OCTOBER 24 ONWARD  COVID RULES - Up to date from Gov.uk

This  review was revised 18 October

* items include readers letters

20 MARCH 2017


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Alitalia faces €1bn cost cuts

A €1bn cut in costs, a big fleet reduction by 20 narrow-body aircraft and profitability by 2019 are elements in the next phase of Alitalia’s business plan, covering the next four years. The plan was heralded earlier this year (BTN 9 January).

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LCY opens Business Lounge

A new Business Lounge offering what is described as “a premium customer experience for all passengers at the reasonable price of £35 per person” opens officially today at London City Airport.

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Meals war hots up

Two more carriers joined the battle over inflight catering last week with Cathay Pacific planning to test the dine-on-demand concept on London flights throughout May and American Airlines to offer free meals on some US coast-to-coast flights.

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COMMENT: Please sign the petition

There’s nothing like the threat of a looming election to muzzle normally loquacious politicians faced with intractable problems. Even those not always forthcoming can become strangely even less so.

Did someone mention François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande, his seven years in charge of France now up? He is standing down, but the damage may already have been done.

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Aerotel opens at Changi

The latest of airport lounge specialist Plaza Premium Group’s Aerotel hotels has opened in the Departures area in Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal One, the first in Singapore and also Asia’s only airport transit hotel with an outdoor swimming pool.

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Brandenburg delayed again

An opening date planned for this year for Berlin’s troubled Brandenburg Airport project has been put back again after it was found extra work on technical building facilities and alterations to the sprinkler system could not be completed in time.

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Edinburgh adds B737 MAX 8

Norwegian has reshuffled its peak-season schedule to accommodate plans to introduce its new Boeing B737 MAX 8 on the Edinburgh – Oslo route. Originally planned to start in early 2018, it will now begin on 1 June.

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ERA Yearbook takes a bow

Almost everything you ever wanted to know about Europe’s airline sector can now be found in the 2017 ERA Yearbook, published by the European Regions Airline Association.

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Eurostar heads for Bordeaux

Ticket sales for the new high-speed train service between London and Bordeaux using a new rail line in France that reduces journey time by more than 1hr went on sale from Eurostar on Wednesday. The service begins on 2 July.

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Flybe adds at London City

Daily flights between London City Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport are to be operated by Flybe from next Sunday, 26 March, until 27 October in a boost for the service, which to date has operated only at weekends.

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Leonardo arrives in Warsaw

The Unesco world heritage site of Warsaw became the latest destination in the Leonardo Hotels portfolio on Wednesday following the group’s takeover of the 4-star former JM Hotel Warsaw Centre.

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Train spotters’ day out

Exactly 111 years since opening on 17 March 1906, Great Western Railway (GWR) on Friday announced its renowned Old Oak Common (OOC) depot will be opened to the public for a special day on 2 September to celebrate its contribution to maintaining the Legends of the Great Western.

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£60m loss for Cathay

The Cathay Pacific Group last week reported a loss of HK$575m (about £60m) for 2016, its first since the world financial crisis began in 1988. The figure compares to a profit of HK$6,000m (£626m) in 2015.

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ON TOUR: Bangkok's river

Jane Stanbury goes messing about on the river – in this case Bangkok’s Chao Phraya.

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AND FINALLY: Once a king …

As mere mortals contemplate ever more restrictive baggage rules imposed by our friendly neighbourhood airlines, spare a thought for King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, who arrived in Japan last week for an official visit.

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Alaska keeps up the pace

Non-stop service in three new markets was inaugurated last week by Alaska Airlines as the company continued its growth surge following its takeover last year of Virgin America to become the fifth largest US carrier.

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Citywing forced to close

Isle of Man-based Citywing has been forced to close after aircraft supplier Van Air Europe’s licence for UK flights was suspended by the CAA. Citywing said it had been unable to source more aircraft to operate its services.

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Etihad A380 spreads its wings

Growing demand is bringing another long-haul destination into the Etihad Airways Airbus A380 network this summer with the airline introducing the award-winning double-decker on the Abu Dhabi – Paris route.

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IAG’s Barcelona baby

A new low cost long-haul airline brand joins the International Airlines Group (IAG) portfolio this summer in a move to combat growing competition in the field from the likes of Norwegian and, potentially, Ryanair.

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Lufthansa profit climbs

In spite of what was termed a damaging series of strikes, the Lufthansa Group made a net profit of €1.78bn (about £1.5bn, $1.91bn) for 2016, a 4.6% increase over the previous year.

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Propliner is back

Due to be launched on 23 April is the Propliner Annual, the definitive successor to Propliner Aviation magazine.

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Regional airports in spotlight

The future of regional airports in the UK and priorities for connectivity, capacity and investment will be under discussion at a seminar organised by Westminster Forum Projects in central Birmingham on 6 April.

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TAP goes fully flat

The first of seven A330s to be retrofitted by TAP Portugal this year with new fully-flat Business Class seats has gone into service as part of the carrier’s £70m fleet renewal programme.

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