26 AUGUST 2019

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Drastic rise in delays

Air passengers have more than strikes and technology malfunctions to cope with, according to a new Which? report – the organisation says punctuality in the skies has deteriorated “drastically” in the past five years.

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More 5-star from American

Passengers at more US airports now have access to American Airlines’ exclusive Five Star Service as the airline continues to expand the programme. It brings the total number offering the service to 16 in the US and four outside.

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COMMENT: It’s all railways – HS2, Crossrail and East Midlands Railways (EMR)

BTN features train services three times this week. Firstly HS2 (see in this issue) or, as we prefer, Fast Speed 1, which we highlighted back in 2013!

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Busy agenda for Aviation Festival

The outlook for China’s aviation market and the future of aviation in Istanbul and its giant new mega-airport are among topics up for discussion at the World Aviation Festival at London’s Business Design Centre in nine days' time, 4-6 September.

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Coming soon – the Luton Express

More details emerged last week of the new express train service to serve Luton Airport from December 2020 following the takeover of the East Midlands Railway (EMR) franchise by Abellio (BTN last week).

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Confusion as BA strike called

Talks to avert a strike by British Airways pilots broke down on Friday, with the BALPA union immediately giving notice of industrial action on 9, 10 and 27 September in pursuit of a pay claim.

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Crossrail opening date pledge

The central section of the Elizabeth Line is on schedule to open between October 2020 and March 2021, it was confirmed last week. The announcement came in the first of a new series of progress updates from Crossrail.

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Eco campaign on a roll

Boeing’s B787 Dreamliners and the Airbus A350 were singled for praise by Heathrow last week as results of the airport’s latest “Fly Quiet and Green” league table for April-June showed airlines taking further measures to protect the environment.

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Inquiry to examine HS2 costs

The future of the HS2 multi-billion-pound high-speed rail project was called into question last week after the government confirmed it had commissioned a review into “whether and how” it should proceed.

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Interim CEO for Air New Zealand

Chief financial officer Jeff McDowall has been named acting CEO for Air New Zealand but has told the company he is not seeking the role permanently. He is stepping in for Christopher Luxon, who retires on 25 September (BTN 24 June).

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Loganair lands Derry PSO route

People in Derry-Londonderry will continue to enjoy the benefits of direct flights to London thanks to renewed funding from the UK government, transport secretary Grant Shapps said last week.

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Wanted – more women pilots

A call for more female pilots in the aviation industry came last week from the travel platform FromAtoB after research showed while aviation was growing at 5%-10% a year, the number of women entering the profession remains stagnant.

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Wizz joins the Southend family

A new operation at Southend Airport offering flights from November to Bucharest and Vilnius, plus the launch of two new services to Western Europe from its base at Luton were announced last week by Wizz Air.

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ON TOUR: Fort Lauderdale

Continuing his journey round Florida, BTN editor Richard Cawthorne drops in on one of the Sunshine State's most historic cities, now transformed into a leading business and leisure destination.

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AND FINALLY: Joke of the year

The Edinburgh Fringe offers annually a non-existent prize for the funniest joke at the festival. BTN did not agree with the winner, something about broccoli, even with the writer a Luton Town supporter.

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Airport operators name new chair

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith has been appointed chair of the Airport Operators Association (AOA) in succession to Ed Anderson. She will take up the appointment from 1 September.

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Back in time at Jersey airshow

Channel Islands residents will be able to step back in time next month when British Airways celebrates its anniversary year with a nostalgic entry in the 2019 Jersey International Air Display on 12 September.

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Entebbe hero for ACI summit

Colonel Omer Bar-Lev, former commander of Israeli special forces, former leader on security issues in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and a participant in the Entebbe Raid in July 1976, is to be keynote speaker at the ACI Europe Security Summit in Tel Aviv next month.

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Four Seasons hits the heights

The highest situated hotel in North America, the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Centre, has opened on the top floors of what is now its host city’s tallest building and the 10th highest in the US.

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Fourth London hotel for citizenM

The Dutch hotel group CitizenM is planning a fourth London property after demolishing a former office block near Victoria Station. Work will begin in November and the hotel will have 226 rooms in a 10-storey block.

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IATA hails growth statistics

More than 4bn passengers took to the air in 2018 as global air connectivity continues to become more accessible and more efficient, according to figures just released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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InterContinental returns to Dallas

A new property in Dallas on top of the iconic 42-storey Cityplace Tower is in the pipeline from the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which claims to be the world's largest luxury hotel brand with 60-plus projects under development.

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New HK Express CEO in place

Cathay Pacific Airways veteran Mandy Ng has been appointed CEO of HK Express with immediate effect, taking over from former CEO Ronald Lam, who has moved to Cathay Pacific as chief customer and commercial officer.

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