5 NOVEMBER 2018

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Dublin runway contract signed

An Irish-Spanish consortium comprising Limerick-based Roadbridge and Madrid-based FCC Construcción (FCC) has been awarded the main construction contract for Dublin Airport’s new North Runway.

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Travelodge at East Grinstead and Waterloo

Just eight miles from Gatwick Airport and sitting by some of the prettiest countryside in Sussex, the East Grinstead Travelodge has opened. It is the company’s 568th hotel, with 20 more to come this year.

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COMMENT: Is Northolt the saviour for Flybe?

Business Travel News has long promoted Northolt (NHT) as the solution to the London connectivity problem for the provinces until the new Heathrow R3 is ready. LHR served 20 UK destinations 30 years ago. It is now down to seven, with some of those under scrutiny by the BA routes team.

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A white knight ahead for Cobalt Air?

Cobalt Air of Cyprus, which stopped flying on 17 October when Chinese backers pulled the plug on their investment (see BTN Cobalt's last hours), has retained its AOC and operating licences, BTN learned at press time. 

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Anger at Hammond APD shock

Disbelief, anger and derision were just three of the reactions to UK chancellor Philip Hammond’s confirmation in his Budget speech last week that Air Passenger Duty (APD) was not only to continue but to increase from spring 2020.

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AOA honours award winners

Birmingham, East Midlands and Southend airports took top honours at the AOA conference annual awards last week as the association saluted them as the best of the year.

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Electric flight ‘in sight’, says easyJet

Further progress toward an all-electric aircraft has been reported by easyJet, with its US partner in the project, Wright Electric, set to launch a nine-seat test model next year. Wright has also filed a patent for a motor that will be used in a larger aircraft.

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Flybe share crash

On a day when her airline's share price was at an all-time low of just 11p (it closed at 10.5p on Friday, 2 November), Flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener was brave in addressing the AOA conference saying she could not answer financial questions due to London Stock Exchange rules. “As a listed company I have to abide by the LSE guidelines," she said. "Flybe will announce its interim results on 14 November.” 

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Heathrow – Shenzhen

The first UK direct flight from China’s economic powerhouse Shenzhen touched down at Heathrow last week. The Shenzhen Airlines thrice-weekly service will carry up to 96,408 passengers and 3,120 tonnes of exports and imports annually.

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Israeli airport controversy

With an announcement regarding the opening of the new Eilat Ramon airport due imminently (BTN is visiting next week), controversy continues to rage regarding Tel Aviv’s small Sde Dov airport, to the north of the city.

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Lie-detectors at the border

Trials began in Hungary, Latvia and Greece last week of a scheme which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) lie-detector systems to scan potentially suspect travellers coming from outside the EU.

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RAF Northolt (NHT) to close

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a contract to Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure to resurface the runway at RAF Northolt (IATA – NHT). The airfield lies about eight miles north of Heathrow on the A40. See also COMMENT.

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Transport secretary at airports conference

UK secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling opened the 2018 Airport Operators Association annual conference last Monday (29 October) without knowing, so he claimed, what the chancellor would say in his Budget speech in Parliament later in the day.

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ON TOUR: NBAA renamed Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition

NBAA-BACE is now such a big event for the world’s business aviation fraternity it can be staged in only two cities – Las Vegas and Orlando. This time, the honour fell to Florida’s ‘magic kingdom’ and the weather did not disappoint, as Alison Chambers reports.

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NOVEMBER CRUISE ISSUE

Three topics for this month, two of them concerning events bringing cruise people together for like-minded business, and the other a reminder of just how the concept of holidays by sea has grown to become a major part of the tourist industry. 

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AND FINALLY: Istanbul airport named

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AND FINALLY EXTRA: Shaggy dog story

London area airports offering specialist excutive aviation facilities were at NBAA in strength including Biggin Hill, TAG Farnborough and City. But it was Oxford that stole the show in the form of a quirky true video.

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Airport drinking under scrutiny

Industry bodies led by Airlines UK and pilots’ union Balpa have joined forces to ask the government to apply the Licensing Act to bars, pubs, restaurants and shops selling alcohol airside at airports to curb growing “disruptive passenger incidents”.

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Budget’s e-gates extension

One aspect of the Budget to win a better reaction than the APD saga (see this issue) was chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement that more e-passport gates would be provided at airports.

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Busy times for Loganair

Fresh from filling a gap for Glasgow – Derry flights after Ryanair pulled off the route last weekend, Loganair is planning four new routes from Edinburgh next year, including the first link to Islay in the Hebrides.

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Crossrail boss steps down

London Underground managing director Mark Wild is joining Crossrail as chief executive from next Monday, 19 November, initially working alongside Simon Wright, who steps down as chief executive later this year in what is said to be a planned move.

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Delta A220 first routes

Heading for service in near-record time after its maiden flight, Delta Air Lines’ first Airbus A220-100 is set to inaugurate commercial operations on 31 January from New York LaGuardia to Boston Logan and from LaGuardia to Dallas/Ft Worth.

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Extra hours at Biggin

Due to increased demand, dedicated business aviation airport Biggin Hill is introducing Boxing Day opening hours this year. Private jet travellers will be able to use the airport from 10:00-18:00 on Wednesday 26 December.

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Last call for Aviation Club

If you have yet to book your tickets for the Aviation Club lunch with airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss on Thursday, there is still time, but hurry – booking closes at noon today, Monday 5 November. Tickets are available online and members are welcome to bring guests.

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London's electric sightseer

Tourists in London have been enjoying a sightseeing surprise after The Original Tour (OT) unveiled the capital’s first 100% electric hop-on hop-off open-top bus, offering city-trippers a carbon-free carbon copy of the firm’s excursions.

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Wizz hails new UK status

The first flights on six new routes from three UK airports and the first to operate under the wholly-owned UK-based and UK-licensed Wizz Air UK’s own W9 IATA code were being celebrated by the airline last week.

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