29 OCTOBER 2018
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The November "SOAPBOX" is deliberately a week early and features Airport Operators Association (AOA) chief executive Karen Dee on today's annual conference. She joined the AOA on 1 March 2017 and has more than 20 years’ experience in policy development, communications and representation activities within the transport sector.
A new member of the team has been welcomed to London St Pancras station by Eurostar in the shape of Pepper the interactive humanoid robot, claimed to be a first for the UK travel industry.
For the 31st year in a row, Singapore Changi was named best airport in the world at the presentation of the 2018 Business Traveller Awards earlier this month. Airline winners were announced last week (BTN 22 October).
An Airbus A350-900 made headlines last week for Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) as it was handed over to the carrier with a joint livery combining CAL’s distinctive plum blossom logo and bird design with the exclusive Airbus A350 XWB carbon-fibre pattern.
Personal details of up to 9.4m passengers on Cathay Pacific have been accessed in the latest security breach to hit the aviation industry. The airline said passport numbers, email addresses and expired credit card details were involved.
Daily scheduled services between Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur from 20 December and Brussels from 3 January are being upgraded by Etihad Airways with the introduction of the Boeing B787-9 to the routes.
A full-scale roll-out of new biometric services is being planned by Heathrow from next summer. The new technology will be a first for the airport, with officials saying it will streamline the passenger journey “from check-in to take-off”. Similar moves are in hand at Hong Kong.
A rise in operating profit before exceptional items for 2018 of about €200m from a base of €2,950m in 2017 is being forecast by British Airways’ parent company IAG after results for the first nine months were released on Friday.
Further expansion of services to Latin America and plans to fly its new Airbus A350s to Buenos Aires and Chicago were announced by Iberia last week. The airline is also resuming from April direct Madrid – San Francisco flights launched last summer.
Today, Turkey’s national day, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to declare open the New Istanbul International Airport. See also ON TOUR.
In a clear indication of post-Brexit optimism, London’s MICE offering has received a further boost with the news that a significant number of new cutting-edge hotels and venues are set to open in the capital over the next few years.
Yet to have a title (See AND FINALLY) New Istanbul International Airport (ISL) is today (29 October) due to celebrate its ‘grand opening’ by Turkish president Erdogan. See also Istanbul’s new airport takes off.
Heathrow’s two new Terminal 4 hotels, a Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express, have been officially opened by the Arora Group with a launch event at the Crowne Plaza.
A new framework to assess airline seating policies is being set up by the Civil Aviation Authority after a report found confusion among passengers about whether they had to pay in advance to sit together.
With fellow major Taiwan-based carrier China Airlines revealing its new Airbus A350-900 this week (see this issue), Eva Air has also been showcasing its latest aircraft and first Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner.
Linking Hong Kong with Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai, the world’s longest sea bridge, a 34-mile structure across the Pearl River Delta, was officially opened last week by China’s leader Xi Jinping and local officials.
A major build-up for its US hub at Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP) is under way from Delta Air Lines with plans to connect it with China for the first time with a proposed route to Shanghai operated with its new Airbus A350-900.
A government programme of drone education and registration needs to be brought forward in the wake of a near-miss over London that could have had “disastrous consequences”, the pilots’ union Balpa said last week.
A major redesign of rooms and public spaces is being planned at the former Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas following its rebranding as a member of Hilton’s iconic luxury Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts division.
Developments in Belgrade and Rome are keeping up the momentum for the Radisson Hotel Group as it continues to grow its portfolio across the company’s different divisions.