23 SEPTEMBER 2019

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SAS unveils new livery

For the first time in 21 years, SAS has launched a new visual identity and aircraft exterior colours with an updated livery the airline describes as “a modern take on classic Scandinavian design”.

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Tech award for Alternative Airlines

Global flight-search and booking website Alternative Airlines, based near Gatwick, has won national recognition as one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the UK according to this year’s Tech Track 100 list compiled by The Sunday Times.

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COMMENT: Virgin on the attack

It is a basic tenet of most businesses that cartels, or monopolies, while cosy for the entities involved, are a bad thing for the consumer. Many consider the dominance at Heathrow of British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) to be a case in point.

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Thomas Cook disintegrates

Talks to rescue the Thomas Cook travel empire finally collapsed early this morning as the company lost its battle to stay afloat in the face of severe financial pressures. This is a revised (5pm) and more detailed version of a story originally published in the early hours of today.

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Birmingham double-up for easyJet

In a week of upheaval for UK domestic services, easyJet stirred the pot by saying it will launch Edinburgh – Birmingham flights from 29 March next year. The news comes shortly after the airline said it was also entering the Glasgow – Birmingham market (BTN 19 August).

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Hayhoe leaves CityFlyer for Stobart

Former BA CityFlyer general manager Luke Hayhoe has joined Southend Airport, Carlisle Lake District Airport and Teesside International Airport operator Stobart Aviation as aviation business development director.

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Heathrow new war on plastic

New technology that could turn unrecyclable passenger waste into airport furniture, uniforms and alternative fuels is being trialled at Heathrow in a UK first which could see the airport processing 100% of its redundant plastic.

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Israel tourist boom

Keynote speaker Mark Regev, Israel's ambassador to the UK, was in a bullish mood at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane last week addressing the hotel industry, with tourism up 14% in 2018 and reminding the 200-plus attendees that Virgin Atlantic was joining the five airlines already serving Tel Aviv direct from London.

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Latest pilot strike called off

The latest strike by British Airways pilots due to start next Friday, 27 September, was called off unexpectedly by BALPA last week in what the union said was “an attempt at establishing a time-out for common sense to prevail”.

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Lean Luxury Ruby for London

Munich-based Ruby Hotels, known as the pioneer of the ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy, is launching its first UK property, the 76-room Ruby Lucy, in January on London’s South Bank, a 3min walk from Waterloo Station.

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Loganair steps in at East Midlands

Routes linking Edinburgh and Glasgow with East Midlands are being taken over at short notice by Loganair from Sunday 27 October following incumbent airline Flybe withdrawing its services.

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Shake-up continues at Flybe

Loganair, which calls itself Scotland’s Airline, is to take over routes linking Edinburgh and Glasgow with East Midlands from 27 October following news that incumbent carrier Flybe is set to discontinue the services (see separate story in this issue).

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Ups and downs at Qatar Airways

A “year of achievement in the face of adversity” was hailed by Qatar Airways last week as the company published its annual report for 2018-19 highlighting the group’s success and underlying robust financial health.

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Virgin plots Heathrow revolution

More choice and lower fares for passengers were promised by Virgin Atlantic last week as it solidified plans first floated this summer (BTN 24 June and today's COMMENT) to transform competition at an expanded Heathrow.

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ON TOUR: Paul Griffiths at the Aviation Club

Guests at the September Aviation Club lunch last week were treated to an usually forthright and detailed overview of the industry by Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths. In addition to his views on airport capacity (see story in this issue), he had much to say on other areas. This week’s ON TOUR is an edited version of his remarks.

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AND FINALLY: Striking the right chord

Paul Griffiths is clearly well tuned in, and not just to air transport. See ON TOUR and Dubai and mega-airports.

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Aircraft demand set to continue

A world demand for between 44,000 and 48,000 commercial aircraft over the next 20 years was forecast in separate reports by Boeing and Airbus last week, with both companies saying there was little sign of the aviation boom lessening any time soon.

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Dubai and mega-airports

He may run the world’s busiest airport for international flights, but Dubai Airport's chief executive Paul Griffiths does not believe constructing ever-larger hubs is the solution to the capacity problem faced by many cities. See also AND FINALLY.

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Dublin Airport in charges row

The full benefits of Dublin’s new north runway project risk being lost because airport operator DAA will be unable to fund further investments if a proposed 22% cut in charges is imposed, DAA CEO Dalton Philips warned last week.

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Final stages for Beijing Daxing

China’s new gateway and the capital’s second airport, Beijing Daxing International (PKX), is on course to begin operations next Monday, 30 September, following the official opening last week of two operational control centres for China Eastern.

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Finance reprieve for Norwegian

Bondholders at Norwegian Air Shuttle agreed last week to defer repayments on two loans in a move welcomed by acting CEO Geir Karlsen as giving the airline some “financial breathing space” and ensuring sufficient liquidity for the winter.

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Motoring merriment on Regent Street

Final plans are in hand for the 2019 edition of what is claimed to be the UK’s biggest free-to-view car-themed spectacle, the Regent Street Motor Show (below), taking place in London’s prestigious shopping area on 2 November.

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Sustainable fuel plan for BA

Powering a future fleet with sustainable jet fuel made from rubbish has moved a step closer for British Airways after plans were submitted to develop Europe’s first plant to convert household and commercial solid waste.

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