3 NOVEMBER 2014

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Delta and Virgin route swap starts

Virgin Atlantic has introduced a new flight from Heathrow to Atlanta following a route swap with shareholder Delta Airlines.  Delta takes over one of Virgin’s two Los Angeles daily services and for its part Virgin gains access to Atlanta for the first time.

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Gatwick gains Regus

Regus Express has opened up a new landside facility in the Gatwick South Terminal.  For those familiar with the building it is opposite the Arrivals exit, accessed by a lift, in the basement. 

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London City luggage

While quite rightly London City Airport (LCY) has been celebrating the arrival of Flybe last week (See Flybe arrives at LCY in this issue) AirPortr the luggage concierge company, has in collaboration with British Airways introduced a second initiative at LCY (See BTN 26 May)

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New York to Newcastle

Newcastle’s first scheduled transatlantic non-stop service will start May in 2015 with the introduction of a five times weekly operation to Newark New York.  The flights will be operated by Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

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Radisson Blu hotels in Uganda and Ghana

Carlson Rezidor is to expand its Radisson Blu brands into Uganda and Ghana.  It claims to be the number one hospitality group in Africa with 30 hotels under development.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport

For the November SOAPBOX John Holland-Kaye Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow puts the case for the Airports Commision to give his airport priority in building the next runway for London.

John was appointed CEO of Heathrow Airport with effect from 1 July 2014.  He joined the company as Commercial Director in May 2009.  From November 2012, John was Development Director responsible for delivering the £2.3bn Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, which officially opened on 4 June 2014.   The redistribution of airlines from the old Terminal 1 has been very smooth.

He was previously Divisional CEO with Taylor Wimpey Plc, having held a number of positions including Operations Director of Taylor Woodrow Developments and Commercial Director of Taylor Woodrow Inc.  Prior to that, John was Managing Director, National Sales Division, of Bass Brewers, and has also worked as a strategy consultant with LEK Consulting for a number of high-profile businesses.


Air Capacity and the myth of the 787 Hub-buster

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Business Aviation days

A new arrangement has been forged by the organiser of the annual Business & General Aviation Day (BGAD) under which the one-day exhibition and seminar will alternate annually between Biggin Hill and Cambridge airports.

Dates for the next two years have now been confirmed:

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Dublin to London City heats up

CityJet, the longest established operator on the London City to Dublin air route, increased capacity last week and now has up to nine flights daily including the earliest London departure at 06:45.  The airline operates single class 112-seat Avro RJs on the service.

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Heathrow helpers

It is probably as a result of the successful Olympic hospitality operation where the London airports (and other organisations) provided a warm welcome to visitors.  Heathrow has now introduced the next generation of passenger service – Heathrow Helpers.

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Luton Expands

Eight new destinations have been added in the space of a fortnight by Luton Airport as passenger numbers continue to grow.  The airport recorded an 8.7% increase in September, compared to the same month last year, and is on track for 2014 to be the busiest in its 76-year history.

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Newquay route saved

The vital air linking between Cornwall and London has been saved following the announcement of a four-year funding deal for flights between Newquay and Gatwick airport. 

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Ryanair axes route + legal problems

Londonderry to Birmingham has been quietly axed by Ryanair.  Prospective passengers cannot book after 20 November.  Whilst the airline is keen to promote new destinations and sales it is less keen to tell customers when it drops a route.  An industry trait.

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Stansted expands

As the clocks went back the winter timetables took off at Stansted with Ryanair leading the way with its first ever links to Glasgow International, Edinburgh and Cologne.  Further scheduled destinations joining the airport’s network for this winter include Dundee plus Athens, Larnaca and Prague. 

Passengers have the choice of eight departures a day to Dublin, five to Glasgow, six to Edinburgh, five to Cologne and four to Barcelona which is particularly great news for business passengers.

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ON TOUR: The Scenic Rhine

The Rhine rises in the Swiss canton of Graubünden near the Austrian border and flows for 760 miles through Switzerland forming part of the Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then forming the Franco-German border before entering the North Sea in the Netherlands.  It is the second longest river in Western Europe after the Danube.

In 21st century terms it is a motorway on water carrying essential commercial traffic, and leisure ships.  Passage is not always on the river itself, man-made locks and canals assisting what nature has created.

Your editor has travelled the Rhine before, east from Amsterdam to Koblenz (see BTN 5 May - Cologne) but this time around it was the full package, Scenic Cruises Basel to the Dutch capital, seven nights. 

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CRUISE NEWS: NOVEMBER 2014

In this month’s BTN cruise review we look at two river cruise companies, both expansion minded.  For the largest European operator, Viking, it means going the whole hog and introducing three brand new seagoing ships.  With Australian-owned Scenic it is by developing a slightly less up-market brand aimed at a younger people, Emerald, which was launched earlier this year (See BTN 5 May

We introduce Viking Ocean Cruises and for Scenic familiarise ourselves with the attractive Scenic Ruby. 

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AND FINALLY: A maiden voyage

We know this is the cruising issue but the AND FINALLY is not what you think!

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British Airways and Kidzania

Children and parents arriving at KidZania London at Westfield (Shepherd’s Bush) could be forgiven for thinking they have taken a wrong turn on the way and ended up at Heathrow, as British Airways is confirmed as the airline Industry Partner for KidZania London, the UK’s first educational entertainment experience – due to open in early 2015.

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Etihad at WTM

World Travel Market (See BTN 27 October) will see Etihad Airways mounting one of the largest ever displays by an airline at a London exhibiion.  The Abu Dhabi-based carried is showcasing many of the passenger cabin experiences available on its new A380 aircraft, which will enter service on 27 December 2014 from Heathrow.

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Hilton for Myanmar

Myanmar, once known as Burma, now has a Hilton at Nay Pyi Taw in the national capital.  The property opened last week.  Situated 200 miles north of Yangong (formerly Rangoon), Nay Pyi Taw has been the capital of Myanmar since 2005.

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Marriott goes wi-fi

One of the few major hotel groups still charging for wi-fi, Marriott International has  announced plans to provide free wi-fi to all 47 million members of Marriott Rewards, the company’s loyalty programme, with the proviso that they book directly.  Beginning 15January 2015, this benefit will be available across more than 3,800 hotels in the company’s extensive lodging portfolio worldwide.

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OíLeary stays

Controversial and sometimes uncouth, Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, has committed to remain with the Irish budget carrier until September 2019.  He had previously spoken of a departure “within the next couple of years”. 

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Safety and NZís hobbit

Air New Zealand has finally released its new ‘Hobbit’ safety video which we previewed back in August (BTN 11 August) ahead of the December release of the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies.

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Southend to Switzerland

SkyWork Airlines, the small independent Swiss airline, has moved its service to Bern, the capital, from London City to Southend Airport. 

The twice daily flights (Monday to Friday with a single return operation both Saturday and Sunday) are timed to offer business people a full day at either end with the return in the evening. 

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VLM + Russian jet

CityJet’s regional wet-lease and charter subsidiary VLM Airlines is to be acquired by its management team, just months after its parent company was sold by Air France to Germany’s Intro Aviation.

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WOW to the US

Two Icelandic carriers will be flying to the United States from Keflavik International Airport next year, the established Icelandair, and a relative newcomer WOW. 

The budget carrier began services in 2011 and operates mainly between Reykjavik and short haul European destinations such as London and Copenhagen.

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