6 OCTOBER 2014
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Two European airports and a number of budget airlines have been ordered by EU regulators to pay back millions of euros in illegal subsidies. The European Commission also warned Belgium that it may be giving unauthorised subsidies to Brussels Airlines.
The Commission's rulings come amid a series of investigations into deals granted by regional authorities to attract budget airlines to secondary European airports.
Daily flights from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Dublin are to stop on 25 October. The services started in May but according to passenger reports never attracted significant numbers.
The Canary Wharf complex, always a high priority with British Airways, London City Airport just four miles away, is now being targeted by Delta Air Lines. On 26 October the Atlanta-based carrier is introducing a daily Heathrow – Los Angeles service in conjunction with partner Virgin Atlantic, competing against Air New Zealand, American, BA and United.
A Ryanair flight attendant has been jailed after being found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of smuggling cigarettes into the UK. Terence Steele (57) of Croxteth, Liverpool, was sentenced to 12 months jail suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 120 hours community work. Said to be the ringleader of a gang, Dennis Connolly (43) received a 21 month sentence. Connolly now faces a confiscation hearing under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Connolly booked 131 smuggling trips for himself and others using discounted employee travel privileges.
The children are taxed too!
Amsterdam from Toronto is to become a year-round service as Air Canada expands its international network. It also flies to Brussels with both services using a 214-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 24 International Business Class pods, featuring fully lie-flat seats. Additions to the summer network also include new Air Canada ‘rouge’ seasonal service from Montreal to Venice and between Vancouver and Osaka.
These days the European regional airline industry is all about bigger aircraft; Embraer’s E class; Bombardier CSeries; Mitsubishi MRJ, Sukhoi/Alenia’s SuperJet and for the future, a likely 90-seat turboprop. Montreal or Toulouse?
Qantas has upgraded to an Airbus A380 on its six times per week daily Sydney – Dallas/Fort Worth service. It is the world’s longest route on a millage basis (8,574 miles/13,800km) 14hrs 50mins eastbound and 30mins more in the other direction.
The innovative Google Glass technology is to be trialled by Edinburgh Airport. Google Glass is a type of wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It works by displaying digital information in a hands-free format, similar to what you would find on a smartphone. Those wearing a pair of Google glasses are able to communicate via the internet using voice commands and take pictures just by winking.
The doctor and dentist now send out email/text reminders to ensure you do not miss an appointment. The home delivery people warn that the goods are on their way. Airlines remind us to make sure that one has checked-in on-line.
The latest innovation comes with a parking booking.
Under its ‘Great Getaway’ banner Gatwick Airport has got into the act. It has joined the ‘early warning club’.
On Tuesday 11 November Luton Airport will be holding its third Meet the Buyer event.
The Polish city of Lodz (pronounced Woodge, rhyming with huge) did not exist before 1800, or at the best was a tiny village. By 1939 its inhabitants numbered 750,000, of which one third were of Jewish extraction. The Nazis arrived and a ghetto was quickly established. In August 1944, with the war on the way to being lost, Nazi Germany used its considerable organising abilities to move at least 150,000 people to Auschwitz and their death.
It is a great place to visit whether your interest is history, (cheap) shopping, or a very busy night life. Everyone is friendly and seems to speak a smattering of English. Prices for the most part are half that of London. Bed and breakfast at the virtually 5-star andel’s Hotel Lodz at Manufaktura start at just €115.
What is particularly astonishing is that a Jew, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, virtually became the Nazis’ man in the ghetto. He was of the view that if the Jews could be productive to Germany’s war effort they were of value. It can be argued that the Lodz ghetto survived longer because of his efforts, or he was an autocrat looking after himself. It was all in vain, Rumkowski dying in Auschwitz, probably murdered by his own people.
Whilst the big news this month is the publication of the 2015 Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships BTN does spare a thought for David Dingle and his team at Southampton as they waited for the Scottish referendum results to come in. Just a few days earlier Mr Dingle had accompanied Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison to the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone (Italy), for an update on Britannia, P&O’s largest ship when it is introduced to the UK market in March 2015.
Through what has been a very smooth pre-introduction process the Airbus A350-900 XWB, received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 30 September 2014. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification will follow shortly.
A closure notice is up at Blackpool International Airport, locally called Squires Gate. A statement by the airport said if no sale agreement was reached by tomorrow (7 October), flights would only operate for a further week.
The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has put together an exceptional line-up of air industry leaders for its annual conference in November (Paddington Hilton Metropole 10-11 November).
The theme is "Sustainable Airports for a Stronger Economy."
Following the unveiling of its new colour scheme with an Airbus A380 introduction two weeks back at Hamburg (See BTN 29 September), Etihad has now unveiled the lead Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, this time of course at Seattle.
The Good Hotel Guide 2015 Great Britain and Ireland, is published today (6 October), once again co-edited by Adam Raphael and Desmond Balmer.
Last Tuesday (30 September) Lufthansa pilots staged another daytime strike their fifth this year. Some 50 long haul flights to and from Frankfurt had to be cancelled. Readers should check the Lufthansa web site if they are travelling within the next few days as another walkout could take place this week.
Phase one of Stansted Airport’s brand new international departure lounge was officially opened today by Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of M.A.G and Andrew Harrison, Managing Director, Stansted Airport, at a special event to mark the launch of the World Duty Free Group’s new flagship store and entrance into the multi-million pound development.
Gatwick Airport is going regional with a series of events designed to help sway the Airport Commission that it should get the first new runway in the south east. Cornwall was first last week with further presentations planned throughout England, Scotland and Wales.