13 JUNE 2016

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CityJet’s SSJ100 mission

The hopes of the Irish were carried into Europe on Wednesday when CityJet, the official airline partner of the Football Association of Ireland, used the inaugural flight of its new Superjet SSJ100 to Paris to carry the national football team to Euro16 (see BTN 6 June).

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Glasgow's new JFK service

Delta Air Lines is to double its Scottish network from summer 2017 with a non-stop service operated in conjunction with Virgin Atlantic Airways between Glasgow and New York JFK.

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Madrid joins Cathay network

Cathay Pacific Airways has launched the next phase of its network expansion programme with the start of four-times-weekly service between Hong Kong and Madrid.

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COMMENT: The empire strikes back

As part of the British Overseas Territory that also includes Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, St Helena could reasonably be seen as a tiny remnant of empire, a bit like the Falkland Islands but with better weather.

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Birmingham hosts airport show

The first British and Irish Airports Expo was held at the NEC Birmingham last week, filling the Pavilion Hall at the exhibition centre with 149 participating companies and 2,500 visitors over the two days of show/conference. Paul Hogan, CEO of organiser PPS Publications, said it had already established itself as the biggest airport gathering in Europe yet. 

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Delta - Virgin US expansion

Joint-venture partners Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic are responding to growing demand on routes to and from London by adding more than 50 daily seats from Seattle as well as adding service from Portland to Heathrow next year.

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Flybe into profit

Exeter-based Flybe made a profit of £2.7m (£35.6m loss previously) in its April-March financial year, but warned that “The current industry environment remains challenging, however, for a number of reasons. These include the threat of terrorist activity, industrial unrest in France which accounts for 12% of Flybe’s seat capacity, consumer uncertainty fuelled in part by macro-economic volatility and in part by anxiety ahead of the EU referendum.” CEO Saad Hammed refused to enter either camp at last week’s Birmingham Airport Expo (see in this issue).

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Gatwick pledge on new runway

A second runway at Gatwick could be operational by 2025 subject to a government decision on the matter by October and planning consent within this parliament, David Cameron was told last week.

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Go-ahead for Cuba flights

Scheduled flights between the US and Cuba are expected to begin from September after six US carriers led by American Airlines were given the go-ahead last week by the US Department of Transportation.

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Mexico brands for Marriott

Mexico has gained two new hotels under the Marriott International flag with the opening of the 188-room AC Hotel Guadalajara Mexico and the 175-room Hotel Queretaro Antea.

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Pudong Airport explosion

An explosion at Shanghai Pudong International Airport yesterday (12 June) was the work of a lone attacker, officials said last night.

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Singapore Airlines update

Sheldon Hee is the new Singapore Airlines (SQ) general manager for the UK and Ireland. With the airline 17 years, he was previously vice-president marketing communications and development and replaces Wilson Yong, who has returned to the airline’s Singapore HQ.

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ON TOUR: The many sights of Sydney

On a first-time trip to Sydney, BTN’s Richard Cawthorne basks in a long weekend in one of the world’s most exuberant cities.

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MOTORING SPECIAL: One up on Clarkson

With the motoring correspondent away on a cruise, your editor-in-chief was keen to take up the offer of a day out at the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) Test Day held as usual at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Bedford.

During a four-hour period, he drove 10 cars, mostly on the 6.4km twisty hill course, and from time to time also on the high-speed banked track, Brooklands style, limited to 100mph.

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MOTORING UPDATE: Peugeot 3008 Allure HDI 115

On Test with Ted Wilkinson of The Guild of Motoring Writers

Peugeot 3008 Allure HDI 115

There’s no better business plan than producing cars that lots of people want to own.

That’s exactly what Peugeot has achieved with its 3008 Crossover model that over 580,000 buyers world-wide has snapped up since it broke cover in 2009 – of this total 56,323 have gone to UK buyers.

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AND FINALLY: Marilyn arrives at Expo

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Business Class boost at JAL

New-style ‘Sky Suite’ Business Class seats are entering service with Japan Airlines this month as the company puts its revamped B777-200ER on the international route between Tokyo and Bangkok on 18 June.

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Films on Trains

Virgin Trains has launched an entertainment system allowing passengers to watch films and TV programmes on demand using their own devices. The service is free and not dependent on mobile data systems, using the trains’ built in wi-fi via an on-board server host.

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Genting Hotel Resorts World

The impressive new Genting Hotel at Resorts World National Exhibition Centre Birmingham is now fully open. It is within a self-contained shopping and leisure resort comprising of 18 bars and restaurants, 50 retail outlets, an 11-screen IMAX cinema, conference centre and casino. Adjacent is the Genting Arena, established as one of the UK’s leading concert venues.

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Heathrow joins Weibo

In a first for UK airports, Heathrow last week launched its presence on Weibo, the social-media platform known as the “Chinese Twitter” and used by more than 600m people across the world.

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New Moscow airport

Moscow will have a fourth international airport from next month. 

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Pop goes the airline

A new low-cost and socially-conscious long-haul airline called Pop – standing for ‘People over Profit’ – is aiming to start operating flights from Stansted to Amritsar and Ahmedabad next winter.

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Saudi debut for Conrad

Conrad Hotels & Resorts has marked the opening of its first hotel in Saudi Arabia – the 438-room Conrad Makkah, in the heart of the Holy City and overlooking the Sacred Mosque, Al Masjid al Haram, and the Holy Kaabah

It marks the addition of the second Hilton Worldwide brand into the city and 11th hotel in the kingdom.

There are another 28 Hilton Worldwide properties in development in the region..

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Sichuan on expansion trail

A firm order agreement for 15 Airbus A320s worth US$1.37bn has been signed by China’s Sichuan Airlines as the carrier hits the expansion trail.

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St Helena comes out fighting

Reports this week that the new airport on St Helena in the south Atlantic was unlikely to enter service any time soon were condemned on Friday by the island’s governor, Lisa Phillips.

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