21 NOVEMBER 2016


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Bristol boost by bmi regional

The successful bmi regional operation at Bristol Airport, from where it operates seven routes, has prompted the airline to boost its Bristol – Milan schedule to a total of five weekly departures.

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SriLankan homes in on London

Network and schedule changes including the decision to make Heathrow its gateway to Europe have been announced by SriLankan Airlines following a strong year during 2016 which saw a “progressive increase” in UK passenger numbers over 2015.

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COMMENT: Timing is everything

Conferences come and conferences go, but rarely can one have arrived at a more opportune moment than the Airport Operators Association annual gathering, which kicks off today and continues tomorrow in London.

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Amba Hotel – Charing Cross

BTN has been trying out what will form part of the prize list for this year’s Christmas Quiz, the Amba Charing Cross. It really is a fine hotel, now once again of 5-star standard and situated within walking distance of virtually all the great London landmarks. 

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AOA adds VIPs

Transport secretary Chris Grayling and Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary last week joined the heavyweight line-up of speakers for the Airport Operators Association (AOA) annual conference being held today (21 November) and tomorrow at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London.

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BA in new deal with Alaska

Access for British Airways passengers to more US cities moves up a notch from Wednesday (23 November) when a new codeshare partnership with Alaska Airlines comes into force.

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Eilat's new airport

Israel’s new international airport, called Ramon, will be operational next summer. It replaces the current Eilat Airport, in the very centre of the Red Sea resort and suitable only for short-range domestic flights. The new one will double as a diversion facility for Tel Aviv Ben Gurion (TLV) if that airport needs to close for some reason. 

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Khan backs LHR challenge

In an apparent change of direction, London mayor Sadiq Khan last week hit out at what his office called the “devastating environmental consequences” of a third runway at Heathrow and signalled his support for a potential legal challenge.

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London City hosts Brexit talks

The government last week reinforced its pledge to work closely with the aviation industry to “ensure it continues to be a major success story for the UK economy” in the aftermath of Brexit.

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Ritz-Carlton enters New Zealand

New Zealand is set to welcome its first Ritz-Carlton after the hotel company signed a management agreement with NDG Asia Pacific (NZ) for a 300-room new-build property in Auckland.

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Runway upgrade for Dublin

Almost 695,000 extra seats across the route network have joined the roster at Dublin Airport this winter season, just as the airport last week launched a major upgrade for its main runway.

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Ryanair victory over 'false' ads

Further action by the CAA against “misleading” airline advertising and mis-selling of  “non-existent” fares was called for by Ryanair last week after the company scored an initial victory over the practices.

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United plans no-frills cabin

A new no-frills Basic Economy class is being introduced by United Airlines as the company continues a programme of new measures planned by chief executive Oscar Munoz to increase revenue and cut costs.

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ON TOUR: In Bruges

Richard Cawthorne samples Belgian hospitality – and the weather – on a midweek break in Bruges

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AND FINALLY: Back to the future

As Star Trek fans might say, it’s an A320, Jim, but not as we know it.

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SPECIAL NOTE: Driverless Lords

The enquiry continues on Tuesday 22 November.

See also Driverless Lords continues BTN 14 November


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Air China boost for Chengdu

Chengdu, which was dropped by BA last month (BTN 24 October), is being developed further by Star Alliance member Air China, which last week began flights to and from Sydney, the airline’s first non-stop route between west China and Australia.

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Boeing, Gatwick join forces

A multi-million pound commercial aviation maintenance hangar is to be built at Gatwick as a joint project by the airport and Boeing.

Subject to approval, construction will begin late next year and the facility will be open for operations in 2018.

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Cape Town – London boost for Ethiopian

Ethiopian Airlines is to step up its service from Addis Ababa to Cape Town from 2 December to 10 per week, seven of which are non-stop Boeing 787 flights. 

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Edinburgh expansion in view

A public consultation on future expansion plans over the next 25 years, including an extended terminal building and an enlarged aircraft parking area, has been launched by Edinburgh Airport.

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Lufthansa arrival

The first of 10 new Airbus A350-900s on order by Lufthansa has arrived.  The fleet will be based at the Munich hub, with the first commercial flight scheduled for 10 February to Delhi. Boston will be another earlier destination.

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NH Hotels on the move

Spain’s NH Hotel Group has followed the launch of its premium brand, NH Collection, in America with the opening of 5-star properties in the two most important cities in its home country, Gran Hotel Calderón in Barcelona and Hotel Suecia, Madrid. As is usual for the brand, both are in city-centre landmark buildings.

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SkyTeam's new Beijing lounge

A new luxury lounge operated by the airline alliance SkyTeam has been unveiled at Beijing Capital International Airport.

It is the second such facility in the Greater China region and the sixth worldwide.

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Ups and downs for easyJet

A 27.9% fall in pre-tax profits in the year to 30 September was reported by easyJet last week, with chief executive Carolyn McCall saying it had been a period of "significant challenges".

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