2 JUNE 2014


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Avis wi-fi

Mobile wi-fi is now available across the model range from Avis Car Rental in the UK and 12 markets in Europe. The cost starts at £8.50 per day.
With mobile wi-fi customers can connect smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other wi-fi enabled devices, five at any one time.  Its compact, portable design means it can be taken out of the car, to the hotel, conference or business meeting – all with uninterrupted connectivity.

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Birmingham Airport extends

The first aircraft has officially departed from Birmingham Airport’s extended runway, carrying passengers heading to Spain.  In future passengers will be able to fly to destinations much further afield thanks to an extra 400 metres of tarmac which has now been licensed by the CAA.

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Caledonian Sleeper

Serco, who manage the Docklands Light Railway on behalf of Transport for London, has won a 15-year contract to run the Caledonian Sleeper train service between London and Scotland.  The train is currently operated by First Group who last week lost the London Thameslink contract. (See BTN26 May)

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Goodwood’s Festival of Speed

For those with long memories, and for a new generation of motor sports fans, the place to be over the long weekend of 26/29 June will be Goodwood.  Rauno Aaltonen is to revive memories of his 1967 Monte Carlo Rally win by taking to the Festival of Speed rally stage in a similar Mini Cooper S to the one in which he claimed that victory; in fact, it is the ex-works car in which he finished seventh in the 1964 event.

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If you are leaving on United Airlines, or meeting a United flight, this is a reminder that from Wednesday you need to go the The Queen's Building, Terminal 2, at Heathrow.

Newsletter readers please note we are transferring from BT to Virgin Media on 7 June.  If it is not smooth we have little doubt each will blame the other.  Please bear with us and hope that the issue goes out seamlessly first thing Monday 9 June.  If you do have a problem please phone us.

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ON THE SOAPBOX - Darren Caplan, Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association

"With UK aviation strengthening, now is the time to argue for positive aviation policy post-2015," so says Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airports Operators Association (AOA), a regular contributor to Business Travel News monthly ON THE SOAPBOX.

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BBC for BA

British Airways will be featured on BBC TV for the next three weeks in a documentary series called “A Very British Airline”.  21:00 BBC2 Monday 2, 9 and 16 June.

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Book early says ‘I love’

The curiously named ‘I Love’ meet and greet parking operation says that it is fully booked for the UK schools half-term now taking place.

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Edinburgh trams start

The much delayed (and very expensive) Edinburgh Tram service has got under way last weekend.  It offers a link between the airport and York Place in the city centre, just past Waverley Station.

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Gatwick Care

The Gatwick Service Centre has launched its Summer of Care campaign with an event for customers to see its newly refurbished service centre. This is the first customer initiative from Gatwick Airport’s official Service Centre, which partnered with Skybreak earlier this year.

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Little and Large – BA style

British Airways has welcomed the two newest members of its fleet to Heathrow, the airline's London hub.

The largest Airbus aircraft in the fleet, the A380 and one of the smallest, the A320, stood nose to nose at the manufacturer’s delivery suite in Toulouse before BA pilots flew them into Heathrow.  The aircraft are part of the airline’s £5bn investment to improve customers' experience in the air and on the ground.

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Mayor Johnson and Sir Howard

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will join the Chairman of the Airports Commission, Sir Howard Davies, at Stratford Old Town Hall on the afternoon of Wednesday 18 June for a Transport for London sponsored event “Shaping a growing London: the place of an airport”.  It is free to attend although spaces are limited and early registration is recommended.

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My Lounge – Gatwick Airport

No.1 Traveller will open My Lounge, a new take on the pre-flight lounging experience, at Gatwick’s North Terminal, in July.  The younger brother of the award-winning No.1 Lounge it will offer the amenities of a traditional lounge, without the formality.  It is sited on the ground floor of the terminal (turn left as you enter) adjoining the existing No 1 Traveller lounge.

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ON TOUR: EBACE – The business jets gather at Geneva

A successful trade show is defined by a) headline grabbing orders / b) new products.  And on the latter, the 14th annual edition of EBACE, the industry’s most popular business aviation gathering, did not disappoint.  There were new brands too, showcasing – Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter and Textron Aviation – the proud new owner of Beechcraft, Cessna – and the Hawker name.  Alison Chambers of Emerald Media reports.

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Queen Mary 2 plus Marco Polo and 'The News’

Prince Philip (93) was the Guest of Honour at Southampton on 9 May for celebrations to honour RMS Queen Mary 2’s 10 years of Cunard service.  He was in sparkling form.

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AND FINALLY: Dodgy timetable

Crane your neck

The Edinburgh tram timetable as seen on the website

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Aircraft tracking

Major airlines are united on the need for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and have not raised cost as a concern, according to Nancy Graham, Director of ICAO's Air Navigation Bureau.  Member countries agreed earlier this month on the need for global tracking, although they did not commit to a binding solution or timeline. 

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Biggin Hill Air Show

The RAF Aerobatic Team ‘The Red Arrows’ will top the bill at Biggin Hill’s inaugural Festival of Flight at the airport on Saturday 14 June.

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Boots at London City

London City Airport now has a Boots the Chemist.  A 27sq m store has opened in the departure lounge just prior to the access to gates 1-10.  If you are transiting the first floor lounge towards gates 21-24 it is the last commercial outlet on the left hand site before you turn right.

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Europe to Jakarta

You can now fly direct between Amsterdam and Jakarta.  Previously services were via Singapore (KLM) or Abu Dhabi (Garuda).  Now the Indonesian airline has introduced a three-class Boeing 777-300ER with a flight time of around 14hrs, one of the world’s longest non-stop services.

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Executive aviation at Silverstone

For 2014 the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition has moved not just its date (usually March) but to a new location – The Wing, Silverstone, Northamptonshire.

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General Aviation ‘Red Tape’ panel reports

Readers may recall that a six-person independent volunteer unpaid panel was instigated by Grant Shapps, a private pilot and Minister without Portfolio last November to strip away unnecessary bureaucracy from General Aviation (GA), essentially flying clubs and private pilots.  It was given six months to report to Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill. 

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Manchester to Charlotte

American Airlines has introduced a daily service from Manchester to Charlotte, North Carolina.  As with the similar Heathrow flights to Charlotte the route will be flown by US Airways, the actual owner of American.

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Norwegian expands at Gatwick

Gatwick is to see further expansion by Norwegian, the Oslo-based airline launching new routes to Warsaw and Berlin on 15 September.  There is no competition from Gatwick to either of the Warsaw airports, but for Berlin (Schönefeld) easyJet flies four times daily to what is a major hub for them.

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Qatar Airways go and no go

What with the official opening of Hamad International Airport in Doha and the introduction of a new service into Edinburgh it has been a busy week for Qatar Airways.  On the negative side (according to flight schedules) Qatar has delayed the introduction of Doha – Heathrow Airbus A380 service until 1 July with departure Doha 07:55 (arrival 13:15) and Heathrow 15:05 (arrival 23:50).  The airline now has six daily services to Doha from London.

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