19 DECEMBER 2016

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Boeing defends Iran deal

In a move likely to cause friction between Boeing and the incoming Trump administration in the US, the aircraft manufacturer and Iran Air have announced a deal for 80 aircraft including 50 B737 MAX 8s, 15 B777-300ERs and 15 B777-9s.

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Cathay boost for Gatwick

On the back of strengthening demand for flights between Hong Kong and the UK, Cathay Pacific is boosting its four-times-weekly A350-900 service from Gatwick, which was launched in September, to a daily operation from next June.

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Ireland debut for Ascott

Serviced residence owner/operator The Ascott Ltd has expanded its global footprint to Ireland after acquiring an operating property, the 136-unit Temple Bar Hotel, in Dublin for €55.1m (about £46.3m).

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More long-haul for Cologne Bonn

Further expansion of the low-cost long-haul network at Cologne Bonn Airport took place last week with the departure of Eurowings’ inaugural flight to Havana. The Lufthansa Group carrier has also announced two more long-haul launches next summer.

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Oxford – London alternative

A year ago, BTN reported on the opening of  Chiltern Railways’  new line to Oxford Parkway. On 12 December, the routeing was extended to Oxford central, with a half-hourly service each way.  

From Marylebone, it goes via a whole series of stations including Wembley Stadium, South Ruislip (for Northolt?), High Wycombe and Bicester. 

Our railway expert Andrew Sharp was on board.

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Southampton security upgrade

Security measures were being enhanced at Southampton Airport last week as it became one of four in the UK to introduce the latest state-of-the-art non-invasive body-scanning technology in response to Department for Transport (DfT) regulations.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS  and its staff would like to take this opportunity of wishing all our readers and supporters the very best for 2017 and a happy, healthy and prosperous year.

The next edition of Business Travel News is published Monday 9 January 2017 with the Christmas quiz results.

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BTN Christmas Quiz

The fun is taking part and not necessarily winning

Do enter, even if you can’t name all the aircraft. We have plenty of prizes. The fun is taking part. Ask your friends to help. All they need to do is go to the website.

We will reveal the correct solutions on Monday 9 January 2017, our next publishing date. Closing point is Friday evening 6 January 2017 at 24:00 (GMT). There is no cash prize alternative and on all matters the editor-in-chief's decision is final.

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COMMENT: Aircraft noise – real progress

The news that HACAN (the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise) and Heathrow Airport Ltd  have set out their joint support for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA) to oversee efforts to reduce aircraft noise in communities around Heathrow culminates 50 years' work by the aviation industry in developing quieter and quieter aircraft. That HACAN is prepared to add its name to a Heathrow press release is real progress (see 'Unlikely alliance on noise' in this issue).

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Strike threat to Christmas

Moves to tackle a series of industrial disputes threatening flights at UK airports up to and over the Christmas weekend were taking shape as BTN went to press last night, with talks at the conciliation service Acas planned for tomorrow (Tuesday).

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"Unlikely alliance" on noise

The Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN) joined the airport last week in what Heathrow itself labelled an unlikely alliance to back the case for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority (IANA).

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Brussels Airlines takeover finalised

The Lufthansa Group has completed its takeover of Brussels Airlines (SN), with the Belgian carrier scheduled to be integrated fully into the parent company as of 2018 and joining the Eurowings Group.

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Christmas book review

BTN seems to have found favour with book publishers and while it cannot be said a multitude of titles have arrived, even the few are more than last year.

The Ghost at Brooklands Museum by Mark Richardson
Record making by Michael Bartlett
Easyland by Tony Anderson – How easyJet conquered Europe
The Journey by Captain John Hugh Richards

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Heathrow R3 process starts

“Extensive engagement and consultation” with local communities and other stakeholders on the plan for a new runway at Heathrow was promised by the airport last week as the process began of drawing up a formal planning application.

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Leonardo's new NYX brand

Israeli group Leonardo Hotels is creating a new lifestyle brand called NYX next year with an initial three properties. The first is in Italy’s fashion capital, where preparations are almost complete for the grand opening of NYX Milan.

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New Belfast – Iceland link

A new year-round link between Belfast and Reykjavik offering convenient connections to the US is being launched on 1 June by Air Iceland, adding to its recently-launched services to and from Aberdeen.

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Stansted expansion unveiled

Plans for a new £130m arrivals building at Stansted were unveiled last week as the latest phase in the multi-million pound transformation programme by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to support future growth and attract new passengers and airlines.

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ON TOUR: Where to go in 2017

It is not nearly as large as the Disney extravaganzas in Los Angeles and Orlando, and, let’s face it, the French weather, rather like that nation, can blow hot and cold, but Disneyland Paris is something we don’t have in the UK. 

If you are thinking of a family trip in 2017, it is very much worthwhile considering. It is surprisingly easy to get to, English is a requirement for all public-contact cast members (staff in Disney language) and if you plan ahead, while it is still not cheap, overall it is fair value.

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MOTORING: Christmas road test – The Tesla S

Many years ago, BTN editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg, the writer of this piece, was lent a Ford/Hertz electric car for a road test. The problem was its range – 40 miles, and that was it. A very embarrassing moment nearly ensued! He has kept away from battery-propelled vehicles ever since!

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DECEMBER CRUISE NEWS - Oriana comes of age

And the annual LONDON CRUISE SHOW takes place at Olympia 18-19 February 2017. 

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AND FINALLY: Starship enterprise

Since it’s Christmas, we’re happy to report this week’s feel-good story, courtesy of Air New Zealand.

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Atlantic Star: We’re ready

Last week’s UK Public Accounts Committee report on St Helena’s new airport, labelling the £285m project a “fiasco” that “unquestionably failed” taxpayers has been attacked by would be island-based carrier Atlantic Star Airlines.

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Carbon-neutral Manchester

Manchester Airport has become the first in the UK to be awarded Level 3+ carbon-neutral status in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme run by the Airports Council International (ACI).

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EasyJet woos woman pilots

A surge in applications to its Amy Johnson flying initiative has led easyJet to double the number of its new-entrant woman fliers and set a new target of ensuring 20% of new-entrant cadet pilots recruited by the airline in 2020 are women.

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Glasgow's trendy 'bot

Justifying its high-tech reputation once again, Glasgow Airport last week introduced its passengers to GLAdys – described as “the UK’s first humanoid robot airport ambassador”.

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Higgins takes over at Gatwick

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins will become chairman of Gatwick Airport from 1 January, replacing Sir Roy McNulty, who will remain on the board as deputy chairman.

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Marquis arrives in Bangkok

New ground has been broken in Thailand’s capital with the arrival of the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, the Marriott Hotels brand’s largest property in Asia Pacific.

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Norwegian eyes Scots base

Two new operational pilot and cabin-crew bases in Europe, including one in Edinburgh, and two in the US are being planned by Norwegian to support its long-haul transatlantic network. It  follows approval by US authorities of a foreign-carrier permit for the carrier’s Norwegian Air International business (BTN 5 December).

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Praise for CS300

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft of Canada on Thursday congratulated launch operator airBaltic on what it described as “the superb execution of the CS300 aircraft's first commercial flight”.

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Singapore Airlines A350 heads north

Manchester will host its first commercial A350 flight on 17 January when Singapore Airlines (SIA) launches its new Dash-900 model of the aircraft on its services to both Singapore and Houston.

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Sydney airport go-ahead

Australia has given the go-ahead for construction of a second airport for Sydney at a cost of £3bn as the existing Kingsford Smith airport nears capacity. The decision ends decades of political indecision over the project, which is expected initially to handle 10m passengers.

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United cutback continues

Manchester has joined the United Airlines casualty list after the carrier announced it was stopping its seasonal service between the city and Washington DC next summer. It follows the scrapping by the airline of its Belfast – New York Newark service (BTN 7 November).

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Vietnam Airlines celebrates

Special celebrations have been held in London this month to mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of direct flights between Hanoi and the UK by Vietnam Airlines (VN).

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Virgin Atlantic reshuffle

A third daily flight next summer between Heathrow and Los Angeles is being introduced by Virgin Atlantic following its decision to suspend its Heathrow-Chicago seasonal service.

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Vueling adds Orly service

A new route from next March between Bimingham and Paris Orly has been announced by Vueling, the Spanish airline member of the International Airlines Group (IAG) and part of the oneworld alliance.

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