30 SEPTEMBER 2019

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New York for Aviation Club

The Aviation Club UK has partnered with Airline Economics to host its second international event of 2019 with a reception on Wednesday 16 October at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel in New York. Booking is now open.

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Stratford Hotel checks in

East London has welcomed its latest hotel with the opening of the Stratford, set in the bottom six floors of the new 42-storey Manhattan Loft Gardens skyscraper in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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COMMENT: For Thomas Cook, a mountain was climbed

As with Monarch and others, the debate over the collapse of Thomas Cook will linger long after the nitty-gritty of the repatriation programme has been forgotten.

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Air League to easyJet

Very much oversubscribed, easyJet last Monday hosted a behind-the-scenes visit to its Luton Airport headquarters for Air League members.

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Aviation minister for 2050

Britain's new secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps, will be a keynote speaker at the Airlines 2050 conference taking place on Thursday 17 October at the QEII Centre in Westminster.

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Condor & Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia keep flying

As the inquest into the collapse of the Thomas Cook group continued last week (see story in this issue), the company’s German airline Condor secured a €380m (£336m) bridging loan from the German government to allow it to continue flying over the winter.

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Delta in South America coup

The battle for the US-South America market hotted up on Friday after Delta Air Lines and the Chilean-based LATAM Airlines Group announced a strategic partnership they said combined “the strengths of the leading airlines in North America and Latin America”.

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EasyJet in fine voice

New technology which enables travellers to search for flights using voice recognition is set to be introduced by easyJet soon with a feature on its app called Speak Now. The carrier will be the first airline to offer it.

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El Al ends B747 Kennedy operation

After 48 years, El Al has withdrawn the Boeing B747 from the New York flight. Once via Heathrow with the early Dash-200 series, the flight has been flown non-stop since 1994 by Boeing B747-400s taking around 10hr 30min.

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Fears grow for Adria

With France’s Aigle Azure already a casualty (see this issue), fears were growing last night for the future of Slovenia’s Adria Airways after the carrier said on Friday it was cancelling most of its weekend flights and many scheduled for today, Monday.

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London City's local appeal

Nearly 150,000 departing passengers who used London City Airport (LCY) last year live within a three-mile radius, according to new analysis of Civil Aviation Authority postcode data.

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Now it's London Reading

Services between Paddington and Reading operated by Transport for London (TfL) with a pay-as-you-go contactless facility will mark the next step in the delivery of the Elizabeth Line from January 2020.

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Thomas Cook rescue in full swing

Well over half of the 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad after the Thomas Cook collapse last Monday had returned to the UK by yesterday (Sunday 29 September) nearly a week after the CAA’s repatriation operation began. Over 350 flights have been involved so far.

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United goes Polaris

It was probably the airline PR coup of the year as last week United Airlines invited the travel press to see its much heralded new Polaris Business Class seats on a Boeing B767-300ER at Heathrow. 

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Virgin to Israel

Last Wednesday (25 September), Virgin Atlantic departed Heathrow for Tel Aviv, introducing a daily service to the business capital of Israel. 

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ON TOUR São Paulo

Marking its first foray into South America, Virgin Atlantic is planning to launch direct flights from Heathrow to Brazil’s financial and commercial capital, São Paulo, from 29 March next year (BTN 16 September). BTN editor Richard Cawthorne reports on the new destination.

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AND FINALLY: Babies on board

Japan Airlines has caused a stir online for its policy of issuing seat maps showing passengers where children under two are likely to be seated so those averse to crying babies can move elsewhere.

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A350 for Air France

Declaring “a new phase in our fleet modernisation strategy”, Air France last week welcomed its first Airbus A350, hailing the acquisition as a major asset for reducing its environmental footprint with 25% less fuel consumption, 25% less CO2 emissions and 40% less noise emissions.

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Biometric bonus for Emirates

The race to become the first airline from outside the US to receive approval from the country’s Customs Border Protection (CBP) for biometric boarding has been won by Emirates.

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First A321LR for Astana

The first of seven Airbus A321LR long-range aircraft acquired under an operating lease agreement with Air Lease Corporation of the US has joined the fleet at Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, Air Astana.

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France loses second-biggest airline

Expressions of interest by Air France and easyJet among others failed last week to save France’s second-biggest airline, Aigle Azur, which was liquidated at midnight on Friday with the loss of 1,150 jobs after a French court rejected rescue offers.

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New focus on premium seating

A £1.4m 18-month research project to explore new lightweight Business Class and Premium Economy seating (below) for aircraft has taken off combining expertise in Formula One racing, aerospace and airline development, design, and safety certification.

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Sahara rises again in Las Vegas

One of the most iconic names in Las Vegas has returned with the former SLS Las Vegas resort regaining its original identity as Sahara Las Vegas under the new ownership of Cuban-American billionaire businessman Alex Meruelo.

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