30 MARCH 2020


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

AirAsia and Tony Fernandes

Queens Park Rangers (QPR) London soccer team (and also Caterham sports cars) owner Tony Fernandes together with Kamarudin Meranun, chairman and group CEO respectively of the AirAsia Group, have been restored to their positions following an independent probe into Airbus bribery allegations.

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The situation with the British airlines serving the domestic market will be updated as news comes in. We suggest you return to www.btnews.co.uk from time to time over the coming week.

Internal air travel within the United Kingdom has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and the withdrawal of all but essential services. Carlisle, London City and Teesside airports have closed and most of the Scottish Highlands and Islands airports are only open for emergency flights. It is essential to keep track of flights and check with the airline/airport before leaving home.


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COMMENT: Well done easyJet and Virgin Atlantic

At a time of national need easyJet and Virgin Atlantic have joined the NHS to supplement the workforce at the new Nightingale hospitals as part of the fight against coronavirus.

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British Airways

Terminal 5 at Heathrow is now the base for British Airways with the T3 operation closed.

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Channel Island & Scillies

Aurigny, the Guernsey government-owned airline, has taken measures to provide greater separation to customers and has now capped to 32 passengers on its 72-seat ATRs and seven for the 19-seat Dornier aircraft. 

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Eastern Airways

One of the UK’s smallest airlines Eastern Airways continues to fly.

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The Luton-based airline is not taking any bookings on routes out of Luton for this week.

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Gatwick and Munich airports

Gatwick Airport will consolidate operations into the South Terminal from 1 April and limit runway opening hours to protect staff, passengers and the business from the impact of COVID-19.

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Heathrow's cargo role

Easily the UK’s largest port Heathrow is ramping up cargo capacity and safeguarding vital supply lines as it tackles the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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Scotland’s airline provides essential services for the Highlands and Islands communities and also the Isle of Man. 

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MOT suspended

Vehicle owners will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities, the government has confirmed.

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Ryanair’s schedule

Whilst it is considered as an Irish airline Ryanair UK is a full member of Airlines UK.

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Southend Airport update

London’s smallest scheduled airport remains open, but for limited hours.

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ON TOUR: The business flyers get together

Just before all hell broke loose, the BBGA (British Business and General Aviation Association) and the UK CAA came together to discuss the big issues impacting on executive aviation. Alison Chambers, a BBGA board member reports.

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AND FINALLY: A good deed at any time

The editor in chief at 77 can sometimes be absent minded.

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National Rail Enquiries


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AGS airport group

Since 2014 Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports have been owned by AGS a 50/50 partnership created by Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure company, and Australia’s Macquarie Group.

Chief executive Derek Provan comments: “To support our country’s response to this accelerating pandemic, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports will continue to support essential services".

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Airbus production

The Airbus final assembly line in Tianjin (China) has reopened following a temporary production stoppage related to the coronavirus outbreak and is now operating efficiently according to the Toulouse-based company.

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Alitalia nationalised

According to the Reuters news agency the Italian government plans to take control of Alitalia in a month or so, creating a new company that will start off with a much smaller fleet, trade union sources have said.

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Crossrail further delay

The Elizabeth Line, previously Crossrail, is likely to be further delayed with all but safety site work being suspended due to COVID-19.

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Embraer at Oxford

In non-Corona news Oxford Airport was delighted to welcome the Embraer ERJ-195 E2 ‘Profit Hunter’ Demonstrator last week, probably the largest commercial airliner ever to land at the former Kidlington Airport. 

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LATAM increases cargo

Considered the largest airline in Latin America LATAM is boosting its freight capacity by operating “cargo-only” passenger flights in international and domestic markets.

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Boeing plans to restart 737 MAX production by May, according to reports coming out of Seattle.  Assembly of the 737 is concentrated at Renton, south of the city.  The not so good news is the suspension of 787 production at the Everett plant, which is to the north.

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Thames Clipper 'closed for now'

The London riverboat service Thames Clipper has been building up nicely in recent years and normally carries up to 10,000 passengers daily.  It provided a commuting service for many but is now one of many casualties of COVID-19.

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