4 MAY 2020


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

London abandoned by New Zealand

Air New Zealand will not return, even temporarily, with its long-established (1982) Heathrow – Los Angeles – Auckland route.

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Virgin Atlantic cargo

Virgin Atlantic (VS) Cargo has announced that it will operate over 90 cargo-only flights a week in May. The flights will enable key movement of prime freight and will also give the airline much needed custom. 

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THE WEEKLY VIDEO was introduced last week inviting registered readers to send in a travel related video of around three minutes to go on the web site for the next Monday’s publication.  The choice of publication is down to the editor. Send to info@btnews.co.ukAir New Zealand offered this one.  The problem is that the land of the Kiwi has been made even more difficult to get to. Something to remember the airline by!

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ON THE SOAPBOX: John Holland-Kaye Heathrow CEO

John Holland-Kaye was appointed CEO of Heathrow Airport July 2014 having joined the company as commercial director in May 2009.  From November 2012, John was development director responsible for delivering the £2.3bn Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, which officially opened on 4 June 2014.  

Never in his wildest dreams could he have foreseen the mission that now lies ahead of him as, in effect the proprietor of the gateway to Britain, the focus for the community and economic well-being of the nation. See also in this issue Heathrow’s quarterly results.

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Airlines UK strongest ever statement

"This proposal would effectively kill international travel to and from the UK and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy.

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British Airways

IAG last week announced staff cuts of up to 12,000 in British Airways with some predicting in the media that the Gatwick operation could close. No mention of BA Cityflyer at London City Airport, or sister companies Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus or Level although a bailout for the Spanish companies has since been announced. At the early part of the year easyJet represented approximately 44% of the Gatwick throughput, British Airways 14% and Norwegian 10%. See also Iberia gets loan in this issue.

BA boss Alex Cruz chose to send a staff letter which we reproduce.

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Grounded whilst it ponders on the activities of Luton rival Wizz (see Wizz at Luton in this issue) easyJet has issued a statement in the name of chief executive Johan Lundgren.

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Heathrow results

The strong message from Heathrow Airport Ltd to the government as it published is first quarter results last week seems to be having results.  “Take a lead in setting a Common International Standard for safe air travel,”  it noted.  Speaking to Andrew Marr on BBC TV yesterday (3 May) morning Transport Minister Grant Shapps said the UK was is discussion with other countries regarding reciprocal border arrangements.

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IATA’s March figures

With people rushing home the March international air passenger figures were not quite as bad as predicted but nevertheless for IATA member airlines demand shrank 55.8% compared to March 2019. Capacity tumbled 42.8%, and load factor plunged 18.4 percentage points to 62.5%.

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A sombre and consolatory Michael O’Leary appeared on TV news outlets Friday (1 May) with a reflection on the Ryanair quarterly results and for once no attack on other airlines, with notable exceptions.  Air France and Alitalia get state air, either funds or nationalizing he noted.

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Wizz at Luton

A spokeswoman for Wizz Air said the load factor on the services yesterday were on average well above 50 per cent and as high as 80 per cent on certain destinations.

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ON TOUR: Shipping company defies headwinds

John Burke looks at the prospects for the Newhaven – Dieppe ferry and other sea-links run by northern Europe’s biggest operator. See also MAY CRUISE ISSUE.

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New data reveals economic impact of suspension of operations.


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MAY CRUISE ISSUE: Tilbury, QM2 & ship position update

The first Monday in the month is the BTN cruise issue.  No ships to review but ON TOUR features the DFDS cross channel ferry services, the nearest we could get.  However plenty of news follows and we have words from  Andy Harmer of the CLIA.

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AND FINALLY: A cruise ship wins

It would seem that the Venezuelan Navy tried to take on a cruise ship with dire consequences.

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Air France and the future

More details have emerged of the French Government bailout of Air France-KLM.

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Boeing’s problems

Posting a first quarter loss of $641m, plane-maker Boeing is slashing up to 16,000 jobs.

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Cardiff Airport remains open

Last Tuesday (28 April) a Boeing 767-300 aircraft arrived at Cardiff Airport carrying over 200,000 items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front line teams in the NHS and social care in Wales. 

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Embraer and Aviation Week

Still seemingly in a state of shock following Boeing’s announcement that its Master Transaction Agreement (MTA) was null and void the Brazilian company last week opened up with the US magazine Aviation Week regarding its future. (See Boeing drops Embraer BTN 27 April)   

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Iberia gets loan

No word of job cuts for Iberia, Vueling or Level airline.

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Irish and Channel Island services

British Airways has handed over its Belfast City flights from Heathrow to Aer Lingus and passengers should be aware the service is now from T2.

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KLM swaps passengers for cargo

Last week KLM flew from Shanghai to Amsterdam with boxed emergency cargo in the passenger cabins.  The overhead bins were utilised too.

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LHR terminal moves

All the resident airlines in Heathrow T3 have now temporarily relocated into T2.  Check with your carrier for lounge arrangements.  Terminal 4 arrangements are expected to be completed shortly.

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Norwegian – A future?

The future of Norwegian Air is hanging in the balance.

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Pilots and the CAA

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published new guidance to explain its previous COVID-19 related exemptions for pilots in a more understandable format.

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SWISS gets government loan

Leisure airline Edelweiss and sister company SWISS have issued a statement thanking the Federal Council's decision to provide the division of the Lufthansa Group with the necessary liquidity to survive the impact of the corona crisis.

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Triple Seven flies

With doom and gloom around the place the second development Boeing 777X has taken to the sky.  (See Boeing’s problems in this issue)

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