17 AUGUST 2020

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Luton operator funds start-ups

Aena, the Spanish-owned operator of Luton Airport, has announced the launch of the Aena Ventures programme, to provide funding for start-ups world-wide looking to use technology to improve the passenger experience at airports.

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COMMENT: Conventions and Networking – When will they return?

Last week BTN ran a story that the Business Travel Show had been cancelled.  Fact!

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Quarantine update

Business Travel News strongly advises that UK passport holders around the globe follow the up-to-date advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website (see below).

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Air Astana flies to Europe

Air Astana, the national airline of Kazakhstan, in which BAe Systems has a 49% stake, is to resume flights from the capital Nur-Sultan to Frankfurt on 18 August.  No word yet about London.

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Cruise industry ‘sinking’

Royal Caribbean Group, which includes Royal Caribbean Cruise Line itself (RCCL), Celebrity and Azamara, plus in very recent times, Silversea, reported a net loss of $1.64bn for the second quarter of this year, a swing of more than $2bn from the profits it reported for the same period 2019 of $472m.

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EasyJet raises funds

Luton-based easyJet has sold 23 of its aircraft to financiers including a Chinese state-controlled bank for £608m in a deal taking the total it has raised to shore up its finances in the face of the Covid-19 crisis to £2.4bn.

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El Al still grounded

Israel’s national flag carrier, El Al, traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, remains grounded until at least 31 August.

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Heathrow and trade

Over 860,000 passengers travelled through Heathrow in July, down 88% on the previous year the airport has revealed.

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Israel – UAE normalise

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recognised Israel with what is seen as a major diplomatic breakthrough.

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London City Airport cuts back

Not unexpectedly the owners of London City Airport (LCY) have called a halt to the expansion plans for the airport.

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Qatar back to Gatwick

Gatwick Chief Executive Stewart Wingate neatly summed up his pleasure in welcoming the news that Qatar Airways is returning to the airport from next Thursday 20 August.

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Wizz Doncaster base

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), close by the A1(M) and M18 in South Yorkshire, has been chosen by Wizz Air as its second British base by the UK-registered division of the Hungarian airline, quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

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ON TOUR: The Piers of Britain

Looking for somewhere to go during the final weeks of Britain’s summer this August, and not having made it abroad. 

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AND FINALLY: Good news about Dominic Cummings

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Berlin’s new airport

Only eight years late Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt International Airport (BER) is expected to open on Saturday 31 October.

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Bus tours relaunched

Big Bus Tours, the world’s largest international operator of open-top sightseeing tours has announced its staggered relaunch since services were fully suspended due to Covid-19.

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Cabin seats – the future

London-based transportation design firm PriestmanGoode has come up with an imaginative scheme for future airlines’ cabin seats.

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Cyprus welcomes Jet2

Not withstanding its piloting problems (see in this week’s BTN) Jet2 will restart its Cyprus programme from today (17 August).  Cyprus is not on the British Government quarantine list.

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IATA’s dismal forecast

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for an end to the blanket approach to quarantine restrictions after releasing new dismal forecasts for the industry. 

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Jet2 joins pilot discard

Leeds Bradford-based Jet2 is the latest British airline to announce flight deck redundancies and seems to be in a head to head collision with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), the pilots' trade union.

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Marriott suffers

The world’s largest hotel group, with 30 brands and more than 7,000 properties globally, Marriott, is suffering from the pandemic but perhaps not as bad as it could be with the vast majority of its hostelries franchised.

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New Zealand domestic update

Air New Zealand is extending its fare flexibility and adjusting its domestic network after the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the Auckland region will remain in Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country in Alert Level 2 until midnight Wednesday 26 August.

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Premium Plus for Virgin Atlantic

With its award winning Clubhouse at Heathrow Terminal 3 closed with the rest of the facility, eligible Virgin Atlantic passengers will be able to use the Plaza Premium lounge when departing Heathrow Terminal 2 from Thursday (20 August).  As an interim measure the Lufthansa lounge has been available.

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