5 AUGUST 2019
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Known for his humility and wit, plus writing skills, Mike Ramsden, "JMR" to everyone, has passed away aged 90.
British Airways today (Monday) is to introduce its first Airbus A350 at Heathrow with a training flight to Madrid including some media. However, it is Virgin Atlantic which is expected to take the prestigious prize of a New York first with the Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft’s maiden JFK from London arrival on 10 September.
Slots are a problem
Angela Gittens has been director general of Airports Council International (ACI World) since 2008. She was previously CEO of both Miami and Atlanta airports. In the UK, as Vice-President at TBI Airport Management, she oversaw the transition to private ownership of Luton Airport. She has served on numerous aviation industry boards and committees.
A much-anticipated fleet update programme for Air France-KLM took off last week with the group signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 60 Airbus A220-300s to be operated by Air France.
A strike called by the Unite union and due to start at Heathrow at a minute past midnight this morning (Monday) was suspended last night to enable further talks. It followed a weekend of meetings between the two sides and the conciliation service ACAS.
LNER, the East Coast rail operator owned by the Department for Transport (DfT), has introduced the first of its Durham-assembled trains on services between London King's Cross and Edinburgh.
After posting sharp rises in 2019, prices in the global travel industry are likely to slow in 2020, with flights rising a modest 1.2%, hotels rising only 1.3%, and rental car rates up 1%.
A fourth year-round daily service between Heathrow and Abu Dhabi is being introduced by Etihad Airways on 27 October with a late-evening departure from London and a mid-morning departure from Abu Dhabi.
Bamboo stirring sticks, items stripped of their plastic packaging plus the re-use and recycling of cabin waste are among measures being taken by Iberia after the airline set a goal to reduce the use of plastic on its flights by 68.5 tonnes a year.
Industry veteran Andy Jolly has been appointed managing director of Stobart Air after serving as acting MD for the past month. He was previously the carrier’s chief operating officer.
Operating profit before exceptional items at International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, fell more than a third in the first half of this year, according to latest financial results.
Uncertainty still surrounded the threatened British Airways pilots’ strike this morning (Monday) after talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) which were planned to end on Friday were extended to today.
Earlier this summer, BTN editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg and his wife took off from Gatwick bound for Bordeaux and a seven-night river cruise on the AmaDolce. A ship review is in this issue but here we concentrate on the towns and villages visited (with a mention of the wines tasted).
BTN has reported on cruising for more than 25 years, editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg something of a guru and claiming to be the world’s oldest cruiser, a passenger on RMS Asturias from Tilbury to Sydney in 1949.
Air New Zealand has just introduced a new safety video. It’s too long at 4min, but at least shorter than BA’s tedious and very expensive 6min-plus effort. But the ANZ film does promote the national team, England not even flying (long-haul) with British Airways.
For BA see BTN 29 April 2019
Set up in May this year and scheduled to begin operations this autumn, Belgian start-up carrier Air Antwerp has received its first aircraft, a Fokker 50 turboprop, painted in its new colour scheme.
A new pay-per-kilometre low-cost self-serve mobility brand called Smile Rent has been launched by the Avis Budget Group in Italy as the latest addition to its expanding portfolio in southern Europe.
A new arrivals facility for domestic travellers from other parts of the UK and Republic of Ireland was opened by Gatwick last week providing what the airport called a faster and more convenient exit from the aircraft through a new dedicated route.
A 48-storey skyscraper in Shenzhen last week became the new home of the latest Hyatt Hotels footprint in China with the opening of the Park Hyatt Shenzhen in the Futian central business district.
Continuing its integration of Principal Hotels into its own portfolio, InterContinental Hotels (IHG) has brought an historic Edinburgh property back into its system to relaunch the InterContinental brand in Scotland.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has appointed Gilbert Santa Maria as its new president and COO after he was handpicked by chairman and CEO Lucio Tan and unanimously approved by the 15-member board.
The much-delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) celebrated what it called a milestone last week with the topping-out of Terminal 2, with officials saying the facility is still on track to open in October next year – eight years behind schedule.
Singapore has been celebrating the reopening last week of the original Raffles Hotel, now a flagship property within the Accor group, after a major renovation carried out in three phases starting in February 2017.
In its first city-centre opening in Europe, the Yotel brand arrived in Edinburgh last week with a 276-room property in a central location on Queen Street. Timing was perfect with the Edinburgh Festival starting last Friday. It is the first of five Yotels scheduled to open across the continent in the next nine months (BTN 14 January).