3 OCTOBER 2016

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Flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile fired from rebel-held territory, an international investigation has concluded.

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Kids' zone at Birmingham

Birmingham Airport has launched two interactive pre-flight play areas for children, designed to give youngsters jetting off on holiday a fun and engaging experience in the terminal.

The ‘Sky Zone’ airport play zones are designed for 3-10 year olds, and feature Sky Cadet ‘Zoom’, the airport’s mascot. The areas are free to use and are located at Gates 3 and 54, serving both departure lounges in the terminal.

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ON THE SOAPBOX – Neil Pakey, chair of RABA

Heathrow expansion the choice of Regional Aviation
 

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BA and Qatar get together

Headed as a Qatar Airways and British Airways joint initiative, it was IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh who commented for the Heathrow-based carrier when it announced a joint business agreement last week. It will allow both carriers’ designators to be shown on flight codes and also share revenue.

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British Airways drops free food

Marks & Spencer is to become the British Airways short-haul Economy Class catering supplier from January 2017 on Heathrow and Gatwick services.  The London City and very limited Stansted flights will not change until later in the year. Often called “M&S”, the company has a reputation for quality food products.

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easyBus questions?

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyBus has retrenched somewhat. 

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Eurostar's new trains

Andrew Sharp, our rail correspondent, recently rode to Paris and back in Eurostar’s new e20 trains. Here are his impressions. Readers should note these trains are not on all services.

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Gatwick rail improvements

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has finished updating its entire Gatwick Express fleet with modern Class 387/2s units, giving passengers a superior passenger experience on the premium non-stop airport service to and from London Victoria and its extensions to Brighton.

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Heathrow and the regions

With one eye on the Tory party conference Heathrow announced last week what it called a ‘Brexit boost’ designed to boost UK regions' connectivity.  See also ON THE SOAPBOX.

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Monarch flies on

Following a week of adverse speculation, Monarch Group has received a temporary extension to its licence to sell package holidays. The company said it had secured additional funds from shareholders and was close to announcing its biggest-ever investment.

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Noise and the Heathrow Hub

Heathrow Hub, the independent alternative plan for expanding Heathrow by extending the northern runway, has called for the creation of an Independent Noise Regulator to monitor and control noise at UK airports.

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Plymouth update

With a Department for Transport study due shortly, supporters of Plymouth Airport held a quarterly update meeting at the Future Inn hotel, Tavistock Road, Plymouth last week.

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FLYING AT THE (semi) FRONT END

Edward Dee takes a look at British Airways World Traveller Plus.

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CRUISE NEWS OCTOBER 2016

The 2017 edition of Berlitz “CRUISING and Cruise Ships” reviewed last month is now officially published and available from your friendly bookshop or on-line. At 736 pages and 295 ships, it is a record size and reflects the dramatic growth of the cruise industry.

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AND FINALLY

Never work with children or animals they say.

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Ŕ la carte Economy Class

SWISS is expanding its SWISS Choice product for its inflight guests.

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A330neo on its way

Airbus has commenced the final assembly of its first A330neo, an A330-900 at its production line in Toulouse with the joining of the wings to the centre fuselage at station 40.

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Brussels Airlines takeover

Lufthansa’s Supervisory Board has approved the full takeover of Brussels Airlines by acquiring the 55% of shares it does not own.

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Cathay Pacific’s 70 years

Now commonly known as CX, Cathay Pacific was founded on 24 September 1946 by Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow and American Roy C. Farrell, each putting up HK$1 to register the airline. The Pacific campaign had just ended. Two war-surplus DC3s were purchased.

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New Zealand breakthrough

Wellington International Airport has welcomed Singapore Airlines, marking a breakthrough for the New Zealand capital into a new era of international travel.

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Restructuring for Air Berlin

Struggling Air Berlin has unveiled a far-reaching restructuring of its business, which will see the company concentrate its core operations as a focused network carrier serving higher-yielding markets from its two key hubs in Berlin and Düsseldorf, with a core fleet of 75 aircraft. 

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Stansted lands Jet2.com

Jet2.com, perhaps better known as Leeds Bradford Airport's leisure airline and package holiday specialist, is about to land in the south of England.

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T3 lounge for Heathrow

Airport Lounge Development (ALD), a subsidiary of Collinson Group, and Swissport is shortly to launch a facility at Heathrow Terminal 3 in response to a significant increase in demand for lounge access from business travellers.

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Thameslink informs

The information system on the new Thameslink trains (between Bedford, Luton, St Pancras, Gatwick and Brighton) is excellent, reports our railway expert Andrew Sharp

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