15 JUNE 2015

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Edinburgh gains Etihad

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, has launched daily flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond from Edinburgh.  The airline joins Qatar Airways in offering services from the Scottish capital to the Gulf. 

At Glasgow the third major player in the region, Emirates, flies twice daily to Dubai.

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Lufthansa and bookings

In a move that has surprised many the Lufthansa Group (which includes Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings) announced at the IATA Miami gathering (see elsewhere in this issue) that it plans to add a surcharge to tickets purchased anywhere other than its websites, service centres and airport ticket counters beginning on 1 September.

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TAP takeover confirmed

The David Neeleman led consortium, called Gateway, has been confirmed as the winners of the TAP sale by the Portuguese government.  (See BTN 8 June).  The process faced strong opposition from the unions.

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PARIS AIRSHOW WEEK - A REVIEW NEXT MONDAY & DAILY NEWS ON TWITTER

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ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIAL: Airports Commission

Gavin Hayes, Director, Let Britain Fly

Gavin Hayes is Director of Let Britain Fly, the campaign initiated by London First, whose aim is to build cross-party political support for airports expansion in London and the South East. 

Gavin is the former General Secretary of the centre-left campaign group Compass where he devised and directed a number of influential public policy campaigns on issues including short-term credit, consumer energy policy and executive remuneration. Gavin studied at the University of Kent in Canterbury and has a degree in Politics & Government.  See also BTN 2 December 2013  

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Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic + Ryanair

Virgin Atlantic is looking for government help to safeguard competition if IAG buys Irish carrier Aer Lingus, Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, told reporters at last week’s IATA AGM.

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Aviation Club

The London-based Aviation Club of the United Kingdom will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a reception at the House of Lords on Thursday 16 July. 

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CSeries arrives at Paris

With the Paris Air Show starting today (15 June 2015)  Bombardier announced yesterday that its new CSeries regional airliner, making its public debut, was exceeding original targets.  The aircraft was also on track to meet noise performance criteria, making it the quietest commercial jet in production.

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Emirates and Flybe

Exeter-based Flybe is to introduce a codeshare with Emirates allowing regional customers to bypass Heathrow and make the use of the Gulf airlines, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester gateways.

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Heathrow domestic routes

As the three options for a new London runway come to a boil with Sir Howard Davies likely to publish his Airports Commission report any day now Nigel Milton, External Affairs Director at Heathrow, has spoken to  The Independent.

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La Guardia make-over

Most international travellers would never have used New York’s La Guardia Airport, named after a former charismatic Mayor (Kennedy was once called Idlewild in honour of a local land developer – it was quickly changed to Kennedy (JFK) after the death of the President in 1963). La Guardia started life as a seaplane base and last year moved 27m passengers, domestically within the USA, and to and from Canada. 

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Manchester Airport transformation

Said to be the biggest single construction project ever to take place in Greater Manchester, Manchester Airport is to get a dramatic £1bn transformation over the next 10 years, more than doubling the size of Terminal Two with a link to an improved Terminal Three.

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Qatar Airways threat

Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, was in his most charming yet belligerent mood at last week’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) AGM in Miami.  He was seen in conversation with Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), in which Qatar has a stake (Qatar is also a Heathrow Holdings Ltd shareholder). 

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World’s oldest twin jet

Forget about 15 hours non-stop in a Rolls-Royce powered Boeing 777, much of it over water.  Sixty years ago a Gloster Meteor, also a Derby engined twin, would be rushing for home soon after 90 minutes in the air.

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ON TOUR: Teasing the taste buds in Takayama

Our fan of the Far East, and regular contributor, Jane Stanbury, has been to Nagoya, home of Japan's largest port, 212 miles from Tokyo, or 2hrs 28mins by Shinkansen, the bullet train.  Next stop Kyoto and then on to Osaka. Or you can fly direct from Stockholm. 

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AND FINALLY: It’s not over until the fat lady sings

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Dreamliner for Stansted

Thomson Airways welcomed its ninth Boeing 787 Dreamliner into its fleet when it touched down at Stansted Airport.  The non-stop delivery flight from Seattle also marked the launch of new long haul routes from the airport to Mexico’s Caribbean Coast and Orlando-Sanford, Florida for Thomson and First Choice customers in summer 2016.

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Hand luggage rethink

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), has announced a new initiative to optimise the accommodation of carry-on bags.

Working with airline members and aircraft manufacturers, a guideline has been agreed that will make the best use of cabin storage space. It is not mandatory and individual airlines will set their own sizes.

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Laurie Price gains award

A regular contributor to BTN, aviation economist Laurie Price recently received an Air League prestigious Framed Scroll from His Royal Highness Prince Philp at a Reception at St James’s Palace.  (see also Heathrow Domestic Routes in this issue)

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New Twin Otters to the UK

Two brand new versions of a passenger aircraft that first flew 50 years ago (20 May 1965) have arrived in the UK ready for airline service.

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SAS at Stansted

Stansted has received an important boost with the announcement that Scandinavian flag carrier, SAS, will begin reintroduce flights to Gothenburg later this year.  Scheduled to commence on 26 October, Scandinavia’s largest airline is returning to London’s third busiest airport after a 14-year absence.  It will also free up valuable slots at Heathrow.  Twelve flights a week are planned, a double weekdaily service.

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SkyTeam changes

Perry Cantarutti, currently VP Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East and Africa, Delta Air Lines, is to become Chief Executive Officer of SkyTeam on secondment.

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TomTom and connectivity

Electronic mapping provider TomTom has introduced TomTom MyDrive, a website and app designed to seamlessly connect the car to the digital world.

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Tony Tyler stays neutral

Last Monday Tony Tyler, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), broke his silence on the acrimonious subsidy dispute between the three major US carriers and the three largest Gulf airlines, saying during his opening address at the association’s AGM in Miami that IATA did not have a mandate to take a position on the issue.

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