17 OCTOBER 2016
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Latvia’s flag-carrier, Air Baltic, has announced its return to Aberdeen International Airport with a new route, operating three flights a week to its home country’s capital, Riga, between May and September next year. The airline has not operated from Aberdeen since September 2014.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) last week awarded its Airline of the Year (Silver) title to CityJet in recognition of what it called the carrier’s “achievements throughout 2015 in successfully rebuilding as an independent airline”. The citation also praised CityJet’s “significant growth in its traffic and transformation of its business model”.
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In 1979, the then-Gatwick owner, British Airports Authority (BAA), in other words the state, signed a deal with West Sussex County Council not to build a second runway at the airport until 2019. Given it would probably take at least ten years to prepare such an undertaking, it is surprising the airport did not start to implement this scheme with the sale by its owner’s successor, BAA Plc, to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in 2009.
Regional airline Flybe is again making noises regarding operations from RAF Northolt, six miles to the north of Heathrow, during the interim period if, as seems likely, Heathrow expansion gets the go-ahead tomorrow. The Exeter-based airline makes it clear that its priority however is to gain slots when the new runway is completed.
Flybe’s situation is curious.
Singapore Airlines took possession of an Airbus A350XWB at Toulouse on Friday, the 10,000th aircraft to be delivered by the European manufacturer and a milestone few imagined when Airbus began more than 40 years ago. The company has gone from awkward European collaboration to market leader.
With an announcement by the government on runway capacity in the South East now expected tomorrow (18 October), British Airways last week repeated it would oppose any move by Heathrow to raise charges if the airport is given the go-ahead to expand.
An additional daily year-round service between Abu Dhabi and Dublin which increases frequency on the route to 14 flights a week was announced last week by Etihad Airways, effective from 1 April next year.
The saga of Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Note 7 device took a dramatic new turn on Friday when the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FDA) issued an emergency order banning it from air transportation in the US.
New York’s reborn Downtown area has been given a new boost with the opening of a Four Seasons hotel in the Tribeca neighbourhood a short distance from Wall Street, the World Trade Centre and the futuristic new Oculus rail interlink complex.
More capacity and frequencies on the routes between Helsinki and Tokyo and Hong Kong for summer 2017 were announced last week by Finnair. The airline will use the new Airbus A350 and flights will operate between 5 June and 27 October.
Two new international destinations for 2017, Philadelphia and Tampa, have been announced by Icelandair. The two cities are the airline’s 17th and 18th gateways in North America and offer easy connections from all the UK airports served by the airline.
Richard Cawthorne continues his tour of Spain with a visit to one of its most historic cities. See also BTN 10 October
If you ever need a lesson in driving in Spain, head for Cordoba. Branching out from the Costa del Sol’s coastal cities, as reported in ON TOUR last week, I thought Cordoba, a 2hr drive from Malaga, would provide an ideal contrast to all that sea, sun and sand with a heady dose of culture. It is after all a former Roman settlement and later a stronghold for the Moors when they were in charge of Spain, and I had read both occupiers had left numerous reminders of their stay.
Leading figures from every major political party in the UK in a letter to Theresa May released yesterday (Sunday) have called on the prime minister to clear Heathrow expansion for take-off. A statement on the expansion is expected tomorrow.
More flights, more international visitors and more jobs at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) are in the offing after Romanian carrier Blue Air announced a new expansion of operations across Europe by naming it as its eighth European base.
Spanish carrier Air Europa is forging ahead with expansion plans, ordering more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to replace its current Airbus A330s and expand the long-haul fleet, along with opening new routes. The carrier has two B787-8s in service with six on order and another 14 B787-9s on order.
New technology is being installed at Nice Airport in France after a big increase in passenger numbers persuaded officials to make the investment “to make people’s experience within the airport more seamless”.
Plans for the opening of the new Novotel Canary Wharf in London move up a gear this week with the launch of behind-the-scenes previews of the property, which will have 39 floors and offer 360deg views of the capital.
Finland welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha last Monday, inaugurating a daily service that will connect the capital, Helsinki, to more than 150 destinations worldwide.
Matthew Bell, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), has been confirmed as keynote speaker at a conference on Delivering Sustainable Growth in Aviation taking place at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London today and tomorrow (17-18 October).