14 JANUARY 2019

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Rolls-Royce chases electric prize

A project to build a 300mph 500hp all-electric aircraft that can fly from London to Paris on a single charge has been unveiled last week by Rolls-Royce. Media reports yesterday said the company aims to launch a single-seat demonstrator (below) by the end of next year.

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COMMENT: Fly be or Fly not to be?

Flybe’s CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener put a brave face on last Friday's (Flybe flies on in this issue) announcement that her airline had been saved from possible extinction. The rescue package announced was the good news involving airport and airline group Stobart, Virgin Atlantic and American private-equity fund Cyrus Capital.

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80m-passenger milestone for Heathrow

Confirming a record year in 2018, Heathrow announced last week it handled 80m passengers over the 12 months to December, 2.7% more than its previous best performance in 2017.

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Biggin Hill recruitment drive

A new initiative, Unite to Inspire, to encourage young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects to prepare them to become the next generation of aviation professionals has been launched at Biggin Hill Airport.

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Crossrail No opening date

Sir Terry Morgan, previous chairman of Crossrail, appeared before the Greater London Authority Transport Committee last Wednesday (9 January). This attendance was requested after he failed to attend the committee just before Christmas (See Khan v Morgan BTN 7 January 2019).

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Delta increases A220 orders

Fifteen more Airbus A220s, formerly the Bombardier C Series, have been added by Delta Air Lines to its initial order with Airbus for 75 of the state-of-the-art aircraft.

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Emirates A380 heads for Glasgow

Glasgow Airport is about to help to create Scottish aviation history following confirmation that Emirates is to introduce Scotland’s first scheduled A380 superjumbo service.

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Flybe flies on

The future of Flybe has been assured but under a different name after a new consortium called Connect Airways consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital agreed to buy the regional carrier for £2.2m.  See also COMMENT in this issue.

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Joon faces Air France axe

As predicted (BTN 3 December 2018), Air France is axing its low-cost sister carrier Joon, with parent group Air France-KLM saying the brand had been “difficult to understand for passengers, staff, markets and investors”.

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Newcastle and Warsaw start from LCY

Polish airline LOT last week became the latest carrier to introduce services at London City Airport (LCY) with twice-daily flights to Warsaw. At the same time, Flybe began an operation to Newcastle, also with morning and evening rotations.  

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Norwegian claims wi-fi prize

An industry first as the pioneer low-cost airline to introduce free wi-fi on intercontinental flights is being claimed by Norwegian with the roll-out of basic and premium high-speed connectivity on its Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner and B737 MAX aircraft.

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TUI: Inflight films preferred to boxsets

Despite the growing popularity of the ‘boxset binge’, when it comes to settling in and switching off during a flight the likes of a Game of Thrones marathon is being overlooked in favour of a good film, research by holiday company TUI has revealed.

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ON TOUR: China for beginners

Over the past year, The China Guide (TCG), a Beijing-based travel organiser, has put together customised private tours in China for thousands of travellers from the UK, US, Germany, France, Spain, Canada and Australia. 

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AND FINALLY: Not so Secret Service

Pity the poor US Secret Service.

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The BTN Quiz 2018 Award Winner

For the Christmas quiz 2018 Rod Simpson managed to produce 30 images to confuse and whilst there was no individual with 30 correct answers, overall all the questions were answered.

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Airbus steps up pilot training

A pilot cadet training programme for use by a worldwide network of partner flight schools has been certificated by Airbus and the French Civil Aviation University, ENAC.

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American Express Global Business Travel

Fare levels should remain stable on many of the world’s major air routes this year according to the latest forecast in the Air Monitor 2019, published by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).

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Business backing for Gatwick expansion

The Coastal West Sussex Partnership has announced its support for Gatwick’s masterplan but highlighted the need for the airport to contribute to the local economy.

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Embraer joins forces with Boeing

In a busy period for the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, the company has joined forces with Boeing in a strategic partnership while celebrating further significant order-book success for its aircraft.

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Gatwick Ankara

Twice-weekly direct flights between Gatwick and Turkey’s capital and second-largest city Ankara were launched last week by Turkish Airlines, with services on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Istanbul Airport sets new opening date

The full opening of the new Istanbul Airport for passenger flights, initially scheduled for this month, has been delayed for a second time and will now be on 3 March, according to press reports.

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MAG airports stay on-trend

In a week of good business news for airports, Stansted was among those reporting a record-breaking year in 2018 with 28m passengers, up 8.1%. Emirates’ daily service to Dubai led airline development, while Spain, France and Germany recorded top growth.

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Ramon Airport names the day

Commercial flights at Eilat’s new Ramon International Airport are due to start next month, on 4 February. The first phase will see domestic services by Arkia and Israir, with international flights to follow. A full operation is expected from 2 April. (Also see BTN 12 November 2018)

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Yotel new openings bonanza

Seven new hotels in key business destinations are being opened this year by Yotel, which claims to offer guests “a new experience with everything you need and nothing you don't”.

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