27 FEBRUARY 2017

YOUR WORDS


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Flight compensation furore

Five airlines that fly into Europe have been told they must pay compensation to passengers for delays.  American, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore and Turkish Airlines will have to obey European laws or be taken to court.

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Montreal Shanghai debut

Links between Canada and Asia were strengthened further last week as Air Canada made Montreal its third hub to have a direct service with China, launching a daily B787-8 service to Shanghai Pudong. The company already serves Shanghai from Toronto Pearson and Vancouver.

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Stansted is getting cheaper

In a bid to take people off the road the Stansted Express has announced reduced fares across the board.  Although not a proper express – it stops at Tottenham Hale (for the Victoria Underground), and either Harlow or Bishops Stortford – it is the quickest way to the airport from central London.

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COMMENT: Cover up needed at Luton

Luton Airport is in an invidious situation.  Passengers are voting with their seats that they want to use the airport with numbers up 18.5% in 2016 to 14.5m and an astonishing 24.6% growth in December compared with the same month in 2015.  Low-cost airlines are keen to come in with Wizz announcing the airport as its first base only last week (see BTN 20 February).

At the same time Luton is sitting at the bottom of the league of British airports when it comes to passenger satisfaction according to  Which Magazine  (see below).

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2016 European airport figures

Passenger traffic across the European airport network showed strong momentum in 2016, posting an average growth of +5.1%.

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Boeing expands in the UK

Sheffield is the chosen site of a high-tech components production facility that Boeing plans to open to manufacture high-tech components for 737 and 777 aircraft. These actuation systems will be used on the wing trailing edges.

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British Airways profits

Figures published by IAG show how reliant the group is on BA to make a realistic profit.

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Delta & Virgin Atlantic

Nat Pieper, Delta Air Lines VP Europe, was a visitor to the Business Travel Show last week. 

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Gibraltar and Brexit

Spain has signalled that it will not accept any deals brokered between the EU and the UK which grant Gibraltar the same rights as UK mainland airports, reports the Financial Times. The stance may complicate Britain's aviation negotiations with the EU. At the same time Spain will not move regarding its own enclaves in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla.

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Heathrow financial results

The provisional 2016 financial results for Heathrow highlighted a record 75.7m passengers (+1.0%).  It remains Europe’s busiest airport. 

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Luton competes to Israel

Following the announcement that it is to open up its first UK base at Luton Airport Wizz has sprung a surprise by offering Tel Aviv as a new route from 24 June with services four times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. (See BTN 20 February)

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Norwegian Ireland/US expansion

Dublin is to become a US gateway airport for Norwegian as it announces a series of ground breaking new transatlantic flights from five cities in the UK and Ireland, offering passengers low-cost travel to the USA from just £69/€69 one way.  Norwegian will focus on high visibility and low frequency start-ups, a policy that has worked well for them in the past.

What is not on offer is the very efficient US passport control at Dublin Airport.  Passengers will have to use Terminal 1 and go through the normal immigration channels when they get to the other side. 

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Ryanair update

Kenny Jacobs, marketing director, led a Ryanair update in London last week with the main emphasis on an expansion at Stansted where the airline expects to move 20.4m of the airport’s 24m plus passengers during 2017. 

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Tim Clark in narrowbody aircraft talks

In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said the airline is considering narrowbody aircraft given their “tighter cabins and fewer amenities”.  This is an about turn by a carrier previously adamant that the only way forward was bigger and bigger.

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ON TOUR: Unravelling business travel

John Burke, who travels worldwide, has covered the Business Travel Show since it began for several British daily papers besides publishing acclaimed articles on security abroad. He took most of the pictures too.

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AND FINALLY: Drink up at 35,000ft

It isn’t a secret that cabin pressure and altitude affects passengers’ taste buds, but when it comes to beer it is clearly more scientific than we thought.

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Aircraft seat space survey

Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has published another of their most useful series in the 'Know Before You Go' section of their website, this time comparing the passenger experience across 14 major airlines.

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Arik Air drops Heathrow

Having assumed control of the airline late last week, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says Arik Air needs over $30m to resume full and uninterrupted operations.

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Brexit and the regional airlines

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is advocating a soft Brexit for aviation, director general Simon McNamara told a media briefing on Monday 20 February.  Stephanie Taylor of Emerald Media reports.

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Derry gets London route

bmi regional will be launching a new service between City of Derry Airport and Stansted from mid-May.  Embraer Regional Jets will be used for the operation.

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More Hilton hotels at UK airports

Bristol Airport has at last an on-site hotel. The 201-room Hampton by Hilton has opened at England’s third largest regional airport.  Also opening last week was another of the Hampton brand, this time at Aberdeen Airport with 150 rooms.

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Saudia grows in the north

A twice-weekly service between Manchester and Riyadh starting on 23 June has been announced by Saudia. With the airline already flying five times a week to Jeddah, passengers will now be able to fly direct to Saudi Arabia on seven days.

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Welsh airport available

Want to buy an airport, or invest in one?

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