2 JULY 2018

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Booking sites under scrutiny

Britain’s industry watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is challenging hotel booking sites over the way they grade and present rooms on their websites.

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Eurostar MICE boost

Business travellers are being given a boost by Eurostar with what the train company calls “a selection of new ways to make the journey even more memorable” for meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) passengers.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Nigel Milton - Heathrow director of communications

Parliament has now overwhelmingly backed expansion at Heathrow – what’s next?

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ACJ320neo in final assembly

Marking what the manufacturer is calling “a new era in Airbus corporate jets”, the first ACJ320neo has entered final assembly in Hamburg and is due to be delivered to Acropolis Aviation UK later this year, with a second aircraft for Comlux of Switzerland.

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Bamboo in Dreamliner order

Twenty Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners worth $5.6bn at current list prices could be on their way to equip a Vietnamese start-up airline soon after the US manufacturer signed an intent-to-buy agreement last week with Bamboo Airways.

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Biggin Heli Shuttle deal

Private jet business travellers keen to establish closer links between London and New York stand to benefit from a new deal between Biggin Hill Airport and executive helicopter operator Associated Aircraft Group (AAG).

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Bvlgari Hotel for Shanghai

Italian jewellery and luxury goods brand Bvlgari has opened its latest upmarket hotel with a development on the banks of Suzhou Creek in Shanghai. Part of the Suhe Creek riverside urban revitalisation project, it is the sixth in the Bvlgari collection.

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Farnborough 2018 shapes up

Companies throughout the aviation industry are making final preparations for the bi-annual Farnborough Airshow, with the 2018 gathering running from 16-22 July. Public days are on 21 and 22 July.

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Iberia receives first A350-900

The first off the line of the improved version of the Airbus A350-900 was handed over in Toulouse last week to Spain’s flag carrier Iberia. The airline has 16 of the aircraft on order with deliveries scheduled between now and the end of 2021.

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Luton Airport consultation

A two-month consultation on potential expansion of Luton Airport has been launched by Luton Council in the name of its airport company, London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL). It runs until 31 August.

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Now it's Level Austria

In a move that surprised the industry by its last-minute timing, British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) said last week it was launching a new low-cost Austrian subsidiary with flights from Vienna starting on 17 July.

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RAF plans 'epic' flypast

Up to 100 RAF aircraft will perform a flypast on an epic scale over central London one week tomorrow, 10 July, to mark the centrepiece of the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

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Stobart woos new pilots

A recruitment drive for new pilots with a view to future expansion has been launched by Irish carrier Stobart Air through a partnership with the Cork-based Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA).

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ON TOUR: Paris to Paris on the Seine

If you have never been to Normandy there is no better way of an introduction than by joining a river cruise down the Seine from Paris for the 277 miles to the sea. 

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JULY CRUISE ISSUE

One company dominates this month’s edition of the ‘Cruise Issue’ and that is AmaWaterways, which takes the first three places in the third publication of the Douglas Ward/Berlitz River Cruising in Europe & the USA, out now. (See also ON TOUR: Paris to Paris on the Seine in this issue and the story of the D-Day landings).

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AND FINALLY: Colombia v England

A friend of BTN has two tickets in a corporate box for the next England game tomorrow. He paid £400 each including flights, sorted the visas, but he didn't realise when he bought them months ago that it was going to be the same day as his wedding!

He is looking for someone to take his place.

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Air Astana Russia record

In a season of anniversaries, Kazakh flag-carrier Air Astana has marked 16 years of successful operation in the Russian market after inaugurating services to Moscow in 2002, with the first flights from the Kazakh capital Astana and its largest city, Almaty.

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Business routes axed

Two important business routes have fallen victim to growing long-haul competition with Virgin Atlantic saying it will withdraw flights between Dubai and Heathrow from 31 March 2019 and British Airways suspending its Gatwick – Oakland service for next summer.

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Delta in Dublin 30-year record

More celebrations for Ireland’s capital arrived last week as Delta Air Lines marked the 30th anniversary of serving Dublin Airport.

The airline first flew from Atlanta via Shannon in June 1988, using a Lockheed L-1011-500 TriStar five times a week.

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FastJet back from the brink

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s African airline venture FastJet secured a lifeline last week after warning it was in danger of going out of business through lack of funds.

Observers say it is now secure until at least the end of the year.

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Gatwick adds Chengdu

China’s fourth-biggest city joins the Gatwick destination roster tomorrow (3 July) as the UK’s only non-stop air link with Chengdu, the prosperous capital of Sichuan province, takes off on its eastward leg, operated by Air China.

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KLM-Manchester mark the day

Joining the line-up of anniversaries last week, Wednesday marked 80 years since KLM began operating from Manchester to Amsterdam Schiphol, a service that now connects northwest England to the Dutch capital and onward to KLM’s network of 165 destinations.

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London reprieve for Uber

A temporary licence for a probation period of 15 months to operate in London has been granted to ridesharing and taxi company Uber after the company won a court appeal against a Transport for London (TfL) ban.

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Norwegian expansion continues

More growth is in the air for Norwegian with more flights from Gatwick and, in Ireland, with the launch of the carrier’s first route to Canada, a daily non-stop service from 31 March next year between Dublin and Hamilton-Toronto.

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