16 JANUARY 2017

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China Airlines’ A350-900 double

Two Airbus A350-900 XWBs made history for Taiwan’s China Airlines last week when they completed their first intercontinental passenger flights. The first, departing from Taipei, touched down in Amsterdam on Monday.

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Hilton now a DoubleTree

Following a £2.5m investment programme, Hilton Worldwide has rebranded its Hilton Edinburgh Airport property as a DoubleTree hotel. It is 5min from the airport terminal and seven miles from the city centre, with good access to public transport.

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‘Year of change’ at Qatar

Passengers are being promised “a year of change” on Qatar Airways as the carrier introduces a series of upgrades to on-board products and services culminating in a new Business Class seat.

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Heathrow Queen's Terminal is the best

Incredibly, three near-perfect answers were received for the BTN Christmas Quiz and so we had to resort to a tie decider. The winner is Simon Grigor, who lives in South Harrow, London, close by Northolt Airport.

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London City Airport – The First 30 Years

Three decades for London City Airport

London City Airport has celebrated the inauguration of its 30th anniversary year by announcing record figures for 2016. Some 4,526,059 passengers used what is the only scheduled services airport actually in London, representing a 5% year-on-year growth compared to 2015, an all-time record figure. There is a book on the way by Business Travel News editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg

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COMMENT: The stories behind the figures

As is often the case with statistics, it’s the stories behind the figures that fascinate. Take the year-end traffic results for 2016 for UK airports, as they report their figures. It is records all round as air transport continues its upward path and further proof the UK so far is doing very nicely, thank you.

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AOA names new chief

Karen Dee, director of policy at the Freight Transport Association for the past five years, has been appointed chief executive of the Airport Operators Association in succession to Darren Caplan.

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Baby Boom takes a bow

A one-third scale prototype of the aircraft that could resurrect commercial supersonic transatlantic flight in six years’ time in 2023 was unveiled last week by chief supporter Sir Richard Branson.

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Breakthrough for WheelTug

An innovative system that allows an aircraft to taxi backward and forward using small electric motors in its nosewheels rather than jet engines or a tow tug has taken a major step to being able to enter general use.

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First A321 for Iran Air

A new era was hailed by Iran Air last week as the carrier formally took delivery of an A321, the first in a batch of 100 jets it ordered under a landmark fleet-renewal deal with Airbus.

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London's Churchill reopens

Hyatt’s UK flagship, The Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill, has reopened after a multi-million pound refurbishment which has seen new décor and the addition of six new guest rooms, bringing the total number of rooms and suites to 440.

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Sheraton hotel in bankruptcy

In changes to the Brussels hospitality scene, Marriott International has opened its second Courtyard property just as Belgium’s largest hotel, the Sheraton Brussels, has been forced to close due to the bankruptcy of its operating company.

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United bids farewell to 747

Early retirement has been confirmed for the United Airlines Boeing 747 fleet, with the airline saying it will now take place towards the end of this year instead of in the third quarter of 2018.

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Wet-lease deal for CityJet

Irish carrier Cityjet is to operate routes for Brussels Airlines beginning next April under a wet-lease agreement reached by the pair.

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ON TOUR: Travelling with dementia

Taking a flight if you have dementia can present a few challenges, so what steps can be made to make the experience smoother, and what are airports and airlines doing to help? Unforgettable, the organisation that was set up to assist those with the affliction, offers its advice.

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AND FINALLY: Fly to keep fit

Following last week’s revelation of the amount of exercise airport staff are faced with in pursuit of their jobs (Airports and keeping fit) comes further research showing the average British traveller has to walk the equivalent of almost 14 marathons to get in and out of airports during his or her lifetime.

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Airlines praised for CO2 work

A new report setting out how carriers are reducing carbon emissions and helping to meet the global industry target of a 50% reduction in global aviation emissions by 2050 is published today by Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK airlines.

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BA faces new strike

The threat of Industrial action loomed again at British Airways yesterday after the Unite union said cabin crew working under “mixed fleet” employment terms will strike for three days this week.

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Cathay on the move at JFK

The largest passenger terminal at New York JFK, Terminal 8, which is twice the size of the city’s Madison Square Garden venue, welcomed its newest family member yesterday (Sunday) as Cathay Pacific began relocating operations from Terminal 7.

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Flybe strengthens Virgin link

Scottish travellers have been handed a new link to international destinations including Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, and Dubai thanks to a new codeshare deal marking closer co-operation between Virgin Atlantic and Flybe.

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Lufthansa short-haul internet

Online services like sending emails or streaming videos on short- and medium-haul flights are being planned by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines in the next phase of the Lufthansa Group’s Flynet programme.

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Norwegian honour for Amy

Pioneering pilot Amy Johnson is to become the second British hero honoured on a Norwegian tailfin, with her portrait set to appear on two aircraft, a B737 and a Dreamliner, on routes between the UK, Europe and the US later this year.

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Stansted growth for Jet2

Four new routes, extra capacity and more aircraft are being added by Jet2 to its operations line-up at Stansted operation in response to heavy demand, despite the airline having announced its arrival at the airport only in September and first flights not due to take off until 30 March.

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Top appointments at Gatwick

Tim Norwood, the man who secured planning consent for Hinkley Point C, the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation, has been named Gatwick’s new chief planning officer.

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