OCTOBER 22 ONWARD  COVID RULES - Up to date from Gov.uk

* items include readers letters

25 JANUARY 2016


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Amadeus and Ryanair

Ryanair says that its Business Plus fare is now available to travel agents on the Amadeus network.  Clearly the airline is getting more and more mainstream.

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Arbitration for LH cabin crew

Business travellers should now be able to book Lufthansa with the confidence that the flight will take place. 

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Low-cost carriers’ alliance

It may yet arrive in Europe with Norwegian making noises (see Bjorn Kjos and alliances).  A group of Far East airlines have created the U-FLY Alliance the world’s first low cost carrier (LCC) coalition.  It could be a game-changer, but we will have to see. It is not the same as A4E (see in this issue) which is a lobby group.

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COMMENT: Yes Prime Minister

Northolt and Davies

We are now into 2016.   

Business Travel News  would like to restate its belief that RAF Northolt, an under-utilised and valuable national asset, could play an important role while the Prime Minister deliberates on a new runway for the South East.  (See http://www.btnews.co.uk/article/9484)

Mr Cameron has been selective when it comes to air transport, the latest delay on the third runway dilemma not winning him friends in the commercial world, or indeed the airlines.  He has been supportive with the Regional Air Connectivity Fund but that is short-term with limited value.

The Davies Commission decision is vital but so is the immediate position for the regions and their connections to and from London, and the world at large at Heathrow. 

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Airbus delivers first neo

The first Airbus A320neo, for Lufthansa, has now been delivered with the registration D-AINA.  The airline has 60 on order with four more due in 2016.

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BA for Tehran?

With trade restrictions for Iran now lifted British Airways hopes to start flying to Tehran in the near future.

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Bjorn Kjos wants partners

Norwegian Air is interested in partnering with other European low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet to extend its short-haul network. (see also Low cost carriers alliance in this issue).

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Business Travel Show

The 2016 Business Travel Show is now just over four weeks away (24-25 February) and will once again be at the Olympia Grand Hall.  (Potential visitors should note that the London Underground no longer runs to Kensington Olympia with the best access now by public transport either the Overground or a bus or walk from either Kensington High Street or Hammersmith stations.) 

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CSeries for Europe

With the (Canadian) certification process behind it  (See  BTN  21 December 2015)  Bombardier CSeries production is being ramped-up with the first CS100 aircraft scheduled to be delivered to SWISS and enter service in Q2 2016.  Routes will not initially include London City Airport which requires special clearance.

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Europe’s big five

Airlines for Europe (A4E) has officially been launched.

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No for Carlisle Airport

Following our report last week (airline reveals accounts http://www.btnews.co.uk/article/9810) there appears to be very little chance of scheduled air services being introduced at Carlisle Airport this year.  Stobart Group has shot down a suggestion from Transport Minister Robert Goodwill that scheduled passenger flights from Carlisle Airport will begin in the spring.

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Robert Pooley MBE

In our listing of transport award winners for the New Year’s honours list we omitted a now venerable gentleman (81) and one of the greats of general aviation.  However some will only know Bob (officially Robert) Pooley from sword manufacturing which he entered after Wilkinson, the 'name' in the business, decided to concentrate on the razor industry.

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Secretary of State at Luton

easyJet and Luton Airport last Thursday welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, at the official ground breaking ceremony for a new airport terminal. 

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Transport Infrastructure Summit

Do not be confused.  There are two UK Transport Infrastructure Summits in London this Spring.  The first, ‘London Infrastructure’ takes place at Kings Place, King’s Cross, 10 March, and is a 2016 update of last year’s successful gathering.

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ON TOUR: The Good Hotel Guide

Out now is the 2016 edition of the Good Hotel Guide, the authoritative register of many of Britain’s thriving independent hostelries.  Since 2004 it has been supervised by award winning journalist Adam Raphael with, in more recent times, the assistance of Desmond Balmer and Nicola Davies as Joint Editors.  Adam's wife Caroline is involved too.

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Airlines financial update

According to Airlines 2016, a new Market Update produced by market research and business intelligence provider Key Note, the financial performance of major airlines based in the UK improved noticeably between 2010 and 2014, with the combined revenue of such airlines growing by 33.7%.

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Cadet pilots needed

The aviation industry is forecast to need more than 500,000 new pilots over the next 20 years to meet demand for international travel according to Boeing.  The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) does not agree with the numbers, too high, but with five sets of aircrew needed for every aircraft, and at least 30,000 currently flying, and many more on their way, the numbers are big.  Pilots do not stay out of work for long.

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Genting hotel at Birmingham Airport NEC

Birmingham Airport now has a 5-star hotel following the ‘soft’ opening of a brand new Genting property as part of the adjoining National Exhibition Centre (NEC) campus.  The hotel is part of Resorts World Birmingham a shopping and leisure resort destination comprising of 18 bars and restaurants, 50 retail outlets, an 11-screen IMAX cinema, hotel and spa, a conference centre and casino. It is also adjacent to the Genting Arena one of the UK leading concert venues.

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Pulitzer Amsterdam

The newly restored Pulitzer Amsterdam will now open in February bringing an innovative interior design to the hotel that showcases the building’s heritage and architectural splendour.  This follows a phased restoration of the former 45-year-old Hotel Pulitzer to reposition its 25 interlinked Golden Age canal houses as one of Amsterdam’s leading luxury hotels with initially 85 rooms.

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Renaissance Nanjing Olympic Centre

Marriott International has announced the opening of the Renaissance Nanjing Olympic Centre Hotel, its first hotel in Nanjing, recognised as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. 

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Service Area report

According to a recent study by Loughborough University, even mild dehydration when driving is equivalent to being over the (alcoholic) drink driving limit in terms of recording driver errors, with dehydration doubling the number of driving accidents in the study. 

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Virgin East Coast

Users of London’s King Cross station arriving or departing on Virgin Trains East Coast will soon find themselves travelling on trains with much refurbished carriages, part of a £40m project to improve customers’ experience.

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