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6 JANUARY 2020


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Edinburgh welcomes new Travelodge Plus

Travelodge has opened its first new-build property under the Travelodge Plus brand in Scotland with a property in Edinburgh (as previewed in BTN 14 October 2019).

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Major expansion for Bloc Gatwick

Housed inside Gatwick’s South Terminal, Bloc Hotel Group’s flagship property, which opened six years ago, is planning a near-doubling in size from 245 rooms to 473 to cope with demand.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye

Heathrow expansion is critical. This is why.

John Holland-Kaye was appointed CEO of Heathrow Airport with effect from 1 July 2014, having joined the company as commercial director in May 2009. From November 2012, he was development director and was responsible for delivering the £1bn annual investment in transforming the airport. This included the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, which opened on 4 June 2014. Before Heathrow, Holland-Kaye was divisional CEO with Taylor Wimpey Plc, and is a former managing director of the National Sales Division of Bass Brewers. He has also worked as a strategy consultant with LEK Consulting for a number of high-profile businesses.

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A220 makes waves in Canada and France

Designed, built and delivered from the Airbus Mirabel facility in Canada, the first A220-300 out of an order of 45 arrived at Air Canada over the festive season and is scheduled to enter service this month between Montreal and Calgary.

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A350 touchscreens on the way

Deliveries to airlines have begun of the first Airbus A350s equipped with pioneering new touchscreen cockpit displays developed specially for the aircraft by the manufacturer together with aerospace electrical specialist Thales Group.

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Aviation Club hosting in Dublin

The Aviation Club UK will be hosting its second annual Dublin Dinner, part of its international events programme, on Sunday 19 January at the Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club, Dublin, from 19:45.

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Dublin – San Francisco by United

A new non-stop service between Dublin and San Francisco is being introduced by United Airlines from 5 June using the Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner. Flights will operate daily in the peak summer season, reducing to four a week for the rest of the year.

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Emirates chief to step down

Industry heavyweight Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, is stepping down next summer after more than 30 years at the head of the state-owned carrier. He will remain working for the company as an adviser.

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Stansted's new link with the east

A new link between eastern England and eastern Europe has been forged as Stansted celebrated its first scheduled flight to Moscow with the launch of a new direct service by Russian carrier Ural Airlines.

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Trouble ahead for Boeing’s new CEO

Boeing’s new CEO, David Calhoun, takes office next Monday, 13 January, with little end in sight to the B737 MAX crisis engulfing the company as it awaits Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to return the aircraft to service.

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UK offsetting scheme takes off

British Airways has begun its UK carbon offsetting programme, part of its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, with all UK flights having emissions offset by the airline and invested in global carbon reduction projects.

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World’s first oneworld lounge for Moscow

Oneworld, the airline alliance, and Moscow Domodedovo Airport have signed an agreement for the world’s first oneworld branded lounge. Domodedovo is home to alliance member S7 Airlines. Opening date will be announced later this year.

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ON TOUR: The Danube in winter

The editor-in-chief and wife spent the new year’s week on the River Danube between Vilshofen (Germany) and Budapest (Hungary) on award-winning river cruise specialist AMA’s brand new Magna ‘wide-bodied’ river cruise ship, home for seven nights.  Much more on Magna with our next cruise issue Monday 3 February. 

It was a superb trip and this report is no more than a ‘taster’ of the Danube and some of the communities we moored alongside as we meandered along one of the great highways of Europe.  In many respects it was a typical river cruise, opening up new areas to learn about not really practical by air.  This particular river cruise visited five countries in eight days.  True, not for everyone, but a great way to see Europe.

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Quiz answers

Once again a very big thanks to Rod Simpson of  AIR-BRITAIN  for helping to put this quiz together and to our main prize supplier, easyJet, for the first prize of a return flight for two anywhere on its extensive system. The questions were not easy.  But what to do for New Year 2021?

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AND FINALLY: Where’s the best man?

Our industrious friends at Travelodge, whom regular readers will know make a habit at this time of year of compiling lists of their guests’ more unfortunate moments, have been at it again.

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2Excel signs with Airlines UK

Aviation services specialist 2Excel, founded in 2005 by two Royal Air Force pilots, has become the latest carrier to join Airlines UK, the association that represents UK-registered carriers.

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A positive response on aviation

An overwhelming majority of the British public have a positive view of aviation, which they see as important both personally and to the UK economy as a whole, according to a new study.

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Airbus and Boeing challengers take to the sky

New narrow-body twinjet challengers to the Boeing B737 and Airbus A320 from China and Russia both took to the air on test flights over the holiday season. China’s contender is the Comac C919, while Russia has the Irkut MC-21-300.

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Back on track for 2021, says Crossrail

Last year was one of “significant progress” towards completion of the Elizabeth Line but there is still much work to do in 2020, according to the latest update just published from Crossrail. “It breaks my heart to see Elizabeth Line test trains running past just 150m from my office,” said LCY boss Rober Sinclair at the Airport Operators Association's recent annual conference.

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Delta prepares for Daxing move

The Chinese capital’s state-of-the-art new airport gains an important customer in March when Delta Air Lines becomes the first US carrier to move in after transferring services from Beijing Capital (PEK) to Beijing Daxing (PKX).

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Finnair lounge expansion complete

The final phase of an expansion of non-Schengen lounge facilities by Finnair at Helsinki Airport has been completed with the opening of a new Business Class facility following the unveiling of the new Platinum Wing lounge last summer.

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More growth for Loganair

Two new international routes linking Edinburgh with Hanover five times a week and Esbjerg three times a week are being introduced by Loganair in its summer 2020 schedule, along with a number of service upgrades.

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Virgin Hotels arrives in Dallas

A third US property for the Virgin Hotels chain has opened on Turtle Creek Boulevard in the Dallas Design District with 268 rooms – called chambers in Virgin-speak – and a fourth-floor rooftop club with pool. It is the first hotel in the neighbourhood.

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Which? survey shock for BA and Ryanair

British Airways and Ryanair have taken two of the bottom three spots in Which? Travel’s annual airlines survey, with passengers saying they were especially disappointed by the so-called ‘extras’ they felt obliged to buy.

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