7 MAY 2018

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Accor-Mövenpick takeover

In a further step in its acquisition programme, Accorhotels is taking over the Swiss Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts group.

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More New York from Norwegian

An additional daily flight between Gatwick and New York JFK is being launched this autumn by Norwegian.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Norwegian and British Airways. An independent view

Laurie Price is an air transport economist and was aviation adviser to the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Transport between1997 and 2005. He then advised the All Party Parliamentary Group on Aviation until 2015 and is the aviation adviser to the UK House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation. He was chairman of the Government General Aviation Red Tape Challenge Panel between 2013 and 2015.

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Air India under a cloud

The future of India’s flag carrier was in doubt last week after the Indian government delayed the closing date for bids to acquire the 76% of the state-run Air India on offer by two weeks until 31 May.

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Belfast to Doha?

Speaking at a briefing to introduce the new Cardiff to Doha service, soon to go daily, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker said that the airline is looking at a Belfast operation. (Also see BTN 30 April)

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Bombardier, Embraer orders

American Airlines, which is rebuilding the fleets of two of its subsidaries, handed a boost to two regional jet manufacturers last week with orders at a combined list value of US$1.4bn for both Bombardier and Embraer.

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Cobalt adds Düsseldorf

Twice-weekly direct services between Larnaca and Düsseldorf were inaugurated by fast-growing Cyprus carrier Cobalt Air last week as the company welcomed its second German city after Frankfurt to its network.

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Gatwick gains in rail reshuffle

Improved train services between Gatwick and East Anglia are a major part of what is being called the biggest timetable shake-up in UK rail history starting this month from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

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Korea in aviation talks

North Korea's overtures for peace with its neighbour and normalisation of relations with the rest of the world are already impinging on aviation with directors from the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) due to visit Pyongyang this week.

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Record for Virgin Trains

New records for passenger numbers travelling between the West Midlands and London are being claimed by Virgin Trains as the intercity operator celebrates 21 years of operating the west coast route.

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Stansted milestone

Eight new hi-tech check-in desks – the first of 30 being introduced this year to handle a growing number of passengers – marked the latest milestone last week in Stansted Airport’s £600m transformation project (BTN 10 April 2017).

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Wizz gains UK AOC

In a move acknowledged by the carrier to be a key part of a Brexit contingency plan, Wizz Air last week received an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Operating Licence (OL) from the Civil Aviation Authority for a wholly-owned subsidiary, Wizz Air UK.

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ON TOUR: Great Western to Wales

BTN last week was invited to try out the new British-built Hitachi Intercity Express Trains (IETs) that have begun to enter service on selected routes operated by GWR out of Paddington. Network Rail is expected to finish electrification by 2019 of the line between Paddington and Cardiff, which was the route  BTN  selected. 

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MAY CRUISING ISSUE

A day out full of Bliss

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AND FINALLY: Heathrow’s food for thought

Delegates at last week’s Multimodal cargo conference in Birmingham were given a  novel insight into Britain’s trade with overseas thanks to the first mobile Heathrow Export Café.

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A new-look Nimb

A new roof terrace complete with rooftop pool and bar, a sports club equipped with the latest high-tech equipment and new treatment rooms are on the way at the Nimb Hotel, one of Copenhagen’s best-known places to stay.

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Air France counts the cost

Staff at strike-hit Air France again rejected a company pay offer last week, forcing the resignation of CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac (BTN last week). He is expected to step down officially on Wednesday.

More strikes are now expected.

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EasyJet boost for Glasgow

More flights from Glasgow from next winter are being planned by easyJet, with country manager Ali Gayward telling The Scotsman newspaper the airline was keen to “redress the balance” with Edinburgh.

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Emirates suite on show

Premium travel has been in the spotlight for Emirates at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) with the airline unveiling its new Boeing B777-300ER First Class private suite.

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Heathrow on camera

Viewers are being invited behind the scenes at Heathrow over the next five weeks after the ITV series Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport (HBBA) began its fourth season last week.

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Holiday Inn CDG

The growing trend for hotels to be linked to the airports they serve has taken another step with the opening of the largest Holiday Inn Express in France at one of Europe’s busiest – Paris Charles de Gaulle.

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Luton Airport stake sold

French investment company Ardian Infrastructure has agreed to sell its 49% stake in the concession to run Luton Airport (LTN), Britain’s fifth largest in terms of passenger numbers, to a similar Sydney-based operation, AMP Capital.

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Ryanair loses appeal

Judges in the Court of Appeal in London have ruled an airline is liable if it carries non-EU citizens into the UK without correct papers.

The judgment came in the case of Ryanair Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

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São Paulo airlink on test

With connections between the new Crossrail and London City Airport still under debate (BTN 19 March), São Paulo in Brazil is joining the growing list of destinations opening such links to ease travel for passengers.

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