4 DECEMBER 2017

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Iberia’s new premium lounge

Business travellers have a new luxury facility at Madrid Airport after Iberia refurbished its Velázquez Lounge at Terminal 4.

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Lufthansa's 'new' Business Class

Plans for a “new-concept” Business Class rolling-out on regular routes for the first time in 2020 with the introduction of the Boeing B777-9 were unveiled by Lufthansa last week.

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Second runway plan at Nairobi

Efforts by Kenya’s government to transform Nairobi into an aviation hub received a boost last week when the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a US$160m (about £118m) loan for the expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

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Stansted College on the way

Climate change and industry minister Claire Perry visited Stansted Airport last week to see the start of the construction phase of a new on-site technical college and launch the government’s Industrial Strategy.

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A MUST for Monday

Concorde on Channel 5.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: John Holland-Kaye - Chief Executive, Heathrow Airport

John Holland-Kaye became CEO of Heathrow Airport Ltd in July 2014 after successfully masterminding the construction and opening of T2. He joined the company as commercial director in May 2009 from Taylor Wimpey Plc, having held a number of positions including operations director of Taylor Woodrow Developments and commercial director of Taylor Woodrow Inc.

It’s been an eventful and exciting year for our industry. Since the government’s decision last October to back Heathrow expansion, we’ve been getting on with delivering Britain’s new runway – working with airlines, improving our plans and preparing our supply chain and skills strategies. 

Now we are looking ahead to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

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Bali update

Melbourne-based Jetstar has issued a lengthy statement on its website giving passengers in Bali an update on scheduled flights after the Bali volcano caused flight disruption last week.

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Business focus at E Mids Trains

A new booking system designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses has been unveiled by East Midlands Trains. The operator says it will help SMEs to speed up the searching and booking process through a dedicated online portal.

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easyJet and Luton Town Football Club

This is the time of the year when traditionally football clubs get involved with the local community.  It fosters goodwill for the club and adds to the sparkle as Christmas approaches.

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Europe’s largest convention centre

Claimed to be Europe’s largest facility of its kind, the new Paris Convention Centre has been officially inaugurated within the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition complex, which is undergoing a ten-year renovation project which began in 2015.

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JAL links up with Aeroflot

A memorandum of understanding for a strategic cooperation agreement to pursue commercial opportunities and provide more options for travel between Russia and Japan was signed last week by Aeroflot and Japan Air Lines.

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Moriarty steps up at CAA

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has named Richard Moriarty as its new chief executive, in succession to Andrew Haines, whose term of office is due to expire next summer.

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‘Legend’ Leahy to leave Airbus

Airbus has poached a Rolls-Royce executive to replace John Leahy as head of sales. Eric Schulz, currently president of the civil aerospace division at Rolls-Royce, will join his new company at the end of January.

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ON TOUR: How travel is getting more complicated

John Burke reports on the latest meeting between suppliers and buyers at the 2017 Destinations & Travel Management Summit

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DECEMBER CRUISE NEWS: US Eastern seaboard

We have a somewhat different CRUISE NEWS this month covering a recent trip on Celebrity Eclipse by editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg across the Atlantic and along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Just pen pictures, nothing more. That is all that can be accomplished with very short visits. Cruising will also appear in the last issue of the year 18 December.  Please also read NOVEMBER CRUISE NEWS, written on the way into New York.

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AND FINALLY: Well done Boston

When travelling one meets all sorts. The good, the bad and the indifferent.

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BA's Mandarin service

Customer service for passengers from China arriving at or departing from Heathrow has been boosted with the introduction by British Airways of Mandarin-speaking representatives at Terminal 5.

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Darwin AOC suspended

A day after entering insolvency proceedings, Switzerland-based regional carrier Darwin Airline has had its air operator’s certificate (AOC) suspended by Swiss regulators.

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Gatwick – Taipei non-stop

The only non-stop service between Taiwan and the UK touched down at Gatwick on Friday as Sky Team alliance member China Airlines completed a 13hr flight from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport with its new Airbus A350-900.

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Level heads for Orly

Paris Orly has been chosen by International Airlines Group (IAG) as the next base for its low-cost long-haul brand Level. The carrier, which launched from Barcelona earlier this year, will replace IAG’s existing Open Skies airline, launched by BA in 2008.

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New CEO for VLM

In a change at the top for VLM Airlines, parent company SHS Aviation BV said last week Harm Prins had decided to leave the company, with Karl Rickard taking over as CEO.

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Qantas' new lounge bows in

The countdown to the launch by Qantas of non-stop B787 Dreamliner flights between London and Australia next March continued last week as the airline began welcoming passengers to a spacious new London Lounge at Heathrow.

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Shangri-La arrives in Xiamen

The island city of Xiamen has joined the portfolio of Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts with the opening of a 325-room “urban resort” described by the company as “a lifestyle destination” for business and leisure travellers.

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Sydney Sofitel opens for business

The much-anticipated Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour has opened its doors as the first new-build, international luxury hotel to open in Sydney’s Central Business District this millennium.

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Wizz and IAG in slots coup

Take-off and landing slots owned by failed airline Monarch at Gatwick and Luton changed hands in dramatic fashion last week with British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) and Hungary-based carrier Wizz sharing the headlines.

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