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31 JULY 2017


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Flybe revenue boost

New Heathrow services and the timing of Easter have helped Flybe to increase its quarterly passenger revenue by 11.7% to £174m, the airline reported last week. The regional carrier launched domestic routes from the London hub at the end of March.

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TAP extends stopover scheme

A free stopover programme introduced a year ago by TAP Air Portugal is being extended after nearly 70,000 passengers took advantage of the deal, the airline said last week.

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United brings in Denver

In celebration of its 80 years of service in Denver, United Airlines last week said it was launching a daily non-stop seasonal service between Denver International Airport (DEN) and Heathrow next year.

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COMMENT: Changing of the guard

Last week’s announcement, reported elsewhere in this issue, by the Air France-KLM Group, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic that they were expanding their strategic partnership was at pains to stress Virgin Atlantic would retain its independence as a UK airline with a UK operating certificate, and would continue to fly under the Virgin brand.

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A350XWB No 100

The 100th Airbus A350 XWB, claimed by the manufacturer to be the world’s most modern wide-body, has been handed to its new owner, China Airlines, just 30 months after the first delivery in December 2014.

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Charges pledge by Heathrow

“Good progress” was reported by Heathrow last week in attempts to meet the challenge set by the government to finance the £18.6bn third-runway expansion at the airport without increasing charges to passengers.

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China Southern on the up

Hard on the heels of increasing its service between Heathrow Terminal 4 and Guangzhou to twice daily, Asia's largest airline, China Southern Airlines, has launched a new route to the Malaysian archipelago of Langkawi.

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Go-ahead for St Helena link

A widely-forecast agreement for Johannesburg-based carrier SA Airlink to provide scheduled air services to St Helena in the South Atlantic was signed by the company and the St Helena government (SHG) last week. A start date has yet to be announced.

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Japan grows for Qantas

A boom in travel between Australia and Japan has led Qantas to plan to launch new direct seasonal flights between Sydney and Osaka’s Kansai International Airport from 14 December until 24 March next year.

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More seats from Icelandair

More than 2,000 extra seats are being added by Icelandair during November and December to its Glasgow – Kevlavik service because of demand from passengers heading to and from North America.

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Ryanair's Brexit threat

As easyJet forges ahead with its post-Brexit plans (see story this issue), Ryanair has said it has put “contingency plans” in place to deal with the potential impact on its operations of leaving the EU.

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Take-off for Boeing Sheffield

Boeing has been given further impetus for its UK growth plans after council planning officers on Friday approved a multi-million pound plan for its first manufacturing plant in Britain at Sheffield Business Park.

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Virgin changes hands

Control of Virgin Atlantic changed hands last week after the carrier, the Air France-KLM Group and Delta Air Lines said they were expanding their strategic partnership in a move widely seen as an attempt to beat off increasing competition.

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ON TOUR: Mad Mike Pt 2

In Part 2 of the saga of his latest adventure (Pt 1 appeared in BTN last week - The Wizz Air way to Israel), aviation fan Mike Bartlett, known as the Mad Monk and holder of a Guinness World Record for number of airlines flown (278), recounts how his return journey on Wizz Air’s inaugural between Luton and Tel Aviv did not go exactly to plan

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AND FINALLY: The name is Nikolai

Crew working Lufthansa flight LH543 from Bogota – Frankfurt faced an extra task on Wednesday when a baby was born on board 39,000ft above the Atlantic. Place of birth: 49degN, 21degW (Lufthansa is thorough with its facts). His name is Nikolai and he and the mother, from Bulgaria, are fine.

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Alitalia bidders line up

Ryanair and Etihad are among “around ten” companies that have made offers for a total or partial takeover of Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia, according to Italian media reports last week.

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Delta's high-tech boarding plan

Phase one of a three-month Delta Air Lines test programme designed to improve gate use and streamline the boarding process for passengers in T Concourse at Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson International Airport took off last week.

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Heathrow Express takes off

An “overall satisfaction” score of 97% in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey has lifted Heathrow Express to the position of the UK’s joint top railway performer. The score is the train operator’s best to date.

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Hong Kong names the day

A starting date of 18 December has been confirmed by Hong Kong Airlines for new direct flights between Hong Kong and Los Angeles in a further expansion of the carrier’s network in North America. The route will be served by Airbus A350 aircraft.

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Level plumps for A330

Three more Airbus A330-200s have been ordered by IAG's newly launched long-haul budget airline Level with delivery by next summer in time for the carrier’s planned expansion.

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Luton adds bus service

A new A2 service between London and Luton Airport from coach operator National Express hit the road last week, adding another 35 daily departures, or 1,600 extra seats a day, straight to the airport terminal.

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Qatar adds Canberra

The fast pace of growth and expansion at Qatar Airways looks set to continue into next year with the airline last week announcing the launch of service to Canberra, its fifth Australian destination, from February.

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Window on easyJet Europe

Details have emerged of the new Vienna-based European operation planned by easyJet (BTN 17 July) in a week when the airline also announced a major recruitment drive for cabin crew with most set to be based at Gatwick.

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