23 MARCH 2020

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Scillies Penzance Helicopter launch

After eight years, the UK’s only scheduled helicopter service, between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly, started again last week.

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COMMENT: From the chief executive of Airlines UK

The current challenges faced by the UK airline sector are truly unprecedented, and stark.  Even just days ago, the idea that airlines across the globe would be cancelling thousands of flights and grounding aircraft on the current scale would have been unthinkable.

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A letter from Hong Kong

Tony Tyler, the former director-general and chief executive of IATA and previously chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways, recently returned to Hong Kong, where he is presently. He also has a home in the south of France. Here, he updates the position in Hong Kong for Business Travel News.

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Foreign Office advice

If you are thinking of travelling abroad in the near future, and your travel operator is able to offer a service, BTN strongly recommends you visit the official Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for up-to-date advice.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

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National Rail enquiries

TRAIN INFORMATION

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Air New Zealand departs London

First established back in 1982, Air New Zealand (NZ) flew its final Heathrow – Los Angeles – Auckland service last Saturday (21 March). 

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Airports A complete update

As a service to our readers, listed here are the websites of the leading UK and Irish airports.

Please pass on. A BTN mention would be apprecaited.

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American Airlines operates cargo flights

American Airlines (AA) announced this week that it will be utilising grounded aircraft to move cargo between the United States and Europe.

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British Airways suspends London City Airport (and more!)

BA subsidiary Cityflyer has announced it is suspending all services from London City Airport. Passengers have been offered flights from Heathrow and Gatwick, or can claim a refund. 

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Delay for Walsh

Willie Walsh, who had been due to leave his post as chief executive at International Airlines Group (IAG), is to stay for an unspecified period as the company continues to battle the coronavirus crisis.

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EasyJet grounded

Following the country lockdowns, travel restrictions and changes to travel advice across its network, easyJet has announced the decision to ground the majority of its fleet of aircraft from Tuesday 24 March onwards.

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West Atlantic and Swift Air stay flying

The UK’s and Europe’s largest specialised cargo airline group continues to fly and is being kept very busy.  Operationally it is in a crisis mood.

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ON TOUR: Travel cover unravels

Exposure to loss from cancelled flights and pre-booked hotels is adding to the woes of coronavirus. This insurance report was written by John Burke, who is a financial journalist as well as a travel writer.

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AND FINALLY: It had to happen

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Aberdeen update

What is effectively Europe’s busiest heliport, Aberdeen Airport (ABZ), is being affected by the COVID-19 crisis, but not in the way of similar airports.

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Air Antwerp suspends timetable

Codeshare flights with KLM operated by Air Antwerp (WP) are another casualty of COVID-19 with Air Antwerp's service from Antwerp to London City Airport now suspended.

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Bizjet fraternity rallies

The last two to three weeks have seen a surge of interest in the private jet charter market Alison Chambers reports.

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Boeing and SITA

SITA, the airline information technology company, is accelerating innovation in air traffic control (ATC) communications as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator programme, alongside key industry partners including NASA and long-standing airline customer, Etihad.

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Cruise passengers rescued

Last Wednesday (18 March) 239 Cruise and Maritime (CMV) passengers were transferred at sea in a unique operation to get them home safely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Farnborough cancelled

The Farnborough International board of directors has announced the cancellation of the Farnborough International Airshow 2020 which was due to take place from 20-24 July.

www.farnboroughairshow.com

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Loganair flight reductions

With the aviation industry in meltdown due to COVIS-19, it is not only international airlines that are affected, but also those serving primarily domestic routes – including Scotland’s Loganair, which on Wednesday announced a dramatic reduction in its services.

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Meggitt and ventilators

Aerospace industry FSO 100-listed major component supplier Meggitt has answered an NHS call for ventilator production assistance. 

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Simon Calder on Thomas Cook

Somehow finding the time to investigate what is a true scandal, The Independent’s travel guru Simon Calder has come up with some sensational facts concerning the repatriation of some 77,000 passengers who were not ATOL protected.

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