11 JUNE 2012


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Air India Heathrow 787

Strange as it may seem it looks very likely that Air India will have the privilege of becoming the first airline to schedule the Boeing 787 into Heathrow.

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Andalusian cuisine for Iberia

Spain may be going through difficult economic times but that has not stopped Iberia investing in the meals served to its Business Plus passengers.

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Brussels Airport rail link

A new rail link connecting Brussels Airport with the high-speed rail network to Amsterdam, Cologne, London and Paris has been inaugurated by King Albert of Belgium.  Previously the station was at the end of the line with up to four services an hour to Brussels North, Brussels Central and Brussels Midi stations.

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Etihad ups Virgin Australia stake

Abu Dhabi's flag carrier, Etihad Airways, which is on an expansion spree, has confirmed the acquisition of a 4% stake in Virgin Australia, deepening its alliance with the Australian airline.  Interestingly it has long been considered a partner for Virgin Atlantic, which also has a financial stake in what was once Virgin Blue.  Air New Zealand is another investor in Virgin Australia.

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Food Society by World Duty Free

World Duty Free Group has opened two delicatessen shops in Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 4 under a new brand, The Food Society.  The stores cover 53sq m and 147sq m and offer more than 200 Spanish gourmet products.

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SkyWork ups London City

The SkyWork Airlines' service from London City Airport to the Swiss capital Bern is to go three times weekdaily from 29 October, the start of the winter season.  There are single return flights on Saturday and Sunday.

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Win a pair of easyJet tickets


Visitors to Business Travel Market arriving via the DLR should get off at Prince Regent rather than Custom House for Hall 10

All you have to do is come by our stand, leave your business card, and wish that Paul Robin, Show Director, will draw yours at 15:00 Thursday.  The tickets are subject to some minor rules which means you must use by 30 September.  Speedy Boarding is included as is one hold bag per passenger.  You need to book 30 days in advance and once initiated no change is possible.  We have a couple of boxes of chocolates for the runners up! www.easyJet.com

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Anthony Drury

Vice President and General Manager UK
American Express Global Business Travel

With Business Travel Market opening at Excel on Wednesday it seems appropriate to ask Anthony Drury of American Express to offer his perspective on the industry.

Anthony joined American Express in 2002, and has held a range of sales and leadership positions across the globe.  Prior to his current role, Anthony was the Vice President and Head of Sales for Europe and before that for the Asia-Pacific region.  He is responsible for strategy development and growth for the UK business, focusing on delivering business travel management services to companies of all sizes

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Airport gets free bus service

Boston's Logan Airport has become the first major airport in the United States to offer free transportation to downtown in an effort to cut car travel and alleviate a parking shortage at the fourth-busiest passenger hub in the Northeast.

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BA/bmi customers beware

British Airways’ clients should be very careful over the next few months until the merger with bmi sorts itself out.  Where routes were previously duplicated, and the bmi sectors remain in place under a BA code, do check which terminal is being used at Heathrow.  From Aberdeen you can finish up at Heathrow’s T1, or T5.

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City of London hotel

Located just off Finsbury Square between Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations in the City of London the South Place Hotel will open at the beginning of September 2012.  The 80-room property offers two restaurants and a rooftop terrace bar.  Wi-fi is complimentary.

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Eurostar introduces quiet coach


From 11 September onwards Eurostar is introducing a quiet coach facility on-board all its trains for travel from September 2012.

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IATA in Beijing

As you read BT News today (11 June), IATA (International Air Transport Association) will be holding its 68th AGM at Beijing.

“Beijing is a fitting location for this year’s AGM”, said Tony Tyler, Director General.  “It is IATA’s home in North Asia – the location of our largest regional office and largest billing and settlement office, with 132m tickets processed in 2011.  But even more importantly, China is a great aviation success story.  The government’s strategy of using aviation to drive economic growth has seen China emerge as an aviation powerhouse”.  The event brings together some 650 leaders of the global aviation industry.

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SAA drops London – Cape Town

Cape Town is to lose its non-stop South African Airways services to London, leaving British Airways and Virgin Atlantic as masters of the route.  Local tourism chiefs have expressed disappointment and concern about the move.

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Scoot arrives

Singapore Airlines’ new medium- to long-haul low-cost carrier Scoot (TZ) has made its inaugural commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney, putting even more pressure on Qantas and other incumbents.  The airline operates Boeing 777 aircraft leased from Singapore in a two-class configuration, Economy (including extra legroom seating, branded S-t-r-e-t-c-h seats) and ScootBiz.  The seating features 32 ScootBiz seats in a 2+4+2 configuration, with a seat pitch of 38 inches, while the Economy cabin has a 3+4+3 configuration with 31-inch seat pitch.

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Virgin upgrades Premium Economy


Passengers on all Virgin Atlantic services are now experiencing a refreshed and upgraded dining experience offering restaurant style service.

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ON TOUR: New York

With the dollar now worth around 1.60 to the pound sterling, New York once again offers terrific value for the UK holidaymaker and is well worth considering for either a short break, or even something longer.  And without doubt the best way is to arrive by sea, either via RMS Queen Mary 2, and her regular summer transatlantic crossings, which offer terrific value, or on one of the many cruise lines who have sailings to and from ‘Big Apple’ particularly in the spring and autumn.

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By Ted Wilkinson of the Guild of Motoring Writers

Renault Fluence ZE Dynamique

Electric but not Eccentric

I must admit I have blown hot and cold when it comes to electric powered cars though after driving Renault’s just launched all-electric powered Fluence ZE saloon I have started to warm to the idea of this sort of vehicle, without diverting into the debate whether its electrical source was created by producing pollution elsewhere.

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AND FINALLY: More complaints about BT

But not us!

From a reader.

“I value the style and content of BT News but was a tad alarmed to note the latest newsletter slipped into my junk mail?
After investigation I realise that years of tortuous dealings with BT (a telephone service provider) had consigned them to junk status and I refuse to have any dealings with them.  I imagine this may be a widespread phenomenon and thus the new name of the newsletter may cause losses.
That said, the gentle progression of BT News towards a magazine style layout is welcome”.

To ensure you receive BTNews each week please make certain that newsletter@btnews.co.uk is on your ‘white list’.

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American visitor increase

The US Department of Commerce, which is currently very active in its tourist promotion, has announced that 5.4m international visitors travelled to the United States in March 2012.  This is a 14% rise over March last year and the 12th straight month of increases in total US visits.

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Boeing MAX update

With the design frozen next year, a first flight planned for 2016 and deliveries to customers beginning in 2017, Boeing says it is well on the way with the 737 MAX.  The aircraft is very much a subtle development of the NG series 737, itself an update of a product that first flew in 1967, 45 years ago.  With Farnborough just weeks away Randy Tinseth, Vice President Marketing, has been in London updating the media regarding the new plane.

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Emirates ups the IFE stakes

The major airlines continue to fight it out in terms of service and quality offered on board.

Emirates is the latest to upgrade its ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment) system, offering a wider and digitally-enhanced screen in all classes on the new Boeing 777 fleet.

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EVA Royal Laurel Class

Taiwan’s EVA Air has introduced a luxurious new-generation Business cabin named Royal Laurel Class on its New York service.

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Oman Air to Tehran

Quickly established in Muscat following the retirement of Peter Hill, new Australian Oman Air CEO, Wayne Pearce, has announced a daily service to the Iranian capital of Tehran from 1 September. 

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Qatar Airways 787 at BTM

As a prelude to the actual aircraft appearing at the Farnborough Air Show (9-15 July), and its service introduction in September, Qatar Airways is to unveil the exclusive seat design it has chosen for the airline’s Business Class at this week’s Business Travel Market.

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