16 APRIL 2018

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Airbus bizjet luxury

The changing face of executive travel is on show in Shanghai this week with Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) highlighting its ACJ320 Family at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE), which begins tomorrow and runs until Thursday.

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Qatar boost for Oman's capital

An additional daily frequency to Muscat, Oman’s largest city and capital, has been launched by Qatar Airways, with a second new service scheduled to begin on 15 June.

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COMMENT: IAG and Norwegian

Will the possible takeover of Norwegian by IAG under chief executive Willie Walsh be more successful than BA's controversial merger with Iberia back in 2012, which some people still think was a mistake? (See IAG circles Norwegian in this issue). BTN reported last week on IAG's actual individual airlines’ figures. Would BA have been more profitable over the past six years if left alone? 

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'Basic' goes on sale for BA

The new long-haul hand baggage only (HBO) fare (BTN 5 March) being launched by British Airways in conjunction with its transatlantic joint business partner airlines American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia went on sale last week.

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Airline Insolvency Review

Government moves in the wake of the Monarch collapse last year to protect passengers when carriers go out of business take an important step forward today, Monday, with a call for evidence for the Airline Insolvency Review.

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BA’s new PR chief

PR Week reports that British Airways has hired Louise Evans, formerly director of corporate affairs at Sainsbury's, to the position of director of external communications. She takes on the task of resurrecting a press relationship that has been severely strained for a number of years.

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Denver in the spotlight

United Airlines has inaugurated its non-stop seasonal service between Heathrow and its Colorado hub at Denver International Airport with a daily operation.

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Easyjet winter blossoms

More than 77,000 flights between 28 October and 3 February next year with 13m-plus seats between them went on sale last week as easyJet launched the first part of its winter 2018 programme.

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HBO is for Lufthansa

Lufthansa Group demonstrated the importance of the UK market by holding a high level media briefing at the Shard in London last week. Sadly, foul weather meant the press could not see Lufthansa and Swiss arrivals for London City Airport passing by. 

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More units for Elizabeth Line

Transport for London has awarded Bombardier Transportation a contract to supply a further five nine-car Class 345 Aventra electric multiple-units for use on the Elizabeth Line, taking its total order to 70 trainsets.

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New look for Brussels Air

A new three-class cabin interior for the Airbus A330 fleet is on the way from Brussels Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, with London-based JPA Design commissioned to do the work.

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Sleeping with the cargo

Lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths to fit inside an aircraft’s cargo compartments are being developed and marketed by Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace. The partners say the move “offers new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience.”

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Vueling strike threat

Pilots at the Spanish low-cost airline Vueling, part of the International Airlines Group (IAG) family, are threatening to go on strike for four days over the next few weeks in a dispute over contracts, Spain’s national pilots union SEPLA said on Thursday.

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ON TOUR: Newcastle and Darwin (Australia)

Readers may be aware that editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg cruised from Sydney to Singapore in February on Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Jewel. The March Cruising issue described the seaborne part of the trip and here we focus on Newcastle and Darwin, places en route. Brisbane was highlighted in April. The Great Barrier Reef will follow and finally Indonesia.

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AND FINALLY: Dying for a job

Live news – the San Francisco Dungeon tourist attraction is holding open auditions for 'bodies' to replace its long-time inhouse 'corpse', Barry, who is retiring.

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Aberdeen first for E2 190

An aviation first was celebrated at Aberdeen International Airport last week as Norwegian carrier Widerøe unveiled its new aircraft. The airline is the first in aviation history to use the Embraer E190-E2 on commercial flights.

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Focus on UK connectivity

A special conference on Heathrow’s nine-point ‘Bringing Britain Closer’ plan takes place in Liverpool next month as the airport moves to keep its role in UK connectivity in the public eye.

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Fresh plea on India visas

Renewed calls for the UK government to roll out a new UK-India visa agreement came last week from the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), along with travel and tourism businesses and organisations.

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IAG circles Norwegian

A potential major shake-up of air services in Europe and Transatlantic was taking shape at the weekend after rumours surfaced last week of a possible takeover by British Airways’ parent company IAG of low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle. See also COMMENT.

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Melbourne air-rail link

An investment of Aus$4bn (about £2.2bn) was pledged last week by Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to build a rail link connecting Melbourne Airport to the city’s central business district.

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Mövenpick in Nairobi

With 276 rooms, suites and residences and what it calls exciting new dining, leisure and events concepts, Switzerland-based Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts has made its debut in Kenya with the official opening of a luxury property in the country’s capital.

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Muscat opens new terminal

Emirates has become the first international airline to land a scheduled commercial flight at the newly-inaugurated passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport as Oman celebrated the replacement for the 1970s building which the airport had been using.

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Wyndham heads for growth

Major expansion in Europe is on the cards from Wyndham Hotels under a new deal the company has signed with management specialist Novum Hospitality. Novum is one of Germany’s largest groups of its kind, operating more than 160 properties.

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