* items include readers letters

22 NOVEMBER 2021

YOUR WORDS


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LETTER OF THE WEEK

The future of British railways has been the subject of debate since 1947 and is not likely to stop now.

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Flybe returns *

Like a phoenix Flybe, pre-pandemic Britain’s largest regional airline, is to return.

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COMMENT: The Integrated rail plan *

BTN’s railway expert Andrew Sharp, former Director General of the International Air Rail Organisation, takes a look at the new Grant Shapps’ scheme published on 18 November 2021.

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Air Transat

Now back flying three times weekly between Gatwick and Toronto, Air Transat is set to increase its Canadian destinations from London next summer.

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Avianca too

London will again become a destination for Columbian airline Avianca from the start of the summer season 27 March 2022 with daily flights from the capital Bogota.

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BA United States return

Following the recent reopening of US borders for Brits, Tampa, Florida, last week gained the distinction of being British Airways’ first transatlantic true holiday flight in the new era.

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Dublin to San Francisco

With the opening up of the US, Aer Lingus is to resume transatlantic flights from Dublin to San Francisco.

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Elizabeth Line – Another update

Transport for London (TfL) today issued a press release which actually said nothing except to lift the blame for the delay on to others. Test trains have been running for some time.

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Emirates Premium Economy

Emirates has confirmed it will be extending Premium Economy to most of its long-haul fleet. Rival Qatar Airways still holds back saying that its Economy cabin is as good as most airlines’ premium version.

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Heathrow recruitment

Recruitment is the watchword as the UK’s largest airport continues to celebrate the lifting of the US travel ban.

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Holiday difficulties for Heathrow

If you are using Heathrow over the Christmas weekend be very careful regarding travel to and from the airport.

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Scoot to arrive at Gatwick

The low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines (SIA) is to arrive at Gatwick Airport.

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Shapps GA saga *

There has been a sharp official government response to the Labour Party taking up the cudgels in the wake of The Sunday Times attack against General Aviation (GA) and Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps in particular.

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World’s fastest electric plane

The Rolls-Royce ‘Spirit of Innovation’ has set three new world records as the fastest electric aircraft in the world.

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ON TOUR: Liverpool and The Beatles

Quite rightly the modern Liverpool is very much tied into The Beatles.  Its most world famous sons were said in 2016 to bring £82m a year to the city’s coffers.

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AND FINALLY: You can’t go into the cockpit these days *

For many of us our first introduction to aviation was an invitation to visit the cockpit during a flight.

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Addis Ababa Airport

With the British Foreign Office urging Britons to leave Ethiopia, air services at Addis Ababa Airport are being questioned.  Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly daily to Heathrow with Boeing 787 Dreamliners used on the route.

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Airside transit

Airside transit is when you do not pass through United Kingdom border control.  You remain ‘airside’ before you leave the UK on your connecting journey.  It is also called ‘connecting’ and Heathrow in the past has thrived with up to 30% of passengers changing flights.  In the Middle East both Doha and Dubai international airports prosper on this throughput, said to be 80% of all business.  The shops do well also.

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CAA flights data *

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published aviation statistics for the third quarter of 2021. 

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House of Commons Select Committee

Willie Walsh, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), does seem to enjoy appearing before the UK Parliament’s Transport Select Committee.

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Qatar and the World Cup

Tuesday week (30 November) will see, as guest of honour, Qatar Airways Chairman and Chief Executive HE Akbar Al Baker promoting his airline, and with the event just a year away, the FIFA World Cup.  The timing could not be better.

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Reverse Vending (recycling)

Glasgow Airport has installed two Reverse Vending Machines as part of a pilot project to encourage passengers and staff to recycle more of their cans and bottles.

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Speaker line-up for WAF

The World Aviation Festival takes place at ExCeL London 1–2 December with an impressive line-up of speakers.

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UK rail problems

As if the United Kingdom has not got enough problems with keeping its current rail network running with most operators effectively nationalised, last week it announced a £96bn scheme to redefine HS2 and its offsprings.

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