10 FEBRUARY 2020

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Iberia in Madrid stopover deal

A programme to encourage long-haul travellers to extend Madrid stopovers from one to six nights, with special deals on hotels, transport, dining, entertainment and other services was launched last week by Iberia and the city council.

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Ottawa opens Aspire Salon facility

A new member of the Aspire Salon Lounge brand portfolio opens at Ottawa International Airport on Friday (14 February), available for all passengers and with a range of offers including free food and drink and a business area.

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COMMENT: High Speed or Fast Speed?

But will government changes intervene?

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American hits back in South America

Rivalry in the South American market took another turn last week as American Airlines and Brazilian carrier GOL signed a codeshare agreement American said would offer more daily service to and from the US than any other airline partnership.

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Aviation Club homes in on MAXI

London’s Royal Automobile Club, the new home of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom, welcomed Steve Dickson, administrator of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last Thursday (6 February).  He said international air safety regulators were likely to agree shortly on the design fixes needed to return the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to service.

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Breeze out to take on US market

The founder of US carrier JetBlue and Canada's WestJet, David Neeleman, launched his fifth start-up, Breeze, on Friday with an application to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and US Department of Transportation (DoT) for an airline operating certificate.

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Eurostar London – Amsterdam goes direct

Two years after linking London with Rotterdam and Amsterdam by high-speed train, Eurostar will achieve its ambition of operating the routes fully direct from this spring with the Amsterdam service starting on 30 April and Rotterdam on 18 May.

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Go-ahead for St Helena flights

Extra mid-week flights between Cape Town and the remote South Atlantic community of St Helena throughout the local summer 2020-2021 season were confirmed by the island government and South Africa-based carrier Airlink last week.

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Industry commits to net zero

Members of the UK Sustainable Aviation coalition last week committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with government targets, while accommodating an expected 70% growth in passenger numbers.

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More cancellations in virus scare

The coronavirus outbreak continued to impact the travel industry last week as cruise ships increasingly became involved and the number of flights and destinations affected continued to grow.

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Take-off time for Newcastle – Munich

Lufthansa’s newest route to Germany took off last week with a six-times-weekly Sunday-Friday non-stop service between Newcastle and Munich, with more than 130 onward connections throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

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United pilot training accelerates

A further expansion of the Aviate programme was announced by United Airlines last week with the signing of a purchase agreement to become the only major US carrier to own a flight training academy.

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FLYING AT THE FRONT END: Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines SQ119 Singapore to New York

* This account is by David Bowden, an award-winning travel writer and author based in Malaysia. His many books include the Blue Skies Guide Borneo and Great Railway Journeys in Australia and New Zealand and he is a two-time winner of the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) Award for the best travel story in South East Asia. 

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FEBRUARY ROAD TEST: Lexus UX

Electric cars are all the rage.  But overall they are still selling in small numbers except in the case of Lexus (plus mother corporation Toyota) and their hybrid range. 

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AND FINALLY: Brooklands welcomes Atlantic heroes

An historic statue of aviation pioneers John Alcock and Arthur Brown, who made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919, is being formally unveiled by Prince Michael of Kent today, Monday, at Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

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BTN at the Business Travel Show

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Air Europa in zone boarding test

New boarding procedures using separate zones for passengers have been introduced by Air Europa on all its scheduled flights in a move that could establish a pattern for other airlines to follow.

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Air League and the birth of easyJet

The story of how easyJet began is the subject of a talk organised by the Air League this Thursday (13 February) at Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe.

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Atlantic ’Big Four’ club takes off

The expanded joint venture between Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM went officially live last week, with a range of enhanced benefits available to passengers from this Thursday (13 February).

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BA in Tokyo airport switch

Tokyo is to become a one-airport destination for British Airways from the end of next month when British Airways moves its flights from Narita across to Haneda.

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Brisbane – San Francisco joins Qantas line-up

A new long-distance route for Qantas opened yesterday (Sunday) to enable passengers to fly direct between Brisbane and San Francisco for the first time, with the airline operating a new Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner.

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Chile’s Sky on expansion trail

More evidence of the strength of the South American market emerged from Chile’s Sky Airline last week with the news it will launch its first US route later this year with flights between Lima and Miami as part of a network expansion from Peru.

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Fresh face for World Traveller

British Airways has unveiled freshly-designed soft blankets and cushions and a new headrest for passengers in its World Traveller long-haul Economy Class cabin as part of its continuing customer service overhaul.

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Half-term high jinks at Heathrow

Families are due to receive a special welcome at Heathrow during half-term week with Mr Men characters, activities for children and the return of the airport’s Kids Eat Free promotion. New family-friendly super-fast wi-fi is also being unveiled.

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Marriott's Frankfurt reshuffle

Major changes have been unveiled at Frankfurt Airport with the Sheraton hotel and conference centre redesigned to produce a revamped Sheraton and a new Marriott, bringing two Marriott International brands together in one place for the first time.

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