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18 DECEMBER 2017


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Conrad arrives in Colombia

Marking the debut of the brand in Colombia, Hilton luxury brand Conrad Hotels and Resorts has opened an oceanfront property in Cartagena. With 109 rooms and suites and more to come, it becomes the third Conrad in Latin America.

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EasyJet unveils Berlin plans

Leasing former Air Berlin aircraft, taking over other assets of the failed airline including slots and offering jobs to former flying crew are among the results of easyJet acquiring part of Air Berlin’s operations at Tegel Airport.

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It's the Biz for Eurowings

A new Business Class product called simply Biz is being introduced on selected long-haul flights by Eurowings when the summer flight schedule starts in 2018. The carrier says it is the first low-cost airline to make the move.

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Niki fate hanging in the balance

The fate of Austrian budget carrier Niki, which filed for insolvency last week, was still in the balance at the weekend after founder and former Formula One champion Niki Lauda was reported to have offered to buy the airline back.

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Pilatus wins certification

The first Swiss business jet has passed a major milestone after obtaining type certificates from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US-American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Wideroe adds Kristiansand

Norwegian airline Widerøe has announced the first direct flights between Stansted and the southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, beginning on 13 August next year, using a 78-seat Dash-8 Q400.

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Business Travel News and its staff would like to wish all our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018. We are back on Monday 8 January but in the meantime do try the holiday quiz and even put an entry in. The results will be published on 8 January. You may have forgotten some of these airlines existed.

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British Airways cabin service

BA Cityflyer is to carry on with its established traditional cabin service into 2018.

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Delta orders 100 A321neos

A firm order for 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft with options of up to 100 more aircraft was signed last week by Delta Air Lines and Airbus. Deliveries are set to begin in 2020 and run to the end of 2023 to replace smaller, less technically advanced aircraft.

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Etihad to fly Team England

Team England will be flown to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast by Etihad Airways, an airline synonymous with sport and the carrier for thousands of athletes, coaches and supporters from around the world.

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Heathrow expansion milestone

The programme to expand Heathrow has taken a significant step towards delivery with the launch by the airport of the first 10-week phase of public planning consultation on the project set for the new year.

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Historic motorsport on show

Six very special racing cars will deliver the sound of thunder as they take to the Grand Avenue at the 2018 Historic Motorsport International show at the ExCeL centre in London’s Docklands from 15-18 February.

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Loganair steps up expansion plans

Future plans for 2018 including the first non-stop services linking Manchester with the three main Scottish islands of Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles were unveiled by Loganair last week.

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London City gains Surf Air

Surf Air celebrated its first flights from London City Airport to Zurich last week with members and special guests aboard its Embraer Phenom 300 business jet.

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Luton Airport press conference

Luton Airport held a press conference last week. Nothing wrong with that except that there was not a representative of the airport in sight. The gathering was hosted by London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL), a company owned by Luton Council (see BTN 11 December). The local press were for the most part compliant and only Business Travel News  asked any questions after the 30min briefing. We were told an unnamed technical team was helping the council.

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Norwegian surge after slots coup

Plans for continued growth at Gatwick are in hand from Norwegian Air after it acquired 28 more weekly take-off and landing slots at the airport.

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Ryanair bows to unions

Threatened disruption over the Christmas period by Ryanair pilots appeared to have been averted at the weekend.

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Success for Sustainable Aviation

Significant progress in the battle against carbon and noise emissions from aircraft operations was reported last week by the Sustainable Aviation coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and the air traffic service provider.

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Terminals on the map

Detailed plans of Heathrow’s terminals are now available on Apple Maps after the airport collaborated with the digital giant to give passengers a powerful new tool to enable them to navigate through the airport and find what they are looking for.

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Fiat 124 Spyder v Mazda MX-5

Editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg found the little Italian roadster an easy fit. Fun motoring.

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For the holiday edition of  Business Travel News'  monthly cruise feature, we interviewed Nick Wilkinson, vice-president and managing director UK&I and MEA for Norwegian Cruise Lines. There is also a news update on what is happening in the industry, a few cruise bargains, and the result of a visit to Europa 2, Douglas Ward’s top cruise ship. 

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The Business Travel News quiz

Wecome to the 2017 Business Travel News popular year-end quiz. 

Once again a very big thanks to Rob Simpson of AIR BRITAIN in helping put it together and to our prize supplier, easyjet for a return flight for two anywhere on its extensive system, and to Crecy Publications Ltd, for three second prizes of any of their aviation titles. This year we are also giving away three copies of the commemorative book LONDON CITY AIRPORT - 30 Years Linking the Capital, written by BTN editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg.

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AND FINALLY: Flying bartenders

Just in time for the festive season, Virgin Atlantic has enlisted some of London’s top bartenders to mix drinks for passengers on board.

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Airbus top execs on the move

Two more heavyweight executives at Airbus are leaving, the company announced on Friday, headed by chief executive Tom Enders, who will not seek re-election when his term expires in 2019.

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EasyHotel's fast rebrand

What is claimed to be the fastest rebranding of its kind has seen easyHotel open in Newcastle with a property centrally located between the city centre and the quayside and an 8min walk from Central Station.

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Grayling acts on general aviation

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation last week praised transport secretary Chris Grayling for his “enthusiastic response” to its campaign to ensure the general aviation sector is safeguarded in future plans for the UK airline industry.

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Ibis Air poised for US launch

Final plans are in hand in the US for the launch of a new “low-cost, high-tech” airline which aims to fill gaps in the market internationally and between highly-populated US cities using high-capacity Boeing B747s.

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Musical send-off for Virgin Barbados

A Caribbean steel band paid a VIP visit to Heathrow last week to serenade passengers on the first Virgin Atlantic Heathrow – Barbados service in true Bajan Christmas style.

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New ibis for London City Airport

Travellers using London City Airport now have a wider choice of hotel in the area following the opening of the ibis London Canning Town, opposite Canning Town station and a key element in the newly-established Hallsville Quarter.

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Passport service extended

Passport holders aged 16 or over can now use the latest and most convenient way to renew the document online. The service, which takes an average of 10min to complete, has previously been available only to those over the age of 26.

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Plymouth Airport ‘progress’

Supporters of a plan to restore Plymouth Airport, which is currently mothballed, for future use as a general aviation facility have said they are optimistic of a successful outcome to their campaign.

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PriorityPass names top lounge

Club Kingston at Jamaica’s Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston has been named global Airport Lounge of the Year by specialist membership operator Priority Pass.

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Regions in connectivity plea

Efforts for all parts of the UK to be connected to the UK’s global hub at Heathrow are being ramped-up by the Regional and Business Airports Group (RABA), under chairman Neil Pakey.

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Two more for InterContinental

Two more luxury city properties have been added to the line-up at InterContinental Hotels, joining the new InterContinental Perth City Centre, the brand’s sixth opening in Australia, announced last week (BTN  11 December).

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UK airspace on film

A short film explaining how UK airspace works, what modernisation involves and why it is required was released last week by the Sky’s the Limit (STL) group, a coalition representing airlines, airports and UK air traffic control.

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