10 JULY 2017

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Aberdeen lanyard scheme

Familiarisation tours and lanyards for passengers needing extra assistance have been launched at Aberdeen International Airport as part of the campaign to make air travel more friendly and accessible for all.

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Doncaster Airport train link?

A rail connection from the East Coast Mainline to a Doncaster Sheffield Airport station has moved a step closer after Doncaster Council and Sheffield’s Local Enterprise Partnership commissioned a feasibility study.

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Shangri-La opens in Yiwu

The 52-storey World Trade Centre building in the Chinese business city of Yiwu has become the home of a new 362-room Shangri-La hotel. The tower is the tallest structure in Zhejiang Province.

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COMMENT: The Arora Plan for Heathrow

After a quiet few weeks since the election, aviation hit the headlines again yesterday with wealthy hotel entrepreneur Surinder Arora submitting plans for a third runway at Heathrow which he says would be considerably cheaper than the current scheme. But will this and other honourable ideas just slow things down? R3 needs to be got on with.

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New minister on stage

Britain’s new aviation minister, Lord Callanan, who was appointed last month to succeed Lord Ahmad, is to deliver the keynote speech at this year’s Aviation Reception in the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons tomorrow, 11 July.

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Aviation chief on the future

The government remains committed to delivering expansion at Heathrow and parliamentary support should be secured before any discussions on a new runway at Gatwick or another South East airport begin in earnest.

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BA strike escalates

The union behind the mixed fleet cabin crew strike at British Airways said last week a further two-week stoppage had been called to begin three days after the current 16-day dispute ends next Sunday and set to extend into the summer travel peak.

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CSeries arrives at London City

A Bombardier CSeries 100 in full SWISS regalia is expected to take part in certification trials at London City Airport next Monday (17 July) and go into service with a Zurich inaugural on Tuesday 8 August (LX 466/467). It departs LCY at 18:25.

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Delta's trans-Pacific coup

An agreement to create a new trans-Pacific joint venture to benefit passengers has been launched by Delta Air Lines and Korean Air. The partners say it will offer an enhanced and expanded network, industry-leading products and service and a “seamless customer experience” between the US and Asia.

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El Al takes over Israir

Directors of El Al Israel Airlines have approved a plan by its Sun d'Or subsidiary to buy smaller rival Israir from IDB Tourism. Sun d'Or, which flies to 17 destinations around Europe, will pay up to $24m, while IDB will receive a 25% stake in Sun d'Or.

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MGallery for Leicester Square

A new hotel opens in prime territory in London’s Leicester Square next month with the unveiling by AccorHotels of its MGallery by Sofitel, an upmarket 86-room boutique property within the heritage site of Victory House.

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United B777 spreads its wings

Six more intercontinental routes – but not London – are joining United Airlines’ Boeing B777-300ER network this year, widening the reach of the airline’s newest aircraft type and the all-new Polaris Business Class seat.

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ON TOUR: The best of Barcelona

ON TOUR this week is in Barcelona, one of six cities featured in a new series of “Destination Experiences” produced by the Leading Hotels of the World group, of which this is an extract. The guides set out to discover what lies beneath the surface of the world’s most cosmopolitan destinations using insider recommendations provided by local tastemakers and influencers. The other cities in the collection are Paris, Dublin, London, New York and Rome.

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JULY MOTORING: Mazda CX-5 mark 2

When it comes to Mazda, the spirited MX-5 comes to mind. It is the world’s best-selling sports car with more than 1m sold. Some will say it looks like the even more legendary Lotus Elan Sprint, a true classic, whose production terminated because of American car safety construction regulations in 1973. 

Mazda once built auto rickshaws. Today it is one of the world’s great car producers, with more than 1.5m vehicles produced last year, a comprehensive vehicle range and now, in July 2017, a second generation of the CX-5 SUV launched.

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AND FINALLY: Heathrow's tipple

If you’re one of those passengers who occasionally feel driven to drink, help is at hand. Heathrow has created its own gin. It’s part of a festival running to the end of next month to celebrate the tipple.

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Boost for Heathrow rail

Rail links to Heathrow are to be increased within the next two years under plans which include the addition of two new Elizabeth Line trains an hour serving Terminal 5 from December 2019.

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Crew in demand at bmi regional

Captains and first officers are being sought in a recruitment drive by bmi regional after what the airline says has been a successful start to 2017 which has included launching new routes across its network and strong sustained growth.

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Emirates’ UK record

Thirty years of operating to the UK were marked by Emirates last week with an announcement that the airline is on track to carry 5m passengers between Britain and Dubai in the 2017/18 financial year, making it a record year for the airline.

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Laptop bans lifted

Turkish Airlines on Thursday became the latest airline to have the US ban on in-cabin electronics lifted with immediate effect. Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates have all had the restriction eased while Saudia said it expected to follow “on or before” 19 July.

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More growth at Norwegian

Norwegian last week announced two new US routes from Gatwick from next March, with flights now on sale to Chicago, which will be served four times a week, and Austin, Texas, with flights three times a week.

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RAeS conference

A two-day exhibition and conference on “Excellence in Aerospace” opens in London tomorrow, 11 July, with a line-up of top speakers and featuring some of the world’s leading companies from the industry. Registration is available throughout the day.

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Roll up for the VC10

A live taxi run and guided tours featuring one of Britain’s most iconic airliners, the VC10, are features of a special open day by Brooklands Museum at Dunsfold Aerodrome next Saturday, 15 July.

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Ryanair eyes on Alitalia

After an absence of two years, Alitalia returned to Croatia on Friday with a service between Rome and Split. It will be followed on 23 July by flights to Dubrovnik. Flights are twice a week by Airbus A319 and A320 until 10 September.

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Sheraton Cairo reopens

A city landmark for more than 40 years, the Sheraton Cairo Hotel has reopened after an extensive renovation to produce modern interiors, refreshed public spaces and innovative dining concepts.

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