* items include readers letters
11 JUNE 2018
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Experts were assessing damage over the weekend after a fire at London's 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park caused guests to be evacuated just seven days after completion of what was hailed as "the most extensive restoration in its 115-year history" (BTN last week).
In the world of diplomacy, as we have learned to our cost, you don’t just have talks. First you have to have talks about talks, and sometimes talks about talks about talks. For an example, see the current circus surrounding whether Trump will actually meet Kim Jong Un, and when, and where.
BTN has learnt from PR Week that there has been some changes regarding British Airways public relations.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling and Aldershot MP Leo Docherty are among guests expected to attend this year’s pre-Farnborough British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) reception at the House of Commons on 18 July.
The government last week published the final version of a national policy statement confirming ministers’ support for a third runway at Heathrow. MPs will now be asked to vote on the matter, with a debate likely probably by 11 July.
Christine Ourmières-Widener was appointed last week to become the only woman on the 31-member IATA board of governors. At the same time, Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker has taken over as board chairman for a one-year term.
At last week’s IATA conference in Sydney, there was once again a small ‘pop-up’ exhibition from suppliers, peripheral to the airline business. Attracting considerable interest was Inflight VR, established in 2014 and based in Munich and Barcelona, whose headsets could see the end of seatback in-flight entertainment (IFE) units.
Plans for a new look for the largest hospitality brand outside North America in terms of room count were unveiled by Marriott International at a special exhibition in New York last week.
BTN editor in chief Malcolm Ginsberg flew down to Sydney via Perth on a Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner via on what turned out to be a 16hr 6min record scheduled flight between the UK and Australia.
More details have emerged of plans by Singapore Airlines (SIA) to launch the world’s longest commercial flights in October with non-stop services between Singapore and New York Newark (BTN last week).
Latest developments at Star Alliance including a renewed emphasis on digital capability were outlined in a special presentation by CEO Jeffrey Goh at the IATA AGM in Sydney.
With an opening address by Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor General of Australia (See BTN 4 June), the International Air Transport Association membership gathered for its 74th AGM at Sydney last week with director general Alexandre de Juniac again expressing the wish that more low-cost airlines should join the 290-member organisation. Budget carriers clearly gain from IATA and its actions and influence without paying the up-front fees!
In late May, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) hosted its annual main Test Day, bringing together vehicle manufacturers and hundreds of automotive and business journalists for some hours of driving and networking at the Millbrook Proving Ground south of Bedford. BTN editor-in-chief Macolm Ginsberg was delighted once again to take up the invitation.
Competition from travel packaging companies like Expedia and Booking.com is thought to be behind the surprise resumption last week by AccorHotels of its bid to buy the French government’s 14.3% stake in Air France KLM.
Northern Ireland last week revived the debate over Air Passenger Duty (APD) by putting a figure on what it says the tax levied on flights out of Belfast International Airport is costing the local economy.
A Final Assembly Line (FAL) in the US to support customers of the C Series moved rapidly up the agenda last week as Airbus and Canadian manufacturer Bombardier announced their partnership is to become effective from 1 July, earlier than planned.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Friday celebrated the launch of two new, non-stop seasonal services as Canada’s national carrier responded to transatlantic competition with new Euro-routes.
The final phase of the latest development works aimed at further improving the customer experience for departing passengers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) has been completed.
“Prolonged delays” in delivery of its new Airbus A321neo aircraft were blamed by Primera Air last week for its decision to suspend all flights between Birmingham and New York and Toronto for this summer. They were due to start on 21 June.
This year’s summer network at Cologne Bonn Airport was further strengthened last week with the arrival of Belgian regional operator VLM Airlines starting new routes to Rostock in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium using the 50-seat Fokker 50.
A twice-weekly service between Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) and Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen (BGO), is being launched on 17 August by Scandinavia’s largest regional airline, Widerøe.