9 MARCH 2015

YOUR WORDS


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Doncaster to New York

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, has added another UK destination to its growing network, with the announcement that the airline will offer flights between Dublin Airport and Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield from 29 May next.

The latest addition to the network means the airline now serves 14 key destinations across the UK from Ireland.

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Manston Airport

The Government will appoint a consultant to undertake a review of the process so far on decisions about the future of Manston Airport, Transport Minister John Hayes has announced.  The Kent airport closed on 15 May 2014 and Thanet District Council has subsequently been seeking a deal to secure its future.

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Nine A380 departures a day for Emirates

For the first three weeks of April Emirates will operate an astonishing nine outbound A380 services daily from the UK to Dubai, offering just under 7,000 seats.  Due to heavy bookings the Gatwick service, presently a single A380 and two 777 flights, Emirates will swap the Boeing twin for an the Airbus giant druring the period, that is 1-21 April.

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COMMENT: Arise Sir Tony ?

Business Travel News  is a publication aimed at the regular traveller and his supplier.  We also feature on a monthly basis two leisure items, motoring and cruising. 

This week is in fact the  motoring edition  and on Tuesday (10 March) Her Majesty the Queen will name the largest ship ever built dedicated to the UK holiday market. 

We feel justified in highlighting the event in this week’s BTN, especially as there are historical overtones, which can be paralleled with the forthcoming General Election.

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Airbus and Iberia

Iberia's continuing financial improvement seems to be the reason for an agreement with Airbus for the early delivery of the A330-200s the airline ordered last year.  These will now join the long haul fleet 14 months earlier than initially planned, between December 2015, and November 2016.

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Aer Lingus Ryanair update

Ryanair wants details of IAG's plans for Aer Lingus, including possible remedies to competition concerns, before it decides whether to accept IAG's offer for its 30% stake.  British Airways owner has the backing of the Aer Lingus board.  The Irish Government which holds a 25% interest has still to make a decision.

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Al Baker at ITB

Always a high profile visitor to the annual German travel trade show ITB at Berlin, the world’s largest gathering of its type, Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, was as newsworthy as ever speaking to the press last week.

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Ask Boris

The prospective Tory candidate for the ‘safe’ Tory Heathrow seat of Uxbridge, Boris Johnson, has been speaking out on LBC regarding the Airport Commission.

Mr Johnson's planned hub airport in the Thames Estuary is dead in the water but the Mayor insists none of the other options will help solve London's airport capacity crisis.

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Cardiff Secures Flybe

Flybe is to open a new base at Cardiff Airport.  The airline will serve 11 destinations in the UK and Europe this summer and base two of its Embraer 195 aircraft at the airport.  One of these 118-seat aircraft will arrive in June and the second in September.

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Forty-five million Stansted

Stansted Airport has unveiled ideas to double capacity to 45m annual passengers. 

Called the Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) it sets out how the airport will be developed over the next 10-15 years to make use of the existing single runway within the agreed noise and air quality limits and the existing boundary.

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Norwegian strikes

Another 24-hour strike by pilots last week forced Norwegian to ground flights across much of Scandinavia affecting more than 35,000 passengers.  The low-cost carrier cancelled all domestic and regional services in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

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Prestwick Spaceport?

Under-utilized and now owned by the Scottish Government, Prestwick Airport has put in a bid to become the British centre for space activities. 

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ON TOUR: Aero India

Alan Lathan was for many years the face of Jeppesen, the vital pilot’s guide, at the regular air shows such as Farnborough, Le Bourget, Dubai and Singapore from 1976 to 1996.  After 43 years with the company Alan retired in 2008 and is now part of the back room team at Business Travel News.
 
Alan recently visited Bangalore for the first time in 14 years, not expressly to report on the bi-annual air show “Aero India”, although a visit was on the cards.
 
Here is what he has to say.  He took the pictures too.

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Motoring Update: GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

Last week was the annual Geneva Motor Show, and established as the European motoring event of the year.  Move over Frankfurt and Paris, now in alternative years, with the rest just sales occasions and not the place for manufacturers to unveil their latest and greatest. 

Geneva combines the ridiculous (concept cars that will never see the light of day), pre-production prototypes that usually make it next time around, and cars now on sale to the general public.  The Jaguar XE epitomises this scheme of things, the public world-wide finally able to buy Coventry’s entry into a market dominated by the Audi 4 series, BMW 3 series, and Mercedes C class, the XE in its development stages tantalisingly at previous shows.

Your Editor was many years ago Lotus Cars PR Manager and further on details what he believes could be the best Lotus yet, the Evora 400, of course revealed at Geneva.

And at the Show 

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AND FINALLY: Its UK election time

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill could not resist a dig at the Scottish Nationalist Party last week at the Airport Operators Association annual Grosvenor House dinner.

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A380 and Malaysia Airlines

Will Malaysia Airlines become the first airline to dispose of its Airbus A380s?  Would Turkish Airlines take the six-strong fleet on?

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APD and the airports

Responding to the Government’s announcement that it will be launching a review and discussion paper to consider potential options to support airports affected by the devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD), Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association representing UK airports, said:

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Chinese market

InterContinental Hotels Group has partnered with Oxford Economics to publish one of the most comprehensive studies into the Chinese travel market ever undertaken.

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Heathrow and Delta

Delta Air Lines (DL) has confirmed the introduction of a daily Heathrow two-class Boeing 757 to Philadelphia from 27 April.  It competes both with British Airways and US Air and uses T4.  Besides the home of the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia is free from local purchase tax.  

Also in T4 this summer are Delta services to Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis/St Paul.

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Marylebone Hotel London

London’s Marylebone Hotel has unveiled three 'London' suites featuring huge terraces with retractable roofs and luxurious interiors. 

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Singapore for Oman Air

Long successful with its Muscat to Bangkok operation Oman Air will launch services to Singapore and Goa from the 29 March and to Dhaka from August.

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The disabled and Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport, in conjunction with Clos-o-Mat and campaigner Tony Clough, has launched brand new Changing Places disabled toilet facilities in each of its three terminals. 

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The Sunday Times & Norwegian Air

Whilst struggling from a series of strikes (see in this issue ), the essentially Oslo based carrier Norwegian Air is pushing ahead with plans to acquire a British Air Operators Certificate (AOC) according to the Sunday Times.  By establishing a small office in Dublin it has come inside the EU of which Norway is not a member but has certain trading rights including air transport.

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Virgin Trains East Coast launched

With little fanfare Virgin Trains East Coast launched its branded product from Kings Cross to Edinburgh on 1 March.  It had been awarded the contract last November, taking over from the government-owned, and much praised, Intercity East Coast, itself created by the failure of the National Express railway subsidiary.

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