18 APRIL 2016

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Bombardier woos Delta order

Rumours circulated in the industry this week that Delta Air Lines is about to order more than 100 Bombardier C Series aircraft as it moves to modernise part of its fleet by replacing up to 116 McDonnell Douglas MD88s.

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Hainan goes on the road

Corporate travel departments, key businesses and travel agents are among the target audiences for a Hainan Airlines roadshow this spring to promote its new non-stop service between Manchester and Beijing, which starts on 10 June.

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Hong Kong Air adds Tokyo

Tokyo is joining the Hong Kong Airlines network this summer as the carrier continues to expand its influence in Japan.

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COMMENT: The airport at the end of the world

They call it the airport at the end of the world and no wonder. St Helena is a dot in the South Atlantic, 1,950km (1,210mi) west of the border between Namibia and Angola in south-west Africa and 4,000km (2,500mi) east of Rio de Janeiro. It is about 16km (10mi) long and 8km (5mi) wide and had a population as of the 2008 census of precisely 4,255, though presumably a few more now.

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Alitalia codeshare growth

In a key agreement benefitting European and Mid East travellers heading Down Under, Alitalia has signed a new codeshare deal with Virgin Australia.

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Aviation Club news

Members of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom are reminded that the annual general meeting takes place at 11:00 at the Institute of Directors in London on Thursday 28 April followed by the usual lunch. Andrew Swaffield, CEO of Monarch Airlines, is the guest speaker.

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BA boosts Nairobi capacity

A capacity increase of 784 seats a week on flights between London and Nairobi for this summer has been announced by British Airways with the introduction of a Boeing 747-400 on the route.

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Delta pre-tax income soars

Two incoming top executives at Delta Air Lines had a special welcome last week when the company reported a pre-tax income of US$1.56bn for the first quarter of 2016. The result represented a US$966m increase over Q1 last year.

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Heathrow loses No 3 slot

Dubai has overtaken Heathrow to become the world’s third busiest airport according to new figures for 2015 and is considered certain to take the top spot within the next decade if current growth rates continue.

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Hotel plan for embassy

Plans are in hand for the US embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square to become a 137-room luxury hotel with facilities including a spa and 1,000-capacity ballroom.

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Luton rail link plan

To applause from the audience in the St Pancras Hotel, Andy Malcolm, chair of Luton Airport, this week announced plans for a new mass passenger transit system connecting the airport to the Parkway station, writes Andrew Sharp.

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New UK route for flybe

Flybe has confirmed a new year-round service between Leeds Bradford and Newquay airport to operate three times a week from next winter.

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Two more A380s for Emirates

Emirates announced last week it had placed an order with Airbus for two more new A380s, to be delivered in the fourth quarter of next year.

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ON TOUR SPECIAL: The Vanishing of Flight MH370 by Richard Quest

Last week, BTN's editor-in-chief paid a fleeting visit to the French island of Reunion, off the coast of Madagascar, where the only evidence so far as to the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 just over two years ago was discovered. To put it in perspective, it is now 70 years since American Amelia Earhart was lost on a record-breaking flight over the south-western Pacific Ocean. She was in radio contact until the final moments. The aircraft has never been found.

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AND FINALLY: Sexual equality comes to sea.

BTN's editor-in-chief reports from Cunard’s Queen Victoria.   

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American at 90

Passengers on American Airlines’ Flight 90 from Chicago to Heathrow on Friday were treated to a surprise send-off with gifts and a commemorative photo album as the carrier launched celebrations to mark its 90th birthday.

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BATA's new chief executive

The British Air Transport Association (BATA), the trade body representing UK airlines, has named Tim Alderslade as its next chief executive.

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Dublin runway go-ahead

Plans to build a second runway by 2020 at a cost of €320m have been confirmed by Dublin airport, nine years after planning permission was given. The project had been shelved because of the economic slowdown and a drop in passenger numbers.

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HK welcomes Swiss B777

Swiss International’s first B777-300ER arrived in Hong Kong last Monday to a traditional water salute and ribbon-cutting and a welcome party including officials from the airline, the airport authority and the consulate general of Switzerland.

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LHR Vietnam goes daily

Vietnam Airlines (VN) is increasing its Heathrow – Vietnam Dreamliner service to daily from 23 June, with a new Thursday flight to Hanoi. There will now be three flights a week to Ho Chi Minh City and four to Hanoi.

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NH in expansion mode

Plans to open or sign up to 150 new properties by 2020 have been announced by NH Hotels as it expands into China in a joint venture with Chinese firm HNA Hospitality.

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St Helena on line at last

The British Overseas Territory of St Helena opens its first airport next month with an official ceremony by Prince Edward on 21 May.

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Virgin Trains' new looks

Virgin Trains will be celebrating today (Monday) with the official opening of its refurbished First Class lounge at King’s Cross in London, the latest of eight lounges on the east coast network where Virgin has undertaken a major overhaul following 6% growth in First Class travel on the route.

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