13 FEBRUARY 2017

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Etihad, Lufthansa edge closer

Further co-operation between the Etihad Aviation Group and the Lufthansa Group has been set in motion with the signing of a range of agreements at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

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More New York from United

A sixth daily nonstop flight between Heathrow and New York Newark is to be operated this summer by United Airlines. Services will use the B763-300 with 214 seats, including 30 flat-bed models in Polaris Business Class and 184 in Economy Class.

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Qatar's ultra long-haul

Aviation fans reached for the record books last week after Qatar Airways claimed the rosette for the world’s longest commercial flight for its new service between Doha and Auckland.

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COMMENT: Domestic air routes - Can we wait?

On 2 February, transport secretary Chris Grayling took a major step forward in publishing the draft Airports National Policy Statement which is now subject to a public consultation.

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Air Canada's new look

A new fleet livery, new staff uniforms and new inflight menus were unveiled last week by Air Canada as its home country prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its confederation and the airline puts the B787 into service.

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AirAsia X eyes Gatwick

Gatwick is in line for the return of Far East long-haul carrier AirAsia X after it was awarded air traffic rights by Malaysia’s aviation commission to operate nine weekly return flights from Kuala Lumpur. The airline operated a short-lived service in 2012, transferred from Stansted.

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Aviation Club welcomes oneworld

London’s Institute of Directors, the home of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom, last week welcomed Rob Gurney, recently appointed (last September) oneworld CEO.

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BA PR shake-up?

A major reshuffle within the worldwide public relations function at British Airways is under way, according to the industry bible  PR Week, with a view to merging the UK and international PR teams and redundancies are likely to be made.  PR Week says the move would create a single, global PR structure within the airline.

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Brain Box at the Radisson

A new style of meeting room which its creators say has been designed to encourage and inspire guests’ working efficiency and creative thinking using special design and technology has been unveiled at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel.

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Finnair Russia links increase

More connections to Moscow and St Petersburg are being offered by Finnair with an eye on business travellers as a further improvement in connectivity between the UK and the airline’s wider network.

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KLM returns to London City

A new service between London City Airport and Amsterdam operated by KLM took off last week with the first flight receiving a festive welcome at London City with the aircraft flying Dutch and UK colours as it taxied to the arrival gate.

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Norwegian names US bases

Plans for a new direct flight between Belfast and the US are under consideration by Norwegian as part of a package of new routes from Europe to destinations including New York and Boston, according to reports.

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W Hotels heads for Prague

A new hotel brand is on the way to the Czech Republic with W Hotels Worldwide, part of the Starwood Hotels division of Marriott International, announcing it will open W Prague in 2020 on Wenceslas Square in the heart of the capital.

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ON TOUR: Brussels and A4E

Celebrating its first birthday, and launching its ‘Aviation Summit’, A4E (Airlines for Europe) hosted in Brussels last week one of the largest gatherings of its type ever seen.

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FEBRUARY MOTORING UPDATE: Vauxhall Astra

Sri NAV 1.4 Turbo 150PS

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AND FINALLY: Airports join the health craze

Do you fancy a work-out while waiting for your flight? Increasing numbers of airline passengers do, as witness special facilities that have been installed over the years at some Far East and Middle East airports.

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Boeing's $13.8bn SIA order

A firm order worth up to $13.8bn for 20 B777-9s and 19 B787-10s is on the cards between Singapore Airlines and Boeing after the carrier agreed a letter of intent with the manufacturer.

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Bombardier cash boost

The Canadian government is to provide C$372.5m over four years in repayable funds to the country’s major aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier. A statement said the funding would support jobs, strengthen Bombardier’s competitiveness and “help to build the aircraft of the future”.

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Ethiopian makes it three

A third Airbus A350XWB has been phased in at Ethiopian Airlines as the carrier forges ahead with a fleet modernisation programme that has seen it introduce the advanced Airbus as well as the Boeing B787 Dreamliner.

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Hong Kong debut for Niccolo

Marco Polo Hotels has revealed plans to launch its new luxury brand, Niccolo, in its home city of Hong Kong.  It will transform the historic Murray Building in the Central district into the company’s new flagship property.

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Iberia's new-look Shuttle

Passengers are being offered greater flexibility, more services and a wider choice of flights after Iberia announced it was relaunching its Madrid – Barcelona Air Shuttle, known as the Puente Aéreo, or Air Bridge, following an agreement with Vueling to operate the service jointly.

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Manchester's Chinese filmfest

In a novel development for the travel industry, a festival of Chinese feature films is going on the road around the UK later this month as a joint promotion between Manchester Airport and Hainan Airlines.

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The Brussels 'Privilege'

Champagne, amenity kits and chocolates are among treats being offered by Brussels Airlines to intercontinental passengers in a new cabin section called Economy Privilege, between Business Class and Economy Class.

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WOW targets business travel

Business seats and priority boarding are being offered for the first time on WOW Air from 1 June as the carrier continues to challenge other airlines in the transatlantic market with its low-cost model.

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