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27 NOVEMBER 2017


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Bloomsbury opens in London

A 1928 Sir Edwin Lutyens building at the centre of London’s literary heartland relaunched last week as a new hotel, The Bloomsbury, following a multi-million-pound renovation complete with new public spaces and the Coral Room restaurant and bar.

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Cathay expands wi-fi offer

Growing demand for inflight connectivity is prompting the Cathay Pacific Group to introduce high-speed wi-fi to its Boeing B777 and Airbus A330 fleets from mid-2018. It follows the successful introduction of broadband to its Airbus A350-900s.

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Enter Avianca Argentina

A new South American airline took to the skies last week as a prelude to launching international flights next year. Buenos Aires-based Avianca Argentina has an all-turboprop fleet but says it plans to add three Airbus A320 family aircraft by mid-2018.

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COMMENT: A Jumbo heritage

As with Mark Twain, who responded to publication of his obituary by saying reports of his death had been greatly exaggerated, so with the Boeing B747. Special events by several airlines marking the end of B747 operations prompted BTN last week, among other publications, to foresee the end of the Queen of the Skies’ long reign.

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Aer Lingus growth record

More details of new developments at Aer Lingus were announced last week as the airline celebrated future growth plans in its transatlantic network and more connections with UK services (BTN 30 October).

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Blue Island's freedom to fly

Jersey has witnessed its first “Freedom to Fly” course after Guernsey-based carrier Blue Islands arranged for 20 residents to attempt to conquer their fear of flying with a presentation by training manager Chris Stubbs followed by a flight.

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Delta One spreads its wings

Key long-haul domestic routes in the US are being brought into Delta Air Lines’ premium network from 1 April with the company introducing its Delta One product on select flights between Boston – Los Angeles and New York-JFK – San Diego and Seattle.

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Full speed at Heathrow T2B

A joint project between Heathrow and Star Alliance member airlines is making things easier for passengers connecting through the airport’s Terminal 2-The Queen’s Terminal (T2B) by enabling faster transfers.

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Hainan biofuel breakthrough

China’s first transoceanic passenger flight using biofuels touched down successfully at Chicago O’Hare Airport last week as Hainan Airlines completed a 12hr 40min inaugural on its Beijing – Chicago route using the Boeing B787-8.

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Monarch can sell its slots

In a boost for creditors of collapsed airline Monarch, administrators last week won an appeal against a court decision that had stripped the company of rights over valuable airport slots, said to be worth up to £60m.

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Quest to open in Liverpool

Australian property company Quest Apartment Hotels has secured its first UK site in Liverpool city centre with a £10m investment and a planned opening in 2019. The operator says it aims to have eight to 10 apartment hotels in the UK by 2023.

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The bears are back

Doris and Edward Bair, stars of last year’s Heathrow Christmas advertisement, returned last week as the airport unveiled its 2017 version of the 50-year love story between the two veteran travellers.

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United grows US network

Ten new domestic routes are being introduced by United Airlines from April with flights from five of its US hubs to destinations in California, Florida, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas.

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ON TOUR: A new gateway to Israel

The Israel Airport Authority is close to completing the country’s most significant recent infrastructure project and one of the western hemisphere’s few greenfield airports to be opened since the turn of the millennium.

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AND FINALLY: About time too

Chancellor Hammond didn’t have much to cheer the industry in his Budget but he did win praise from some quarters for injecting some humour into the proceedings.

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Airlines on alert over volcano

Airlines were on red alert last night in face of a volcanic ash warning from Indonesian and regional authorities after Mount Agung in Bali emitted a plume of smoke 4,000m (13,000ft) into the sky.

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Budget condemnation

The Budget decision to freeze Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates for Economy Class passengers from 1 April 2019 and pay for it by increasing the tax on premium-class tickets and private jet travel was roundly condemned by the industry last week.

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EasyJet in new transfers deal

A new airport transfers booking portal has been launched by easyJet in collaboration with Holiday Taxis Group which the companies say will make it easier than ever for customers to book the best deals and fastest transfer times to and from the airport.

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Green light for A350-1000

European and US safety accreditation certificates were handed over to Airbus last week for the A350-1000 following an intensive flight test campaign performed in less than a year. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines.

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More expansion for Qatar

Continued expansion in Europe and Russia, including an increase in daily frequencies to Stockholm and Oslo alongside Milan and Rome, was announced last week by Qatar Airways.

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Principal joins the parade

Joining the Doyle Collection’s new Bloomsbury hotel (see this issue), the latest addition to the Principal Collection of properties based in landmark buildings in top locations will also open in early 2018  in Russell Square.

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Single-pilot move by Airbus

Plans to develop aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners are being considered by Airbus in face of a world shortage of crew particularly in China and the Gulf region.

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Wizz boost for Luton

A major expansion at Luton Airport was announced last week by Wizz Air. The airline is adding four 186-seat Airbus A320s to the Luton fleet by next June, making a total of five, plus five new routes and 30 additional flights.

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