OCTOBER 22 ONWARD  COVID RULES - Up to date from Gov.uk

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Bliss to New York from Stansted

A bespoke service by business jet with individually-ticketed seats between Stansted and New York’s LaGuardia Airport is being planned by newly-arrived indirect air carrier Bliss Jet this spring.

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Delta surge at Los Angeles

Hard on the heels of the Qantas “super-hangar” development at Los Angeles International Airport (BTN last week), Delta Air Lines is kicking off its biggest year yet at LAX with the start of a $1.9bn (about £1.5bn) infrastructure project.

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Fontainebleau switch-on

One of the best-known hotels in the US, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, is claiming to have become one of the best connected after having installed what are claimed to be the fastest high-speed internet services and amenities.

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Iceland joins Air Canada roster

Daily summer seasonal services between Canada and Reykjavik were announced on Wednesday by Air Canada as the carrier continues its gradual expansion which started last year and will see more new routes added during 2017.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: The right runway for Britain

Rafael Schvartzman, European regional vice-president, International Air Transport Association.

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Aviation Club controversy

It is likely to be a very "interesting" first gathering of 2017 for London’s Aviation Club next Thursday (9 February).

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Central Hotels on expansion trail

Aggressive expansion plans with three new properties lined up for opening in the Palm and Business Bay developments in Dubai this year have been announced by the fast-growing management group Central Hotels.

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Custom House DLR station closed

It is going to be a rush to get it open for World Travel Market, but Custom House for ExCeL on the Beckton extension of the DLR has been closed for Crossrail readying.

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Edinburgh in noise talks

Aircraft noise in the context of future development of Edinburgh Airport was in the spotlight last Monday when the airport launched the second stage of its public consultation on the Airspace Change Programme (ACP).

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Gatwick Clubhouse unveiled

A new Clubhouse lounge has been unveiled by Virgin Atlantic at Gatwick as part of further improvements to customer service as it settles into its new home at the North Terminal. There is also a new check-in area with more kiosks and a gold feature wall.

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Israel leads Ryanair charge

More major expansion was in the air for Ryanair last week, with Israel taking pole position as the airline launched a winter 2017 schedule with 19 routes, 15 of them new. The carrier also announced its biggest winter schedules so far for Madrid and Barcelona.

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London City – Paris dropped by Air France

A frequent air service to Paris has been operated by Air France since London City Airport opened on 5 November 1987. Initially it was flown up to 12 times daily by Brymon Airways with 50-seat de Havilland Canada turboprops to Charles de Gaulle Airport. With Brymon pulling out CityJet operated the route, also as a code share, using AVRO RJ85s carrying a maximum of 95 passengers.

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US pre-clearance turmoil

The pre-clearance system that allows passengers on US-bound flights to clear customs and immigration procedures before arrival was thrown into confusion last week in the turmoil over President Trump’s immigration ban.

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Virgin Trains celebrates

A £40m investment by Virgin Trains in its 45 High Speed and InterCity 225 trains has ended with the completion of a fleet refurbishment programme. It is part of a £140m pledge to create a more personalised travel experience on the east coast network.

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ON TOUR: Lisbon – Good value even for Europe

Portugal has always had a great affinity with Britain. It is after all our oldest ally and the mother of its most famous prince, Henry the Navigator, was the sister of the formidable Henry IV. Portugal is in the same time zone as the UK and any view across the River Douro from Porto reveals one British winery after another – Sandeman, Taylor’s, Croft to name but a few. 

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The annual LONDON CRUISE SHOW takes place at Olympia 18-19 February. 

One company that will not be attending is All Leisure, now in administration, with Swan Hellenic amongst its cruise subsidiaries.  Former chairman Roger Allard is to head a resurrection of Hebridean Princess, formerly part of the group, whilst the Swan Hellenic brand has been acquired by the international Canadian Group G Adventures.  The popular Minerva is back with its owners. Hopefully a new operator will take over this fine ship.

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AND FINALLY: The Qantas view on safety

Airlines are waking up to the fact inflight safety videos are not attracting the attention they should from their passengers. Expect a flurry of new ideas to correct the matter. Among the latest is the Qantas version, which features some of Australia’s most evocative landscapes and locations.

What has this to do with safety? Good question. But Qantas says its 2016 video, of which this is an evolution, had more than 90m views across its in-flight and social-media platforms.

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Birmingham easyHotel debut

Business travellers to Birmingham will be able to take advantage of a new “super-budget” branded place to stay from Thursday (9 February) as easyHotel opens its first property in the city, near New Street station, with rates from £19.99 a night.

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Feast time on airberlin

Competition among carriers over inflight food moved up another notch on Wednesday after airberlin extended its "airgusto" restaurant service to all long-haul flights from Dusseldorf and for the first time on flights from New York and Abu Dhabi.

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Heathrow moves on

The Heathrow expansion entered its latest phase on Thursday with the launch by the government of its draft National Policy Statement (NPS), with the imposition of conditions the airport must meet for R3 approval.

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Lufthansa’s A350 light show

Different light settings designed to fit with the day- and night-time biorhythms of passengers are to be used by Lufthansa on its new A350-900 to combat jetlag from the effects of flying across different time zones.

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Manchester's new-style lounge

Plans for a new brand of lounge that will open in Terminal Three in April at a cost of £1.6m have been unveiled by Manchester Airport. The facility will be named “1903”, after the year of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

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Routes bonanza from BA

Seven new routes from Manchester Airport this summer and three new destinations from Manchester’s sister airport Stansted are in the pipeline at British Airways in what CEO and chairman Alex Cruz said was a response to customer demand.

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Stansted wi-fi extended

Free wi-fi service has been extended to 4hr at Stansted as part of the airport’s customer service improvement programme, with enhanced coverage to make it available in all main passenger areas including check-in, arrivals and at the gate.

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