28 APRIL 2014


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

ANA’s new uniform

Cabin attendants and customer service staff at ANA, Japan’s largest airline, are to gain new uniforms for next winter described by the carrier as “a visual expression of the airline’s continued global focus and reinvention strategy”.

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CityJet at Cambridge

Dublin-based CityJet is to introduce flights from Cambridge Airport to Amsterdam and Dublin on 12 May. The Fokker 50 service will operate twice daily Monday-Friday, with a single rotation Saturday morning and Sunday evening.

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Dreamliner and Thomson

Thomson Airways, the first UK operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will operate its four aircraft on all long haul routes from winter 2014.

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Flybe at London City

Whilst very creditable sources had indicated that Flybe was seriously looking at RAF Northolt in west London as a new gateway to the capital, the airline has surprisingly signed a five-year contract with London City Airport.

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Langham resort Dubai

Nearing completion by this time next year will be the Langham resort in Dubai, located on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah. This 323-room property marks a double landmark "firsts" for the Hong Kong-based hotel company: it is the group's first foray into the Middle East and the first resort in its global collection.

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Russia allows foreign pilots

With a serious shortage of civil airline pilots as passenger numbers grow President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that allows Russian airlines to hire foreign pilots.

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SITA IT summit

The technocrats of the airlines, and many of the bosses, will again gather 17-19 June at Dolce La Hulpe, Brussels, for the annual SITA IT summit. The key trends and technologies in the airline business will be discussed. The exhibition area includes many of the most important companies supplying the back-up to international air travel.

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Virgin Atlantic financials

Now in partnership with Delta, Virgin Atlantic says that annual loss narrowed by 50% in 2013, putting it on track to return to profitability by the end of this year.

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AND FINALLY: Just what is this?

Who is it throwing aircraft around? Any ideas as to what this picture symbolises?

This weird piece of artwork appeared in the latest IATA press release concerning its quarterly statement regarding business (See IATA business report).  As Director General Tony Tyler comes from Hong Kong it might be something to do with rugby sevens, played in the Chinese Special Administrative Region, or perhaps an acknowledgement to American Football.  Answers please by email to the Editor malcolm@ginsberg.co.uk

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COMMENT: Did he jump or was he pushed?

Did he jump or was he pushed? In the case of David Moyes at Manchester United it was obvious. The proprietors wanted him out. He was said to have arrived at the Club’s training ground at 04:30 last Tuesday morning and by 08:30 was gone.

Moyes did not achieve what was expected of him in the eyes of the owners. The Holy Grail, whether it be the European Championship, Premiership or FA Cup, had for this season eluded the former Rangers fan.

At Heathrow, for CEO Colin Matthews, the obvious question must be asked. Did he jump or was he pushed? Here the clues are different. Mr Matthews has announced he is going, but not for some months. He has lost the battle over airport charges which would not have pleased the investors. Even more important he seems to be on the back foot regarding the Airport Commission. Gatwick is in the ascendency with an aggressive campaign.

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Etihad and Alitalia

Whilst there is still no firm news on the potential investment by Etihad Airways into Alitalia the project is far from dead with a go-ahead possible at any time.

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Hilton Vienna Plaza news

The Hilton Vienna Plaza will close on 6 June for a €20m modernisation scheduled for completion in September 2014.

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Queen to open Heathrow T2

It has been confirmed that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will officially open Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 on Monday 23 June. 

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Ryanair update

The new ‘customer friendly’ Ryanair continues to make progress and has introduced a redesigned website which is definitely far easier to use. It might easily win some awards.

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Stobart Air restructures

Dublin-based Stobart Air, formerly Aer Arann, has announced appointments to its Board and executive team.

Sean Brogan, becomes Chairman, Stobart Air, following a period as Interim Chief Executive. This includes a successful restructuring; 10-year agreement with Aer Lingus; 55% increase in passengers; new aircraft fleet; and a second franchise partner, Flybe.

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ON TOUR – The Queen’s Terminal

Slipstream by Richard Wilson RASlipstream by Richard Wilson RAThe new T2 Queen’s Terminal at Heathrow is rapidly approaching its opening date, set for 2 June. On that Monday United Airlines will make the inaugural arrival, the UA958 05:55 from Chicago and the first departure to New York Newark, the UA923 at 08:40.

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Doha to finally open

After a series of delays, Qatar’s new state-of-the-art international airport is expected to begin passenger operations at the end of this month. A spokesman for the existing Doha International Airport (DIA) has confirmed the move but to date no official statement has been issued.

Described as a ‘soft opening’ 10 budget carriers have been issued the following notice from Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority.

“Kindly be advised with effect from 11am onwards on 30th April 2014 all your flights in Doha will be landing at the new Hamad International Airport.”

The carriers affected are: Air Arabia, Air India Express, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Fly Dubai, Iran Air, Nepal Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Syrian Airlines and Yemenia Yemen Airlines. With the IATA AGM set for Doha in early June (see in this issue) it is clear that the Qatari authorities will want to showcase the new operation at that time.

The new airport is built mainly on reclaimed land and takes aircraft away from Doha City. Work started in 2005 but rather like Berlin Brandenburg ever changing security, technical and construction regulations have caused one delay after another. www.ndiaproject.com

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Flat-beds and Delta

Delta Airlines has become the only US carrier to offer direct-aisle flat-bed seat access on all widebody overseas flights. The Atlanta-based carrier has completed the installation of the new seats in BusinessElite across its entire international widebody fleet.

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IATA Business Report

With its AGM scheduled for Doha 1-3 June (see also Hamed International in this issue) IATA has issued a statement saying that airline profit expectations remain strong and broadly in line with levels seen over the past year.

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Regus offices in Gaborone

London Stock Exchange listed office accommodation company Regus has opened a new facility in Gaborone, capital of Botswana. It is the 101st country in which Regus has a presence and will help companies of all sizes to explore a nation expected to achieve real GDP growth of around 5.5% in 2014.

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Scottish airport controversy

The Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport has condemned the Scottish Government's decision to take the loss-making Prestwick Airport into public ownership.

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United Airlines at T2

With the imminent opening of Heathrow’s new T2 (see ON TOUR) United Airlines has previewed two new lounges for premium customers – the United Global First Lounge and the United Club.

United will be the first airline to operate from Terminal 2, bringing its Heathrow flights – currently split between Terminals 1 and 4 – “under one roof.”

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