5 JUNE 2017

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Another new hub for Flybe

Flybe has started operating 11 new routes to regional destinations in France and Italy from eight UK airports via its new hub at Southampton.

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Emirates First Class plan

Details of a new First Class product and a range of other new features in the Business and Economy Class cabins to be showcased at the Dubai Air Show in November were revealed last week by Emirates.

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Lufthansa crew on iPad

All 20,000 cabin crew at Lufthansa are being issued with iPad Minis over the next few weeks as another step in the airline’s year of digitisation. Each pad, known as a cabin mobile device (CMD), has an app giving fast access to seating plans and other passenger information.

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Terminal 2 hotel under way

The start of construction of the first hotel linked directly to Terminal 2 in Heathrow’s central area has been marked with an official ground-breaking ceremony. 

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways

Akbar Al Baker has been instrumental in shaping the development of Qatar Airways into one of the fastest growing and most highly acclaimed airlines in the world – named Airline of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2015 and runner up in 2013, 2014 and 2016 by global industry audit Skytrax. Born in Doha, he is a graduate in Economics and Commerce and worked at various levels in the Civil Aviation Directorate before becoming Qatar Airways’ group chief executive in 1997. Al Baker has spearheaded the growth of Qatar Airways, which operated only four aircraft in a regional capacity prior to his appointment and now flies 199 aircraft to more than 150 destinations across six continents.

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30 years ago London City was born

On 31 May 1987 Captain Harry Gee landed a Brymon Airways de Havilland Canada Dash 7 at what had been recently named London City Airport.

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BA: New strike plus 150m bill

Cabin staff at odds with British Airways are threatening a new four-day walkout from 16 June in the long-running dispute over mixed-crew pay as the airline copes with the aftermath of last week’s IT failure.

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Conrad opens in Guanghzou

With features including more than 1,800sq m of flexible meeting space and a 24hr administrative centre, Hilton luxury brand Conrad Hotels & Resorts is making a pitch for business travellers at its new Conrad Guangzhou.

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Eurostar eyes Amsterdam

Plans for a high-speed direct rail service between London and Amsterdam moved up a gear last week after Eurostar introduced its new e320 train on the London    Brussels route.

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MC-21 first flight

Russia took another step toward competing with the Airbus A320 and Boeing B737 MAX in the twin-engine short- to medium-haul aircraft market last week with the first flight of the Irkut MC-21 following its roll-out last month (BTN 8 May).

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Ryanair 60-day check-in

In the latest improvement in year four of its “Always Getting Better” programme, Ryanair said last week passengers who buy an allocated seat for their flights can now check-in up to 60 days in advance.

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SWISS brings the Bombardier C Series to London

Last week SWISS introduced the Bombardier C Series 300 with 145 seats on to its Geneva – Heathrow route, marking the arrival of the brand new Canadian aircraft at Europe’s busiest international airport. Last July, the airline introduced the smaller 125-seat Dash 100 version on the Zurich – Manchester route (See BTN 18 July 2016)

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ON TOUR: EBACE 2017

ON TOUR : Widening the reach at EBACE

The over-riding theme from this year’s EBACE Show in Geneva, played out under clear blue skies, was of an exciting industry widening its reach, writes Alison Chambers. Aircraft sharing and affordable new aircraft models were among the hot topics. Another was FBOs opening their doors to commercial airline passengers so they could have a taste of the time-saving, stress-free benefits of biz av.

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ON TOUR EXTRA - Cruising the canals

TULIPS FROM AMSTERDAM

There is no better time to visit the Netherlands (Holland does not actually exist today as a country as such but is the name given to the most westerly regions including Amsterdam) than the spring, when the flowers are at their best. Make the climax of your trip a half-day minimum at the Keukenhof Gardens, just outside Amsterdam, surely the world’s greatest collection of tulips.

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JUNE CRUISE REVIEW

See also  ON TOUR extra

CMV GETS THE VOTE

BTN lists the new ships as cruising continues to boom

“No U-turn”, says marketing boss”

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AND FINALLY: Remembering McQueen

Aviation fans are almost by definition lovers of speed too, and so are racing drivers, professional and amateur.

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Airport policy in the spotlight

Development of a new aviation strategy for the UK and a review of the draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on airport expansion will be subjects under the microscope at a special seminar in London on 14 September.

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Belfast: New owner, new route

A fund managed by 3i Group plc (“3i”) last week took formal ownership of George Best Belfast City Airport – on the same day the airport’s new route was launched to Reykjavik with Icelandair, which will open up connections to North America.

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CityJet's Antwerp party

Passenger number 500,000 made the record books for CityJet last week as the airline celebrated the milestone on its route between Antwerp and London City Airport (LCY).

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Delta goes biometric

Fingerprints are replacing IDs at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in the US in the first phase of a plan by Delta Air Lines to introduce biometric boarding passes, initially for members of its Sky Club loyalty programme.

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Expansion beckons for Level

Level, Europe’s newest low-cost carrier, took to the skies last week as owner IAG said it was looking at adding more European cities to the schedule next year with the arrival of three more Airbus A330s to the fleet.

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Norwegian ups the stakes

Competition between low-cost carriers operating in Europe is accelerating as Norwegian, in the same week as the launch of IAG’s Level (see this issue), announced it is to begin flights between Rome and three US cities from November.

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Qatar's new broadband

Mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat has signed up Qatar Airways to become the first major Middle East airline to select the new GX Aviation in-flight broadband system.

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Titan's 32-seat A318

Configured with just 32 seats, a new all-Business Class Airbus A318-100 leased from British Airways has joined the fleet at Stansted-based charter carrier Titan Airways and will be available from this month.

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United's transcon update

Wide-ranging updates to transcontinental services “to provide the same level of service as on international routes” were announced last week by United Airlines as the carrier moved to counter recent bad publicity.

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