11 JANUARY 2016

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Duty free and the airports

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has launched a review into airport shops that fail to pass on VAT savings following reports in national newspapers and TV suggesting that some airport airside shops are overcharging travellers, as the media put it, ‘Keeping the VAT’.   See COMMENT 17/8/15 

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Etihad legal appeal

An appeal has been lodged following a German court’s decision over the holiday period to revoke the approval for 29 Etihad codeshare flights with airberlin.

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New business jet

Honda Aircraft has announced starting deliveries of the HondaJet to customers two weeks after obtaining airworthiness certification. The initial deliveries to an undisclosed clients allowed the North Carolina-based manufacturer to meet its goal of handing over aircraft by the year-end.

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For the correct answer to the Christmas quiz please go to http://www.btnews.co.uk/article/9730  It seems to have been as popular as ever. Our thanks to easyJet, The Shard and Crecy Publishing for their support with prizes.  We will announce the results next week.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Andrew Swaffield, Chief Executive Officer, Monarch Group

It is a tradition with BTN that the first ON THE SOAPBOX of the year is given over to a major player in the British travel scene.  For 2016 Andrew Swaffield, chief executive officer, Monarch Group, looks forward on behalf of his company, and also the industry in general where Sharm El-Sheikh is an enigma with no date yet firmed up for a return of UK flights. 

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Airbus is late

First delivery of the Airbus A320neo has been postponed until 2016 because of “documentation issues”. The delay means the neo missed a long-planned delivery target of late 2015.

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Airline Industry awards

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyjet, has been made a Dame in the New Year Honours list for her services to the aviation industry. 

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AirPortr launches at Heathrow

After successful introductions at both  London City  and  Gatwick  airports AirPortr, the bag delivery service, has now opened concierges at Heathrow T5 & T3 with T2 & T4 due shortly.

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ANA and the A380

Rumours that All Nippon Airways (ANA) is about to become an A380 operator could be true.  At the present time some 176 have been delivered out of 317 on order.   No sales in 2015.

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BA takes a knock

The  London Evening Standard  reports that a passenger, Wayne Herbert from North London, is suing British Airways after a rucksack fell out of an overhead bin prior to take-off.  He was immediately deplaned and assessed by a paramedic, but was not taken to hospital. He took a flight the next day.

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Brighton air crash

A report by the AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch) into the Hawker Hunter air crash near Shoreham Airport Brighton on 22 August has caused the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to question the validity of the plane’s Certificate of Air Worthiness.  Eleven spectators and motorists were killed, but the pilot escaped, not by the use of the ejector seat, but being thrown out on impact.

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Epic Oz flight completed

Tracey Curtis-Taylor has completed her epic 13,000 mile three-month journey from Britain to Australia in a restored 1942 Boeing Stearman.  She landed safely at Kingsford Smith International Airport Sydney lunchtime Saturday (9 January) after being allowed to fly over the city's iconic bridge.

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Green fuels failure

The much heralded British Airways scheme to supply fuel for its London City Airport Embraer fleet has been scrapped.

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OAG and punctuality

Luton-based OAG, the air travel data supplier, has been quick to announce the results of the airline/airport punctuality league for 2015.

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ON TOUR: The Alton Towers Resort

With the Christmas holidays behind us now is the time to plan where to take the family for a special outing in the spring.

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CRUISE NEWS: JANUARY 2016

Back in January 2014 BTN Interviewed David Dingle, chief executive of Carnival UK, whose parent company is the owner of P&O, Cunard, Holland America, Princess and Seabourn and in total 10 cruise lines.  Mr Dingle’s responsibilities cover Cunard and P&O.  Was he concerned regarding the arrival of Britannia, due the following year, and a capacity rise of 24% in the British market by P&O?  Clearly not.  No figures are out yet but 2015 may well have been a record year for the cruise market with nearly 19,000 berths added to the worldwide cruise portfolio. P&O UK is staying where it is for 2016 but elsewhere there is a record amount of new capacity. 

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AND FINALLY: Airport is flushed with success

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100m passengers in a year

Hartfield Atlanta has become the first airport in the world to move 100m passengers in a year, 260,000 travellers rushing through each day. It is the home of Delta Airlines and is literally the hub of North America with 85% of passengers domestic. 

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Airport weather problems solved?

With winter proper about to arrive in the northern hemisphere, Weather Services International (WSI), the professional division of The Weather Company, has added a Predictive Airport Analytics element to its Fusion software used by airports around the world.  The analytics product will enable dispatchers and air traffic coordinators to more clearly see and understand forecast impacts of weather and traffic flow on airport taxi times, runway configurations, and airport congestion.

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Aviation Club dates

The highly successful Aviation Club of the United Kingdom kicks off the new year on Wednesday 10 February at its usual Institute of Directors location with Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO, Lufthansa. 

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Brussels rail delay

Our rail expert, Andrew Sharp, ex-International Air Rail Organisation (IARO), reports that the direct rail link between Brussels Airport and the European quarter has been delayed.

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Edwardian Hotels rebranded

It could never be called sensational but Edwardian Group London has been rebranded as the Edwardian Hotels London.  The hospitality group which owns and operates 12 hotels, including The May Fair Hotel in London and Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester in the city’s Free Trade Hall, has also unveiled its new branding and logo.  The rebrand will not impact the existing relationship with Carlson Rezidor and all 11 properties with the Radisson Blu flag will retain them as part of the existing agreement.

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NATS and Heathrow

A project to cut aircraft holding times at Heathrow Airport has been so successful that the trial procedure has now entered permanent operational service.

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Ryanair’s new interiors

The garish yellow is out.  In another upmarket move Ryanair has revealed images of its new Boeing 737-800 interiors, featuring significantly subdued tones when compared to its previous cabin theme.

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Transport in London

While the controversy rages over where the next runway in the South East should be London’s transport infrastructure is changing, particularly with regard to Crossrail and the new Tube line to Battersea where work has now started.  The new train lines will arrive long before Runway 3.

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