8 OCTOBER 2018

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Cabin upgrades at Air France

New Economy and Premium Economy cabins plus a new colour scheme and additional products and services on long-haul flights have been unveiled by Air France for its 15 Airbus A330s, which will be refitted from January 2019 onwards.

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COMMENT: Crossrail confusion

Two vital elements are missing from the latest criticism of the Crossrail project over who knew what and when about the latest delay. These are Silvertown and London City Airport (LCY). 

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Business Travel Journalist of the Year - Trade

BTN’s MALCOLM GINSBERG was named Business Travel Journalist of the Year – Trade at the Carlson Wagonlit sponsored BTJA awards dinner last Thursday night at London’s Corinthia Hotel honouring journalists from national, consumer, broadcast and trade media for their coverage of business travel and meetings & events.

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Cobalt to rescue for fearful flyers

A seminar for people with a fear of flying, organised by the Mediterranean Air Safety Foundation (MASF) supported by Cypriot carrier Cobalt Air, will be held in Cyprus next month.

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Europe regions come to Edinburgh

The last time the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) gathered in Edinburgh was 2013, for its regional spring conference. Simon McNamara was making his debut as the new director general. Time has moved on, writes Alison Chambers.

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Heathrow tops for connectivity

Heathrow has maintained its position as the world’s most connected airport, with the US and Asia Pacific coming up fast, according to air travel data company OAG’s annual Megahubs International Index for 2018.

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JFK unveils upgrade plans

Two new terminals, upgraded runways and a centralised ground transport system are on the way at New York JFK Airport as part of a $13bn modernisation programme to increase capacity by at least 15m passengers a year.

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Long-range approval for A321neo

The Airbus A321neo has won joint approval for long-range (LR) operations with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and FAA giving the go-ahead for the aircraft to operate with up to three underfloor Additional Centre Tanks (ACTs).

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Manchester goes Mandarin

A new marketing manager fluent in Mandarin has been appointed by Manchester Airport as it celebrates its busiest year to date and looks to the future with a £1bn transformation programme and destination growth.

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Primera out of business

Norwegian stepped into the breach last week for passengers affected by the collapse of Primera Air by issuing half-price repatriation fares for long-haul services between London and New York JFK, New York Newark, Boston and Paris.

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Qatar Air adds Mombasa

A second Kenya destination is joining the Qatar Airways network from 11 December with a four-times-weekly direct service to the country’s second city, Mombasa, in addition to the airline's existing flights to Nairobi.

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St Helena Airport celebrates first year – and changes

Following the end of South African conglomerate Basil Read Ltd's contract, the government of St Helena (SHG) has created an island-owned operation, St Helena Airport Ltd (SHAL), to operate the facility with Gwyneth Howell as chief executive officer.

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Virgin joins biofuel club

The growing trend toward the use of biofuel in commercial aviation took another step last week with the arrival at Gatwick of a Virgin Atlantic Orlando flight operated by a Boeing B747 using it.

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ON TOUR: Petrol and emissions

Since this is the monthly motoring issue BTN thought it a good idea to reproduce, with minor alterations, a recent piece (28 August) by consumer publication WHICH, written by Callum Tennent. 

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OCTOBER ROAD TEST: Peugeot

Peugeot again chose the tiny Cotswold village of Southrop and the Thyme estate for the UK launch of the all-new 508, first seen at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and the Rifter, an up-market version of sister company’s Berlingo. 

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AND FINALLY: Well done Paphos!

Airport vigilance has proved its worth at Paphos after a thief who stole an €1,800 watch from the tray of the passenger in front of him during security checks was tracked down to Estonia.

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$5.5bn in new orders

New aircraft orders worth a total of $5.57bn at list prices from the Lufthansa Group and United Airlines were announced by Airbus and Boeing last week.

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EasyJet Worldwide new recruit

In a busy few days for easyJet, the airline last week signed Virgin Atlantic as a powerful new airline partner to the ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ connections service and followed up by launching its spring and summer 2019 programmes.

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Emirates Australia reshuffle

Changes at Emirates Airlines that have already affected schedules at Edinburgh and Belfast (BTN last week) are now affecting Australian routes, with Airbus A380 flights to Sydney and Melbourne being downgraded to Boeing B777-300ER services.

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GTMC’s new diploma

A new three-stage e-learning programme developed in conjunction with online training provider Travilearn and designed to be the “gold standard” in corporate travel training has been launched by the GTMC.

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Kimpton arrives in UK

A new name on the hotel scene in the capital is set to make its mark later this month with the opening of the Kimpton Fitzroy London. The first UK hotel for the brand, it occupies an iconic heritage building which opened in Russell Square in 1898.

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Mayor under fire over Crossrail

The London Assembly Transport Committee is challenging the mayor, Sadiq Khan, to say when he, Crossrail and Transport for London (TfL) knew the opening of Crossrail was to be delayed.

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Ramada opens in Portugal

A new property in Lisbon marks the latest move by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to continue its European expansion through the Ramada by Wyndham brand. It is the division’s first opening in Portugal.

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Ryanair trims its sails

Lower traffic and weaker close-in fares in September caused by two days of what the airline called coordinated pilot/cabin crew strikes in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain led Ryanair last week to lower its full-year profit guidance.

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Stansted long-haul bonus

The loss of Primera Air is likely to be especially keenly felt at Stansted, where growth in long-haul routes drove the airport to its busiest month to date in August, with 2.98m passengers travelling through.

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