11 DECEMBER 2017


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

Air India doubles up at Birmingham

A second non-stop route from Birmingham Airport, a twice-weekly service to Amritsar, was announced by Air India on Friday. Due to begin early next year, it will complement the airline’s daily service to Delhi and makes Birmingham the only UK airport to serve Amritsar non-stop.

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Bournemouth Airport sold

Regional & City Airports (RCA), the airports management division of the Rigby Group, has completed its fourth regional UK airport acquisition with the purchase from MAG of Bournemouth Airport. The sum involved was not disclosed.

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Gatwick pier to double in size

A £180m project to more than double the size of Gatwick’s Pier 6 in the North Terminal was confirmed by the airport last week. It is the largest single investment in Gatwick’s current five-year capital spending programme.

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NOT JUST LONDON CITY – The World over 30 years!

ORDER NOW – The ideal Christmas present for the regular traveller.

“The book is a testimony to your impressively detailed research, not only about London City Airport but also encompassing the development and impacts of Canary Wharf, ExCeL and Docklands. Your book is a welcome addition to His Royal Highness’s library and Prince Philip sends his good wishes.” – Buckingham Palace.

“A very interesting read. Best wishes” – Chris Grayling, secretary of state for transport.


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COMMENT: A hard act to follow

As any business person will tell you, there are few things more satisfying than leaving an undertaking in better shape than you found it. Such might be in the mind this festive season of Dame Carolyn McCall as she departs her CEO’s office at easyJet after seven years for her new job at ITV.

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Major expansion for Luton

Today (Monday 11 December), London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), a company owned by Luton Council, is expected to announce a major expansion plan to double the size of the facility over the next decade.

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51 North adds a Falcon

A Falcon 900 has become the latest addition to the Gloucestershire-based management and charter operator Executive Aviation Services fleet following the acquisition of EAS by the 51 North Group last summer. The aircraft will be based at London’s Biggin Hill Airport and available from charter from next month, January.

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ANZ, SIA broaden alliance

A third daily flight between Singapore and Auckland is being inaugurated from October next year as a joint operation between Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, boosting capacity on the route by up to 40% and adding more than 165,000 seats annually.

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Heathrow's electric milestone

A key milestone in a pledge by Heathrow to help the environment through a ‘Go Electric’ programme has been reached with the delivery to the airport’s fleet of cars and small vans of the 50th electric vehicle.

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More BA flights for London City

Further expansion of both London City and regional operations with three new routes, increased frequencies, two more aircraft and 40 new jobs was announced last week by British Airways.

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Norwegian adds Italy – Argentina

As well as developing a network between the UK and long-haul destinations including a Gatwick – Buenos Aires link in February (BTN  15 May), the Norwegian Air operation is now turning its attention to connections between Italy and Argentina.

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Star entertainment at easyJet

Passengers were taken by surprise to see Hollywood A-listers Will Smith, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp pictured together on an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Geneva.

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Yotel to open in Edinburgh

Ambitious expansion plans by the Yotel company boosted by a recent $250m strategic partnership with global private investment firm Starwood Capital Group have led the company to announce plans for its first hotel in Edinburgh.

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ON TOUR: Fascinating Tunisia

Airline enthusiast Brother Michael Bartlett, known in civil aviation circles as the Mad Monk, is an inveterate traveller and the Guinness World Records aviation champion. Among his achievements is completing a round-the-world journey by air in 57hr 17min (BTN 9 January). Here, in the second extract from his latest exploit (See Pt 1 in BTN 19 November), Bartlett, a regular visitor to Tunisia with 48 visits in 30 years, recounts why he finds the country so fascinating – and fun.

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AND FINALLY: Ugly Sweater Day

As daft promotions go, this might have you in stitches, but we are definitely not pulling the wool over your eyes. The Alaska Airlines group is offering free early boarding next Friday, 15 December, to passengers who turn up for their flights in festive jumpers.

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QUIZ PREVIEW: The answers

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Air Astana in growth mode

An overall increase in capacity of up to 40% is planned by Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana over the next three years as it grows its Airbus A320neo family fleet to become one of the largest operators of the type in central Asia and CIS.

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BA claims punctuality title

Alex Cruz returned to the Aviation Club UK this week 20 months into his role as chairman of British Airways to highlight that BA has the “best punctuality” on departures from London,  Alison Chambers writes.

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Cathay boost for Manchester

Increasing frequency for the second time in three years since launching its Manchester – Hong Kong route, Cathay Pacific last week boosted the five-a-week Airbus A350 schedule to daily.

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China flights breakthrough

Air services between the UK and China could be set for a boom after a new deal between London and Beijing for a further expansion in permitted flights between the two countries to an extra 50 a week to and from non-London airports. The total from the UK was increased from 40 to 100 last year.

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InterContinental opens in Perth

Western Australia’s boom capital has added another luxury hotel to its portfolio with the opening of InterContinental Perth City Centre, set among the theatres, cafés and upmarket boutiques of the trendy King Street Precinct.

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Raffles heads for Jumeirah

One of the world’s top accommodation brands is making its debut in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah complex development following a management agreement between AccorHotels and developer Nakheel Properties to develop a Raffles resort.

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Rosewood's new business brand

Promising a new and innovative concept for business travellers, a new hotel brand, Khos, owned and operated by the Rosewood group, has been introduced to the market with the first properties to be announced and opened during 2018.

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US – Canada competition heats up

New non-stop year-round routes between Canada and the US from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver are being launched by Air Canada next spring as competition over transborder routes hots up.

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Wizz contract for Monarch Engineering

Luton-based independent Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) specialist Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd (MAEL), which is marking its 50th anniversary, has signed a new long-term line maintenance technical handling agreement with Wizz Air.

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