14 MAY 2018

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All change at King’s Cross

Special tours of St Pancras International station for people with accessibility needs have been going ahead with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to prepare for a change in the timetable this month.

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Courtyard lands at CDG

More activity on the Paris airport hotel front has come with Marriott International announcing a new addition to its Courtyard by Marriott brand with the takeover of the former Radisson Blu CDG hotel.

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Travelodge set for growth

A £60m expansion across Kent involving a potential 12 new hotels was announced last week by Travelodge as it marked the official opening of its first property in the county at Dover.

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COMMENT: Elizabeth Line paranoia!

Today (Monday 7 May) sees the publication by the respected International Air Rail Organisation (IARO) of a report, London City Airport and the Elizabeth Line, in which it says for practical reasons a station should be built to support the airport as soon as possible. The current edition of New Civil Engineer carries the headline Crossrail – a missed opportunity. London City Airport chief development officer Peter Adams bemoans the lack of a Crossrail station at the airport. And the Sunday Times is worried too!

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A Silvertown confusion & LCY

Transport for London (TfL) has been granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) by the Department for Transport (DfT) to deliver the Silvertown Tunnel – a new twin-bore road tunnel under the Thames in East London.

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Aviation Club new chairman

RPK Capital managing director Karl Brünjes has taken over as chairman of the Aviation Club UK ahead of the monthly lunch on 7 June at the Institute of Directors in London, where Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener will be guest speaker.

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Demand grows at Norwegian

An additional daily flight between Gatwick and New York JFK is being launched this autumn by Norwegian. The airline says the move is to meet passenger demand.

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Flybe winter extension

An improved weekend schedule on key routes from Exeter, with later Sunday returns from Amsterdam, Jersey, Guernsey and Manchester, is a feature of a winter 2018-19 schedule extended to 30 March next year and released by Flybe last week.

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Heathrow plus business and unions

Britain’s business and trade union movements joined forces last week to declare that now is the time to expand Heathrow. The move comes ahead of an expected vote in Parliament in a few weeks’ time on the critical project.

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InterCon luxury boost

A major expansion of its luxury and upscale portfolio in the UK with introduction of the Kimpton brand under a deal with real-estate investment group Foncière des Régions (FdR) is on the way from the InterContinental Hotels Group.

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Luton facing strike action

Passengers are facing disruption over the spring bank holiday later this month after Luton Airport staff including baggage handlers, firefighters and security staff in the Unite union voted to strike in a dispute over pay and zero hours contracts.

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Round the world on Virgin

More travel options between the UK and Australia and passengers having the opportunity to travel around the world all the way on Virgin airlines are on the cards after Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia expanded their new codeshare agreement (BTN 8 January).

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The electric airport

Up to 200 Jaguar fully-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles are to form the basis of an all-new luxury chauffeur service running to and from Heathrow from this summer in a collaboration between the airport, Jaguar and travel services company WeKnowGroup.

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Transport Times conference

Hosted by Transport Times in association with KPMG, the UK Transport Infrastructure Summit 2018 will take place on Wednesday week, 23 May, at 15 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London. 

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ON TOUR: The Great Barrier Reef

Stretching for 1,400mile off the coast of Queensland The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Site.  It is on most people’s bucket list.  For us it was a disappointment.

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MAY ROAD TEST: Kia cee'd GT

A nippy smallish car to challenge the Ford Focus.

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AND FINALLY: Do not deface your boarding card

A romantic gesture at Zurich Airport backfired after a passenger’s heartfelt efforts resulted in drama at the check-in desk and a hefty bill – thousands of pounds, according to the Independent newspaper.

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Aer Lingus double whammy

A diamond anniversary and a national milestone have been putting Ireland in the aviation spotlight as Aer Lingus celebrated 60 years since it began flying across the Atlantic.

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BA en route for Durban

The only non-stop link between Europe and Durban takes off on 29 October with British Airways launching a three-times-weekly service from Heathrow. Flights will be operated by the airline’s newest aircraft, the Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner.

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Emirates for Edinburgh

A daily service between Edinburgh and Dubai from 1 October is on the way from Emirates, the airline’s second destination in Scotland after Glasgow, which is served twice daily, and eighth in the UK after daily flights to Stansted start next month.

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Eurostar train plus hotel

An exclusive range of hand-picked hotels with special rates when booked together with travel is now being offered to passengers by Eurostar as the train company follows up on recent expansion to its network.

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John Miles

John Miles, best described as a really nice guy, has passed on. Something of a protégé of Graham Hill, he was essentially the development driver during a time in the late 1960s when Lotus was developing both the successful Lotus 72 and the experimental Lotus 63 four-wheel drive effort.

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Landmark for Air Italy

A “landmark event” in the development of Italy’s new airline was hailed last week as the company took delivery of its first Boeing B737 MAX. The aircraft is the first of 50 newcomers being added to the Air Italy fleet by 2022, of which 20 will be B737s.

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St Helena new service?

The possibility of a second weekly flight linking South Africa with St Helena is being investigated after a successful seven-month period for the Saturday service operated by Airlink which began last October (BTN 25 September 2017).

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