9 SEPTEMBER 2019

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Avis Budget in app upgrade deal

A deal to connect around 14,000 vehicles to its European fleet, allowing clients to manage rentals via app, has been signed by the Avis Budget Group with Ford Commercial Solutions.

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Belfast bottom in Which? airports survey

Belfast International has slumped to bottom place in the latest Which? annual airport survey, released today (Monday), while Doncaster Sheffield is named the best in the country for the third year running.

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COMMENT: Small is beautiful, says airport survey

Results released today of the latest survey by Which? on Britain’s airports (see news story in this issue) will make depressing reading for some and bring cheer to others. The main message, however, is the not surprising one that the smaller facilities are outperforming their big brothers as far as customer satisfaction is concerned. Luxury shops? No thanks. Polite and well-trained staff and streamlined service? Yes please.

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Another regional boost for Loganair

Aberdeen and East Midlands airports have been celebrating after welcoming new jet routes from Loganair as the airline continues its regional expansion.

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BA dispute new talks bid fails

A two-day strike by British Airways pilots from midnight last night (Sunday) appeared to be set to go ahead after the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) failed in a call to the airline to agree to restart negotiations.

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Electric Jaguar to the Aviation Festival

It seemed too good an opportunity to turn down – Jaguar I-PACE to the opening day of the World Aviation Festival last week.

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Flybe news

Quietly introduced in the spring, the Flybe daily middle-of-the-day service between Guernsey and Heathrow has been retained for the airline's winter programme. It has been performing well – exceeding expectations, according to the airline.

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Level names new CEO

British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia parent group IAG has appointed Iberia Express head Fernando Candela CEO of its low-cost airline, Level with effect from today, 9 September.

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New curbs urged on airport drinking

New laws to curb drinking among airline passengers are being demanded after at least 449 people were arrested for alcohol-related offences at British airports in the past two years – 245 on the ground while still waiting to board and 204 on aircraft.

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Norwegian offers up slots in cash crisis

Concern over the future of Norwegian Air was growing at the weekend after the airline in face of an imminent meeting with creditors said it was trying to extend the dates on which it is supposed to pay back US$380m (about £310m) in loans.

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Post-Brexit flight deadline extended

UK airlines will continue to be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU until at least October next year after the European Commission last week extended the deadline in its unilateral contingency legislation.

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Singapore – Seattle non-stop

In what is being labelled “an historic expansion” of non-stop long-haul operations, Singapore Airlines (SIA) is forging ahead in serving the US market with the departure last week of its inaugural service between Singapore and Seattle.

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Slosar leaving Cathay Pacific

In a new upheaval at Cathay Pacific, the company said last week chairman John Slosar was leaving after the next board meeting on 6 November. The official announcement said Slosar was retiring, but media reports said he had resigned.

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Wilson moves up as Ryanair strikes continue

Another seven days of strikes are looming at Ryanair as pilots threaten to continue their industrial action in a row over pay and conditions. The next round is due on 18 September for 48hr, then 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 September for 24hr each.

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ON TOUR: World Aviation Festival London

In a joint session Joanna Geraghty (JetBlue), Sir Tim Clark (Emirates) and Johan Lundgren (easyJet) were perhaps the star performers at last week’s World Aviation Festival. Also on stage over the three days were Shai Weiss (Virgin Atlantic), Anne Rigail (Air France/KLM), all of them CEOs.

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SEPTEMBER ROAD TEST: Peugeot 5008 GT Line Premium SUV

There is no better way of road testing a car than using it for the purpose it was designed, in this case a large family transport intended for off-the-road manoeuvring too.

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AND FINALLY: False news from Transport for London

Transport for London published a story last week with the headline "Europe’s largest electric bus fleet".

False news!

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A330neo for Hi Fly

Privately-owned Portuguese wet-lease specialist Hi Fly has taken delivery of its new Airbus A330neo (below) on lease from Air Lease Corporation, the latest arrival for its exclusive all-Airbus fleet.

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Accor doubles up at Melbourne

Work has begun on a new 464-room dual-brand hotel at Melbourne Airport under the Accor flag. A 2021 opening date has been set for the property, which is designed to serve Melbourne’s fast-growing conference and visitor market.

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BTA membership on a roll

The Business Travel Association (BTA) has welcomed eight new members to its growing portfolio of travel management companies, only a few weeks after its rebrand from the GTMC (BTN 8 July).

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Lomond Lounge bows in at Glasgow

A new and exclusive VIP facility at Glasgow Airport has welcomed its first passengers with the opening of the £1.6m, 4,500sq ft Lomond Lounge. It is based airside in the departures area and operates between 05:00 and 21:00.

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W Hotels heads for Toronto

Marriott International in partnership with Canadian hospitality specialist Larco is launching its W Hotels brand in Toronto in a move it says underscores growing demand for luxury in Canada and the brand’s innovative approach to design.

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Widerøe chases the electric dream

Scandinavia’s largest regional airline Widerøe has gone into partnership with UK engineering firm Rolls-Royce to develop an electric aircraft for the future through a joint research programme on zero-emissions aviation.

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World's oldest airline fashion show in the air

The aisles of a transatlantic jet were transformed into a fashion catwalk last week as KLM crew members presented a review of the airline’s uniforms over the years. The show was part of the run-up to KLM’s 100th anniversary on 7 October.

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