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14 NOVEMBER 2016


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American wins Beijing route

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.

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Europcar's time saver

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.

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Tianjin on expansion trail

New routes including a new service between London and Xi’an and further expansion for 2017 have been announced by expanding Chinese carrier Tianjn Airlines.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Ed Anderson - Chairman of the Airport Operators Association


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.

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COMMENT: Trump & O’Leary

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Walsh and Clarke at WTM

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.

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Airlines’ plea to Trump

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.

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All change Air New Zealand

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.

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Autism-friendly Gatwick

Gatwick has been named the UK’s first autism-friendly airport in recognition of its commitment to becoming an accessible and friendly environment for all passengers.

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Carrier results

Flybe, Britain’s third largest scheduled services airline, announced its quarterly results last Wednesday (9 November).

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Delta’s premium offer

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.

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First A320neo in the CIS

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.

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New lounge for LHR T3

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.

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ON TOUR: World Travel Market


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.

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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).

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AND FINALLY: ‘Our House’ by Madness

As noted at The Guild of Travel Writers' annual dinner. It dates from 1982.

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25Hours set for global take-off

German boutique hotel chain 25Hours is embarking on a worldwide expansion programme after Accor Hotels took a 30% stake in the business.

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BA: 10-across + new route

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.

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Driverless Lords continued

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.

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Luton intensifies rail push

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.

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More Wizz for Liverpool

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.

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Now it's Pittsburgh for Wow

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.

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Oman Air for Manchester

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.

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Vancouver shines for Air Canada

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.

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Virgin’s Johannesburg celebration

Sir Richard Branson joined Virgin Atlantic customers last week to celebrate the airline’s 20th anniversary in South Africa with a special birthday party in the sky. 

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