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15 APRIL 2019
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The business antics of Sir Richard Branson may have led to as many disliking him as admiring him, but he can take heart from last week’s reaction to the news that Virgin Trains, after more than two decades, could vanish from the rail tracks of Britain within a few months.
Aviation fans will be heading for Glasgow Airport tomorrow, Tuesday, with Emirates scheduled to make history as it introduces Scotland’s first Airbus A380 superjumbo to operate its scheduled service to Dubai.
The Duke of York was on hand to give royal approval last week as a new luxury Windsor hotel entered the final phase of development. The occasion was a topping-out ceremony for the only non-branded property within the 12-strong Arora Hotels portfolio.
Late May or early June has been set by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as the date for its approval of Boeing’s proposed changes to the Boeing B737 8 Max and the issue of an airworthiness directive to allow operations to resume.
More than 1,000 pilots and engineers at India’s oldest private airline, Jet Airways, stopped work from midnight last night, Sunday, in effect grounding the airline. The action was in protest at lack of government action to help the debt-ridden company.
Train operator London North East Railway (LNER) stepped in last week after Ryanair was reported to be cutting Edinburgh – Stansted flights as a result of the worldwide grounding of the Boeing B737 8 Max. Belfast – Stansted is also affected.
As forecast in BTN (11 March), JetBlue has confirmed plans to launch daily flights between London and its hubs at New York and Boston in 2021, saying it will drive down fares and force the heritage airlines to “up their game”.
Japan Airlines’ new low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary ZipAir has revealed more details of its future fleet and its livery ahead of its projected launch in summer 2020 in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The 27-storey luxury St Regis Hong Kong hotel has opened to more than the usual fanfare thanks to its status as Marriott International’s 7,000th property. Features include butler service, and multiple restaurants.
A brisk response to allegations from US officials about its investment in Air Italy came from Qatar Airways last week. It said the charges were “false accusations” and the investment was “fully compliant” with the US-Qatar Open Skies Agreement.
Full details of the newly-designed cabins on its Airbus A350-1000 were revealed last week by Virgin Atlantic after trailing the developments a few days earlier with news of the new aircraft icons to replace the Vargas Girl (BTN 8 April). Virgin is naming the first aircraft in the new fleet Red Velvet.
In an addition to its present service, Heathrow has launched free super-fast wi-fi access across all terminals in partnership with US technology specialist Boingo, offering travellers connection speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
On 15 July 2010, then culture minister Ed Vaizey announced Londonderry, better known as “Derry”, as Britain’s first “City of Culture”.
More exposure for business aircraft developments at Airbus is being unveiled this week by the company’s corporate jet division ACJ with the first public showing of the ACJ319.
Following the annual general meeting of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom, the largest alliance of its kind in the world, chairman Karl Brünjes was able to confirm speakers until the end of the year and announce committee membership.
Ireland’s Donegal (below) on the northwest Atlantic coast has claimed top spot for the second year in an annual survey by private jet booking service PrivateFly to find the world's most scenic airport approaches. London City was also listed.
A major expansion in the UK and Europe is under way for Bloc Hotels, whose designer properties in Gatwick’s South Terminal and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter have already proved a hit with business travellers.
A government decision announced last week to disqualify the Stagecoach company from bidding for new rail franchises could see the end of Virgin Trains in the UK within a few months.
New services from Amsterdam to Luton, Rome Fiumcino and Vienna have joined the network of International Airline Group’s newest airline, Level, after it opened its latest base at Schiphol last week.
While all eyes last week were on JetBlue, another potential transatlantic challenger is waiting in the wings and could even beat JetBlue to the punch.
Billed as the world’s most economical business aircraft of its kind, the Polish Flaris Lar 1 engineered by the Metal-Master construction company and belonging to a new category of high-speed personal jets known as HPJ has flinally flown.