28 NOVEMBER 2016

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Asia's aviation spotlight

Final arrangements are in hand for the 12th Aviation Festival Asia (AFA), which will be taking place in Singapore on 23 and 24 February next year at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

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Flybe-Loganair split

The future of air services in Scotland was under scrutiny last week after Flybe and Loganair said their franchise agreement was ending after 10 years because of a failure to agree “future operational standards and commercial arrangements”.

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Vietnam Dreamliner No 10

Heathrow is preparing to welcome its latest superjumbo shortly after Vietnam Airlines took delivery on Friday of its 10th Boeing B787 Dreamliner in Hanoi with a promise to deploy it on its London route.

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COMMENT: APD is still wrong

Disappointment was the word most heard last week after the Autumn Statement failed conspicuously to address Air Passenger Duty (APD), but disbelief would be more appropriate. How can the government not take notice of such a torrent of criticism from an entire industry? And not just any industry, but one whose contribution to UK plc has long been beyond question?

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A350-1000 takes off

Europe's largest twin-engine passenger jet, the $356m Airbus A350-1000, took to the skies for the first time on Thursday, performing a 3hr test flight from the Airbus complex at Toulouse.

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CityJet on track

A 66% reduction in operating losses in 2015 over 2014 was revealed by Dublin-based CityJet over the weekend as it published its latest results. The 2014 figures in turn showed an improvement of 38% over its previous year loss.

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Four Seasons for London's City

London is preparing to welcome its newest luxury hotel when the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square opens in the restored former headquarters of the Port of London Authority on 26 January.

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IAG moves to Waterside

Waterside is again the home of IAG, chief executive Willie Walsh confirming its return from rented accommodation in Heathrow’s World Business Centre in an AOA conference speech.  No explanation was given but with British Airways contributing to 89% of the group's earnings according to the latest accounts clearly it is still ‘mañana’ for true Iberia profits.  Presumably it is a cost cutting move.

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More long-haul for Eurowings

A major expansion of long-haul services which will double the number of its routes to North America by next July is on the way from German carrier Eurowings. All the flights will use Cologne/Bonn Airport, with connecting services from Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

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Qatar upgrade for Cape Town

A major upgrade to its Doha – Cape Town service was announced last week by Qatar Airways with the introduction of a 412-seat Boeing 777 on the route to replace the airline’s 254-seat B787.

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Safe landing at St Helena

Atlantic Star Airlines has released a video of last month’s successful tech stop by an Avro RJ100 jet at St Helena Airport (BTN 31 October) as part of its continuing campaign to have the airport declared safe for commercial services.

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Wizz shows new colours

The fashion begun by JetBlue for bespoke liveries (BTN last week) has spread to Hungarian carrier Wizz Air, which has created a special colour scheme to highlight Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and a spot-the-plane competition to go with it.

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SPECIAL REPORT: AOA Conference round-up

Malcolm Ginsberg and Andrew Sharp sum up a successful – and very busy – AOA Conference 2016

In his keynote address, transport secretary Chris Grayling outlined the process for Heathrow R3 – first a statement of national significance for consultation and approval by parliament and then an application for planning consent (which would not, however, deal with the principle of the runway).

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ON TOUR: single engine passenger aircraft conference at Oxford

Alison Chambers reports from this year’s SETops Conference at London Oxford Airport 

The imminent arrival of Single Engine Turboprops flying in commercial operations IFR – on the air operator certificates of established operators – is one of the bright spots in European business aviation right now.

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AND FINALLY: High spirits

Whether it’s to calm nerves or ensure passengers have an extra good time is not specified, but British Airways is introducing its own brand of gin for premium customers.

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Aer Lingus adds Miami

Further expansion of the long-haul network with a new three-a-week Dublin – Miami service from next September has been confirmed by IAG member Aer Lingus.

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Enter the new Dragon

A new name entered the Far East skies officially last week as Dragonair was rebranded as Cathay Dragon, bringing the airline closer to Cathay Pacific in a launch that officials say will give passengers a more seamless travel experience.

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Heathrow stacking slackens

Efforts to reduce the amount of time aircraft spend in holding stacks before landing at Heathrow Airport are paying off, according to new statistics.

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KLM exits Qatar

A 33-year presence in Qatar for KLM ends on 26 March when the airline says it is suspending services between Amsterdam and Doha.

In a statement, KLM said the service had proven unprofitable since Qatar Airways launched direct service to Schiphol in June last year.

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Latest A380 for Emirates

The first of seven new-generation A380 super-jumbos for the Emirates fleet between now and the end of April has arrived at the carrier. It is the 85th of its type to join the airline.

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London City contender?

The fourth Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation MRJ-90 flight-test aircraft, seen as a possible contender for services into London City Airport, made its first flight in Japan last week.

It is Japan's first commercial airliner since the YS-11, built by the Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation.

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New top man for Boeing

GE Aviation veteran Kevin McAllister has been named as the next president and CEO of Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division to succeed company vice-chairman Ray Conner in the role after Conner retires at the end of next year.

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Two more for Vancouver

Vancouver’s tally of new routes is on the move again after two more services to China, by China Eastern and Beijing Capital Airlines, were announced simultaneously last week and welcomed by airport president and CEO Craig Richmond.

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