11 MARCH 2019

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Airbus boost for pilot training

Growing demand for pilots in Europe has persuaded Airbus to extend its cadet training facilities with its own flight academy and add ab initio to its portfolio.

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Alastair Pugh

British Caledonian Airways (BCAL) former managing director Alastair Pugh CBE died last Wednesday (6 March) at East Surrey Hospital. He was 90. He was reported to have collapsed at home after being out driving in a classic car rally.

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COMMENT: A non-Brexit AOA (almost)

The headline is tempting, but the key speeches at last week’s AOA (Airport Operators Association) annual dinner were not completely Brexit-free. With a turbulent week approaching (beginning tomorrow), how could they be? However, with the industry still in an upward spiral, there was plenty more to discuss and the Grosvenor House dinner provided plenty of food for thought as well as the other kind.

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Boeing Gatwick hangar on track

Engineering facilities at Gatwick are due to be given a lift later this year with the opening of a new 60,000sq m service hangar which is being constructed as a joint project between the airport and Boeing.

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EasyJet's Lundgren at Aviation Club

A busy spell lies ahead this year for the Aviation Club with easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren as guest speaker at the next monthly lunch on 20 March. The same day will see the club’s first Young Aviation Professionals (YAP) event of 2019.

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Flybe deal approved

Shareholders in Flybe last week agreed to the sale of the airline to the Connect Airways consortium consisting of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital, leaving them with just 1p per share.

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JetBlue transatlantic hint

Speculation that US carrier JetBlue is about to launch routes from Boston and New York to the UK grew last week as the company said it was planning a staff meeting on future plans on 10 April – one day before CEO Robin Hayes addresses the Aviation Club in London.

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Kimpton arrives in Edinburgh

Hailing the arrival of “a new, approachable luxury hotel offering to Edinburgh”, InterContinental Hotels (IHG) has opened the first of its luxury Kimpton brand properties in Scotland in the shape of the Kimpton Charlotte Square.

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New brand identity for London City

A new corporate identity is being rolled out from today, 11 March, for London City Airport (LCY), reinforcing its position at the heart of Docklands and its commitment to serve the capital. The aim is to “reflect a more dynamic, vibrant and contemporary look, synonymous with modern London”.

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Revamp for BA First Class

New bedding, amenities and menus for passengers flying First Class with British Airways are being introduced from 31 March as part of the £6.5bn revamp of customer service under way by the airline. No renaming it Concorde Class, as suggested by BTN.

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UK airports score in new poll

London City, Southampton and Bristol are among airports in Europe to figure for the first time in a major awards programme run by Airport Council International (ACI). Results for 2018 were announced last week, with Dublin also among first-timers and Newcastle repeating previous success.

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Wizz Air A321 new era

The first of a huge new fleet for Wizz Air of new-generation Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft was handed over by the manufacturer to the carrier last week at a ceremony in Hamburg. Wizz is the largest customer worldwide for the two types, with 256 on order.

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ON TOUR: Canada, Quebec and snow

Tim Huppler and Jane Stanbury head out to the frosty landscapes of the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Just a 90-minute drive from downtown Montreal are the Eastern Townships of Quebec. This undulating landscape of agriculture, forest, national park and mountains is a world away and delivers a unique Quebecois linguistic and cultural experience. Tourists are as likely to bump into the likes of the Clintons, Nicole Kidman, Sir Anthony Hopkins or various royals, as local Quebecois who own hidden forest cottages. 

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MARCH ROAD TEST: Kia Stinger 2.0 T-GDi 'GT-Line'

Just over 15 months ago the Kia Stinger arrived in the UK with an astonishing display at Newquay – Cornwall Airport (NQY).  Flybe’s Q400s had to clear the runway for a five-seater saloon out to prove it was quicker than the Bombardier prior to getting airborne, and with far greater acceleration than the Canadian turboprop.  150mph top speed and 0-60mph in 4.7sec was recorded.

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AND FINALLY: The French celebrate Concorde

To complement the 2019 Concorde collection, Aero-Design launched a model of its iconic Mach 2 wristband on (naturally) 2 March or, if you prefer, Mach 2.

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A220 first for Air Vanuatu

Pacific island flag carrier Air Vanuatu has signed a firm order with Airbus for two Airbus A220s and two A220-300s.

It is the airline’s first order with Airbus and makes it launch customer for the A220 in the Pacific region.

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Carlisle prepares for Loganair

Commercial and business flights are scheduled finally to start using Carlisle Lake District Airport from 4 July for the first time since 1993 with Loganair adding to its recent burst of activity with services to Southend, Belfast City and Dublin.

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Dublin's taste of San Francisco

Dining US West Coast-style has arrived at Dublin Airport and ten new jobs created with the opening of SoMa restaurant in Terminal 1, taking its inspiration from the South of Market and Mission District in San Francisco.

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Ethiopian Airlines accident

Concerns over the safety of the new-generation Boeing B737 Max 8 rippled round the world yesterday (10 March) after Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 to Nairobi crashed 6min after take-off from Addis Ababa and full of fuel.

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Farnborough drops public weekend

A change of format for the 2020 Farnborough International Airshow will see the traditional public weekend scrapped to make the gathering a five-day event, with the trade show opening its doors to the public on the Friday.

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Glasgow's eco-friendly new fleet

More eco-friendly ground handling vehicles are on the way at airports after a £200,000 fleet of eight new £200,000 hybrid petrol/electric plug-in Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4x4s arrived at Glasgow last week.

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Korean Air in celebration mood

Anniversary celebrations are being held this month and next at Korean Air as the carrier marks 50 years in the air, with events including a mass gathering for staff in Seoul and a reception at Korean’s London office.

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Lobby group urges Heathrow third runway

An airport lobby group has responded to the start of the High Court legal proceedings by several local authorities against Heathrow expansion with a clear message: “Get on and build the third runway.”

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1bn 'Jewel' to open at Changi

One of the world’s top-ranking airports is boosting its award-winning facilities further with the £1bn opening at Singapore Changi on 17 April of what is described as a world-class multi-dimensional visitor destination.

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