4 APRIL 2016

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Alicante joins BA LCY line-up

British Airways is to launch a new service to Alicante from London City to cover the peak season this summer.

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China's carriers' profits cut back

Volatility in the China aviation market was underlined this week after the country’s major carriers reported big 2015 profits but were cut back by losses in foreign exchange following the devaluation of the yuan.

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LA – Beijing bid by American

American Airlines has applied for a licence to operate daily service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Beijing (PEK) from 16 December in a move to solidify LA’s status as American’s West Coast gateway to Asia.

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SIA’s 30-year record

In a busy week for Manchester Airport, Singapore Airlines (SIA) added to the festivities on Friday to mark the 30th anniversary of its first scheduled flight arriving there, having departed Singapore the night before.

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This week's BTN is brought to you by Richard Cawthorne.  Please make sure he is on your mailing list for stories. richardcawthorne@btinternet.com

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ON THE SOAPBOX – Declan Collier, CEO, London City Airport

Declan Collier became CEO at London City Airport (LCY) from heading the Dublin Airport Authority and Aer Rianta exactly four years ago in April 2012 and has seen the airport grow in that time from just over 3m passengers to more than 4.3m in 2015. This figure marked an 18% increase in growth compared with 2014, the largest among London's airports, and a record total for LCY. 

Collier is president of the World Board of the Airports Council International (ACI), the representative body of airports worldwide. In this month’s ON THE SOAPBOX he argues how expansion at LCY will support business travel growth.

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Aviation Club welcomes Swaffield

Andrew Swaffield, CEO of the Monarch Group, is the guest speaker of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom at the Institute of Directors on Thursday 28 April.

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Blue Air adds Luton

The latest new direct routes to European capitals to be launched by Romanian carrier Blue Air from Turin have taken off to London and Madrid, joining a network that already includes Rome and Bucharest. Blue Air will also connect Turin to Berlin from 2 May and Athens from 4 June.

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Emirates' capacity boost

Plans to boost capacity to London with the addition of a 10th daily flight from 1 October were unveiled by Emirates on Thursday.

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Norwegian sets pace at LGW

The first of 20 new long-haul routes being launched by airlines at Gatwick this year took off on Easter Sunday as Norwegian inaugurated its low-cost service to Boston.

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SLH ‘unadvertises’

In a reaction against what it calls ‘unintelligent’ advertising, Small Luxury Hotels of the World is launching its most expensive campaign yet this week.

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United and Air China new deal

A new multi-year agreement has been signed by Star Alliance carriers Air China and United Airlines to strengthen their long-standing strategic partnership.

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Waterloo gateway for LHR?

Heathrow (LHR) last week welcomed a Network Rail finding that there was a ‘strong case’ for a new southern rail access link to the airport, regardless of whether LHR expands and there were ‘feasible solutions’ to explore further.

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ON TOUR: The galloping gourmet

ON TOUR takes a different slant this week, the tour in question being round a kitchen – but not just any kitchen. With inflight food a constant source of comment among passengers, BTN’s Richard Cawthorne took up an invitation from Delta Air Lines to check out one of the airline’s main suppliers, Gate Gourmet, at its complex near Heathrow.

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CRUISE NEWS APRIL

This week’s BTN is brought to you partly via the editor-in-chief on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria. Look at the ship’s web cam to find out where she is, bearing in mind when it gets dark you cannot see anything. He saw the ship in Liverpool last summer, but no chance then of getting on board. (see BTN 1 June 2015) BTN’s Richard Cawthorne viewed Victoria in Sydney and was impressed.

CRUISE INTELLIGENCE is all about the mega-yachts which seem to be in vogue now. These are for fare-paying discerning holidaymakers and not oligarchs.

Over the past 176 years, 248 ships have flown the Cunard flag since the company inaugurated the first scheduled service across the North Atlantic in July 1840 and the company fleet list certainly contains the names of some of the most famous ships ever built. 

But what is in a name? 

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AND FINALLY: Cruising the final frontier

All Fools’ Day may be past (shame), but this being BTN’s Cruising issue and editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg at sea on Cunard’s Queen Victoria as we speak, we are happy to pass on one of the best of this year’s 1 April sillies.

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Air India expansion plans

Boeing is poised to land an order from Air India for more wide-body aircraft as the airline moves to expand its long-haul network. Newspaper reports in India suggest an announcement is expected later this year.

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BA Gatwick – Cape Town

A new route between Gatwick and Cape Town is in the pipeline from British Airways, starting on 24 November.

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Berlin Tegel for Flybe plus Cardiff too

Flybe is to launch a new daily route between Cardiff and Berlin Tegel as part of expanded winter schedules with the first flight on Sunday 27 November. It is also adding a special series of flights from the Welsh capital to London City Airport to assist with the closure of Severn Tunnel rail link between 12 September and 21 October (see also BTN 14 March LCY to Tegel).

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Boris is right says Heathrow Hub

Heathrow Hub, the independent consortium, continues to promote its scheme for an extended runway as a solution to the Cabinet committee’s dilemma in announcing a new runway in the South East, expected in July.

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Fourth UK gateway for Qatar

Qatar Airways last week inaugurated the airline’s fourth UK gateway after Heathrow, Edinburgh and Manchester with the launch of eight weekly direct flights between Doha and Birmingham, all operated by B787 Dreamliner.

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Partial reopening for Brussels

Brussels airport partially reopened with strict new security controls yesterday (Sunday), almost two weeks after it was attacked by suicide bombers.

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Smartphones for Eccleston guests

London’s Eccleston Square Hotel, which bills itself as ‘Europe’s most technologically advanced boutique property’, has introduced free smartphones for guests to use during their stays, and free international and national mobile calls as well.

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Uber grows with Hilton

Hilton International and the controversial online transport provider Uber announced an expanded partnership deal this week aimed at bringing the two companies’ respective mobile apps closer together.

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Virgin in new Flybe deal

A new codeshare agreement between Virgin Atlantic and Flybe took off on Saturday. Passengers can now book on Virgin Atlantic’s website to travel from one of 18 UK or European airports, and connect to VS flights at Manchester, Glasgow or Gatwick airports.

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