28 MARCH 2016

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Air Canada joins wi-fi brigade

With another major carrier adding the service, wi-fi is now quickly becoming the norm, although the standard offered does vary.

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Korean Air's London A380

Long established on the Heathrow-Seoul route, Korean Air becomes the latest A380 operator into London tomorrow (Tuesday 29 March). The single daily flight will compete with both British Airways' Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Asiana's Boeing 777, also daily services. Flight time for all is just under 11 hours.

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Virgin Atlantic profits

Now very much in partnership with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic said last week its annual profit almost doubled in 2015, and was set to grow significantly in 2016 as its fuel hedges unwind, enabling it to benefit fully from the lower oil prices.

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Richard Quest is back at Gatwick from his round-the-world low-cost trip. The marathon journey will be broadcast in a special edition of CNN Business Traveller on 14 April. (See BTN 14 March)

And a reminder that Richard Cawthorne will be editing BTN from the issue 4 April, having returned from his own travels. Please make sure he is on your mailing list for information and news stories.  richardcawthorne@btinternet.com

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COMMENT: The aftermath of Brussels

The terrible event at Brussels Zaventem last week is not the first time an airport has been attacked by terrorists.  Here in the UK, though many will have forgotten, there was a bomb blast at Heathrow T2 back in 1984 when, fortunately, nobody was killed. 

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Alex Cruz takes over at BA

British Airways has a new CEO from 1 April. Alex Cruz, best described as a multi-national, takes over from Keith Williams, who is retiring after 18 years with the airline.

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BA T5 refreshed

British Airways has refurbished its main lounge for business travellers in the Club World Galleries South at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

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Cityjet sold

Founder Pat Byrne and private equity backers have repurchased the Irish regional airline CityJet from German owner Intro Aviation for an undisclosed sum.

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CSeries completes Euro tour

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has reached another milestone for the all-new C-Series with the successful completion of the aircraft's European route-proving exercises. Using a Dash-100 model painted in the company house colours, a progamme was conducted within the network of SWISS and included more than 30 city-pair flights in European cities over a three-week long period.

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Lufthansa and luggage

Under the slogan ‘Flying. Reimagined', Lufthansa is further developing its digital luggage services.

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Marriott and Starwood sale agreement

US hoteliers Marriott International and Starwood Hotels have agreed a US$12.2bn (£8bn) deal to create the world's biggest hotel company. Combined, the two firms have more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1m rooms and US$2.7bn in annual revenue. A Chinese investor did try to get involved but was outbid.

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Park Hyatt Mallorca

Spain’s first Park Hyatt hotel is now taking reservations for stays from 1 June. The brand new hotel is close to the island’s northeast resort of Canyamel and is the result of a management agreement with local real-estate developer Grupo Cap Vermell.

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UK expansion for Norwegian

Following its proven policy of establishing low-frequency routes, Norwegian Air is expanding services from Manchester and Edinburgh airports to three popular Spanish destinations in time for the summer getaway.

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World Low Cost Airlines Congress

The World Low Cost Airlines Congress is on its way again, taking off on 8-9 September at Islington’s Business Design Centre in London. One regular speaker probably missing this year will be Alex Cruz, previously of Vueling but just about the take up the reigns of the more-exalted British Airways. (see this issue)

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ON TOUR: Where is the island of Sylt?

Our intrepid man in Germany, a Brit by the name of Alan Lathan, ex-Jeppesen (since 2000 a Boeing company), has been off on his travels again. (see Aero India). Not too far this time, but by train to the island of Sylt, in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. 

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AND FINALLY: Sleep with Lenny Henry (Sir Lenny Henry)

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AC Hotels by Marriott

Marriott International’s design-led lifestyle brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, has opened its fifth hotel in France, the AC Hotel Marseille Velodrome. Located in the heart of the city’s thriving business district, the new hotel is set to bring 'purposeful design and an unpretentious style' to Marseille’s recently-refreshed Prado area.

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Azuma arrives for Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains has unveiled the first of its new fleet of trains in a ceremony at King’s Cross attended by Sir Richard Branson. The Virgin Azuma, which the company says is set to revolutionise travel on the East Coast from 2018, will be one of the most advanced trains on the UK’s rail network.

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Bicester flying festival

Enthusiasts of historic motoring, aviation and military vehicles are in for a treat as the Flywheel Festival returns to Bicester Heritage on Saturday/Sunday 2/3 July.

The event, now in its second year, will be showcasing an eclectic mixture of exceptional wheeled and winged vehicles for a weekend of nostalgia and excitement.  Bicester was once a Second World War bomber station.

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Canadian Visas

BTN  would like to thank Phil Bloomfield from Cheapflights for his note reminding us (and readers) of recent changes for British travellers intending to travel to Canada.

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Ibis launches _SPACE

Focusing on 'simplicity, modernity and well-being', ibis Hotels has launched _SPACE by ibis, a new conference room and office concept available at 20 of its UK properties. 

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Manchester Airport planning approval

Planning consent has been granted for Manchester Airport’s 10-year, £1bn transformation programme.

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SITA says 'The future is connected'

Over the next three years, passengers will be enjoying seamless self-service with airlines and at airports as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) comes to travel. This is according to 'The Future is Connected', the latest industry report from SITA, the global IT provider to the air transport industry.

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Southern Africa and Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is now heavily promoting its links to Southern Africa through its hub at Addis Ababa. To Johannesburg, a typical stop-over is just 2hr with a total travel time of 15hr, while for Cape Town it is 17hr 30min. Flights are generally by Boeing 777 out of Heathrow and Boeing 787 for the southbound leg. Fares are said to be competitive with the longer connecting flights via the Gulf.

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