12 FEBRUARY 2018

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British Airways and wi-fi

BA first offered wi-fi out of London City Airport back in 2009 in the form of a messaging service on its New York flights.

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No flights to Eilat

If you were thinking of taking a flight direct to Eilat to coincide with a stay for Easter (or the Jewish Passover), forget it.

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Virgin Hotel Edinburgh

The Virgin Hotels Group will open its first European property in Edinburgh it has been announced.  

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COMMENT:The Elizabeth Line

In December 2018 the Elizabeth Line is due to open between a new sub-surface station at Paddington and Abbey Wood. It will surface from under the London City Airport runway and dive under the Thames stopping at Woolwich before completing its journey.  Trains will travel from Abbey Wood to Paddington where a change will need to be made if your destination is Heathrow. Through trains to that airport and the west are promised for later next year. 

The Elizabeth Line does not stop at London City Airport!

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COMMENT EXTRA: The railway on the east coast. What to do with it?

The Virgin branded East Coast line, owned 90% by Stagecoach and 10% Virgin Group is rapidly becoming an embarrassment for the Government.  Paul Hickman, analyst at Edison Investment Research offers his explanation. New trains are on their way too, further adding to the complications:

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Airport MD swap

Bristol Airport announced last Friday that, following an extensive search and selection process, Dave Lees has been appointed as its new chief executive officer.  Mr Lees is currently managing director of Southampton Airport, which has achieved record passenger numbers and customer satisfaction scores during his time at the helm.  He takes up his new role on 1 August.

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Aviation Club and Aegean

Dimitrios Gerogiannis, the engaging CEO of Greek airline Aegean was the speaker at London’s Aviation Club last week.  The MBA (Master of Business Administration) from the London Business School introduced himself by saying he preferred a dialog to a monolog which he would keep short in describing the airline, and then take questions.

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Belfast City Airport investment

George Best Belfast City Airport has announced a £15m infrastructure investment that will include a major upgrade of its departure lounge, incorporating its retail, food and beverage offering. 

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British passport prices increase

The Home Office has outlined plans to introduce different passport fees for online and postal applications.

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Business Travel Show

The Business Travel Show is at home again at Olympia London this Wednesday and Thursday, 22-23 February, with more than 7,700 attendees expected and 260 suppliers offering their wares.

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Fearless Flyer by easyJet is back

EasyJet will very shortly begin a series of courses across the UK for people to overcome their phobias of flying. 

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Minister at Elstree Aerodrome

The Government has confirmed Byron Davies as its first ever General Aviation Champion to help identify a network of UK aerodromes that are most important for non-scheduled flying to flourish. (see BTN 15 January)

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Ryanair pessimistic

Having had to do U-turns over pilot union recognition and Brexit, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary was in a pessimistic mood when he announced the airline’s quarterly results. 

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FEBRUARY ROAD TEST: Lexus CT 200h

As smooth as silk.  A mature car.

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AND FINALLY: Is Michael running scared?

For many journalists one of the highlights of any week is the calling of a press conference by Ryanair’s controversial Michael O’Leary.  It did not matter if it was a collection of truths, half-truths or downright lies.  He is a fine story teller well before a certain gentleman in the United States.

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AND FINALLY MOTORING SPECIAL: What is the UK's favourite new car colour?

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has come up with some figures.

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AMEX to acquire Hogg Robinson

Hogg Robinson Group, the global B2B services company specialising in travel management, is to be acquired by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) in a recommended all-cash acquisition of the entire issued, and to be issued, ordinary share capital. It is conditional on receipt of antitrust and other regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

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Delta watches your bags

Concerned about where your luggage is in the world-wide air travel arena?

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Flight compensation scheme

A new fully automated flight delay product has been launched aimed at airlines, tour operators, banks and retailers who can offer it as part of their loyalty programmes to reward and retain customers.

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Free wi-fly on Virgin Trains

West Coast customers on Virgin Trains will see a significant improvement in onboard wi-fi later this year. All the operators Pendolino trains will undergo a refit which will vastly improve the onboard equipment, and allow the service to be extended to all customers.

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Holiday Show thoughts

Destinations, the holiday and travel holiday show supported by The Times and Sunday Times is essentially for consumers. 

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Laptops and airports

According to a report in The Times by Graeme Paton airport security queues could be cut under plans to create a new generation of smart scanning machines.

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Nationwide search by Heathrow

Heathrow Airport has launched a nationwide tour of 65 sites still in the running to be the off-site construction centres for the R3 expansion.

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New A330-800 rollout

The newest member of the A330neo Family, the A330-800, has rolled out of the paintshop, on track for its first flight mid-2018.

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Times Square budget hotel

US micro-hotel pioneer, The Pod Hotels, has opened a flagship property in the heart of Manhattan.

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