the London Assembly over evidence given on delays to Crossrail.

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Dublin adds Vienna and Moscow

New services from Austria’s Laudamotion and Russia’s flag carrier and largest airline Aeroflot have added two more major cities, Vienna and Moscow, to the destination line-up at Dublin Airport.

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EasyJet dismisses Brexit fears

Suggestions that aircraft would be unable to fly once the UK left the EU if no air services agreement was reached were dismissed by easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren speaking at World Travel Market last week.

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FlyArystan bows in

A low-cost subsidiary airline called FlyArystan is being launched by Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana in the first half of 2019 with a fleet of Airbus A320s configured to an all-Economy Class of 180 seats.

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Heathrow's Bairs are back

With the festive season not far down the runway, Heathrow last week brought the popular stars of its recent series of holiday ads back into the limelight with another episode in the lives of Doris and Edward Bair.

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Icelandair snaps up rival Wow

The battle between low-cost carriers for the transatlantic market took a new turn last week with the Icelandair Group signing an agreement to buy its rival Wow Air for nearly US$18m.

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Manchester Mumbai 400m boost

A new link between Manchester and India’s economic capital Mumbai which started last week is set to deliver a £400m boost for northern England in trade, investment and tourism benefits, according to a report released to coincide with the launch.

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Norwegian Premium cabin in focus

A new website feature claimed to give passengers easier access to the cheapest Premium fares on its long-haul flights was launched last week by Norwegian.

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ON TOUR: Ramon Airport Eilat gets ready

An announcement is expected imminently regarding the opening of Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport, Eilat, the brand-new entrance to Israel’s southern gateway, just 12 miles from the city centre.

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NOVEMBER ROAD TEST: Lexus RX 450hl

The one thing that is very apparent with the latest development from Lexus of its hugely successful luxury crossover brand is that it is big. Of course it needs to be in transporting seven people and their luggage.

This motor is a real top-quality seven-seater and not just seven basic seats and a tiny space for baggage.

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AND FINALLY: Would you charter a corporate jet from this man?

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A Crossrail for Paris

Building new tunnels under a city to connect suburban railway systems is not unique to London, writes Andrew Sharp. The UK capital has Thameslink and Crossrail, while Paris has its regional express (RER) system and is currently expanding it.

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Birmingham unveils masterplan

A new baggage handling area, new road links including a new junction from the M42 and a larger departure lounge are key features of Birmingham Airport’s latest masterplan covering the next 15 years.

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Dreamliner rival from the East

A possible rival for the Airbus A350 and Boeing B787 has been unveiled by Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) in the shape of a prototype of a wide-body long-haul jet developed in cooperation with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.

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Dubai joins biometric trend

Emirates is gearing up to launch the world’s first “biometric path” to offer its passengers what it says will be “a smooth and truly seamless airport journey” at its hub at Dubai International airport.

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Economy Space on Etihad

The number of seats with extra legroom in Economy Class on board Etihad Airways’ widebody fleet is being increased by more than 500% via a new option called Economy Space.

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Edition arrives in Middle East

The Middle East is welcoming its first example of the style-focused Edition Hotel concept founded by US entrepreneur Ian Schrager in collaboration with Marriott International with the opening of a signature property on the Al Bateen peninsula in Abu Dhabi.

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El Al joins Northern Powerhouse

In a big news week for Manchester Airport (see also Manchester – Mumbai £400m boost in this issue), El Al Israel Airlines said it will launch a new direct flight between the Northern hub and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion from 26 May next year.

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Finnair joins Premium Economy trend

A new Premium Economy cabin for the long-haul fleet is on the way from Finland’s flag carrier Finnair in 2021 as part of a major investment in onboard improvements which also includes the airline’s domestic and regional ATR turboprops.

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Mexico City airport chaos

Investors in Mexico City’s new Norman Foster-designed airport at Texcoco said last week they are planning legal action by the end of this month after Mexico’s new president cancelled the $13.3bn (€11.4bn) project following a referendum.

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