25 NOVEMBER 2019

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Ninth London property for Z Hotels

Fast-growing Z Hotels has opened its ninth property in London and the 13th in its UK portfolio in a converted office building in Chandos Place to provide what it calls “a calming atmosphere for guests in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the capital”.

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SOAPBOX EXTRA: Karen Dee, AOA

Karen Dee joined the Airport Operators Association (AOA) as chief executive on 1 March 2017. She has more than 20 years’ experience in policy development, communications and representation activities within the transport sector, incorporating roles in government, consultancy and trade associations including the Department for Transport and the CBI.

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Action plea by Airlines UK

A number of manifesto ‘asks’ ahead of the general election was released last week by Airlines UK highlighting action needed in the next parliament to create a framework to allow the aviation industry to continue to prosper.

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Atlanta debut for new BA Dreamliner

In another significant step in its £6.5bn service improvement programme, British Airways will take delivery of its first brand new Boeing B787-10 Dreamliner in January, with London – Atlanta as its first route a month later.

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BA pilots to consider new pay offer

Fears of a Christmas strike by British Airways pilots receded at the weekend after the airline and the pilots’ union BALPA agreed a new pay deal. The offer is subject to a ballot but BALPA is recommending its members accept it.

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Big spenders at Dubai Airshow

The biennial Dubai Air Show brought sunshine, showers, and a slew of orders – among them 60 commitments for the Boeing B737 MAX. Nor was it just UAE carriers shopping, with Kazakhstan’s Air Astana issuing a letter of intent for 30 B737 MAX for its LCC FlyArystan (see BTN this week), writes Alison Chambers.

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Confusion at Flybe!

Folks in the South West are reporting utter confusion with what is going on with Flybe.

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Connect chief on the future

Mark Anderson, the new CEO of Connect Airways Ltd, soon to be Virgin Connect, the consortium comprising regional airline Flybe, Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital Partners, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Airlines UK Annual Lecture.

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EasyJet emissions breakthrough

A slight fall in net profit but generally satisfactory full-year results gave easyJet an ideal platform last week to announce it had become the first major airline to operate net zero carbon flights.

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Flybe does not launch Virgin Connect!

Confusion reigned last week after Flybe, for reasons best known to itself, launched phase one of its summer 2020 programme under its present name rather than the new one, Virgin Connect, and with no mention of routes being dropped.

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Israel Hotel Investment Summit

With attendees flying in from all over the world the second Israel Hotel Investment Summit, took place at the superb Tel Aviv Hilton last week, an event best described as “compressed”, just 36 hours of chat and visits.  See also ON TOUR Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to Tel Aviv  this week.

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Manchester lands Shanghai route

In what it hailed as a “huge boost for the North”, Manchester Airport last week announced a landmark new route to Shanghai, China’s biggest city and one of the world’s most important economic powerhouses.

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Virgin Trains' fond farewell

A tongue-in-cheek video featuring Virgin Trains staff went out last week as the operator’s riposte to losing the West Coast Mainline franchise to First Trenitalia (BTN 19 August). Virgin ran the service for 22 years.

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ON TOUR: Upper Class to Tel Aviv

With the introduction of a new chief executive at Virgin Atlantic (VS) in the form of the charismatic Jerusalem-born Shai Weiss, it was perhaps inevitable Virgin Atlantic would quickly add Tel Aviv (TLV) to its growing list of destinations.

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AND FINALLY: Shut the door

The latest craze with high-rise operators in Israel is for lifts (elevators) that predetermine which floor you get out. Coupled with British train operators giving false news, life is getting even more difficult for people on the move.

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Air Astana backs the MAX

In a rare vote of confidence in Boeing’s troubled new B737 MAX, Kazakhstan flag carrier Air Astana said last week it intends to order 30 of the aircraft for its new low-cost airline FlyArystan which was launched earlier this year (BTN 6 May).

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Delta, Virgin deal approved

Final approval was handed down by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) last week for a controversial and wide-ranging expanded joint venture between Delta Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic covering US – Europe air services.

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Norwegian names new CEO

A 30-year veteran of international business management was named by Norwegian last week as its new CEO. Jacob Schram, 57, takes over on 1 January. Geir Karlsen will continue as CFO and deputy CEO.

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Premiair private terminal open for business

Passengers travelling with 23 airlines from Manchester now have another facility helping them to ease their journeys with the opening of the airport’s private terminal Premiair, which was previewed earlier this year (BTN 13 May).

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Second 'Quiet and Green' win for SAS

Introducing more modern and fuel-efficient aircraft to its fleet has earned Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) top spot for the second time this year in Heathrow’s ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league identifying the best carriers using the airport based on noise and emissions.

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Sunrise aircraft deal in doubt

A pledge by Qantas to announce by the end of 2019 which aircraft it would choose to operate its Project Sunrise non-stop flights from London and New York to Sydney was in doubt last week after the airline rejected first offers from Boeing and Airbus.

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Super intelligence at Terminal 5

Passengers flying from Heathrow Terminal 5 are being promised a faster getaway after British Airways became the world’s first airline to use next-generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) and video technology to improve punctuality.

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Wizz Air joins the Southend family

Southend Airport greeted its latest airline last week as Wizz Air celebrated the start of operations to four destinations – Vilnius (Lithuania), and Bucharest, Sibiu and Iași (Romania).

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