2 APRIL 2018

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Big welcome for Primera

Just weeks away from launching its new base at Birmingham Airport with direct low-cost services to New York, Toronto, Malaga, Barcelona, Palma and Crete, Primera Air says it has been given a warm welcome by the Midlands business community.

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Kempinski Muscat open

A new 5-star property has opened in the Omani capital in the shape of the Kempinski Hotel Muscat, spread over 6km of coastline in the Al Mouj district and featuring 310 rooms and suites.

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Peninsula and BMW

Completion of a four-month redesign of its 195 guest rooms, including 38 suites and 17 private villas, has given a new look to the Peninsula Beverly Hills, coinciding with a new partnership with BMW.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Neil Pakey, chairman, the Regional and Business Airports Group, UK (RABA)

Levelling the commercial playing field for the UK’s smaller airports

Neil Pakey has been chair of the RABA Group since June 2016, and has had a varied career in airport senior management in the UK, Canada and Ireland. During service with Manchester Airport in the 1990s, he was seconded to the European Commission’s air policy division for three years, helping to put together the single aviation market.

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A Wooden Wonder

Last Sunday (1 April 2018), and on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force, the de Havilland Aircraft Museum was presented with an Engineering Heritage Award by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for its work in preserving the only surviving WWII de Havilland Mosquito prototype. Its pioneering bonded composite construction is still in use today.

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Air New Zealand enhances Skycouch

Passengers travelling with children are being given greater freedom to choose how they fly as Air New Zealand plans enhancements to its award-winning Economy Skycouch.

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Aviation Club hosts Qantas

Qantas Boss Alan Joyce was in sparkling form as he addressed a crowded Aviation Club lunch at the Institute of Directors last Tuesday.  Please also see 5 March BTN  for a technical insight.

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Delta-Korean go-ahead

Competition in the trans-Pacific market is set to increase following regulatory approval for a joint-venture partnership between Delta Air Lines and Korean Air which the carriers said offered passengers “world-class” benefits across one of the region’s most comprehensive route networks.

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Glasgow to Frankfurt

Connections between Glasgow and Germany were given another boost last week with the launch of a new daily flight to Frankfurt by Lufthansa. The airline already flies Glasgow – Munich five times a week. Both routes use the Airbus A320.

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Pilot shortage?

Pilots’ lobbying organisation the European Cockpit Association last week slapped down suggestions of a shortage in the profession in Europe, saying media headlines and rumours were misrepresenting the situation.

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Private jet ownership will continue to decline

A new ‘Jet Traveler Report 2018’ compiled by Wealth-X, the intelligence and data research company, reveals the majority of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) – those with a net worth over US$30m – are more likely to use on-demand charter services or membership programmes than to fly in their own private jet. writes Stephanie Taylor.

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Singapore's big arrival

Osaka (Japan) and Perth (Western Australia) are top of the list to see scheduled services by Singapore Airlines’ first Boeing B787-10 next month after the carrier took delivery of the first of the manufacturer’s newest and largest Dreamliner model.

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ON TOUR: Brisbane and the Commonwealth Games

This week’s ON TOUR is effectively a two-part read.

BTN has recently visited Brisbane, stopping for the day as part of an Australian East Coast cruise. Interest is focused on the 21st Commonwealth Games with its 18 sports, 275 events and 70 countries participating. However, the games are not taking place in Brisbane, 1hr by road to the North, but centred on the city of Gold Coast, noted for its popular suburb, Surfers' Paradise.

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APRIL CRUISING ISSUE

RECORD BRITISH CRUISE PASSENGERS IN 2017

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AND FINALLY: Infants aloft

On the basis that today’s babies are tomorrow’s full-fare-paying passengers, it is a sensible airline that gets its brand awareness in early.

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Aerotel for Heathrow

The international airport transit hotel brand Aerotel, part of airport services company Plaza Premium Group, will open its first property in Europe and sixth globally at Heathrow this month.

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BA's high-tech boarding

A new biometric boarding system at the departure gate has been introduced at Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Florida for passengers flying with British Airways to Gatwick.

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EasyJet Worldwide expands

More global connections and a tie-up with Thomas Cook Airlines were announced by easyJet last week, meaning more than half its flights and 53m easyJet customers a year can connect to airline partner services and other easyJet flights in one booking.

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Gatwick’s autonomous transport

In a trial that could be a first step toward widespread use of autonomous vehicles on airfields across the world, Gatwick is planning to be the first airport to use the high-tech transports to shuttle staff around.

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GWR Heathrow Express deal

Heathrow Express services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport will continue to operate until at least 2028 under a management contract between Heathrow Airport and FirstGroup subsidiary Great Western Railway (GWR), writes Andrew Sharp.

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London hat-trick for Cobalt

A new enhanced Business Class offering, including dine on demand, joined the line-up from Heathrow last week as Cypriot carrier Cobalt Air brought in its new daily service to and from Larnaca.

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Lundgren joins festival line-up

In one of his first international conference appearances as easyJet CEO, Johan Lundgren is joining the line-up of senior industry figures due to speak at the 2018 Aviation Festival at the Business Design Centre in London from 5-7 September.

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Priority JFK restaurant deal

Independent airport lounge membership programme Priority Pass, part of the UK-based Collinson Group, has signed an exclusive partnership deal with Bobby Van’s Steakhouse at New York’s JFK International airport.

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The keyless hotel

Tech-minded travellers heading for Budapest can now book and pay for a room, check-in, open the door and order extra services remotely with the opening of the first 4-star hotel in Europe controlled by guests' smartphones.

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