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25 FEBRUARY 2019


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New distance record for Gulfstream G650ER

A new record has been claimed for the Gulfstream G650ER business jet with a city-pair flight connecting Singapore and San Francisco, a distance of 13,843km (7,475nmi), flown faster than any other ultra-long-range aircraft.

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SOAPBOX SPECIAL: The European Commission and the Single European Sky

Gerry O’Connell has been elected and appointed chairperson for the European Commission's Industry Consultation Body for the Single European Sky. He recently retired from IATA, where he was the airline representative for the coordination of Heathrow’s £3.5bn five-year capital investment plan and the associated portfolio of programmes, including the expansion project. He has previously worked for NATS and the UK CAA and spent seven years in Brussels with IATA on various European Air Traffic Management projects including the EU’s Single European Sky initiative.

With this fascinating summary, O’Connell is forthright in what is needed, making a very strong case for further political intervention at the European level. If anyone can push it through, he is the man.

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A new arrival at LCY?

London City Airport could yet again set a time record from landside arrivals to departure if a new scheme being considered for the airport expansion under construction is developed.

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Airlines and Brexit

The European Union is willing to grant airlines seven months to adjust to the bloc's control and ownership rules after Brexit, the Financial Times reports.

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Delta, easyJet in Alitalia bid

Moves to rescue Alitalia have moved up a gear after Italy’s state-controlled railway nework Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) said it would start talks with Delta Air Lines and easyJet to form a consortium to run the carrier.

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Dublin Shenzhen

A new year-round direct service by Hainan Airlines between Dublin and the fast-growing Chinese business destination of Shenzhen takes off today, 25 February. It is Dublin Airport’s second mainland China destination after Hainan’s Dublin – Beijing service.

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Electric London Taxis

There are more than 20,000 taxis operating in the capital. As of February 2019, the electric fleet is just 1,200 but growing very fast. Something under half come under the banner of Sherbet London Taxis, with a fleet of plug-in hybrid British-built black cabs assembled by the famous London Taxi Company of Coventry (now officially the London EV Company).

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Flybe vows business as usual

An “exciting future for customers and employees” was promised by Flybe on Friday after the Exeter-based regional carrier was bought by the Connect Airways consortium. Flybe also announced a daily Heathrow – Guernsey service starting next month.

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Loganair takes over Derry services

The Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract to secure Derry’s sole air service to London has been taken over by Loganair following last weekend’s news that previous operator flybmi had entered insolvency.

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Marriott's Moxy arrives in New York

The latest example of Marriott International’s “micro-room, macro-amenity” collection, Moxy Hotels, opened in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood last week housed in a 35-storey skyscraper at W 28 St and 6th Avenue.

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Montreal Four Seasons names the day

An official opening date of 1 June has been set for Montreal’s newest luxury hotel, the 169-room Four Seasons in the city’s Golden Mile Square, a 10min walk from the Bell Centre sports and entertainment complex.

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Now Thailand eases visa rules

As the latest country to do away with traditional visas, Thailand has introduced a new system that it says will enable a faster, more convenient arrival into the country for travellers from 21 countries.

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ON TOUR The Business Travel Show

Last week, Olympia London once again hosted The Business Travel Show (BTS), where BTN editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg was joined by former Reuters reporter and regular contributor John Burke, who took the pictures. This is their joint report.

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AND FINALLY: Going round in circles

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BOAC, BEA fly again

Crowds gathered at Heathrow last week to watch the arrival of a British Airways B747, registration G-BYGC, bearing the colours and livery of one of BA’s predecessors, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

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Business travel in learning focus

Following a similar move for pilots (see this issue) and reflecting wing demand from the industry, specialist education providers Travilearn and Skills Training UK have together designed a new apprenticeship standard course for business travellers.

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Cornwall welcomes Blue Islands

On the heels of Flybe’s announcement of Heathrow services (see this issue), Cornwall Airport Newquay has announced regional operator Blue Islands, a Flybe franchise partner, will launch services to Jersey and Guernsey on 3 June.

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LOT heads London City double celebration

New services to Budapest by LOT Polish Airlines and Munich by British Airways gave London City Airport (LCY) a double cause for celebration last week. The LOT launch also joins existing flights between LCY and Warsaw.

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More flights for Aberdeen Riga

Summer is set to last longer at Aberdeen this year after Latvia flag carrier airBaltic said it was increasing its flight schedule between the Scottish airport and Riga to include the months of April and September.

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Pilot apprentice scheme backed

The first apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots in the UK was announced last week in a move supporters said would pave the way for a more accessible career option for interested would-be fliers.

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Second terminal plan for Luton

A preferred option including a second terminal for the sustainable future growth of the UK’s fifth largest and fastest growing major airport was published on Friday by Luton Council’s airport company London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL).

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Sixty Years of the M1

The first British motorway opened 60 years ago and it is nearly 40 years since David Starkie published The Motorway Age, to wide acclaim.

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Triumphant 2018 for Heathrow

A “milestone year” in 2018 was hailed by Heathrow last week as the airport released trading figures for the past 12 months, with 80.1m passengers passing through and 81.9% of those surveyed rating the place as “excellent” or “very good”.

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