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1 MARCH 2021

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Scottish anger

With the exception of the offshore islands, aviation matters are gaining little visibility in Scotland, angering the industry.

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URGENT NEWS: Air Transport live at Westminster

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee has requested at very short notice a comprehensive aviation group of people to appear before it on Wednesday morning 3 March, but no British airline representatives.  Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has been included.  That airline’s fleet of over 450 planes has only one UK registered aircraft. Ryanair is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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Responding to today's Budget, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“The Chancellor talks about protecting jobs and livelihoods, fixing the public finances and laying the foundations for the future economy, and yet he continues to ignore the UK's aviation sector.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Marc Bailey, CEO, BBGA

Marc Bailey, CEO of The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), marked 10 years with the organisation last December. The UK’s national trade body, and voice of business and general aviation in the UK, BBGA members span all facets of the sector including airports, fixed-base operators (FBO), corporate flight departments, operators, aviation services organisations and aircraft manufacturers. Marc is also chair of Europe's national business aviation associations and sits on the Board of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).

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An IATA Statement

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International travel to start?

The so-called Road Map in simple terms.

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Aer Lingus changes chief executive

Donal Moriarty who has been interim chief executive of Aer Lingus since October 2020 is to step down and resume his role as the airline’s chief corporate affairs officer.

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Boeing 777s grounded

Following what Boeing described as ‘An Event’ on Saturday 20 February  the aircraft manufacturer has advised the five American and Asian airlines operating the 777 with the same series of Pratt & Whitney engines to ground them.

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British Airways financing

International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed two financing agreements that British Airways (BA) has reached that will increase total liquidity by £2.45bn. 

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Budget call

The newly constituted All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Hospitality and Tourism has called for additional government support for hospitality and tourism businesses at Wednesday’s Budget.

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Gatwick results

With very limited services, mainly by easyJet, and the complete loss of Norwegian, at one time nearly 9% of passenger throughput, Gatwick, as with all other international airports struggled in 2020.  British Airways continued with reduced services to the Caribbean.

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Heathrow looks ahead

With a £2bn loss, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye was in a cautious mood when he unveiled the airport’s 2020 performance last Wednesday (24 February), having heard what the prime minister had to say two days earlier.

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IAG results

The 2020 full year results for International Airlines Group (IAG), published on Friday (26 February), met expectations.  That is to say they were poor. IAG includes British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

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ON TOUR: Venice

With this a cruise issue it seemed a good idea for our editor-at-large Jeff Mills to take a look at this most special of Italian cities, one linked often to waterborne holidays.  Start or finish at Venice and spend a few days there. Or at least make sure your ship overnights. 

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MARCH CRUISE NEWS

The cruise industry has some positive news for summer 2021.

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AND FINALLY: Flying cars EASA approved

BTN has run a number of stories in recent times on flying car projects, but not one that is European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved.

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TRAVEL NEWS UPDATE

The ASPIRE sponsored travellers review is now available online, and will be on the reception desks as the lounges reopen.

https://aspire.btnews.co.uk

www.executivelounges.com/aspire-lounges

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Air Canada and Air Transat Tying the knot?

Air Canada and Air Transat were due to tie the knot and get married by 15 February 2021. But like many proposed marriages during the pandemic, this one is also set to be delayed. Not directly by Covid-19, although the dowry Air Canada were due to pay Air Transat shareholders has been reduced by 72% from $520m to $190m.

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Dubai for La Quinta

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s largest hotel franchising companies, has kick-started its La Quinta by Wyndham brand in the Middle East with a new hotel in Dubai, due to open later this month (March).

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Premier Inn

With holidays in the UK likely to boom this summer Premier Inn, the upmarket budget hotel group owned by Whitbread Plc, is introducing new properties.

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Shai Weiss interview

Virgin Atlantic boss Shai Weiss was in fine form last Wednesday (24 February) in a live interview with former BBC Radio stalwart Nick Cosgrove for the United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) charity.

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Signature Aviation acquired by GIP

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), owner of Edinburgh Airport and a shareholder of Gatwick Airport is to acquire fixed-base operation (FBO) Signature Aviation, a London Stock Exchange (LSE) listed company.

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Slot waiver extended

The aviation sector has been vociferous in calling for this to be done.

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To Oz on Qantas

Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar are planning flight resumption to “most international destinations” from the end of October, later than expected, but not the complete 2021 predicted by some.

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UK airport stats

The Civil Aviation Authority has published the January 2021 terminal and transit statistics.  We still wait the compilation for the full year 2020.

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United to Boston

Boston is quickly becoming one of the most important US gateways from London.

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Wizz and refunds

The Hungarian airline Wizz Air says that its automated refund process handles 95% of cash conversion refund requests within just a week.

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