This review was revised 18 October
* items include readers letters
5 SEPTEMBER 2016
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Vancouver Airport will welcome a new Chinese carrier on 30 December when Beijing Capital Airlines (JD) marks its debut in North America with a three-times-weekly service from Hangzhou via Qingdao.
In another major step to boost its inflight entertainment services, Finnair last week signed an agreement with the broadband and technology provider ViaSat to install a high-speed wireless internet network on its entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe.
Virendra Sharma has been the Labour MP for Ealing Southall since 2007. Born in India (1947), the one-time bus conductor was sponsored by a trade union through LSE, is a member of the parliamentary select committees on Health, Human Rights and International Development and supported David Miliband in the 2010 Labour leadership election. For a long time he was opposed to the expansion of Heathrow.
It is now rumoured that Parliament will not be presented with the results of the Airports Commission cabinet deliberations until it returns after the party conferences in October. However, the announcement could be this week. Westminster is back today (5 September).
More premium seats are being installed by Air New Zealand (ANZ) on its existing B777-300 fleet and three B787-9 Dreamliners being delivered next year in an upgrade programme costing more than £55m. All seven B777-300s will begin refurbishment from February. The work also includes installation of the Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system.
Additional speakers have been confirmed for a major Transport Times conference in London next month on the future of the HS2 project. Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling and Simon Kirby, chief executive of High Speed Two, are scheduled to deliver the keynote addresses.
It is five years since Hong Kong was linked to Gatwick with a non-stop route, Hong Kong Airlines ditching a ‘Business-Class-only’ service after just six months. Now Cathay Pacific has come in, initially four times per week, hopefully to replicate Emirates, which after a slow start has three A380 services daily to Dubai.
The first scheduled flight from the US to Cuba in more than 50 years, a JetBlue service from Florida, touched down in Santa Clara on Wednesday, as the US also announced the eight carriers to begin scheduled flights to Havana, possibly this autumn.
Figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority show that in May La Compagnie (BO), the French-owned ‘Business Class only’ airline, carried 2,014 passengers against 1,152 in May, a 75% increase over 12 months earlier, the service starting that April. This compares well with BA’s London City product, which is not non-stop, and was down 6% to 1,745.
Flybe arrived in the important business centre of Luxembourg for the first time on Thursday as it launched its new service from Manchester. The airline is planning a twice-daily operation on weekdays, with a daily flight at weekends.
Michael O’Leary, aided as usual by Ryanair's marketing director Kenny Jacob, was in his usual feisty combative mood when he introduced his airline's 2017 flight programme in London last week. Claiming to be first with next year’s flights, the real aim of the launch is to begin to bring in money for something that for many will not happen for months. It is a long time since airlines were in the credit business.
RMS Queen Mary has been docked at Long Beach, southern Los Angeles. since 9 December 1967. The City of Long Beach had won an auction for the great liner and saw it as the centrepiece of a revitalised waterside area including the adjacent dome housing Howard Hughes’ ill-fated Spruce Goose. It opened its doors to the public on May 1971 after a major transformation.
The 2017 edition of the Berlitz “Cruising & Cruise Ships” is out but don’t expect the usual tepid edition. The book itself has been revamped, it is all in colour now, and for once author Douglas Ward has sharpened his teeth.
The business potential of Iran was highlighted by British Airways last week as the carrier relaunched its Heathrow – Tehran route with a six-times-a-week B777 service following the recent relaxation of sanctions. “As well as giving more choice and flexibility between London and the Middle East, especially for families looking to visit relatives, Tehran is also a great emerging market with real opportunities for businesses to grow commercial links,” the airline said.
Former Air France-KLM chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac officially took up his new role as director-general and CEO of IATA on Thursday after being confirmed in the post by the 72nd IATA annual general meeting in June. He succeeds Tony Tyler, who had served as IATA DG and CEO since 2011 and had announced his retirement.
Expanding Heathrow could boost UK GDP by up to £24,500 per family – almost double the value of expanding Gatwick. That, according to Heathrow, is the finding of the first post-Brexit report into the independent Airport Commission study. Heathrow released the document on Friday.
Industry veteran Rob Gurney was named last week by the airline alliance oneworld as its new CEO. He succeeds Bruce Ashby, who announced in January that he would be stepping down after more than five years in the position.
Economy Class passengers on Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) are now being offered pre-ordered à la carte meals on long-haul flights from Switzerland in addition to the existing range of inflight food.
Virgin Australia’s (VA) award-winning Business Class product, called 'The Business’, is now flying on the airline’s entire wide-body fleet of Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.