23 JULY 2018

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Biggin's big weekend

Historic aircraft will be back in the air over London on 18-19 August when the 2018 Biggin Hill Festival of Flight celebrates 100 years of the RAF with a salute to “The Few” and a glimpse of the future.

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Nigeria and Uganda airlines

West Africa was brought into prominence at Farnborough with the introduction of Nigeria Air and the relaunch of Uganda Airlines.

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COMMENT: FARNBOROUGH Room for improvement

A sun-drenched Farnborough. Some of us can remember wet events and canvas hospitality. Things have moved on and the whole operation is a credit to ADS Group, a worthy successor to the SBAC.

But it is not perfect. 

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A321 neo is largest easyJet

EasyJet easily stole the show on the Wednesday of Farnborough week with the mid-morning arrival from Gatwick of its first Airbus A321neo with transport secretary Chris Grayling and new CEO Johan Lundgren on board. The A321 offers 235 seats against 189 on its A320 sibling.  

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Alitalia looks ahead

Italy’s new transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, confirmed last week the Italian government wanted to keep control of Alitalia with 51% of the airline, but left the door open for easyJet among others to bid to be a minority partner.

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Awards galore Skytrax winners

In a crowded gala ceremony at London’s iconic Langham Hotel, airline leaders and top airline management from across the globe gathered to receive their 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards recognised for their clarity of process and independence, the 'Oscars of the Air'.

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Birmingham connectivity in focus

Future connections to Birmingham airport were in the spotlight at Waterfront’s “UK Rail Station Development and Regeneration” conference and it’s not all good news, writes Andrew Sharp.

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easyJet steps down

At an informal press conference on board easyJet’s first A321 en-route to Farnborough (see A321 neo) chief executive Johan Lundgren was questioned regarding Heathrow and the airline’s attitude towards the airport.  He was quizzed concerning the use of steps instead of an airbridge, easyJet being the airline highlighted by BTN previously (See issue 21 May)

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First B737 MAX for Jet Air

The first Boeing B737 MAX to join the fleet at Indian carrier Jet Airways has entered service. The B737 series has been the backbone of Jet Airways’ fleet since the airline began operations in 1994 with the then-latest B737-300s.

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Guangzhou Rome

A direct flight linking Guangzhou and Rome was launched by China Southern Airlines last week, extending its route network to seven major European cities. The carrier already serves Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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Heathrow partners move forward

The first stage of a search for “innovation partners”, an initiative launched by Heathrow to encourage fresh thinking around how the airport delivers the third-runway expansion project, was completed last week.

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Manchester boost for easyJet

With its biggest expansion to date at Manchester for winter 2018, easyJet has reached a key milestone with the launch of its 1,000th route. Operating to Bordeaux, it is one of 16 new services from the UK now on sale. Flights begin in November.

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ON TOUR: Farnborough Busy week

Any report on this year’s biennial Farnborough Air Show (FAI 2018) must start with the opening by prime minister Theresa May last Monday morning. With Brexit on most people’s minds, she confirmed the UK could remain part of EU organisations critical for the aerospace industry, typically the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). "By working closely together, government and industry have ensured we remain at the forefront of civil aviation and that our air power is second to none," she said.

"Today I want us to build on that, and ensure not only that we retain our prominence, but that in an increasingly competitive industry we make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead."  

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AND FINALLY: Airborne luxury

Airbus A380, eat your heart out. You may be able to offer First Class passengers showers but the world’s largest aircraft is planning private en-suite bedrooms, an infinity lounge, relaxed fine dining and panoramic views for its clientele.

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Airfields report 'imminent'

Results of a government study by Britain’s first general aviation champion, Byron Davies, on the future of UK airfields will be known shortly, transport secretary Chris Grayling said last week.

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Airports welcome Brexit White Paper

The Brexit White Paper is welcome confirmation of UK aviation proposals but agreement on the implementation period and ratification are vital, according to the Airport Operators Association (AOC).

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Cathay heads to Seattle

A four-a-week non-stop service between Hong Kong and Seattle starting on 31 March next year and a codeshare agreement with Brussels Airlines offering extensive connections across Europe have been announced by Cathay Pacific.

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CityJet, Air Nostrum join forces

With a combined fleet of close to 100 aircraft and annual revenues of around €700m, what is claimed to be the largest pan-European regional airline group has been set up by CityJet of Dublin and Valencia-based Air Nostrum.

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ExecuJet for Seychelles

A new FBO facility in the Seychelles is on the way from ExecuJet, part of the Luxaviation Group, opening on 1 August at Seychelles International Airport on Mahé and operated by ExecuJet in partnership with Euro Aviation.

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Finnair luggage partnership

A door-to-door luggage check-in service to reduce airport waiting times for passengers has been launched at Heathrow by Finnair in a three-month trial in partnership with luggage specialist AirPortr.

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Gatwick's electric fleet

Passengers, staff and residents from the local area can now reserve and pick up a 100% electric car at Gatwick in what officials claim is the first scheme of its kind for an airport.

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IATA attack on delays

Governments and air navigation service providers across Europe have been asked by IATA to address the region’s airspace bottlenecks, as new data revealed that delays so far this year have more than doubled compared to 2017.

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Juneyao on long-haul trail

Another Chinese carrier is on the verge of launching long-haul international service with the arrival in September of its first Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner, followed by two more by the end of the year.

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