7 JANUARY 2019

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Emirates adds Mexico and a new app

Continuing its westward expansion in face of US carriers’ objections to what they say is unfair competition (see also 'Air Italy dispute resurfaces' in this issue), Emirates has won a bid to operate daily fifth-freedom flights between Barcelona and Mexico City. A start date has yet to be announced.

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Herb Kelleher

Tributes poured in last week for Herb Kelleher, co-founder of the pioneering low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines, who died on Thursday at 87. He was said to have built Southwest into “an industry powerhouse stamped with his own colourful, unconventional personality.”

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Heathrow's John Holland-Kaye looks forward to 2019

Brexit is a challenge we are ready for, says airport boss.

In his message for 2019, Heathrow Airport boss John Holland-Kaye looks to the future as the airport prepares to expand, and reflects on the drone scourge. 

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Air Italy dispute resurfaces

More US destinations and a first foray into Canada have been announced by Air Italy in the teeth of protests from US carriers over alleged unfair subsidisation by Qatar Airways, which owns 49% of the Italian company.

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Barton named Birmingham Airport CEO

Former Luton Airport chief executive Nick Barton has been appointed to a similar position at Birmingham Airport. He starts his new job today, 7 January, after leaving Luton just before Christmas. The Luton post has been filled by Alberto Martin (see ‘Martin moves up at Luton’ in this issue).

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Crossrail Khan v Morgan

Wednesday could be D-Day!

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Five-star upgrade at NEC

Following its successful opening in 2015, the Genting Hotel NEC is now having a makeover.

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Hyatt Regency arrives in Bangkok

With 273 guestrooms, including 21 suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the city views, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit has opened to mark the brand’s entry into the capital of Thailand.

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Lufthansa reveals its new look

A new livery and a new flagship for Lufthansa have been unveiled with the arrival in Munich of the airline’s latest Airbus A380. The aircraft arrived from Guangzhou (China), where it was repainted over three and a half weeks.

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Martin moves up at Luton

Luton Airport has named its former planning and investment director Alberto Martin as the new CEO following the departure just before Christmas of Nick Barton, who has been appointed to head Birmingham Airport (see this issue).

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Munich debut for flybmi

A new link for business travellers between the north of England and the capital of Bavaria opens on 8 April when flybmi begins daily service between Leeds Bradford Airport and Munich.

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New year transatlantic surge

Travel between the UK, Europe and the US is set to grow significantly this year, as a number of international airlines add new routes over the North Atlantic for spring and summer.

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Post-Brexit moves stepped up

Airline preparations for life after Brexit have moved into top gear after Ryanair was granted a UK air operator’s certificate and re-registered a Boeing B737-800 from the Irish fleet as its first aircraft in the country.

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Southend 10m runway upgrade

Work is due to start today, 7 January, on a £10m essential maintenance project to upgrade the durability and performance of the runway at Southend Airport in face of rising passenger numbers and aircraft operations.

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Train seat spotting eliminated

Seat Sensor, a world-first innovation, is now live on all East Coast Main Line (LNER) trains displaying reservations above the seats using a traffic light system.

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TUI welcomes first UK B737-8 MAX

The first UK-registered Boeing B737-8 MAX has joined the ranks at TUI Airways with an inaugural flight from Manchester to Malaga, marking the latest stage in the airline’s five-year fleet renewal programme.

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Walking the walk with TfL

With exercise a key part of many New Year resolutions, Transport for London (TfL) has teamed up with Go Jauntly, a wayfinding app, to bring a Walking Tube Map to mobile phones to make it easier for people to walk as part of their everyday journeys.

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ON TOUR: London City Airport 2022

With two new twice daily-services starting today (7 January) from London City Airport, to Warsaw with LOT and Newcastle with Flybe, ON TOUR takes a trip into the future this week with an overview of LCY’s new 51,000sq m terminal. New concept images just released show how the capital’s most central airport will be transformed by the £500m development. The project is due to be completed in 2022.

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AND FINALLY: Legion of the lost

Where would you find a blue-eyed cockatoo called Brexit, a replica of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, an amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a chest full of semi-precious stones and a brand new ice cream van?

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Answers to the 2018 Business Travel News year-end quiz

 CLICK HERE

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Airport taxi clampdown

In a move with implications for airports worldwide, new rules for taxis at Paris CDG have been brought in after an unlicensed driver charged a Thai couple €247 for a trip to the city centre. The legal flat-rate fare is €55. The driver was later jailed for eight months for fraud and extortion.

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China foothold for Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Group has taken a 5% stake in China Southern Airlines as part of a worldwide strategy which already includes a 49% investment in Air Italy and 20% in British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG).

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Gatwick stake sold for 2.9bn

A deal by the France-based company Vinci Airports to acquire a majority 50.01% stake in Gatwick has been signed for a reported £2.9nbn. The other 49.99% will continue to be managed by Global Infrastructure Partners, Gatwick’s owner since 2009.

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London opening for 'nhow' brand

A 190-room hotel under the NH Hotel Group’s design and lifestyle brand ‘nhow’ is set to open in London this summer in the 250 City Road development between the City, Islington and Shoreditch.

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Monarch Engineering collapses

What was being called last week the last remnant of the Monarch Airlines empire has entered administration with the loss of 408 jobs. Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) was said to be "unsustainable in its present form".

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Ryanair named worst airline for sixth year

After a year of PR disasters, Ryanair has finished bottom of the Which? Travel annual airline survey for the sixth consecutive year. The carrier suffered low ratings for boarding, seat comfort, food and drink, and cabin environment.

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Staybridge Suites at The Hague

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has opened its first Staybridge Suites property in the Netherlands. The development is in the heart of the Hague, opposite the world’s oldest parliament building still in use, the Binnenhof.

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Virgin Atlantic eyes Tel Aviv

Competition on the London – Tel Aviv route is set to increase later this year with plans by Virgin Atlantic to launch an Airbus A330 service following the appointment of Israeli Shai Weiss as CEO.

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VLM files for bankruptcy

The last of a family of carriers with similar branding, VLM Airlines (Brussels), filed for bankruptcy last month after going into liquidation at the end of August. Some 80 staff have lost their jobs.

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Wow moves from Gatwick to Stansted

In further rationalisation moves, Wow air is moving its Gatwick service to Stansted with effect from 31 March and is downsizing its US network further. It follows a decision to reduce the fleet and trim staff by 10% (BTN 17 December 2018).

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