14 NOVEMBER 2016
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A tussle between American Airlines and Delta for rights to operate the important route between Los Angeles and Beijing was won by American on Friday in a US Department of Transportation ruling.
Enhancements to the Deliver & Collect service, enabling customers booking cars to have the vehicles delivered to their homes or workplaces as a way to take the stress out of the hiring process, were highlighted by Europcar at World Travel Market in London last week.
A DECISIVE YEAR FOR UK AIRPORTS
With the AOA Annual Conference opening at the Hilton London Metropole next Monday (21 November is the start of the two-day event) it seemed an appropriate time for Ed Anderson to be “On the Soapbox". For Anderson’s background, see BTN 1 January.
Looking in sprightly form, and while not actually naming Air France, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, speaking at WTM’s featured aviation briefing last week, said the airlines' “day of reckoning would come”. He was responding to a question regarding KLM, which he inferred would work well with BA. “Never say never” was his response to a takeover question. This could have happened in 2004, but the then UK airline boss Rod Eddington had other matters to deal with. Walsh cited too much political interference with Air France.
US president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about American jobs for Americans prompted the airline lobby group Partnership for Open & Fair Skies on Friday to demand action against state-owned Gulf carriers.
Air New Zealand has appointed Jo Copestake as general manager UK and Europe. The airline has a daily service from Heathrow to Auckland via Los Angeles, where it has a fifth freedom.
More space for passengers, with up to 38in pitch, 19in of width and 7in of recline, is on the way in Delta Air Lines’ new Premium Economy product, to be introduced on certain international flights from next autumn.
Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, Air Astana, has taken delivery of its first A320neo and the first in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Airport Lounge Development (ALD) company, a subsidiary of Collinson Group, and Swissport have opened a new facility called Club Aspire at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 in response to what it calls a significant increase in demand.
TRAVEL MARKET CONFRONTS CRISES
John Burke has visited 79 countries as a travel writer and photographer. He has attended World Travel Market since 1985, and also reported from ITB in Berlin and Resalivet in Oslo. He took the pictures as well.
ROAD TEST – MINI convertible
Luton is on the way up. The airport terminal is currently being rebuilt with a link to the mainline station promised (see in this issue). Also planned is a complete transformation of the town centre, complete with a soccer stadium complex (and the local soccer team is also not doing too badly).
Another new US route – to Oakland in California, an alternative gateway to San Francisco – and plans to join the “10-across” seating club, both involving the B777, kept British Airways in the news last week.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will continue its inquiry investigating driverless vehicles tomorrow (15 November) and will hear evidence from Transport for London, Highways England and industry experts.
Calls to the government for improved rail access to Luton Airport intensified last week after an 18.7% increase in passenger numbers to 1.3m was recorded in October compared to the same period last year.
Central European carrier Wizz Air is launching flights between Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) to the southern Romanian city of Craiova (CRA) from the end of March. It is the airline’s second new route to be announced this autumn.
A ninth North American destination is being added by the Icelandic carrier Wow air to its fast growing line-up of transatlantic services with flights to the important Pennsylvania business city of Pittsburgh from 16 June.
In the latest move in what it calls an “ambitious and dynamic” fleet and network expansion programme, Oman Air is starting a daily service between Manchester and Muscat from 1 May.
Three-times-weekly seasonal flights from between Gatwick and Vancouver (YVR) by B767-300 are to be launched by Air Canada Rouge from 8 June, in a further boost to international services at its west coast hub. In addition to this new summer service, Air Canada is introducing daily seasonal flights between Frankfurt and Vancouver, also starting in June.