7 JULY 2014

YOUR WORDS


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Astana – London Visa free

It was a double celebration for Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s national carrier, on 26 June when Peter Foster, airline President, brought his roadshow to London with a colourful reception for over 200 guests at Hyde Park’s prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

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Delta museum

Business Travel News  has in the past visited Delta Air Lines museum at its Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport headquarters (BTN 16 January 2012). Situated in the company’s original aircraft maintenance facility on the north edge of the world’s busiest airport it was not generally open to the public due to its airside location. During the last few months it has been completely renovated, access problems resolved and is open daily (except Wednesday).

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LAX oneworld lounge

Oneworld has opened a new Business Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport today managed by Qantas.  It is also shared by partner airlines British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

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SITA and flight disruptions

The growth of mobile technology continues to be one of the big stories in the industry. This year’s SITA Airline IT Trends Survey, published at the annual Air Transport Summit, has confirmed that airlines are positive to invest in mobile technologies to better manage flight disruptions. 

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Which airline?

When it comes to the battle of the low-cost airlines Ryanair likes to make out it is the cheapest.  Passengers tumbled that one many years back.  What Ryanair does have is a portfolio of lesser (and cheaper) airports.

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SPECIAL REPORT – Norwegian and Gatwick

The race to the future bumped firmly into déjà vu when Norwegian Air launched its much-heralded low-cost, trans-Atlantic scheduled services from Gatwick last week.  BTN was represented.    This was what our special guest reporter had to say.

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ON THE SOAPBOX:

Daniel Moylan - For the Mayor of London

Daniel Moylan has led the Mayor of London’s work on aviation for over four years, championing the case for constructing a new hub airport to serve London and the UK. He was Deputy Chairman of Transport for London from 2009 to 2012, and sits on the Boards of both Transport for London and Crossrail Ltd.

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Airbus to offer 240-seat A320

In offering what it terms “even more efficiency for airline operators”, Airbus is increasing seating capacity for A320neo (new engine option) and A320ceo (current engine option) jetliners to 189 seats, while also adding 20 more seats for A321neo aircraft to accommodate 240 passengers in a high-density, all-Economy layout.

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Airports Commission

Last week the Airports Commission published two separate consultation documents.
 
Firstly it produced the seventh in a series of discussion papers.  This called for evidence – “Delivery of new runway capacity” – and seeks responses on the issues which the Commission has identified as being of particular interest to the delivery of new runway capacity. The paper explores legal and planning issues surrounding runway capacity; engagement with local communities including compensation and mitigation; and the role of the State.  It is seeking evidenced responses by Friday 15 August.

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Aurigny debuts Embraer 195

In a process that took just nine months, from selection to service introduction – on 3 July – Aurigny entered the jet age with its first Embraer 195 on the Gatwick to Guernsey route.  The Islanders' airline, the States of Guernsey is the owner, has been operating since 1968, and marked the occasion with a hangar party for Guernsey dignitaries, stakeholders, travel trade, regular flyers and media, supported by Embraer, who have assigned a technical representative to the airline for a year to ease the introduction. 

Alison Chambers represented BTN and will be supplementing this report with an ON TOUR soonest.

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BALPA and 'Flags of Convenience'

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has raised concerns regarding airlines operating under 'Flags of Convenience' highlighted by Norwegian Air launching low-fare flights from Gatwick to the US using an airline registered in Dublin.  Norway is not part of the EU and is not part of the airline bilateral between Europe and the US.  (see BTN  Norwegian Special  and  BTN 23 June)

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Boeing’s larger Dreamliner

Air New Zealand (ANZ) has become the first airline to take official delivery of the 787-9, stretched version of Boeing Dreamliner following the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification last month.

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Qatar to DFW

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) is the latest destination for Qatar Airways from Doha (DOH).  The new route increases Qatar’s extensive global network to seven gateways within the United States and 144 destinations worldwide.

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Stansted update

The terminal forecourt for passenger drop at Stansted has re-opened just in time for the summer getaway with the Express Set Down (£2 for up to ten minutes), directly outside the building, also in operation.

New owners MAG have instigated ‘real time’ signage on the airport roads to promote drop off and pick up at the Mid Stay Car Park (free for 1 hour) with its courtesy shuttle.  This is ideal for anyone wanting to escort passengers and not wishing to incur any charge.  Car park availability will also be highlighted.

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ON TOUR: Sardinia - A Mediterranean Jewel

Kristina Foster has been to Sardinia on behalf of Business Travel News.  With a flight time of less than 2hrs 30mins it is Italian with a bit of Spain thrown in. Wonderful.

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CRUISE NEWS JULY 2014

Queen Elizabeth is the star of the July review, but it is the real liner, not the new warship. We review Douglas Ward's “River Cruising in Europe”.  This month's “Cruise Intelligence” follows with some unusual stories.

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AND FINALLY: Your call chief

Since this is a cruise issue the following recently took place in the St Lawrence Seaway.

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Air France private jet service

Taking a leaf out of the Lufthansa book Air France has joined forces with Wijet to offer a range of private jet services connecting with its scheduled flights at Paris Charles de Gaulle.  Lufthansa has for some years offered a similar service out of a number of airports, in conjunction with Netjets.

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Airport security

Airlines with direct flights to the United States have been told to tighten screening of mobile phones and shoes in response to intelligence reports of increased threats from al Qaeda affiliated militant groups.

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Avianca to London

Last Friday (4 July) Colombian airline Avianca became the first carrier to open an entirely new route into the re-established Heathrow T2 with a four times weekly London – Bogotá service.  Now 90 years old Avianca withdrew its UK services back in October 2001.  It has been a member of Star Alliance since 2012.

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British Airways route changes

Aberdeen and Stockholm have been dropped by British Airways from London City Airport (LCY) from the start of the winter season at the end of October. 

This still leaves the airline with a substantial route network from LCY with a fleet of 16 Embraer 170s and 190s.  For the winter the airline is to launch a five times daily Dublin service (in direct competition with CityJet)  and will also increase frequency to Scotland with up to 11 return flights to Edinburgh and eight to Glasgow.

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Mitsubishi Regional Jet

The production of the first Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) has reached a major milestone with the mating of the fuselage and wings of the first flight test aircraft.

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OAG July

Airline data company OAG has released worldwide scheduled capacity for July showing 395m seat availability, an increase of 15.7m, or 4% compared to July 2013.  Flights have risen to 2.9m, a rise of 2% compared to last July.

In spite of an alarming escalation of conflict in the Middle East and problems in Ukraine, the industry has remained resilient. 

Fuel prices have dropped over the last week or so but remain 5.7% above this time last year (according to IATA).

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Scotland and Ryanair

In what might be a devastating blow for Scottish government-owned Prestwick Airport, Ryanair is to switch its Stansted and Dublin services to Glasgow International for the winter season. 

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Turkish passports

In new guidance for foreign passport-holders entering Turkey, passports must be valid for at least 60 days from the date of expiry of a traveller's visa, visa exemption period or residency permit to be able to enter the country before 31 December 2014.

A traveller leaving Turkey on 20 August 2014 for example should hold a passport that is valid until at least 20 October 2014.

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