4 MARCH 2019

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Africa in new 'Open Skies' push

The Aviation Africa Summit and exhibition last week was opened by Rwandan president Paul Kagame with a strong message of support for the aviation industry along with a reaffirmed determination to see Africa progress with its “Open Skies” actions.

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Will flights to the European Union be Duty Free after 29 March?

A subject for quiet discussion at the Airport Operators Association's annual dinner.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Karen Dee CEO AOA

Tomorrow, Tuesday (5 March), transport secretary Chris Grayling MP will give a keynote speech at the AOA annual dinner.

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Agreement on Heathrow charges

A landmark deal on airport charges worth hundreds of millions of pounds with airlines operating at the airport was announced by Heathrow last week “following detailed negotiations over the past several months”.

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BA orders up to 42 B777s

A firm order for 18 Boeing B777-9 aircraft plus 24 options was placed last week by International Airlines Group (IAG) for British Airways. They will be used to replace 14 Boeing B747-400s and four Boeing B777-200s between 2022 and 2025.

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Concorde forgotten

As Concorde celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first flight, plans for a special display by the Science Museum in London have been thwarted by British Airways turning down a plea for support and a wider partnership. (See also BTN 28 January and also 11 February)

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Facial recognition at Schiphol

Cathay Pacific passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can now take part in a facial recognition self-boarding trial as part of a programme called Seamless Flow using the Vision-Box platform, aimed at enabling paperless travel.

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IAG shrugs off fuel rise

British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) was in dominant form last week with an order for up to 42 Boeing B777X (see this issue) and improved full-year financial results to 31 December 2018.

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Laudamotion strengthens Stuttgart links

Following the launch of daily service launched between Milan Bergamo Airport and Vienna at the start of the winter season, Laudamotion has further committed to the Italian gateway by beginning a second route from Stuttgart.

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Radisson Blu opens in Istanbul

One of Istanbul’s most prestigious emerging residential and commercial areas has welcomed the Radisson Blu brand to its hotel line-up offering 193 rooms and suites with the choice of city or forest views, plus extensive meeting facilities.

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Ramon Airport Eilat sets opening date

Tuesday 19 March has been set for the closure of Eilat Airport, in the centre of the town, and the opening to airlines of Ramon International (IATA code ETM / ICAO code LLER), 18 miles north on Highway 90, which leads eventually to the Dead Sea and onward to metropolitan Israel. 

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Stansted rail link in focus

The first of 10 new Stansted Express trains arrived in Norwich last week from Switzerland and will undergo safety and performance tests before entering passenger service in mid-2019.

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Williams: Rail franchising ‘not working’

Britain’s rail franchising system cannot continue as it is. That’s the verdict of former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams, who was appointed the independent chair of the first ‘root and branch’ Rail Review to be supported by government.

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ON TOUR – CONFEX - Conferences and Exhibitions

John Burke returned to London’s Olympia (with camera).

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MARCH CRUISE ISSUE

OLYMPIA CRUISE SHOW

The London Cruise Show Olympia, which ran over a weekend in late February, can be described as ‘dull’ with just seven cruise companies participating.  We list them and not those that failed to put in an appearance. 

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AND FINALLY: Also not forgotten

The Glory Years – A book review.

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ABTA warns over Brexit ‘concerns’

Growing concerns in the travel industry over the possibility of a no-deal Brexit have been highlighted in a letter to the prime minister and other senior officials from ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer.

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Air France-KLM furore over share sale

A raid by the Dutch state on a 12.68% stake in the share capital of the Air France-KLM Group has been greeted with concern by the group’s board, which noted there had been no prior discussion on the move.

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American and United boost for Tokyo

Japan has become flavour of the month for American Airlines and United Airlines with both submitting almost simultaneous applications to the US Department of Transportation to operate additional services to Tokyo Haneda Airport.

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Brexit air deal welcomed

Observers have welcomed the provisional agreement of the EU’s proposed regulation on air services connectivity after Brexit, meaning UK – EU flights will be maintained without interruption in the event of a no-deal.

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From F1 to Business Class

Technology and engineering services company Williams Advanced Engineering and JPA Design have joined forces to revolutionise future aircraft interiors through the application of world-class design and Formula One-derived technology.

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Loganair expansion boost for Southend

Southend Airport was hailed last week as London’s new gateway to Scotland after an agreement with Scotland’s airline, Loganair, to provide routes from the airport to three destinations, with connections to six more, from this spring.

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Mega-airport delayed again

The full opening of the Istanbul New Airport, which was supposed to happen yesterday, 3 March (BTN 4 February) with all operations moving from Ataturk Airport to the new site, has been delayed for a third time, with 5 April now earmarked for the event.

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Raffles City nears completion

Development company CapitaLand has topped out the eighth and final skyscraper of Raffles City Chongqing (China) as preparations begin to open the highly anticipated 1.12million sq m megastructure in the second half of this year.

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Vancouver – Auckland

A new non-stop seasonal service between Vancouver (YVR) and Auckland (AKL) was announced last week by Air Canada. Flights will operate four times weekly on the carrier's flagship Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner from 12 December this year to the end of March 2020.

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