8 MAY 2017

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Munich terminal a hit

Celebrations have been held at Munich Airport to mark the first birthday of the pace-setting midfield terminal, which was the first to be built at a German airport and in its first year has handled more than 74,000 flights.

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Scowsill leaving WTTC

Former American Airlines, British Airways and Hilton Hotels executive David Scowsill is leaving his job as president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) after six years at the helm.

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United’s ‘new opportunity’ says ANZ

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon says United Airlines ''shouldn't waste a good crisis'' after a passenger was dragged from an overbooked aircraft but use the situation as an opportunity to turn around its culture.

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COMMENT: Rage in the air

By the time you read this, there will almost certainly have been at least one further example of the “new” cult of air rage. New in inverted commas because as all who travel regularly on aircraft know, it’s a phenomenon that has been going on for quite a while. It’s quite possible, though unrecorded, that Wilbur had an argument with Orville on the sands at Kitty Hawk, but we digress.

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BA JFK T7 upgrade

A spacious new check-in concourse with a separate Club World and First area designed with customer privacy in mind will be a feature of British Airways’ multi-million pound re-design of its Terminal 7 facility at New York JFK.

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China’s C919 takes off

In one of two developments last week involving potential challengers to the B737 and A320, China’s first domestically-built large passenger jet, the C919, completed its maiden flight on Friday from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.

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Eurocontrol under fire

Urgent reform of the Eurocontrol organisation was called for last week by Airlines for Europe (A4E) ahead of the election next month of a new director general to succeed Frank Brenner, who is leaving at the end of his five-year mandate.

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Hamad International boost

Two new restaurants have opened in the North Node of Doha’s Hamad International Airport, joining a selection of more than 30 eateries offering passengers cuisine from all corners of the globe.

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Lufthansa switch-on

High-speed internet on short- and medium-haul flights is now available on some of Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines aircraft, with a choice between three service packages at €3, €7 or €12. Internet access will also be available on flights by Eurowings in a few weeks.

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McLaren – Forgotten hero

To many of a younger generation, McLaren means either a seemingly failed Formula One team or an illustrious road car beyond the dreams of most of us. Few will know that the name recalls one of New Zealand’s most treasured sons, born in 1937 and killed on the Goodwood motor racing circuit on 2 June 1970.

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Qatar grows Bangkok route

A fifth daily non-stop service between Doha and Bangkok is being launched by Qatar Airways on 1 June as demand continues to increase on routes which the airline says have become important for business as well as leisure travellers.

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St Helena breakthrough

The controversial airport at St Helena welcomed its first commercial passenger flight on Wednesday with the arrival from Cape Town of a chartered SA Airlink Avro RJ85 regional airliner with 60 passengers.

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US seat pitch row

A new consumer row is brewing in the US after American Airlines said it was cutting seat pitch on some aircraft from 31in to 29in, which observers noted is less than the low-cost carriers JetBlue in the US and Ireland’s Ryanair.

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ON TOUR: Routes Europe

Northpoint Aviation Services director and BTN contributor Basil O’Fee reports from the Routes Europe gathering in Belfast on the aviation scene in Ireland itself and Sweden’s ambitions for more connections with the UK.

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MAY MOTORING: Kia Optima Sportswagon

It used to be easy when collecting a new car. The salesman might tell you where reverse was, and maybe explain the radio controls and that was that. Ten minutes' maximum instruction, and off on the road.

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AND FINALLY: Terminal bliss

Airports are rapidly becoming more than just places where you catch a flight. We know (rich) people who do their Christmas shopping at Heathrow, others who drop in at Gatwick for a morning coffee. But a wedding venue?

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Bobby Moore tail fin honour

Norwegian has chosen the late English footballer Bobby Moore, who died in 1993, to become the latest British tail fin hero to appear on its new aircraft.

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Bristol Airport at 60

Two special aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 and its modern equivalent, an Airbus A319, took centre stage last Wednesday as Bristol Airport celebrated 60 years of flying from its current site in North Somerset.

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Citadines debuts in US

CapitaLand’s serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Ltd, has acquired the prime 125-unit Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York and is investing nearly $50m (about £38m) in rebranding it as the first Citadines development in the US.

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Emirates’ all-A380 plan

Competition on the important route between Melbourne and the rest of the world is hotting up, with Emirates’ planning to provide an all-A380 service from 25 March next year when it upgrades its third daily flight from a B777-300ER.  The news came in the same week Eithad announced a similar move on its services to Melbourne.

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Flybe arrives in Budapest

The inaugural flight of Flybe’s three-times-weekly service between the Hungarian capital and Southend was celebrated at Budapest Airport last week as the airport’s fifth direct connection to London.

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Russia unveils its MC-21

In the same week China’s C919 made its maiden flight (see this issue), Russia entered the new-generation twin-engine fray with Izvestia reporting the MC-21 jet had left the assembly line at the Irkutsk aviation plant and was being prepared for its own first outing.

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Trains v planes

Fifteen routes across Europe where catching a train is quicker and more environmentally friendly than flying have been identified by travel platform GoEuro in a move to dispel the myth that flying is always faster.

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What chance Open Skies?

Viewing Brexit as a UK problem is a mistake, delegates at the Routes Europe 2017 conference have been told.

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