13 AUGUST 2018

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$500m Ritz-Carlton for NY

Marriott International is doubling the presence of its luxury Ritz-Carlton brand in New York City with a US$500m hotel and residences building in the NoMad (North of Madison Square Park) district.

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Widerøe fans football fever

Football fever handed a bonus to Scandinavia’s largest regional airline Widerøe on Friday as the carrier operated the first flight of its new two-a-week schedule between Bergen in Norway and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

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COMMENT: Is IAG a brand?

Last Monday, The Times of London published a pretty forthright letter by British Airways chief executive and chairman Alex Cruz criticising border controls at Heathrow. The letter gained extensive coverage. Cruz, who these days tends to keep a low profile, was spot on. (see BA and the Border Farce in this issue)

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BA and the Border Farce

Passengers at Heathrow are routinely facing 2hr queues at passport control in what British Airways chief executive and chairman Alex Cruz writing in The Times last week called a “border farce”.

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China hails A350-900 double

Chinese carriers achieved two firsts with the Airbus A350-900 last week. National flag carrier Air China took delivery of its first, and Sichuan Airlines acquired another on lease from AerCap.

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Gatwick – Shanghai

A significant new long-haul business-orientated route between Gatwick and China’s largest city, Shanghai, was announced last week on the same day the airport released figures showing year-on-year long-haul growth of 20.8% during July.

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Inflight rip-off warning

The extent to which airlines are ripping off passengers who buy food and drinks inflight has been revealed in new research from travel money specialist FairFX.

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Jet Airways frequency boost

Frequencies on planned new direct services between Manchester and Mumbai by Jet Airways have been increased ahead of the launch of flights on 5 November. The airline says it will now offer five flights a week instead of four despite a financial hiccup at the weekend.

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London escapes VLM axe

Flights between Antwerp and London City have escaped a realignment by Belgian carrier VLM which has seen all but two scheduled services being suspended in favour of concentrating on charter operations. Antwerp – Zurich is also retained.

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More winter action at easyJet

Aqaba (Jordan), Pau Pyrénées (France), Rovaniemi (Finland) and Warsaw (Poland) are new destinations included among 21 new routes easyJet announced last week it would operate this winter.

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Norwegian B737 MAX for Gatwick

Selected short-haul flights between Gatwick and destinations in Europe by Norwegian are being operated later this summer by the carrier’s newest single-aisle aircraft, the Boeing B737 MAX, for the first time at the airport.

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Talks start over Ryanair strikes

Talks via a mediator are scheduled for today, Monday, with the Irish pilots union as Ryanair attempts to get a grip on growing industrial unrest. The airline endured its worst one-day strike on Friday after a walk-out by pilots in five European countries.

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Wizz hits back on punctuality

Airspace congestion and slot restrictions at UK airports were blamed last week for affecting on-time performance at Wizz Air after the carrier was singled out in an analysis of CAA statistics as least punctual of the biggest airlines operating in the UK last year.

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ON TOUR: Isle of Wight

Thinking of a late-summer resort holiday with no passport requirement and a mini cruise involved? Malcolm Ginsberg reports.

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AUGUST ROAD TEST: Jaguar

At one time, it was easy to know what Jaguar was all about. Not so now.

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AND FINALLY: Salute to the Queens

Sometimes, a picture just begs to be used.

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Amadeus in billion-dollar deal

The Spanish-based global travel technology giant Amadeus has surged into the independent and mid-sized hotel field with a deal to acquire TravelClick from private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo for more than US$1.5bn.

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Delta, Korean boost alliance

In a major development in their joint venture which received regulatory approval earlier this year (see BTN 2 April), Delta Air Lines and Korean Air are opening service between Boston and Minneapolis St Paul in the US and Seoul in 2019.

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Doncaster plan wins support

Early results of a public consultation over the development of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, including the delivery of an East Coast Mainline rail station, have shown “overwhelming support”, the airport said last week.

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Hyatt opens in Athens

The first Hyatt hotel in the Greek capital and the first Grand Hyatt-branded property in Greece has arrived with the opening of the luxury Grand Hyatt Athens on Syngrou Avenue, next to the Onassis Cultural Centre.

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Loganair Carlisle launch off again

More bad news emerged for Carlisle Airport last week after Loganair again postponed the launch of scheduled services, this time to next spring, because the airport will not receive all certifications by the planned date of 3 September this year.

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Travelodge Plus arrives

One of the leading budget hotel groups has celebrated 30 years of trading in the UK capital by opening its new flagship Travelodge Plus hotel in the City of London, near Liverpool Street station.

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Ultra-long-haul to the US hots up

A further shift in the ultra-long-haul market across the Atlantic is on the way with Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways introducing their new Airbus A350-1000s on services to Washington DC and New York respectively.

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Yotel heads for Glasgow

A prime city-centre site in Glasgow is to become a Yotel next year. It will be the brand’s second hotel in Scotland and fifth in the UK and will be on Argyle Street opposite Glasgow's Central Station.

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