22 APRIL 2019

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Air Mauritius A330-900 arrives

The Indian Ocean’s first Airbus A330-900neo took a bow at Heathrow last week as Air Mauritius hosted an unveiling event the day before the aircraft entered service on the airline’s London – Mauritius route.

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Carlisle Airport opens reservations

After 25 years, the renamed Carlisle Lake District Airport is to reopen for scheduled airline services on 4 July with Loganair as the lead carrier. 

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COMMENT: Drones an international problem?

Speculation that last year’s drone incident at Gatwick was the work of an insider brought the subject back into the headlines last week following a BBC Panorama probe into what it called an “attack”.

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"Major steps" in B737 MAX case

“Major steps” towards completing work on a software fix for the B737 MAX flight-control system suspected in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airways accidents were reported by Boeing last week following a test flight, raising hopes the grounded global fleet could soon be back in the air.

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Airport upgrade for Europcar

A major refurbishment designed to “enhance the customer experience” has been unveiled by Europcar at its Heathrow facility, which is now the largest location in the UK for the car and van rental company.

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Arora Hotels new opening

As major development continues at Heathrow, the airport gains another hotel this summer with the Hilton Garden Inn Terminal 2 taking bookings from 14 August. Part of the Arora Hotels portfolio, it will connect directly to the terminal via a covered walkway.

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El Al moves 1m passengers at Luton

The millionth passenger to fly through Luton (LTN) with El Al was given a special send-off by the airport last week with a commemorative gift, free flight upgrade and car parking package. All passengers were also treated to kosher cookies on the flight.

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Embraer hails E195 results

Type certification for the Embraer E195-E2 has been granted by the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) simultaneously, the manufacturer has announced.

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Heathrow record continues

In the month the UK should have left the EU, statistics from Heathrow for March showed business still climbing. CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Despite Brexit uncertainty, Heathrow remains a bright light for the UK.”

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Jet hangs on by a thread

Hopes of saving Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, were still alive but dwindling at the weekend after officials said they were “reasonably hopeful” a bidding process for a stake in the airline of up to 75% would be successful.

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London New York is top route

With almost 3m passengers a year, the 3,400-mile (5,500km) trip between Heathrow and New York JFK has taken the crown as Europe’s busiest international scheduled service, research by Routesonline has found.

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Qatar's VR engineers

In a first for the two companies and in the face of predictions that the number of global air passengers is set almost to double by 2036, Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways are using Virtual Reality (VR) to train engineers.

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Trains upgrade for the Sleeper

A first look inside new trains due to enter service at the end of next month on the Caledonian Sleeper service was unveiled last week. The overnight rail journey between Scotland and London is operated by Serco on behalf of Transport Scotland.

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ON TOUR: Copenhagen

Trendy Copenhagen serves up a smorgasbord of experiences for BTN editor Richard Cawthorne.

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AND FINALLY: United's weighty problem

United Airlines has announced it will be the first US carrier to offer non-binary gender options throughout all booking channels in addition to giving passengers the option to select the title "Mx" during the reservation process.

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215,000 easyJet flights

Nearly 215,000 flights with a post-Brexit “business as usual” guarantee, including many to top business destinations, have gone on sale with the unveiling by easyJet of its winter 2019/20 programme, covering the period from 27 October 2019 – 28 March 2020 and offering more than 37m seats.

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Another Crossrail delay?

Crossrail, the project to build a new east-west railway underneath central London, could be further delayed until 2021, according to the BBC last week. The report emerged from a senior source associated with the programme, the company said.

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Anti-airport council attacked

Supporters of Heathrow expansion say local democracy in Hillingdon has hit a new low after the council banned a petition on its website which calls for an end to the use of taxpayers’ money on its legal challenge to the airport development.

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Bristol Marriott restored

Claimed to be the oldest hotel in its home city, the Bristol Marriott Royal has completed a multi-million-pound restoration designed to capture and preserve the 150-year-old Victorian heritage of the building and its West Country surroundings.

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City Cruises corporate events

River Thames operator City Cruises has acquired its first dedicated events boat, named the Erasmus. The vessel, with a capacity of 300 guests, is the company’s only private-hire corporate event venue in London. It is also available for leisure gatherings.

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CRJ900 heads for Uganda

The first two of four CRJ900s ordered by Uganda Airlines in July 2018 have been handed over by Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. The ceremony also installed the carrier as the first operator in Africa of the CRJ Series’ enhanced Atmosphère cabin.

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New look, new route for UA

A new livery and a new route were announced by United Airlines last week. The  new look is expected to be unveiled on Wednesday to replace the current globe design United inherited after its merger with Continental Airlines in May 2010.

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Yotelair opens in the Jewel

The only hotel within the new Jewel complex which opened last week in Singapore's Changi Airport (BTN 11 March) has made its debut as the first Yotelair in Asia, complementing the parent company’s Yotel property in the city centre.

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