16 MARCH 2020

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Fairmont brand to open in Ireland

Management of the historic Carton House hotel 20min from Dublin in Maytooth, County Kildare, is being taken over by Accor to become the first of its Fairmont brand properties in Ireland.

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Grand Hyatt to Miami Beach

Plans for a new 800-room Grand Hyatt hotel in Miami Beach in a prime location next to the city’s newly-renovated convention centre have been announced by Hyatt Hotels, the Terra Group and Turnberry.

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FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE

If you are visiting abroad in the near future,  and your travel operator is able to offer a service, BTN strongly recommends you visit the official  website for up to date advice.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

THIS FROM PAUL KEHOE CBE CEO GULF AIR GROUP 

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SOAPBOX SPECIAL: Neil Garwood Southampton Airport

Neil Garwood was appointed managing director of Southampton Airport in June 2018, the previous incumbent deploying to the much larger Bristol Airport. He joined in October 2010 from the rail freight sector and in March 2016 took on the role of head of operations with responsibility for all operational activities across the airport including security, airfield, customer experience and the fire service.

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IATA: The full story so far

The full impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry is not yet known, with news changing hourly as the full implications are measured. In view of this, BTN is printing the latest statement from IATA in full instead of providing its usual summary. The association’s key point is “the industry will be crucial for the global economy to recover as quickly as possible once COVID-19 is brought under control”. This is what the association said.

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Airport operators' dinner

What is normally one of the social highlights of the airport/airlines year proved to be a dull affair at London’s Grosvenor House last Monday, 9 March.

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BA drops LCY JFK

British Airways has cancelled its prestige operation from London City Airport to New York John F Kennedy International Airport. Prior to President Trump's announcement of a UK – US flight ban, the airline had already confirmed the route's demise, at least for the immediate future.

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Duffel online booking progress

British travel tech company Duffel says progress is being made with its revolutionary online booking system with beta operations being run in cooperation with a with number of top-line travel agencies. 

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London to Newquay route

The Department for Transport is expected to announce later today who is to take over the former Flybe Newquay – London 'public service obligation' subsidised air route. Cornwall County Council has acted as agent.

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Private flights - a balance

The loss of scheduled flights from the main airports has had an effect when it comes to business jet flying, but it is not completely an upward trend, as Private Fly chief executive Adam Twidell explains. 

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Shutdown fears as crisis continues

Airline chiefs are expected to submit a new appeal to the government today, Monday, to seek help for the industry in the face of COVID-19. It follows British Airways’ warning it was facing a “battle for survival” as the crisis continues (see this issue).

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Slots - Use it or lose it!

The European Commission bowed to pressure from the UK last week to relax the so-called 80/20 rule governing slot allocations at airports after reports emerged of airlines being forced to operate “ghost flights” with near-empty aircraft.

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South Africa at the Aviation Club

Wrenelle Stander, group chief executive of Comair, BA’s South African franchise holder, was the Aviation Club’s guest of honour at the RAC last Wednesday (11 March).

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Survival is at stake, BA warns

With airlines forced to cancel hundreds of flights worldwide over the coronavirus outbreak, British Airways weighed in last week with the dire warning its very survival was at stake as the situation worsens.

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ON TOUR: Chris Tarry talks to the young professionals

The eminent aviation analyst Chris Tarry shared his views on the near, medium and also the longer-term outlook for the aviation industry with the Young Aviation Professionals’ Reception held at the RAF Club last week. His comments, here in a precis form, were in a sense out of date as he spoke, and have been updated to reflect the developments up and until 15 March, but do give a view as he sees it. 

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AND FINALLY: Trains and planes

Not the world’s first international airport, but nearly.

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Delta fights back with Seattle expansion

A new route between Seattle and Heathrow is being launched by Delta Air Lines next year as the carrier expands its hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in response to increased competition from American Airlines.

It follows American and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines getting together to form what they called “a new US West Coast international alliance” (BTN 17 February), with American also planning a new service to Heathrow in 2021.

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Eastern and Loganair step up

After launching Teesside, Newcastle and Manchester routes last week following the Flybe collapse, Eastern Airways is continuing to grow its Southampton base with a new Southampton – Belfast route starting next Monday, 23 March.

Eastern, now selling its flights independently, has already returned to Belfast City Airport with the launch last week of a new six-times weekly service to Teesside International operated by an Embraer ERJ145.

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Etihad to Beijing Daxing

In a coup for Beijing’s new airport, all flights operated by Etihad Airways between Abu Dhabi and the Chinese capital and between Beijing and Nagoya in Japan are to be transferred to the Beijing Daxing International facility (PKX).

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Executive Club plastic to go

Plastic cards issued automatically for Gold, Silver and Bronze members of British Airways Executive Club are to be dropped by the airline. Paper ‘Golden Tickets’ for handing to staff who give exceptional service are also ending.

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Industry expansion for ForwardKeys

Air travel analysis specialist ForwardKeys has reached agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) to include their global ticketing data in its portfolio of products and services.

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Manchester T2 extension on track for July

Construction workers have reached a major milestone in the Manchester Airport transformation programme, with construction company Laing O’Rourke completing the main build phase of the Terminal 2 extension.

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New dates for Airports Expo

Organisers of this year’s British-Irish Airports Expo, which was to have been held on 9 June (BTN last week) have rescheduled to 5-6 October. The event will still be at ExCeL London, still with seven free-to-attend conferences and 100-plus speakers.

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Qatar welcomes new-look Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Hotel Doha has reopened after extensive renovations and a new look from interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who is said to have reshaped the property into “an unmatched luxury destination at the centre of Qatar’s capital city”.

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