6 MAY 2019

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Doncaster's Dreamliner day

It wasn’t a business-travel occasion, but celebrations at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) on Saturday to mark the start of long-haul flying to the US were significant for highlighting the growing value to airlines of regional capacity.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Sir Richard Branson

VIRGIN TRAINS AND RAIL FRANCHISING

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Heathrow sees off High Court challenge

Moves in the High Court to block the Heathrow expansion plan were thrown out last week as judges rejected a claim for a judicial review that threatened to push back the third runway development by years.

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Air League's new chief

Nick West has become the new chief executive of the Air League following his appointment by the board of trustees.

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Aircraft incident at Moscow

As BTN was being readied for publication on Sunday evening, news arrived concerning a major incident at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

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British cruise line cancels programme

More than 3,000 passengers booked with Oxford-based Voyages to Antiquity had their cruise cancelled at very short notice last week.

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Cardiff hails passenger record

A 7% increase in numbers over the previous total has given Cardiff Airport a new record for the 12 months to the end of April with more than 1.6m passengers using the facility. It was the airport’s busiest year since 2009.

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Emirates sets Premium Economy date

More legroom, better food, bigger entertainment screens and extra check-in luggage allowances are among upgraded facilities being promised by Emirates as it moves to introduce a Premium Economy class next year.

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FlyArystan takes a bow

Europe’s latest carrier to claim to offer low fares with high quality has taken to the skies for its first revenue flights. Based at Almaty International Airport, FlyArystan is a subsidiary of award-winning Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana.

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London City Vilnius send-off

A celebration by LOT Polish Airlines, Lithuanian Airports and London City Airport at the Shangri-La Hotel in London’s Shard skyscraper has held a special send-off for the carrier’s London – Vilnius service which began last week.

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More Pod hotels on the way

Plans to expand from five properties to at least 50 over the next decade to join BD Hotels’ “micro-accommodation” concept, Pod Hotels, are in hand after the success of its three newest openings at Times Square in New York (below), Brooklyn and Washington DC.

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Qatar ups Economy food offer

A new Economy Class on-board experience called ‘Quisine’ has been unveiled by Qatar Airways in what the airline says is a move “to elevate further customers’ dining experience when they travel”.

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ON TOUR: Porto revisited

When BTN was invited to join the naming ceremony for the AMADouro river cruise ship at Porto, it seemed an ideal opportunity to extend an overnight trip from Gatwick to something longer (See also BTN May Cruising in this issue and ON TOUR 6 July 2015).

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MAY CRUISE NEWS

This month’s BTN Cruise News is all about the rivers of Europe and its ships with AMA Waterways stealing the headlines and introducing two outstanding new vessels.  Also see British holidaymakers lose cruises in this issue.

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AND FINALLY: All aboard for the Death Star

As The Sun put it on Saturday: “Passengers at Heathrow were baffled this morning when they got to the airport and saw that they could board a flight to the Death Star.”

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ACJ319 in endurance record

The first of Airbus’ new corporate jet contender, the ACJ319neo1, has successfully completed a 16hr 10min test flight, setting a new record for the longest A320 Family flight by an Airbus crew.

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All change at Paris-Orly

Paris airport operator Groupe ADP has streamlined its operation at Orly with a new junction building known as Orly 3 (below). With a surface area of nearly 80,000sq m, it links the former Orly South and Orly West structures.

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Biggin reaches out to Canada

A big rise in the number of ultra-long-range jet movements from North America using Biggin Hill is inspiring the airport to spread the word about its facilities as an ideal gateway for business aviation passengers into London.

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Bombardier Belfast awaits its fate

The future of the Bombardier Belfast plant was under intense scrutiny yesterday after the company’s Canadian parent last week said it was selling off its operations in Northern Ireland to focus its aviation business in Montreal, Mexico and Texas.

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Cape Town's Gorgeous George

If you are looking for a hotel with a memorable name as well as the usual facilities, head for Cape Town, where Design Hotels’ member Gorgeous George has joined the line-up of top places to stay.

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Four more hotels for Jurys-Leonardo

The doors to a fourth central London property were officially opened last week by the Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK and Ireland group, which claims to be one of the fastest-growing hotel chains in Europe.

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Plaza Premium Group on the rise

A major expansion into China is being planned by airport services specialist Plaza Premium Group (PPG), with a target of more than 40 new lounge openings across multiple cities in the country by 2024.

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Venus Clipper sails into London

Organisers of corporate events seeking different venues now have another waterborne option in London with MBNA Thames Clippers bringing the 222-passenger capacity vessel Venus Clipper into operation.

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WestJet makes transatlantic mark

A flurry of transatlantic activity has given Canadian carrier WestJet a flying start to the new peak season with headline services between Calgary and Gatwick and new non-stop flights between Halifax Nova Scotia and Dublin.

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