29 APRIL 2013
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The much rumoured British Airways order for the Airbus A350 was finally announced last week. The airline has committed itself to 18 of the Dash 1000 model, the longest fuselage version to date which, with a typical BA four-class layout, means 330/350 passengers. In terms of range the aircraft can reach Jakarta and Hawaii from London non-stop.
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, will move all services at Dublin Airport to Terminal 2 on 1 May. The flights involved are to and from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and Southend.
Some 16m passengers passed through Heathrow in the first quarter of 2013, up 1.8% on the same period of 2012 and a record figure for the period. Frankfurt declined 2% (11.9m).
In a move clearly aimed at competition from alternative airlines based in the Gulf area (and now Australia too), Singapore Airlines is amending its sales agency distribution strategy. IATA agents will now have available the very best fares.
A crowded Members’ Dining Room at the House of Commons last week saw Aviation Minister Simon Burns deliver a robust speech supporting the cross industry association ‘Sustainable Aviation’ as it promoted its road map for noise reduction.
Forbes Travel Guide has announced its expansion into Europe, bringing its globally recognised star rating programme to central London’s top hotels and spas. Six hotels and two hotel spas have been awarded the coveted Forbes Travel Guide 5-star rating. These properties join an elite group of 76 hotels and 35 spas across North America and Asia that have achieved the Forbes Travel Guide 5-star status.
Baroness Thatcher's Impact on Air Transport
Malcolm Ginsberg on World View with Denis Campbell
Business Travel News continues with its series of ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIALS putting forward different views regarding airport capacity which is being examined by the Davies Commission.
Captain W.D. (Jock) Lowe Ph.D first flew Concorde in 1975 and became synonymous with the project, eventually promoted Commercial Manager, whilst still being an active pilot. Jock’s flying career started at the Oxford Air Training School as a BOAC trainee, finally retiring from British Airways Executive Board in 2001. Captain Lowe is working with Mark Bostock, a former Director at the engineers Arup, who has developed a plan for a new railway station at Heathrow that could also serve as an airport terminal. SEE ALSO 'Davies Commission date'
HEATHROW RUNWAY CAPACITY – THE SIMPLE SOLUTION
Ethiopian Airlines has made a habit of being first with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It was the first African airline to take delivery of the aircraft, the first to make scheduled flight into Heathrow, and now is the first airline to put the plane back into service after the three month grounding.
Malaysia Airlines (MH) will commence a daily Airbus A380 service on the Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong route effective 1 May offering UK passengers a daily A380 connection from Heathrow through to the Chinese Special Administrative Region.
Fastjet, which likes to call itself a Pan African airline, plans to introduce a Cape Town – Johannesburg route as early as 31 May. Based in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), but London centred airline the airline began operations in November 2012 (taking over Fly540) and whilst it currently only operates three A319s it has ambitious plans. The move will shake up the air transport world within South Africa.
In a move that will surprise no one involved in short haul operations easyJet is to replace check-in desks by bag-drop station desks at the end of the month. The airline says that 80% of passengers check-in online and it wants to encourage all passengers to do so.
Etihad Airways, the flag carrier on the United Arab Emirates, is continuing its airline investment strategy taking a 24% share in India’s Jet Airways, the largest carrier on the sub-continent. The Abu Dhabi-based airline already has a 29.21% stake in Air Berlin and 40% with Air Seychelles. Other investments include 2.987% of Aer Lingus and 10% of Virgin Australia.
The Paris Air Show organisation is holding at press conference at The Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Tuesday (30 April).
The Salon celebrates its 50th anniversary, what is now a biennial event once again taking place at Le Bourget north of Paris.
The greatly anticipated Shangri-La hotel in the ‘The Shard’, Europe’s tallest building by London Bridge Station, is now likely to open mid September 2013, somewhat later than first envisaged. It will mark the arrival of one of the world’s most illustrious lodging brands after a 10-year search for a suitable London location.
Malcolm Ginsberg reports
The introduction of daily flights by Vueling from Heathrow to Majorca seemed a good opportunity of not only of trying the airline, but also revisiting the Balearic island, a popular destination of my youth.
Norwegian Breakaway (and Oceania Riviera)
If you are reading this report on Monday morning your editor will be joining 3,000 travel trade people, and the media, for the spectacular inaugural of Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest floating resort, Norwegian Breakaway at Southampton. With the ship built in Germany, and based in New York, it did seem a great idea to overnight at Britain’s major cruise port, a wonderful opportunity to introduce an inspirational product that will clearly set new standards for holidays at sea.
The ever expanding Classic Air Force museum at Newquay-Cornwall Airport took delivery last Friday (26 April) of the very last operational British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) 1-11 jet in the UK.
Followers of the Airports Commission timetable will note that the next cut off date for submissions is17 May and entitled “Proposals for making the best use of existing capacity in the short and medium terms”.
Business Travel News acknowledges Jock Lowe’s interesting SOAPBOX piece in this week’s issue. Is it a new runway or an extension? More money for the lawyers?
David McMillan, Chair of the Flight Safety Foundation, and also a Board Member of Gatwick Airport Ltd under the Chairmanship of Sir Roy McNulty, was the speaker at London’s Aviation Club last week.
In a broad ranging speech he discussed his time at Eurocontrol and more specifically ‘Single Skies’. Asked by this publication when something might actually happen, he pointed out that Eurocontrol had been established in 1960, and that in October 2001 the European Commission adopted proposals for a Single European Sky to create a Union regulator for air traffic management within the EU, Norway and Switzerland. “By 2019 we might see some progress”, he said.
Mr McMillan emphasised what he called “The three C’s”. Competition (between airlines), Connectively (at the airports), and Certainly (Political guarantees that things will go through).
Mr McMillan has vast experience of the legislators having served in the UK’s Department of Transport for 10 years and also as Transport Secretary at the British Embassy in Washington. His comment on the Davies Commission has real strength: “I am very sensitive to moving the (UK) hub to the East”.
For the full speech continue
Following a decision by the Israeli Parliament to go ‘Open Skies’ air transport in an out of the Middle East state was subjected to strikes at the beginning of last week which affected El Al, Arkia and Israir plus Tel Aviv International Airport. After 24 hours an agreement was hammered out which will mean the government paying for most of the airlines' security costs.
It seems that the ‘basic’ airlines are now no longer basic as reserved seating becomes more and more the norm.
Air Canada has announced that its current seasonal service between Toronto and Dublin will be converted to year-round service operated by its new leisure carrier, Air Canada rouge, beginning in 2014. Air Canada will operate the route this year from 17 May through to 30 September and Air Canada rouge will commence year-round service starting 1 May 2014.
Said to be one of the world’s fastest growing air carriers Turkish Airlines has now started flights to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from Istanbul. The addition of this route is part of Turkish Airlines’ rapid global expansion. It now has the world's fourth largest flight network, with 222 destinations in 99 countries.