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24 FEBRUARY 2020


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Locke's Broken Wharf sets date

The second London property and fourth in the UK in a collection of design-led aparthotels from pioneering hospitality brand Locke opens next month on the Thames at London’s Millennium Bridge with the 113-room Locke at Broken Wharf.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Rob Greyber - president of Egencia

Rob Greyber is president of Egencia, the business-travel platform of the online travel shopping provider Expedia and an exhibitor at the Business Travel Show (B530) that starts at Olympia London on Wednesday (28 February).

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Bombardier to focus on business aviation

The flagship Global 7500 corporate jet moved to front and centre of Bombardier of Canada’s portfolio last week following the sale of the company’s rail programme to French manufacturer Alstom.

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Comair in spotlight at Aviation Club

An African success story will be the focus of the Aviation Club UK on 11 March, when the guest speaker will be Comair Group CEO and former head of Comair Airlines Wrenelle Stander.

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Emissions breakthrough for Heathrow

A reduction in carbon emissions from airport buildings and infrastructure by 93% compared to 1990 was declared by Heathrow last week as the airport announced major achievements in climate protection.

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High-speed rail success

With the introduction of Virgin Cruises (see in this issue), BTN took the opportunity of using the Southeastern London Dover service which, with the 140mph Javelin train, whisks you from London St Pancras in just 1hr 4min. By comparison, Charing Cross Dover Priory by more traditional locomotion is 1hr 53min.

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Middle East flight problems

Qatar Airways continues as an award winning airline in spite of a small caucus of Arab states banning overflying their territory. 

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More havoc as virus rages on

The inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific gathering scheduled for 13-14 April in Singapore was called off last week in response to the coronavirus crisis while other imminent trade shows in less sensitive regions are going ahead.

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New 5-star London hotel

Due to open on 25 June, Leicester Square’s The Londoner is set to become a major addition to the capital’s hotel portfolio. The 5-star property has 350 rooms and suites.

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Newquay names managing director

London City Airport (LCY) aviation director Pete Downes has been appointed managing director at Cornwall Airport Newquay. He will join on 4 May, in time for a period of significant change for regional air services.

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Qatar snaps up a quarter of IAG

More than a quarter of British Airways’ parent International Airlines Group (IAG) is now owned by Qatar Airways Group after the Middle East company last week increased its shareholding from 21.4% to 25.1%.

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Travelodge plans 20 more London hotels

Two hotels opened in London in one week and 20 more coming to the capital over the next five years is keeping up the momentum at Travelodge, which says it is actively seeking opportunities in more than 100 London locations to meet demand.

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Virgin Voyages and its airline

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS) and its Virgin Holidays offspring appear to be the big winners after Virgin Voyages introduced Scarlet Lady, its first cruise liner, at a stormy Dover last weekend. VS flies daily Heathrow – Miami this summer.

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ON TOUR: Stopover Madrid

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 has been launched by Iberia and the city council (BTN 10 February). The Stopover Hola Madrid package aims to attract more visitors, strengthening Iberia’s Madrid hub and driving demand for Iberia’s long-haul flights. BTN investigates.

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AND FINALLY: TfL goes 'back to the future'.

Transport for London last week unveiled west London’s first all-electric double-deck bus (as opposed to electric trolley bus) route as part of its plan to ensure all London’s buses are zero-emission within five years.

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BTN will be at the Business Travel Show. Starts on Wednesday.

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Abu Dhabi terminal opening nears

An opening date for the Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport is expected to be announced this year as work nears completion and details of the planned premium lounge emerge.

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Brussels Airlines North America growth

Lufthansa Group and Star Alliance member Brussels Airlines is boosting its North America presence from the end of next month with seasonal flights to Montreal and an increase in frequency for its Washington Dulles service.

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KLM to add Premium Economy

One of the last major airlines to fit a Premium Economy cabin, KLM, has confirmed it will add the product to its long-haul schedules as soon as it can acquire the necessary certifications and refit its aircraft interiors.

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Muscat debut for JW Marriott

More upmarket hotel accommodation has arrived in the Omani capital via the Marriott International group with the opening last week of the JW Marriott Muscat.

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Ruby Lucy open for business

The “Lean Luxury” approach to business travel pioneered by Munich-based accommodation provider Ruby Hotels has arrived in London with the opening on the South Bank of the company’s first UK property.

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Stansted Mumbai service takes off

The first direct link to India’s largest city from Stansted took off last week with the launch of Air India’s new three times a week service to the financial capital Mumbai. 

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Subscription flying by Etihad

A travel solution called TravelPass to be launched later this year and aimed initially at corporate and frequent travellers is being developed by Etihad Airways in partnership with Norwegian technology developer Braathens IT.

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Trains upgrade for airport express link

A new fleet of trains complete with fast on-board wi-fi, at-seat USB power, HD televisions and Business First carriages is due to arrive in June for the Heathrow Express service which connects the airport non-stop with Paddington Station in London.

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TUI returns to Sharm El Sheikh

Egypt’s top resort moved back into the international travel spotlight last week as TUI resumed flights to Sharm El Sheikh from Birmingham and Gatwick airports.

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