18 JANUARY 2016

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Aircraft deliveries 2015

Airbus beat Boeing in the race for new business last year, swelling its total order book to an astonishing US$1tr, but remained behind on deliveries. 

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Flight delay compensation

A Judge has ruled in favour of passengers in the Reading County Court stating that that lightning strikes are not one of the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that excuse airlines from paying flight delay compensation.  The case is Michael Evans v Monarch Airlines.

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Lufthansa record year

In spite of some serious industrial unrest (strikes) the air carrier’s Lufthansa Group transported 107.7m passengers in 2015, a new record figure.  This was 1.6% more than the previous year with the highest ever load factor, 80.4%.  It corresponds to an increase in capacity utilization of 0.3 percentage points compared to 2014.

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The 2015 Christmas Quiz seems to have been well received in most quarters although we must acknowledge that one most respected man in the industry said it was too hard.  We suggest he stays with his day trade (running an airport).  The real loser, although he did a fantastic job in supplying the images in a very easy form, was the distinguished aviation historian Rod Simpson who captioned that number 18 was a Guerchais Roche T35 (10 built) but our winner called it a T39 (4 built).  The giveaway was the registration, which is on the web F-BBSU.  They look the same. Well done to David Willis whose tie breaker for all correct (‘easyJet gets you there at the right fare’) was the best.  But everyone seems love easyJet.

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COMMENT: 'The Times' and air transport

One known as  'The Thunderer'  and founded in 1785  The Times  has had in general a good relationship with the air transport industry, perhaps less so with the picture desk which occasionally has a mind of its own (The Times sometimes carries images within the newspaper without any story connection, all beyond the reasoning of this simple journalist).

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Airline reveals accounts

Stobart Air, the Aer Lingus Express franchise operator, has reported a loss of €2.6m (£1.9m) for 2014 according to the Carlisle News and Star.  It left the company with accumulated losses of €9.8m (£7.2m) at the year end, up from €7.1m (£5.2m) the year before.

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Barclaycard and business travel

The business travel market is facing an era of unprecedented change and growth led by changing consumer requirements and an improved economic situation, according to a new report from Barclaycard.

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CAA to investigate Edreams & Opodo

Ryanair has welcomed the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) investigation into screenscraping websites, eDreams and Opodo, which, its says continue to mislead consumers by advertising non-existent Ryanair fares

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Four Seasons Trinity Square

Getting ready to welcome guests is the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, once the home of the Port of London Authority, and in 1946 host for the inaugural meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

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Marriott’s Madrid giant

Formerly known as Hotel Auditorium Madrid, the 869-room property is now under the Marriott banner after undergoing an extensive renovation to present a contemporary and welcoming design for both business and leisure travellers.  The face-lift includes a new façade which transforms the hotel’s exterior from day to night. 

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SITA and ‘check-in’

Perth Airport Australia was SITA’s choice to unveil an innovative and flexible new passenger check-in service.  In collaboration with Oz carrier, Virgin Australia, the facility has been launched at the new domestic terminal at the airport and includes the world’s first single hardware common-use hybrid desks that can quickly switch from self-service bag drop mode to full-service traditional counters.  The desk enables the airline to provide varying levels of self-service based on airline and passenger preferences, all from the one common-use platform.

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St Helena Airport update

Work is progressing fast to complete an airport for the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena, a British Overseas Territory, perhaps even better known as the final residence of Napoleon.  Previously the island has only been linked to the African mainland, 1200 miles away by ship.

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Waterfront Conference

Held at the impressive headquarters of Pincent Masons near London’s Liverpool Street station last week’s gathering entitled ‘Transport Led Development in London and the South East’ attracted town planners, investment managers and clearly those with a transport portfolio.  Crossrail, both 1 & 2, both came into discussion but strangely London’s airports did not get a look in, except for a mention of Croydon (closed 1959).

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ON TOUR: Boats, Bathing and Bubbles – Turkey Part 2

Towards the end of last year our regular columnist Jane Stanbury reported on her trip to Dalaman and Kas bordering the Turkish Mediterranean.  “Turkish delight – Enjoying the Light in Lycia”   BTN 16 November.  Jane does not like to sit still and when the opportunity to visit another country for three days she jumped at the chance. 

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MOTORING UPDATE: DS5 prestige Blue HDI

On Test with Ted Wilkinson of The Guild of Motoring Writers

France’s Premium Class Challenger

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AND FINALLY: Confusing airline

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2015 airport figures

The airports have been rushing out with their figures for 2015, virtually every one a record and  Heathrow  leading the way with nearly 75m passengers passing through in the last 12 months, a rise of 2.1%.  Average passengers per aircraft were 160 with seat capacity at 209, giving a load factor of 76.5%.  The A380 now flies for eight Heathrow carriers with 20 plus departures daily.

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Atlantis by Giardino – Zurich

Now reopened after a complete transformation is the striking, heritage-listed Atlantis Hotel Zurich one of Switzerland’s most important post-war modernist buildings.

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Fastjet CEO to go

Ed Winter (69) Chief Executive of the developing African budget airline Fastjet Plc is to step down but will remain at the helm until a new CEO is appointed and after that he will continue in an advisory role for an agreed period of time.

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German Court sides with Airberlin

Airberlin has quickly won a court appeal over codesharing rights with Etihad Airways, reversing an earlier judgment (see BTN 11 January) allowing the two carriers to continue operating 26 out of 31 codeshare flights for the full winter schedule.

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Heathrow’s FlyQuiet League

Figures produced by Heathrow show that the airport’s FlyQuiet League is really having an effect.  Ranking of airlines according to their noise performance, along with Heathrow’s tough limits and restrictions on noise, has successfully encouraged carriers to use their newest fleets at the airport and operate them in quieter ways. The news comes as the League marks its second year anniversary.

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Holiday Inn Express

IHG has unveiled the first UK Holiday Inn Express properties to feature its ‘next-generation’ hotel concept.

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Loganair update

Founded in 1962 and self-styled as ‘Scotland’s airline’ Loganair has announced a rise in profits from £5.8m to £7.2m for its last financial year.  The annual results revealed that turnover increased from £87.3m to £93.6m, thanks in part to a 13% rise in passenger numbers on scheduled services to 656,036.

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Midlands stations open

The new Bermuda Park and Coventry Arena stations open today (Monday 18 January).  The two stations are part of a £13.6m investment to improve rail services between Coventry and Nuneaton.

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Schiphol Hilton

A new Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has opened.  The state-of-the-art 433-room property replaces the previous Hilton Schiphol, which dates from 1972.

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