* items include readers letters
1 APRIL 2019
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The story of Concorde has a parallel in the politics of today. It was supported by Tony Benn, in his day as much to the left of the Labour Party as its present leader, but far more pragmatic.
Formed only in 2016 and headed by former Airbus Group vice-president Philippe Bohn, Air Senegal has taken delivery of its first A330-900 from the Airbus production line in Toulouse, becoming the first African carrier to fly the new-generation wide-body.
Growth into new markets and new destinations has been promised by Qatar Airways following the arrival of its 250th aircraft, an Airbus A350-900 from Toulouse. The event was hailed by the airline as “a significant milestone”.
With the introduction of a four-times-daily service from Heathrow to Newquay Airport Cornwall yesterday (see in this issue), Flybe has confirmed that the completion of its purchase by Connect Airways Ltd will have to wait some months before final approval is made under the EU Merger regulations. (Also see AND FINALLY EXTRA)
The launch of two new European destinations and first-time operations out of Newcastle were being celebrated by Loganair last week as the airline heralded the addition of three more routes to its network.
A new record for business jet performance was claimed last week with a Bombardier Global 7500 flying from Los Angeles to New York in less than 4hr. Typical time for the journey by a scheduled commercial aircraft is 6hr 30min.
While many see the new Heathrow – Cornwall air route as the saviour of Flybe (see in this issue), the move from Gatwick to Heathrow has not gone down well with everyone who uses the former RAF St Mawgan.
Fulfilling its promise last year to break the monopoly on direct flights between the UK and Brazil (BTN 3 December 2018), Norwegian yesterday, 31 March, launched its first new non-stop service from Gatwick to Rio de Janeiro.
Hard on the heels of Lyon Airport introducing valet car parking by robot (BTN 25 March), Gatwick last week signed a framework contract with Stanley Robotics to become the first UK airport to trial the system.
In a first for a UK train company, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has introduced sunflower lanyards for passengers who may need additional assistance at stations or during their journeys.
The growing list of European carriers going out of business was joined last week by Wow Air after rescue talks with Icelandair collapsed. The Iceland-based airline stopped flying overnight, stranding passengers.
BTN editor Richard Cawthorne, a cruise beginner, tries out his sea legs with a three-night trip aboard Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ CMV Columbus.
For the sixth time in its 11-year history, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 last week was voted the best in the world, with Terminal 2 close behind as fourth best. Overall, Heathrow maintained its position as one of the world’s top 10 airports.
A long-awaited rail link for Melbourne Airport has finally been given an official sign off by local and federal government officials in Australia. The project is expected to cost Aus$10bn (about £5.4bn).
Contactless bank cards, mobile devices and Oyster cards are now accepted on the Heathrow Express between London Paddington and Heathrow Central.
The massive Texas Medical Centre in Houston now has a brand new InterContinental hotel as a neighbour. The opening was announced last week.
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) has introduced for its Business Class passengers the PressReader’s entire 6,000 catalogue for reading newspapers and magazines on board. The airline, founded in 1992, is 100% privately owned and has a fleet of 41 aircraft. It flies five times weekly between Kiev and Gatwick.
UK success in the 2019 Skytrax World Airport Awards (see Award time again for Heathrow in this issue) was not limited to Heathrow, as London City (LCY), for the third year running, was named the world’s best in the category for facilities handling up to 5m passengers a year.
Oslo Airport’s high-speed express rail link service Flytoget is set to increase its capacity by 50% after bringing in new trains with wider seats, less noise and larger windows.
Non-stop flights between London and Sydney moved a step closer last week after Qantas said its pioneering service launched a year ago linking London and Perth had proved a success.