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Aer Lingus winter schedule

Winter 2013 will be busy for Aer Lingus as it introduces two new destinations and increases frequencies on 12 routes.

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CSeries update

The long-awaited maiden flight of the Bombardier CSeries aircraft is close.  Named Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) the lead aircraft has successfully obtained Transport Canada's Flight Test Permit, thereby clearing the way for its first lift off, expected in the coming weeks.  This follows a series of pre-flight tests including low-speed taxi runs.  FTV1 will now proceed with high-speed taxi runs whereby the aircraft simulates speeds for flight take-off.

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Jersey gains more easyJet

easyJet is gradually revealing its plans for the 25 pairs of slots it has procured from Flybe effective 30 March 2014.

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Lebanese restaurant for Gatwick

Gatwick passengers will soon be able to sample the delights of Middle Eastern cooking when stylish Lebanese restaurant Comptoir Libanais opens its first airport restaurant in North Terminal later this year.  Menu includes extensive choice of vegetarian and Halal dishes, children’s menu and takeaway options.

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Luanda A330

Iberia’s Madrid – Luanda service is the airline's first route to become totally Airbus A330-300s.  The wide-bodied, long haul aircraft will be used to connect the capital cities of Spain and Angola twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays.  They are 15% more fuel-efficient than the A340s they replace.

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Malang, East Java hotel

Best Western International (BWI) is continuing its rapid expansion across Indonesia with the signing of a new hotel in Malang, East Java, the first international hotel in a town of nearly one million inhabitants.

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Taipei for Emirates

Emirates, based in Dubai (UAE), is to launch non-stop passenger services to Taipei (Taiwan), its 16th destination in the Far East.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Traffic at UK Airports: A tale of two parts


Peter Kenworthy is Aviation Projects Director at Mott MacDonald, the global transport consultancy.  He leads the Forecasting, Airline Strategy & Route Development group of the 50-strong aviation team which includes aviation strategists and traffic forecasters, aviation project finance experts, airport master planners, facilities planners and design engineers.  Prior to joining Mott MacDonald, Peter held senior airline commercial and planning positions in various British airlines.

With the debate on future runway capacity still in full flow, an analysis of traffic from CAA data for the first half of 2013 provides the latest hard evidence for those considering future policy.

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WTTC summit for Tony Blair

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, will address the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Asia Summit in Seoul (Korea), next week (Tuesday/Wednesday 9/10 September).  The timing may be opportune for Mr Blair to comment on how the tourism industry should deal with war threats.  He will reflect on the social and economic contribution of industry as a driver of jobs and economic prosperity.

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2014 Business Travel Show

It may seem a long way off (4-5 February, Earls Court 2) but organisers Centaur are already heavily promoting the 2014 Business Travel Show (BTS), Earls Court's final trade exhibition before its closure.  From 2015 the show will be held at nearby Olympia.

The 20th anniversary event will include two new feature areas – the International Hotel Village and the CSR and Sustainability Business Travel Zone.  These complement the Business Travel Show Conference, Business Travel Technology Showcase, Airline Pavilion, ASAP Pavilion of Serviced Apartment Providers and ITM Village (Institute of Travel & Meetings).  The show is co-located with Travel Technology Europe and Hospitality Technology Europe.

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American Airlines merger

What was clearly thought a ‘done deal’ is far from it.  The proposed merger and effective takeover of American Airlines by US Airways looks like dragging on with serious commercial repercussions for both airlines.  Plans for route consolidation and management changes for the winter season have now been scrapped and even summer 2104 looks suspect.  As reported in BTN 19 August the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit to block the merger.

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British Airways and the A380

BA has been explaining the unique layout it has on its new 12-strong Airbus A380 fleet. 

One aircraft has been delivered with two more due by the end of the year, the fleet not complete until 2015.  See BTN 26 August 

The main deck (lower deck) is laid out at the front with 14 First (1+2+1), 24 Club World Business Class (2+4+2) amidships, and the balance 230 World Traveller Economy (3+4+3).

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Qantas-Emirates partnership working

Australian carrier Qantas looks like it is putting its recent financial woes behind it, swinging back into profit.  Key to this success is the partnership with Emirates which has helped narrow losses at its international operations.

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Ryanair v Aer Lingus - unrelenting

Whilst it tries to live up to its reputation as “The world’s most annoying airline” Ryanair says that it plans to pursue a takeover of Aer Lingus in spite of the UK Competition Commission rejecting the idea last week.  This follows a similar rebuff by the EU six months ago.

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SWISS strengthens Geneva

Yesterday (1 September) Swiss International Air Lines officially introduced a new fare structure at Geneva, an innovative scheme in keeping with competing airlines' marketing strategies. 

It is also expanding its network of non-stop services from the airport to 24 destinations and setting up an operational base.  Both these actions are intended to align the airline’s Geneva-based product even more closely to the needs of customers in Western Switzerland and adjacent French border areas.

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ON TOUR: Sofitel Legend Metropole – Hanoi

As a general rule Business Travel News does not go in for detailed hotel reports.  We leave it for others, usually giving a comment, and making it obvious whether it is worth a recommendation or not.  Jane Stanbury, in her final report in this series, takes in a property that, as she says, is a destination in its own right. See BTN 19 August  29 July  15 July


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New York has been the centre of North American waterborne activity since it was founded as Nieuw Amsterdam in the 17th century.  The Hudson River was the Pilgrim Fathers’ planned destination (they never made it).  Ellis Island is synonymous with European seaborne refugees from 1892 until 1954.  And the Hudson River was the world’s busiest passenger port in the period between the end of the First World War until the arrival of the Boeing 747 in the early 1970s.

Today New York as a port, or more accurately its approach via The Narrows, is making a serious comeback after years of decline.  Our ship report this month is a preview, Quantum of the Seas, 167,000 gross tonnes and 4,000 passengers, which from November 2014 to be based at Port Liberty, in Bayonne, New Jersey. 

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AND FINALLY: Heart attack

Heathrow is safest place in London to have a cardiac arrest!

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Lima Airport hotel

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) continues to increase the Holiday Inn brand’s footprint in Latin America with the signing of the new-build Holiday Inn Lima Airport hotel.  The US$24m hotel will be located adjacent to the city’s Jorge Chavez International Airport.  The property will be managed by the same operator as the established Crowne Plaza Lima, actually in the city.

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Luton Airport charity

Passengers at Luton Airport this summer will have the opportunity to learn more about the work carried out by its charity partner Sue Ryder with a new exhibition on display in the airport’s Gateway Gallery.  The exhibition forms part of the airport’s commitment to support a nominated charity partner through its new Community Engagement Strategy.

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Parking company compares hand baggage allowance

As a result of several airlines, including easyJet and Monarch, changing their fees and regulations relating to hand baggage, holidaymakers are facing even more confusion when packing their luggage.

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Pilot jobs galore

Do you have a son or daughter considering a job as an airline pilot?  The outlook is good.  Boeing projects the commercial aviation industry will need more than one million fresh flight deck crew and technicians to support the expanding demand for new aircraft deliveries over the next two decades.

At an event marking the launch of a 787 flight training campus in Miami, the company released the 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook – a respected industry forecast of aviation personnel.

The Boeing outlook indicates that by 2032 the world will require:

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Thai A380 incident

More than 50 passengers and crew were injured on Friday when a Thai Airways A380 superjumbo hit severe turbulence during a flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong, the carrier said.

One stewardess suffered a broken collarbone, while the other injuries were minor such as bruises, a Thai Airways official who did not want to be named told a local news agency.

About 500 passengers were on board the plane at the time of the incident, which happened as it was preparing to land at Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport.

The official said that the injured – 37 passengers and 15 crew members – were sent to hospital for treatment, with 22 already discharged.

The exact time of the happening in relation to ETA has not been established but this may turn out to be the cause of the high number of injuries.  Airlines do for the most part request passengers to keep their seat belts on in flight “just in case”.  This occasion might just highlight the necessity to ‘belt up’. www.thaiairways.com

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Virgin Delta go-ahead

The last hurdle for the Delta Virgin ra transatlantic partnership seems to have been cleared when last Friday the US Department of Transport published what it calls a “tentative approval” saying “it would benefit passengers by providing stronger competition with existing alliances in the US – Europe market”.  See BTN 1 July 

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