18 NOVEMBER 2019

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Rezchain joins hotel bookings arena

New blockchain technology which is claimed to enable error-free hotel bookings has been launched by global digital travel specialist Webjet, the owner of the WebBeds B2B accommodation provider.

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COMMENT: Aurigny under scrutiny

This week's COMMENT comes from Paul Simmons, former UK director at easyJet and chief commercial officer at Flybe, and currently a non-executive director at Blue Islands.

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25 years of Eurostar

Passengers at London’s St Pancras International Station last week were greeted by a woodland scene (below) as Eurostar marked its 25th anniversary by pledging to plant a tree for every Eurostar train service from 1 January and running its first plastics-free train.

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Canada – passport free

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the governments of the Netherlands and Canada met at Montreal Airport last week to launch the first pilot project for paperless travel between the two countries.

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Cruz at the Air League

“If we manage successfully through a committed investment of £6.5bn, I can't see why will not be the world's favourite again.” The speaker BA chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz, on the podium at Royal Aeronautical Society last week for the Air League’s Sir Andrew Humphrey Memorial lecture.

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KLM £2.5bn Embraer order

An amended agreement with Embraer for 21 E195-E2s, with an additional 14 purchase rights, worth up to $2.5bn at list prices, was signed by KLM last week. KLM’s original order was for 15 of the aircraft with 20 purchase rights.

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Loganair quits Glasgow – Southend

Glasgow is facing another airline defection with Loganair scrapping its service to and from Southend from 3 January. It leaves the Scottish airport with Heathrow, London City, Luton and limited Stansted flights.

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London – Sydney in 20hr

A non-stop commercial air link between London and Sydney moved several steps closer last week as Qantas pulled off a second success in its Project Sunrise programme (see infographic below) with a research flight between the two cities.

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Record numbers for Virgin Trains

The number of people opting to travel on Virgin Trains’ Anglo-Scottish services instead of flying has reached record levels while also contributing to a drop in carbon emissions, the operator said last week.

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Rolls-Royce at Aviation Club

A view on the Boeing B737MAX controversy and updates on the emissions debate are among items likely to be on the agenda for the Aviation Club UK lunch on 5 December at the Institute of Directors at 116 Pall Mall, London.

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Vietnam Air eyes London – Bali market

New flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Bali with convenient connections from and to London have been launched by Vietnam Airlines with ceremonies at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali.

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Wizz Air: Ban Business Class

A plea from Wizz Air CEO and co-founder József Váradi for airlines to ban Business Class stirred up the debate last week on the continuing climate scrutiny on the aviation industry.

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ON TOUR: EU261 and flight delays. More capacity needed

In a change from our usual ON TOUR format, we highlight a piece by the independent aviation analyst Chris Tarry, a member of the "Vision 2050" Group established by the director general of IATA to consider the future of the airline industry. The following is a slightly revised version of an article that has appeared in Airline Business magazine. 

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AND FINALLY: The world’s best app

BTN does not have the time or resources to evaluate the best app in the world but a straw poll in this office came up with a strange winner.

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Airspace for the Future

NATS has published a video, https://vimeo.com/370880987, on its work toward creating initial designs for future airspace. The project will soon open for consultation.

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Busy agenda for AOA conference

A powerful list of speakers has been lined up for this year’s annual conference, exhibition and awards dinner of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) at County Hall Westminster on 28-29 November.

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Emirates app airport upgrade

Layouts of four of the most important airports on the Emirates Airlines system – Heathrow, Gatwick, Hong Kong International and the Dubai International hub – have been added to the carrier’s app to help passengers find their way through the facilities.

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Kayak turns to business travel

A new free platform for business travellers is being introduced by the travel search site Kayak designed to help staff to plan and manage corporate journeys by providing a streamlined approval process.

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Norwegian on the move again

With a new injection of cash in the coffers leaving it with what is described as “fully funded through 2020 and beyond”, Norwegian has returned to the expansion trail with good news for Manchester and the US.

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Plaza Premium £42m growth plan

A US$55m (about £42m) global expansion with 15 new hotel or lounge openings and enhancements across 11 international airports has been launched by hospitality services provider Plaza Premium Group.

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Prince of whales

The latest version of the iconic transport machines used by Airbus to carry aircraft parts, the BelugaXL (below), named because it resembles a whale, has received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

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Pullman brand opens in Melbourne

Melbourne’s central business district has welcomed its first hotel under Accor’s upmarket Pullman brand after a £16m investment to rebuild the former Swanston Grand Mercure.

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SITA hails technology advance

Airlines and airports spent a record US$50bn (about £38bn) on IT in 2018 to support improvements to the passenger journey and are starting to enjoy the benefit of that investment, according to SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques).

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