18 JULY 2016

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Business emphasis at Quito

The Ecuadorian capital, Quito, is joining the new-found impetus by business destinations in South America with the construction of the new Metropolitan Convention Centre and multiple 5-star hotels.

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Hyatt Regency for Shanghai

Travellers to Shanghai have a new Hyatt Regency to explore with the opening by the hotel group of a property in the city’s business zone at Hopson International Centre in the trendy Wujiaochang subdistrict.

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Record success for Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines flew into the record books last month as 350 members of staff came together to create what the Guinness World Records organisation certified was the largest human image of an aircraft.

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ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIAL: Sir Roy McNulty, Chairman Gatwick Airport Ltd

Last week, Sir Nigel Rudd was most forthright in his views regarding London's airport requirements as the outgoing chairman of Heathrow Plc. He expressed regret at the government's delay in coming to a decision, as well as offering a few observations on Gatwick. ON THE SOAPBOX 11 July 2016

Naturally, this has resulted in a response by Sir Roy McNulty, his opposite number at the south London airport, and like Sir Nigel a successful businessman with an impressive CV.

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COMMENT: May we have a decision

Brexit means just one thing. The UK will become even more dependent on global trade, and that means getting our future South East runway (ie port capacity – Heathrow is Britain’s largest by value) needs sorted out. And quickly, before the ruthless competitors latch on to what is happening. With London’s air capacity full, how are our salesmen going to get to all the new markets in the rest of the world, and how are these customers going to come to us?

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Accor takeover at the Savoy

Three top hotel brands, Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel, have changed hands with the acquisition of FRHI Hotels and Resorts by AccorHotels.

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Air transport at Westminster hothouse

Predictable post-Brexit concerns voiced at last week’s annual UK Aviation Reception took on a new note as the event coincided with Theresa May’s appointment as prime minister and speakers urged action on the new government.

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Delta in capacity cutback

A 6% cut in winter-schedule capacity between the US and the UK was announced last week by Delta Air Lines in an apparent reaction to the Brexit vote and the falling value of sterling against the US dollar.

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Grayling takes on transport

Britain’s new secretary of state for transport was named by prime minister Theresa May on Thursday as Chris Grayling, 54, the long-standing MP for Epson and Ewell and a champion of Brexit. Yesterday he said he wanted to move quickly on a decision on airport expansion.

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Heathrow T5 Aspire lounge

While the vast majority of travellers using Heathrow T5 are on British Airways flights, few are booked Club Europe. BA’s Business Class is often company policy for long-haul but not for domestic, Irish or continental flights. Many BA regulars are not eligible for one of the three Galleries offerings.

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Long-haul signal from Ruili Air

Chinese regional carrier Ruili Airlines last week signalled the launch of long-haul international service when it finalised an order at Farnborough for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at US$1.59bn at current list prices.

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Norwegian adds A321LR

In one of the most significant orders announced at Farnborough, Norwegian is to substitute 30 Airbus A321LRs for part of its commitment signed in June 2012 for 100 A320neo aircraft.

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US$4bn A350 order from Virgin

Virgin Atlantic and Airbus set the tone for this year’s Farnborough last week with an eve-of-show US$4.4bn (£3.3bn) firm order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, a deal welcomed in one of his last public statements as prime minister by David Cameron.

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ON TOUR: Bombardier CSeries into service

Last Friday the all new Bombardier CSeries short- to medium-range single-aisle passenger jet operated a scheduled service for the first time. 

Flying for SWISS, the fully-booked 125-seat two-class Dash 100 aircraft took just 1hr 25min for the inaugural flight from Zurich to Paris Charles de Gaulle. 

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AND FINALLY: May & Hammond

There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that Jeremy Clarkson has been recruited as Secretary of State for Transport.

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BAs 20 years to Arizona

Celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of direct flights to Arizona have been held at British Airways with a traditional water-cannon salute at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) and other events.

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Fare deals from Malaysia

New Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew (BTN 4 July) is already making his impact at the company with the introduction of bargain fares to various destinations including Australia.

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Farnborough orders bonanza

Organisers of Farnborough 2016 on Friday hailed the show a major success as the five trade days ended with orders and options totalling US$123.9bn – against industry expectations.

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More Ritz-Carlton for Hainan

Ritz-Carlton is to open a second hotel complex on China’s only tropical island of Hainan, known as the Hawaii of the East, after signing a management agreement with a local development company.

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New-version SSJ100 on the blocks

Sukhoi trumped the appearance of its Superjet 100 (SSJ100) at Farnborough by taking the concept to a new level with a luxury version designed for professional athletes and sports teams.

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NZ boost for Tianjin Air

Tianjin Airlines of China has become the latest carrier to announce it is adding New Zealand to its schedules, with flights expected to lift-off in December.

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Qatar on acquisition trail

Confirming its intention to “expand business opportunities around the world”, Qatar Airways is buying a 49% stake in the Italian carrier Meridiana and is to acquire up to 10% of the Chile-based Latam Airline Group’s total shares through a capital increase.

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Turkey edges back

Air services to and from the UK and Turkey edged back towards normality yesterday in the aftermath of Friday’s failed coup, though would-be passengers were still being urged to check with their airlines before attempting to travel.

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UK focus for air-rail meeting

Representatives from Luton Airport, which is planning a new mass-transit link for passengers (BTN 18 April), and the Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express rail services are among speakers lined up for the Global AirRail 2016 conference in Helsinki from 9-11 November.

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