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22 JANUARY 2018


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Business Travel Show

Steve Martin, bestselling author, British Airways Business Life columnist and CEO of the behavioural change consultancy, Influence at Work, has been revealed as the keynote speaker at the Business Travel Show in February.

Steve will deliver his defining speech from 10:00-11:00 on the 22 February.

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Mike Hooks

Many readers will have known Mike Hooks, the distinguished aviation historian and journalist, who passed away on 17 January at the age of 89.

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COMMENT: Car insurance rip-off

Your editor-in-chief, with a clean driving licence, broke the law last June by driving at 45mph on the downhill dual carriageway that leads from Luton Airport towards the M1.  No excuse, except that the road could easily be 50mph and quite frankly this speed limit appears to be nothing to do with safety but a money-making exercise by the local council.

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A380 stays in production

Whilst it was His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates, who last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for up to 36 Airbus A380 with John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer customers, it clearly had the airline’s president Sir Tim Clark’s fingerprints all over it.

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Airport planning question mark

A proposal to double the number of passengers using Luton Airport will be decided by national inspectors and not the town council, ministers have vowed, as some local MPs attacked the scheme as “unsustainable” reports the London Evening Standard.

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Grayling and the airlines

Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling is the Guest of Honour on Wednesday (24 January) at Airlines UK annual dinner.  

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Kuala Lumpur Singapore rail link

The long-awaited high-speed train service between Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Singapore looks like it is finally on. 

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Liverpool FC and Malaysia Airlines

Former Liverpool soccer stars Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler were the special guests of Malaysia Airlines at a Heathrow reception to launch their new Kuala Lumpur A350 service last week. (see also BTN 15 January - Malaysia invests in Australia)  

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Novotel for Stansted travellers

Arora Hotels and Accor have announced the completion of a multi-million pound refurbishment to convert Arora Hotels’ Stansted property to the Novotel brand.

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Pilots get 20% pay increase

Ryanair confirmed last week that all 15 of its UK pilot bases – including Stansted which had previously rejected an improved pay deal – have now voted in a secret ballot to accept pay increases of ‘up to’ 20%.  The Dublin base has not agreed.

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Travel and the law

The travel industry faces major regulatory changes this year.

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US destination dropped by Norwegian

Bradley International Airport, Hartford Connecticut, midway between New York and Boston is to lose its twice weekly Edinburgh, Scotland, air service launched last June. 

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VLM to Birmingham, Munich and Maribor

Antwerp is to gain VLM air services to both Birmingham and Munich from 12 February.  On the same day the carrier will introduce Munich to Maribor (Slovenia).

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ON TOUR: Southend Airport

2017 was a good year for Southend Airport (SEN) with 1,095,915 passengers passing through, a 25% growth on the 874,549 of 2016.  2018 should see further double digit growth percentage-wise with leading resident airline easyJet adding a fourth A320 series base aircraft.  Easyjet will serve 21 destinations in the coming summer.  Airport Director Glynn Jones says Southend is well on its way to a target oF 2m customers by 2020.

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AND FINALLY: Paddington Bear

All reviews and gossip indicates that the new Paddington Bear film is not just for children and is adult friendly.

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Heathrow consultation

A ten-week public consultation has opened to shape Heathrow’s future and how it will serve local communities and the UK economy.  It comes ahead of a Parliamentary vote in the first half of 2018 on a National Policy Statement regarding Heathrow.  

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London airports exhibition

Heathrow is backing the 3rd British-Irish EXPO which takes place at London Olympia 12-13 June.

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Paris adds Cork for 2018

Air France is to serve Cork from Paris for summer 2018 with a daily flight.

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Record Atlantic by Norwegian

On Monday 15 January, Norwegian flight DY7014 from New York JFK to Gatwick completed the full duration of the flight in 5hr 13min – the fastest transatlantic flight recorded on a subsonic commercial aircraft.  The flight carrying 284 passengers departed New York at 11:44 and arrived at London at 21:57 – 53 minutes early.

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Special assistance and Heathrow

Following last week’s Heathrow announcement (See BTN 15 January) of a multi-million pound package of investments and tools to improve the travel experience of passengers with disabilities and mobility restrictions distinctive blue lanyards  special assistance are being introduced initially in T3.  This replicates the United Nations new symbol of accessibility.

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Stobart Jet Centre Southend

With RAF Northolt due for closure this year for remedial work Stobart Aviation, part of the Stobart Group, has timely launched a major new executive jet fixed based operation (FBO) at Southend Airport.

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Travelodge 70 plus London hotels

With the opening of new properties at Brent Cross and Harrow, Travelodge has topped the 70 mark with London hotels.  The UK total is over 530.

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Zambia Airways relaunched

Ethiopian Airlines, which claims to be the largest aviation group in Africa, has announced a shareholder’s agreement with the Government of Zambia for the re-launch of Zambia Airways.

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