12 MAY 2014

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Comfort Inn Westminster

For those considering budget priced business and leisure accommodation near Victoria Station the Central House Hotel in Belgrave Road has re-branded as The Comfort Inn Westminster. 

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easyJet drones

Prospective easyJet passengers should not get worried if they read in national newspapers, or see on TV, that easyJet is developing drones.  The pilotless aircraft in question will be used to scan and assess easyJet planes and report damage back to engineers.  The project is being developed by a team that includes experts from the University of Bristol.

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Farnborough tickets on sale

Trade tickets for the Farnborough International Air Show 14-18 July are now on sale priced at £31.50 per day.

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Flybe winter

The Flybe 2014/2015 winter programme is now on the web for direct sales and through various outlets.  The airline operates over 180 routes to 65 European airports, and is Europe's largest regional airline, carrying over 7m during 2013.

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Stansted long haul

Thomas Cook Airlines will operate flights from Stansted to Cancun, Las Vegas and Orlando, summer 2015, becoming the only airline to offer a long haul programme from the airport.  Whist these are leisure routes the very competitive nature of the fares as against services from Gatiwck and Heathrow will attract business passengers.

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ON THE SOAPBOX - Shannon Hyland, President and CEO of Radius Travel

Shannon Hyland is the President and CEO of Radius Travel, the global travel management company that operates through a network of best-in-market agencies across 80 countries, managing more than £13.7bn in annual corporate travel spend.  Shannon previously served as CFO of Radius Travel and prior to that held CFO positions with Groople, Mark Travel Corporation and Cendant’s Galileo Americas.

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Congestion charge for Heathrow?

Heathrow Airport will say to the Airports Commission this month that there may be a case for introducing what it terms is a “congestion charge” for people travelling to the airport once improvements in public transport have been delivered.

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Etihad's first A380 and B787 destinations

London has been announced as the initial route for Etihad Airways first Airbus A380.  Plans call for the aircraft to be introduced on one of the airlines three daily flights from December this year.  A second A380 will join it on the routes in early 2015.  By the end of 2015, Etihad Airways will have five of the type in operation, with plans to also introduce A380 operations to both Sydney and New York JFK.

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Heathrow CEO appointed

As previewed in last week’s  BTN,  Heathrow Airport Ltd has quickly named a new Chief Executive following the surprise resignation of Colin Matthews.  From 1 July 2014, John Holland-Kaye, currently Heathrow’s Development Director, will become the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

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Irish hub

Dublin Airport is becoming a significant hub for international transfer traffic, according to Kevin Toland, Chief Executive, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA). (Also see Air Canada rouge in this issue)

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Luton go-ahead

The new owners of Luton Airport, Ardian and Aena, have been granted planning consent by the Department for Communities and Local Government for expansion.

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Terminal 2 build up

Ahead of the opening of its new Terminal 2 next month, Heathrow Airport is continuing to warm up the public, and the airlines too, on what to expect in terms of facilities when they make their initial visit.

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ON TOUR: Brazil for the brave

John Burke is an old South American hand whose reports from Brazil have been syndicated worldwide by The Observer Foreign News Service. This is well worth reading if you plan to visit the biggest Portuguese speaking country in the World for the World Cup, or taking holiday at another time.  And if not going hopefully the piece will get you in the football mood

As a bonus we have added some words by Norman Bartlett, former President of the Chartered Institute of Journalists on the use of buses in Brazil.  Interesting reading.

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MOTORING UPDATE

On Test with Ted Wilkinson of The Guild of Motoring Writers

Lexus IS 300h F Sport

Fuel Sipper With Performance…and Class!

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AND FINALLY: New Airbus unveiled

The airlines are not queuing up to order but this new Airbus, which has made its maiden flight, is creating great interest. 

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Air Canada rouge Dublin

Rouge, the Air Canada ‘leisure’ carrier, has inaugurated its year-round non-stop service from Dublin to Toronto.  Initially it will operate four weekly flights but will increase to daily for the summer peak from 23 June.

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Airports look forward

With a year to go to the UK general election – 7 May 2015 – the Airport Operators Association (AOA) has published its latest position paper on aviation policy.  It makes six key policy recommendations it would like to see adopted by the Government and Opposition parties in their respective manifestos.

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Doha opening

A Qatar Airways A320 flight hosting local dignitaries last week became the first plane to officially land at the newly-opened Hamad International Airport.

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Europcar adds Peugeot

The 2014 European Car of the Year, the Peugeot 308, has been added to the Europcar fleet.  If you are a business traveller and considering new wheels for the family, renting the Peugeot might be one way of trying the car, perhaps for a longer period rather than a short road test.

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Greece bounces back

This summer, Greece will see its airline capacity return to levels not recorded since the summer of 2009, partly driven by Ryanair’s rapid entry strategy, according to OAG, the aviation data specialist.  In May 2014, there will be a total of 4.4m seats available to and from Greece vs 3.8m in 2013 and 4.4m in 2009.

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Jock Bryce 1921-2014

A true link with aviation history has now departed with the passing of Jock Bryce last week.  During his flying career with Vickers, Jock was either Captain or Co-pilot for the first flight of 11 prototypes, the Varsity, the jet powered Nene Viking, the Viscounts 630, 700 and 800, the jet powered Tay Viscount, the Valiant, Pathfinder Valiant B2, Vanguard, VC10 and BAC One-Eleven.

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Manston closes

The onetime “Kent International Airport” and formerly RAF Manston, is to close next Thursday (15 May) as a licensed airport.  It dates from around 1915 and during the Second World War played a significant role as the first refuge for crippled aircraft returning from mainland Europe.

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oneworld adds SriLankan

SriLankan Airlines has officially joined oneworld and so has become the first airline from the Indian sub-continent to be a member of a global airline alliance.

The national airline of Sri Lanka received clearance to board oneworld, after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Cathay Pacific, its sponsoring carrier.

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