10 OCTOBER 2016

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Coffee time at Travelodge

In what is claimed to be a UK first, Travelodge has partnered up with Lavazza, Italy’s retail coffee market leader, to offer its customers a premium coffee range as part of its new "best ever unlimited breakfast" menu.

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Etihad signs with kulula

In a further move to build its presence in Africa, Etihad Airways has signed a codeshare agreement with South African carrier kulula.

The deal offers Etihad passengers flight options to several key cities in South Africa including Cape Town, Durban, George and East London via Johannesburg.

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Industry hails emissions deal

Last week’s historic agreement announced by ICAO committing governments to tackle aviation climate emissions was widely welcomed, with Boeing and Heathrow Airport among the first to applaud.

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Heathrow it has to be

The government must not make the same mistake again, says BTN's editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg.

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SOAPBOX EXTRA: Darren Caplan, chief executive, AOA

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, the trade association that represents UK airports, argues this week that the Brexit vote underlines the importance of a decision on airport capacity and the need to make better use of existing capacity.

He writes:
“If the signals from Whitehall are to be believed, it seems we are only days away from the much-delayed government announcement on airport capacity in London and the South East.

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Disney Paris hotel regenerates

The word “Newport” probably means nothing to the average visitor but both in the UK and USA it stands for quality competition yachting. Paris Disneyland Newport Bay Club hotel is one of seven on the Disney site, now four-star and modelled on a typical New England 1900s' coastal mansion. 

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Gatwick to Moscow

Following the withdrawal of the easyJet service to Moscow from Gatwick at the beginning on the summer season this year (and 12 months ago from Manchester), Aeroflot has come in with daily flights starting 15 November. The airline will fly to its home base of Sheremetyevo International Airport, the hub for Sky Team (ie Aeroflot), rather than Domodedovo, essentially the Moscow home for oneworld.

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Jobs galore at Stansted

Hundreds of available careers at Stansted are being promoted at the airport’s latest Jobs Fair next Thursday, 13 October, at the Hilton Hotel from 10:00 to 14:30, with Stansted’s newest airline, Jet2.com, among the exhibitors.

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London historic motorsport show

ExCeL, close by London City Airport (but on the Beckton DLR line), is to host an historic motorsport event on 23/26 February 2017. It will run alongside the existing London Classic Car Show. (Also see motoring update in this issue)

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Mercure London Hyde Park

Accor Hotels has confirmed that the new Mercure London Hyde Park will open in November this year.

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Paris convention centre reopens

Having been closed for nearly a year, Disney’s dedicated Newport Bay convention centre at Marne-la-Vallée, Paris, has reopened after an impressive regeneration. Under the watchful eye of designer Sylvie Massara, full-time “Imagineer” of Disneyland Paris, the dedicated 5,500sq m centre has been literally ripped apart with the sea the virtual backdrop to a sophisticated venue. See Disney Paris in this issue.

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Qatar’s historic signing

A breakthrough future entry by Boeing into Qatar Airways’ single-aisle fleet was achieved last week after the two companies signed a Letter of Intent for up to 60 B737 MAX-8 aircraft.

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Rwanda debut for Marriott

Marriott International on Tuesday officially opened the doors of its first Marriott Hotel in Rwanda, bringing the signature brand to sub-Saharan Africa for the first time in its nearly 90-year history.

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ON TOUR: Return to the Costa

Just returned from his latest visit, BTN's Richard Cawthorne speaks up for a much-maligned destination.

Friends look askance when I mention I’m off for one of my regular sojourns on the Costa del Sol. Reputations linger and too many people still think of the region, which starts around Nerja in the east and runs due west to the gates of Gibraltar, as the land of sunburnt holidaymaking Brits and fish and chips. As anyone who has been lately will testify, it’s an image that is way out of date. Spain may have its financial problems but the leisure product is back on its feet, at least for now.

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OCTOBER MOTORING UPDATE

Last month, BTN was a guest of the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) for its southern regional driving day at the impressive Oakley Hall estate near Basingstoke. Not so much fun as the Millbrook Proving Ground event with its high-speed track and off-road facilities, but a fine opportunity to get behind the wheels of cars not normally available. It was public roads all the way and, with the local police clearly watching closely, good behaviour the name of the game.

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AND FINALLY: Currency confusion

As if we needed reminding how little we understand our European neighbours, a study commissioned by Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) reveals we Brits have a shockingly poor knowledge of which countries use the Euro – even after the EU referendum.

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Clean sweep for SIA

The 2016 Business Traveller Awards, which recognise the finest carriers worldwide, awarded Singapore Airlines the top title of Best Airline last week at a ceremony attended by more than 300 industry figures.

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Egyptair resumes Luxor flights

Flights between Heathrow and Luxor have been resumed by Egyptair with a weekly Boeing 737-800 service offering 24 Business Class seats and 120 in Economy, plus full on-board service including free meals, drinks and individual screens for entertainment in both classes.

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High-tech bid to cut delays

A new system to predict whether passengers will catch their connecting flights has been developed by the University College London (UCL) School of Management to reduce delays at the world’s most congested airports.

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Kimpton grows in Florida

Plans to expand its presence in Florida have been announced by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants with the opening of two new properties in 2018, the Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach in Miami and a luxury lifestyle boutique hotel in Tampa.

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Montréal to Shanghai

Air Canada has announced the introduction of daily year-round flights from Montréal to Shanghai (China) beginning 16 February 2017.

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Night Tube expansion

London welcomed the start of Night Tube services on the Jubilee Line last Friday, with the Northern Line to follow suit on 18 November. Nearly 250,000 journeys, more than originally forecast, have already been made on the Central and Victoria Line night services since they began in August.

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Plymouth fundraising

Following last week’s ‘FlyPlymouth’ open meeting more details have emerged of the group’s fundraising activities. The group has raised just under £18,000 in the two weeks since the campaign started and is well on track to meet the targeted £75,000 it requires to fund the next 12 month’s activities.

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Ryanair joins recruitment rush

In a week when jobs in aviation are in the news (see also Stansted story this issue), Ryanair announced on Tuesday it is to launch a major recruitment drive as it plans to take delivery of 50 new aircraft in the next 12 months.

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Steigenberger’s new name

One of Germany’s best-known hospitality companies, the Steigenberger Hotel Group, is changing its name to Deutsche Hospitality, promising to position itself as “the benchmark of German hospitality and industry innovation as the company expands into new territories around the globe”.

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