OCTOBER 24 ONWARD  COVID RULES - Up to date from Gov.uk

This  review was revised 18 October

* items include readers letters

29 JULY 2019


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GWR timetable shake-up

In what is claimed to be the biggest timetable change on the network since 1976, South Wales train services are being transformed from December as Great Western Railway (GWR) brings in major changes to offer faster journeys.

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COMMENT: Time for take-off, Mr Shapps

Nobody said it was easy, but Grant Shapps, our incoming secretary of state for transport to give him his full title, is probably better placed than most to confront what is heading down the runway toward him.

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A350-1000 arrives a day late

Plans by British Airways to lay on a lavish welcome for its first Airbus A350-1000 landing at Heathrow on Friday had to be cancelled because of bad weather causing delays at airports all over Europe. The aircraft eventually touched down on Saturday.

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Airlines 2050 shapes up for London

A landmark event called Airlines 2050 between the aviation industry and government focusing on future strategy for the UK airline sector is to take place in London on 17 October at the QEII Centre, Westminster.

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American Qantas deal wins approval

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has given final approval for American Airlines and Qantas to operate a joint venture allowing them to coordinate planning, pricing, sales and frequent flyer programmes.

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BA strike nears crunch point

The latest wrangle in the dispute between British Airways and pilots’ union the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) could be resolved as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) after the airline decided to appeal against a High Court decision last week that BALPA’s strike ballot was fair and legal.

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Booming Heathrow in APD challenge

A renewed call for Air Passenger Duty (APD) reform came from Heathrow last week as the airport reported continued strong passenger growth for the first six months of 2019.

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European wi-fi network

Claimed to be the fastest inflight broadband service on the continent, the European Aviation Network (EAN) is now being offered by airlines to more than 30,000 passengers a day.  Clients include IAG & Lufthansa Group.

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Heathrow Hub wins expansion appeal

An independent alternative proposal for expanding Heathrow via an extension to the existing Northern Runway rather than the government’s solution of a third runway has been given leave to appeal against the official plan.

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Loganair in profit

Marking its first full year after dropping code-share partner Flybe, and reverting to "Scotland's Airline" brand, Loganair last week reported a pre-tax profit of £1.01m for the 12 months ended 31 March with a record turnover of £119.8m, 8.3% up on the previous year's £110.6m.

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Manchester Airports Group backs rail line pledge

The company that owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midands airports was among those to welcome prime minister Boris Johnson’s pledge last week to build a new high-speed rail line between Manchester and Leeds.

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New UK transport secretary

Hertfordshire MP and private pilot's licence holder Grant Shapps has been named secretary of state for transport in Boris Johnson’s new Cabinet, taking over from Chris Grayling, who resigned last week. With the new appoinment Shapps has stood down as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation which he helped to found.

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ON TOUR: The Glasshouse

The Grove luxury hotel, golf resort and spa sits just off the M25, halfway between Luton Airport and Wembley Stadium. It is surrounded by 300 acres of parkland  and is a favourite retreat for those in the know, including sporting teams where it offers all the facilities needed. Its latest claim to fame is a reimagined food offer, led by its popular buffet restaurant, The Glasshouse. BTN editor Richard Cawthorne, who also covers food and drink for Hertfordshire Life magazine, went to check it out. This is his Hertfordshire Life report.

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AND FINALLY: Hot weather problem

An ice cream van has crashed outside our offices.

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Cathay lounge and HK Express

Introducing its award-winning designs to mainland China for the first time, Cathay Pacific has reopened its newly-renovated lounge at Shanghai Pudong Airport near Departure Gate D69 in Terminal 2.

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CityJet in Air Nostrum merger

A proposed merger between Ireland-based CityJet and Air Nostrum of Spain has won approval from the European Commission, heralding the formation of what would be the largest pan-European regional airline group.

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First Prince Akatoki hotel set for London

The former Arch hotel in Great Cumberland Place, London, will be relaunched as the first property under Japan’s Prince Hotels Prince Akatoki brand in September after a £3m transformation across its public areas and all 82 bedrooms.

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Iberia plans a busy winter

More flights and what are claimed to be more convenient flight schedules and better Madrid connections have been unveiled by Iberia in its short- and medium-haul flight programme for next winter, effective from 1 November.

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Ryanair in Poland training launch

A major new training partnership with Polish-based international flight school Bartolini Air has been launched by Ryanair to deliver a Ryanair/Bartolini Air mentored pilot training programme.

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Teesside reclaims international tag

Durham Tees Valley Airport re-emerged from controversy last week with its former title of Teesside International Airport reinstated after a heated local campaign with an online poll completed by 14,000 people drawing 93% support for the pre-2004 name.

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The happy business traveller

More than half (54%) of business travellers have experienced a mishap while on the road for work in the past year, with 52% reporting they had a delayed flight and 40% a cancelled flight.

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United transatlantic challenge

With transatlantic competition increasing with the arrival this year of the Airbus A350-1000, United Airlines put in its bid for prominence on Saturday by claiming it would now offer more Business Class seats between the New York area and London than any US carrier.

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Virgin dropping St Lucia flights

A dispute over subsidies is thought to be behind stories surfacing in St Lucia last week that Virgin Atlantic is cancelling services to the Caribbean island from June next year.

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