OCTOBER 24 ONWARD  COVID RULES - Up to date from Gov.uk

* items include readers letters

6 APRIL 2020


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Road industry comes to help

Passenger Transport and Gett, the international Israel-based road transport IT platform, has written an open letter to government leaders, including Boris Johnson, Sadiq Khan and Grant Shapps, to pledge their collective support in helping London’s key frontline workers to travel safely to and from work amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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For a general British airline overview visit https://airlinesuk.org but please note as a trade organisation not all carriers are members.

These are the BA long-haul services for this week and are all single daily flights except where noted.  Do check.  Things are known to change at short notice!

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We are fortunate that our present Secretary of State for Transport holds a Private Pilot’s Licence.  This does not make him an expert when it comes to flying but at least the terminology and some of the aviation rules are not alien to him.  Prior to his current position Grant Shapps chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA)

Clive joined BTA from Amber Road, the travel management provider, in August 2019 where he has been chief executive officer since 2015.  Previously he was UK general manager Etihad Airways for eight years, bolstering his aviation experience which included roles with Qantas, Gulf Air and British Airways.

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Getting Brits home full update

The government is ramping up efforts to bring home thousands of travellers stranded overseas by coronavirus with a new package of extra flights and ten additional airlines joining its scheme to keep commercial routes open and get British people back to the UK.

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Aer Lingus and Ireland news

The Irish flag carrier, rather like sibling British Airways, both part of IAG, continues to be reluctant in publishing details of its planned operations but it is thought to be grounding most of the long-range fleet except for mercy flights and special cargo flights including China.

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British Airways and Unite

The Unite union has issued a statement regarding members who work for British Airways.  BA has failed to respond to a request regarding its position, or on current services.

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easyJet A message from Johan

Some frustrated passengers have been publishing their annoyance at the lack of response by easyJet (and other airlines).

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Heathrow runway closure

From today (6 April) Heathrow will operate with just a single runway, alternating on a weekly basis.  The airport plans to close Terminals 4 and 3 in the coming weeks, the airlines normally housed in those buildings gathered in T2.  No date has been suggested for a return to normal.

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IATA AGM postponed

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has, not surprisingly, announced the postponement of the 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit. The event had been scheduled to take place on 22-23 June in Amsterdam.

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Luton Airport (LTN)

Now with the terminal essentially completed from a major refurbishment London Luton’s check-in area looks like a ghost town.

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Newquay controversy and Isle of Man

BA Cityflyer has swapped its Isle of Man operation from London City Airport (LCY) to Heathrow and now has a daily flight operated by Loganair.  At the same time a bid by Blue Islands, the Channel Islands operator, for a similar service from Cornwall Newquay Airport seems to have deteriorated into a quarrel between the Department for Transport (DfT) and Cornwall County Council.

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ON TOUR Railways update

Britain’s railways get government backing. 

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APRIL CRUISE ISSUE: The cruise ships. Where are they?

The first Monday in the month is normally the BTN cruise issue.  Hopefully by May we might have something positive to say.  We had planned for P&O Iona preview.

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AND FINALLY: Lest we forget

In December 1952 a thick fog descended on London.  No bus to school.  In fact we walked in front to help the driver.

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British door trainer for A220

Air Baltic has taken delivery of an Airbus A220 door trainer. 

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Dubai flies on

Emirates Airline has received approvals to carry passengers on certain flights. Effective today (6 April) services will commence from Dubai to Heathrow with four flights a week, and Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich three.

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East Midlands Airport growth

Owned by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), East Midlands Airport (EMA) has continued to operate over half of its scheduled flights.

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Hull trains

London North Eastern Railway (LNER)  last week reinstated its service between Hull and London King’s Cross.  This follows the closedown, for the time being, of Hull Trains, owned by First Group.

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Loganair air ambulance flights

A Loganair Twin Otter aircraft has been converted into an additional air ambulance aircraft, allowing it to carry Epishuttle isolation pods for the safe carriage of COVID-19 patients by air.

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London heliport closes

The coronavirus pandemic is having a severe impact on helicopter operations along the Thames and into London.

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Lufthansa downsizes

Lufthansa (LH), Germany’s largest airline, has agreed short-time working arrangements with 27,000 staff – over three-quarters of all its employees.

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National Express closes down

The network of scheduled coach services run by National Express closed last night (Sunday 5 April).

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Recreational flying ban

The current government guidance on coronavirus precludes recreational General Aviation (GA) flying.

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Ritz hotel sold

In what must be the most bizarre property sale of all time London’s iconic Ritz hotel has been sold, when closed, to an unnamed buyer.

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Stansted Airport update

London’s third airport continues to operate, be it in a reduced mood with only a few scheduled flights.  The cargo facilities are much in demand bringing in vital supplies to the UK and the business jet/general aviation services are all available.

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