21 MARCH 2016

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Eurostar to southern France

The summer season of through Eurostar trains to southern France starts early this year with the first service on Good Friday (25 March) to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille direct from London. 

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MAG airport swap

Andrew Cowan, currently chief strategy officer of MAG, has been appointed divisional chief executive for Stansted Airport.

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Propliner

A year has now elapsed since the last issue of ‘Propliner’ was published, the popular enthusiasts’ historical quarterly highlighting propeller driven commercial aircraft (mostly of ancient origin). 

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Readers should note that at 01:00 next Sunday (27 March) the clocks in the United Kingdom go forward one hour, officially heralding British Summer Time.  Re-set your timings before you go to bed Saturday night.

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COMMENT: Airport problems German style

Forget (if you can) the struggle between Heathrow and Gatwick airports.  Germany’s capital has its own aviation problems that are cramping traffic and hurting the local airline.  Readers may also recall that in December we noted French difficulties.  Airports are controversial.

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APD questioned

As the representative body for all the major UK airports the Airport Operators Association has to take a balanced view and this includes the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax. 

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Aviation Club welcomes Bjorn

Guest of honour at London’s Aviation Club last week was Bjorn Kjos, the colourful CEO of Norwegian Air (ex-paratrooper, pilot as well as an airline boss, and now a banker too). 

Asked if Britain should stay in the EU he said that while his country was not a member his airline was, and the UK should stay in.  “But it is up to the British people”.

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BA ditches Heathrow route

British Airways is to drop its flights from Heathrow to Baku, saying it is now no longer commercially viable.  The last return service operates on 29 April.  Flybe is cuttiing routes too.

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eDreams web site and the airlines

Through a campaign, mainly by Ryanair, the seat broker eDreams has had to change the format of its on-line advertising.

Via a PR agency called “Hope & Glory” they have issued the following statement.

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Expansion for Inverness

With a mini-boom under way Inverness Airport itself is expanding.  Currently being developed is a near doubling of the departure lounge and the introduction of a new arrival hall for international passengers.  The airport's security search area is also being refurbished and expanded.

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Gatwick’s new routes

At the same time as it announced its busiest ever February with 2.7m passengers passing through the airport Gatwick has confirmed 20 new long haul routes for this year with Cathay to Hong Kong, Norwegian to Boston and the return of British Airways to New York the highlights.

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Heathrow actions expansion

While it still awaits the Government green light Heathrow Airport Ltd has taken the significant step of appointing Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend to work alongside the airport’s own team in developing the hub’s terminal and runway expansion.  The companies have been selected after a competitive tender.

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Manchester – Chicago goes Dreamliner

American Airlines and code sharing British Airways customers will enjoy an upgraded travel experience when the world’s largest airline introduces the newest addition to its fleet, the Boeing 787-8 from Manchester (MAN) to Chicago (ORD) on Tuesday 2 June.  The Dreamliner replaces the Boeing 767 currently used on the route.

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ON TOUR: British Business General Aviation Association

Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for undertaking the performance of his life in The Revenant.  In his acceptance speech he made an impassioned plea to protect the environment.  He was then immediately reprimanded by a tabloid newspaper for flying home from LA in a private jet!  Alison Chambers reports on the BBGA annual meeting.  

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AND FINALLY: Minister grounded?

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Accor in the UK

The HotelInvest division of AccorHotels will open five new hotels in the UK in 2016 and 2017 to add to its existing UK portfolio of 97 properties.

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Aerospace Media Awards

There are now just four weeks left to nominate for the 2016 Aerospace Media Awards.

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Cork Airport

With the new London City service well under way Ireland’s second largest city Cork has now added a route to Southampton. 

The proposed New York service is delayed but could still happen this year with Norwegian Air now being supported in the highest political arena that subject raised at a meeting between An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and US President Barack Obama. (see also Aviation Club welcomes Bjorn in this issue)

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Flydubai plane crash

A FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 crashed on landing on Saturday 19 March at the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don killing all 62 on board.

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Iran – The future

The lifting of sanctions against Iran has sent a wave of opportunities for the global aviation industry and companies are already lining up to make the most of one of the largest emerging markets since the fall of the Soviet Union.

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John Hosken

A long time stalwart of BBC Radio and a much respected journalist John Hosken has suddenly passed away.

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Lufthansa to Panama City

A new route plus an extensive codeshare agreement with Copa Airlines will further raise Lufthansa’s presence and profile in Latin America.

Last week Lufthansa introduced a service to Panama City from Frankfurt operating a 298-seat Airbus A340-300 aircraft (18 Business, 19 Premium Economy and 261 Economy).

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Luton booms

In spite of major infrastructure works Luton Airport recorded a 27.7% growth in February, 870,000 passengers.  February did have an extra day and there were no weather problems. See image for an update on the road area outside the terminal.

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Moxy by Marriott

Following its successful introduction into Europe (see  BTN  1 September) Moxy by Marriott will introduce a further five hotels in 2016 including for the first time the UK.

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