5 AUGUST 2013

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EADS for Airbus

Airbus is to no longer mean just civil aircraft.  From January the various companies that make up EADS will trade under the single name of Airbus in three divisions. 

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First A400M finally delivered

France has taken delivery of the first of 50 Airbus A400 Atlas military transport it has on order.  The A400 is a 21st century version of the Shorts Belfast capable of lifting up to 37 tons of varied equipment through a rear doorway and landing on rough strips.

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First Class upgrade for Cathay

Cathay Pacific Airways unveiled a refreshed First Class product which features a significant enhancement to the cabin’s look and feel along with the introduction of a number of new features.

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More Etihad strategic expansion

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More Heathrow food facts

Last week Business Travel News reported on Heathrow dining “Food on the Fly”.

Clearly the airport is very much into looking after the well-being of travellers and with many airlines reducing their on-board servings to a minimum says that the 'take onboard' menu option is being used by 17% of passengers.

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Ryanair news

Michael O’Leary is a firm believer in the maxim “All publicity is good publicity”.  The carrier dubbed by some “The world’s most annoying airline” but likely to carry around 80m passengers this year, has been much in the news last week.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Paul Campion, IBM Director for Travel and Transport

Paul Campion leads IBM's business in the Travel and Transport industry sectors in the UK and Ireland and sits on IBM UK's Diversity and Sustainability boards.  Externally, Paul is a member of the "Think Tank" tasked with helping the Technology Strategy Board to create a Transport Systems Catapult, as announced in the Budget in early 2012.  Paul has been in the IT industry for over 25 years.  Before his current role he led the IBM UK and Ireland software sales teams.

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Airlines set for growth

OAG’s, the aviation data specialist, latest airline capacity data for August shows that carriers worldwide are expected to see an increase of 2% in flights versus last year, and an increase of 5% capacity. 

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Airport Commission

In a statement late on Friday last week the Airport Commission, headed by Sir Howard Davies, announced that it will publish sometime in the next few days a summary of submissions for making the best use of existing capacity in the short and medium term.  No specific timetable was given.  “Whilst the options proposed will not be linked directly to submitters, a list of submitters will be included in the paper”.

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Flybe into a new era

Saad Hammad, has arrived as Chief Executive of loss-making Flybe, listed on the London Stock Exchange (See BTN 8 July) .  He takes over from Jim French, now Non-Executive Chairman.  Mr French joined the then Jersey European Airways in 1990, the company floating as Flybe in December 2010 at 295p.  On Mr Hammad’s arrival, 1 August, they stood at 60p.

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IAG results

British Airways was again the star performer as IAG published its results for the first six months of 2013 last week.  In a bullish mood CEO Willie Walsh reported losses of €506m against €390m last year.  IAG says the loss is down to exceptional one-off items following restructuring at Iberia.

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Luton is sold

Last week BTN reported that Luton Airport, north of London, had not been part of the airports’ sale by Spanish infrastructure group Abertis.  Seven days later and things have moved on.

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Paul Simmons leaves easyJet

EasyJet has confirmed the immediate departure of Paul Simmons, Regional General Manager UK, the British sales face of the airline.  He takes up a position with another yet to be named British-based travel organisation in October.

In a statement the airline said: “EasyJet can confirm that Paul Simmons, Director UK Market, has decided to leave the airline in order to take up a lead commercial role in another UK travel company.

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Uniform revamp for easyJet

Passengers of easyJet will be greeted onboard this autumn by cabin crew in stylish new attire created by designer Jeff Banks and his team of corporate wear specialists.
 
A choice of six new pieces has been added for the airline’s 4,000 plus cabin crew to choose from, in addition to the current uniform worn onboard easyJet’s 1,300+ daily flights serving over 30 countries after a comprehensive design, trial and production period of six months.  It is the first time since 2007 that easyJet has updated its cabin crew uniform.

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ON TOUR: Royal Clipper and Monaco

Our story last week (BTN Cruise News – Monaco Grand Prix) seems to have aroused great interest from readers who would like to pretend to be a billionaire for the day, sail into the Principality on one of the world's largest sailing ships, and in real style watch what is arguably the outstanding motor race of the season.  All for what is really a relatively modest amount (inclusive prices for a 10-night holiday start at £2,559).

Star Clipper has now issued a list of answers to some of the questions raised about their wonderful three-ship fleet.

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AND FINALLY: Spoilt for choice

A close friend is cursing the low-cost airlines who fly to the same destination from most London airports.

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A380 at Stansted for the first time

Last week British Airways brought an A380 into London’s Stansted airport for the first time.  It was part of a training programme to familiarise both the aircrew and the ground handling staff with the mighty Airbus.

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DC3 says goodbye

It was bad news followed by good news by Air Atlantique – Classic Air Force last week. 

Douglas DC-3 G-AMRA departed Coventry Airport for Berlin Schönefeld, closing a famous chapter in the history of the West Midlands airport.  The plane's new owner is Air Service Berlin who plan to keep it flying as a permanent memorial to the 1948 Berlin Air Lift in which the DC3 played a significant role. 

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Dubai numbers

Dubai International’s passenger traffic hit 32.6m in the first half of this year, making it the busiest six months in the airport’s history.  It is believed that about 80% of the numbers were in transit.  The average monthly figure recorded January – June stood at 5.44m compared to 4.65m during the corresponding period in 2012.

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Fastjet to Johannesburg

Claimed to be Africa’s first ‘low-cost’ airline, fastjet is to introduce its much heralded flights between Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Johannesburg (South Africa) on 27 September.  Initially this will be three times weekly operated by an Airbus A320.  Tickets have already gone on sale.

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Heathrow charges

The row continues on what Heathrow Airport charges airlines, which means in effect how much does the passenger pay.

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Hotel Indigo in Paris

Paris is set to welcome a Hotel Indigo next year.  Currently trading as Hôtel Édouard VII, the 57-room property is located just a few steps from Opera Garnier and the InterContinental Paris Le Grand.

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Virgin films

It may have closed down in 2002 but in a sense Virgin Cinema is still with us.

If you are flying on Virgin Atlantic the airline has introduced a web-based film preview showing what is available with its in-flight entertainment kit in all classes, the August edition now being available on-line.  The idea is when checking in at home or the office, or just having a think about your flight, you can settle down, on the ground and take a quick glance to consider your choices.  Called ‘Vera’ it is a touch-screen system.

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