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20 JULY 2015


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Goodwood Revival and aeroplanes

Put the dates in your diary, and book well ahead, if you are into fighter aircraft, and others, from World War II.  The skies over the Sussex Downs will be alive to the roar of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, 11-13 September, as the Goodwood Revival marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. 

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Trouble ahead for Lufthansa

Lufthansa’s pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) – which had agreed to arbitration of all open collective wage agreements in May – said last Monday (6 July) that mediation has failed, raising the possibility of new strike action at the height of the summer travel season.

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COMMENT: Walsh & O’Leary – where next?

With the imminent conclusion of the IAG (for that read British Airways) takeover of Aer Lingus  (See ‘The Final Chapter’ in this issue) where do Michael O’Leary and Willie Walsh stand?  

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A third runway for Munich

Munich airport, Germany's second largest and a key Lufthansa base, has won approval for plans to build a third runway when a federal court rejected the remaining appeals against it.  Whilst a challenge for Heathrow in terms of attracting airlines the news will strengthen the London airport’s case as it tries to persuade the British government to go along with the Airports Commission’s recommendations.

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Aer Lingus & Ryanair - The final chapter

IAG has gained EU approval for its €1.3bn bid for Ireland's Aer Lingus last week after agreeing to improve concessions to ease competition concerns, including giving up five slot pairs at Gatwick.

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Aerodays for the UK

For the first time the UK is to host “Aerodays” the European Commission’s flagship event, the only gathering of its kind bringing together the very latest in research and innovation in aeronautics and air transport. 

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Gatwick fights on

Headed by its Chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, the former Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, London's Gatwick Airport is still battling on with its bid to become the preferred airport in the South East for expansion. 

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Grain Store for Gatwick

Gatwick is to be home to the first offshoot of Chef Bruno Loubet and The Zetter Group’s award-winning Grain Store restaurant in King’s Cross.  It will open autumn 2015.

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Norwegian and long haul

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary (see COMMENT) may well be keeping an eye on Norwegian Air Shuttle as it swung to an operating profit in the second quarter, as its bet on the long haul market turned profitable for the first time.

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O2 for Delta and Virgin

Due to open very shortly is the NY-LON lounge bar at O2.  It is sponsored by partner airlines Delta and Virgin Atlantic who are the official carriers for the Greenwich Peninsula sited complex.   Delta recently announced the continuation of its English Champions, Chelsea Football Club, tie-up and with it the Delta 360° Lounge at Chelsea’s Millennium & Copthorne Hotel (open all week – not only on match days).  The airline has a number of lounges at American sporting venues.

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Vietnam Airlines first 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Vietnam Airlines have celebrated the handover of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner witnessed by Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam. 

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Violeta Bulc meets European airline chiefs

CEOs representing Europe’s five largest airline groups – Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair – have met with EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to discuss her new EU Aviation Strategy.  They carried between them 420m passengers in 2014, half of Europe’s passenger journeys.

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Wizz UK expansion

London Stock Market listed Wizz Air is to introduce Birmingham as its latest UK operation. 

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ON TOUR: The London Meetings Show

John Burke is a travel writer with 40 years of experience attending conferences and visiting congress centres all over the world.

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AND FINALLY: Patrick McLaughlin emailed John Holland-Kaye

“Great news let’s build it,” said the email to Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, and read out at Runways UK by the said gentleman.

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Brisbane gets Air Canada

Air Canada has added Brisbane to its expanding international network from 16 June 2016.

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Castle Hotel Windsor

Heathrow is around 10 miles from the historical town of Windsor, sitting on the Thames and dominated by the Royal Castle. For air travellers it is an attractive stopover less than 30 minutes from any of the terminals.

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Durham Tees Valley Airport

Plans to implement the development of Durham Tees Valley Airport could soon take off, with investment from the parent company of the airport’s majority shareholder, the Peel Group, The Business Desk reports.

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Gibraltar Airport problems

The Gibraltar Government has won the latest round in a long-running legal wrangle to recover the costs of completing a tunnel under the runway of the British Overseas Territory from Spanish civil engineering firm Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL).  At present all road traffic into and out of the enclave has to stop for aircraft movements.

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Hotel tax rates by APH

Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has come up with another of their guides, this latest one highlighting the different hotel tax rates throughout selected European cities.  With Greece almost tripling their room tax from 6.5% to 18%, holiday bills could significantly increase.

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Porter to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is to be the 22nd destination served by Porter Airlines from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.  Flights begin 21 September with up to two daily roundtrips featuring the popular 78-seat Q400 turboprop.

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Virgin Trains East Coast

The first Intercity 125 train wrapped in Virgin Trains East Coast livery has entered service. 

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Wellness Lounge at WTM

World Travel Market 2015 has partnered with a leading spa and wellness specialist to launch a wellness hub.  WTM Wellness Lounge in association with Spafinder Wellness 365 will take place on 4-5 November, highlighting the rapid growth of a sector that is now worth a healthy US$3.4 trillion annually, according to the 2014 Global Spa & Wellness Economy Monitor.

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