8 JANUARY 2018

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Blue passports for the British

British passports will change from burgundy to blue after Britain leaves the EU, the Home Office has said.

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East Coast train expansion

Virgin Trains East Coast is creating a similar frequency of services on Saturdays to those enjoyed on weekdays.  The franchise is a joint venture between Stagecoach (90%) and Virgin Group (10%) promoted as Virgin Trains.

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Virgin to Australia

The days when Virgin Atlantic flew to Sydney may be long over but with a new codeshare coming into effect shortly, travellers will be able to fly seamlessly between Australia and the UK on Virgin-branded aircraft for the entire journey.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Alex Cruz - chairman and chief executive of British Airways.

Business Travel News has a tradition of leading off the first issue of the new year with a leading light in the British air transport industry looking forward into the next 12 months.  2018 is no exception with the words of the current leader of our flag carrying airline.

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2018 and easyJet

EasyJet has marched into 2018 with a new Chief Executive, flights from both Berlin airports and predicting 90m passengers for the year, a 12.5% rise in numbers.

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Airbus A321LR

Airlines have for a long time been looking for a successor to the ubiquitous Boeing 757, a transatlantic single aisle aircraft with around 230 seats.

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Bombardier plus and minus

The end of 2017 has found the commercial airline division of Canadian conglomerate Bombardier with both good and possibly bad news.

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Domestic flights get cheaper

In a determined effort to reduce the cost of domestic air travel Heathrow Airport Ltd is to reduce its charges on regional flights by £15.  At present flyers have to pay UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) of £13 both ways on internal flights but only outbound to places such as Amsterdam.   The Dutch government does not charge APD.

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Gatwick for sale?

According to The Sunday Times the 42% stake in London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) by the majority private equity owner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) could be put up for sale, suggesting it might want to reduce its investment.   Two years ago GIP sold London City Airport for over £2bn, more than twice the purchase price.  The New York based company also owns Edinburgh Airport acquired in 2012.

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Malaysia swaps A380 for A350

Following delivery of its first Airbus A350 XWB last November ‘oneworld’ carrier Malaysia Airlines will introduce the aircraft next Monday 15 January on its twice daily service between Heathrow and Kuala Lumper. 

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Public service routes – an observation

The European Commission has published guidelines interpreting the criteria used for operating public service obligation (PSO) air routes. Such subsidised services are deemed essential to help the communities involved. Even with Brexit, the UK is likely to follow the guideline principles as set out in Regulation (EC) No 1008/2008.

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Ryanair a British airline!

Michael O’Leary seems to have got is wrong again. 

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ON TOUR: Renaissance revisited

On the eve of an extended trip to the Far East and Australia, BTN’s Richard Cawthorne samples one of Heathrow’s most iconic hotels

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The 2017 BTN quiz answers

The response to the end-of-year quiz has been very good and perhaps we made it too easy. A rethink will take place to decide what to do at the end of 2018. But it is a long way off.

The tie break was very simple: "Which is the best airline at Heathrow T3 and why?" But in 10 words or fewer. 

We plan to publish the winners on Monday 15 January, the first prize being a trip for two anywhere on the easyJet network. There are three second prizes of a title in the Crecy aviation portfolio, and the third prize, three again, copies of the book London City Airport - Thirty Years Serving the Capital, by BTN editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg.

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AND FINALLY: False news

Luton Town fans off to see the FA Cup Match against Newcastle United last Saturday were thrown into a panic when the BBC local news North East at 18:30 on the Friday led with a story regarding possible chaos at the City Station the following morning.

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America here we come part 1

Transatlantic travel could be in for a record year.

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America here we come part 2

If your budget does not permit generally flying on a wide-bodied aircraft and you don’t mind connecting, Keflavik is proving to be an attractive alternative. A stopover is usually permitted but while there are no airline charges, the costs in Iceland are astronomic.

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BA Gatwick 2018

British Airways has announced its biggest Gatwick summer schedule in almost ten years, after acquiring lucrative take-off and landing slots left free by the demise of Monarch.

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Flybe new year’s ‘Close to you'

Flybe, claimed to be Europe’s largest regional airline, is starting the New Year with a brand refresh to better reflect the extent of its local presence. 

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GA gets Westminster push

The Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, has confirmed that Byron Davies will be the Government’s first ever General Aviation Champion.

Mr Grayling made the announcement at the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation Christmas Reception at the House of Commons.

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More Portugal from LCY

TAP Air Portugal has announced a new route between London City airport and Porto this spring. It already serves Lisbon from the east London airport.

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Murray Hotel Hong Kong

Due to open in the first quarter of 2018 is The Murray, Hong Kong, a high-profile preservation project by British architect Foster + Partners.

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Niki joins IAG?

IAG parent company of British Airways and Iberia has confirmed it wants to buy Air Berlin’s Austrian leisure subsidiary Niki subject to a Court challenge by law firm Fairplane claiming the Air Berlin insolvency proceedings should be moved from Austria to Germany.

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Stansted to Corsica

With the arrival of its sixth Airbus A320, Air Corsica will introduce flights from Stansted to the Corsican cities of Ajaccio, Bastia and Figari in Spring 2018 with up to nine weekly flights during peak months.

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