7 DECEMBER 2015

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Alaska joins Premium trend

Priority boarding and 3in-4in more legroom compared with a standard Economy seat are being promised by Alaska Airlines when it rolls-out a Premium Class section beginning next year.

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Big expansion for Yotel

Plans for 12 new hotels by 2018, including some in the UK, have been announced by high-tech hotel chain Yotel. The company says it is out to grow its bed-stock by more than two and a half times in two years.

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New tie-up for MH and EK

Malaysia Airlines and Emirates are expanding their existing interline agreement to a reciprocal codeshare partnership.

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Terminal 4 double for IHG

Heathrow is preparing to welcome two new adjoining hotels in 2018 in the shape of the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express Terminal 4.  Both brands are part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: John Spooner speaks up for the regions

John Spooner is chairman of RABA and managing director of Airport Direction Ltd, a specialist consultancy.  He was formerly MD of both East Midlands and Manchester Airport.  He is also a keen private pilot having won both the King's Cup and Schneider Trophy air races.

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BA adopts Brighton tower

The world's tallest moving observation tower, currently being built on Brighton seafront, has been named British Airways i360.

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Hampton heads for Stansted

Hilton Worldwide has signed a franchise agreement to bring its largest Hampton by Hilton branded property to date to Stansted, the UK’s fourth-largest and fastest-growing airport.

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Minister hails Newquay routes

Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill has welcomed new domestic routes that will start next spring from Newquay and Exeter airports to Leeds Bradford and Norwich.

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More A321s for THY

Another 20 Airbus A321neo (new engine option) jets are on their way to Turkish Airlines after the company firmed up its commitment to purchase them on top of the 72 it already had on order.

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Qantas under fire over China

A row over the national carrier, Qantas (QF), has broken out in Australia after XiamenAir became the latest Chinese airline to begin service to Sydney and the fifth overall.

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Ryanair case goes on

Legal action by Ryanair against the online travel agent (OTA) eDreams and Google is going ahead despite eDreams amending the wording on its website last week.

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Spring in 4.2bn A320 order

Surging demand for air travel in China has brought an order from Shanghai-based Spring Airlines for 60 Airbus A320neo (new engine option) family jets, worth US$6.3bn (£4.2bn).

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Top award for ANZ

Aviation website airlineratings.com has named Air New Zealand as the world’s best airline for the third consecutive year.

Judges praised ANZ’s continuous passenger innovations, environmental commitment, record-breaking financial performance, operational safety and staff motivation. The carrier also took the honours for best Premium Economy Class and best Economy Class.

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Webinar deadline

Readers interested in the regular webinar programme from aviation industry news and data website FlightGlobal may just be in time to sign up for the latest session, which takes place tomorrow (Tuesday 8 December), starting at 15:00 GMT.

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ON TOUR: Canary Island Classic Cruise

There cannot be many who can claim to have docked in the largest ship on the harbour of Monte Carlo, bigger than Azzam (590ft) owned by Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyanlarger, president of the UAE, much larger than Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse (530ft), and all the British Sunseeker's huddling around the waterfront

Our ‘super yacht’, all 60,000 tons of her, likewise boasts an emergency helipad, mini-hospital, casino, extensive spa and the finest of eateries.  It probably scores on the live entertainment offered, and with five laps to the mile joggers will not get that giddy.

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CRUISE NEWS DECEMBER 2015

This month’s cruise news (and  ON TOUR) is essentially about Crystal and Crystal Serenity in particular but we could not resist an honourable mention for P&O Australia who made history on 25 November when it simultaneously christened two new ships via social media and held its first five-ship parade in Sydney Harbour.

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AND FINALLY: Upgrade for an elderly lady

As this is a cruise issue we could not pass by the story of an elderly lady who always booked an inside cabin (not on Crystal we might hasten to add – its two ships do not have interior staterooms).

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A350 XWB joins TAM fleet

São Paulo-based TAM Airlines’ first A350 XWB has successfully taken off from Toulouse International Airport in France. The aircraft now progresses to the final production phase which includes further ground checks and flight tests, before delivery to TAM Airlines this month.

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Bidders line up for 2bn LCY

Five main bidders for London City Airport (LCY) have emerged after last week’s deadline for interested parties to register. The airport was put up for sale earlier this year by the present owner, Global Infrastructure Partners of the US, and is thought to be worth up to £2bn.

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Kempinski adds new palace

The San Clemente Palace Hotel in the Venice Lagoon has joined the Kempinski family following a management agreement with hotel owner Permak Investments.

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New luxury hotel for Vientiane

The Bangkok-based Akaryn hotel group is launching a new luxury property in the centre of Vientiane, the capital of Laos, in March.

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Revived TAP looks to future

In another big order for Airbus, flag carrier TAP Portugal has signed a firm order for 53 wide-body and single-aisle aircraft, worth US$8.6bn (£5.7bn) at list prices.

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Stansted in new airline bid

At least one full-service or legacy carrier will join the roster of airlines serving Stansted next year as shortage of runway capacity in the south-east begins to bite, according to the airport’s owner.

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Transavia plans Munich base

Air France-KLM subsidiary Transavia is to set up a base at Munich airport as part of plans to compete with budget rivals Ryanair, easyJet and the Lufthansa airline Eurowings.

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