9 NOVEMBER 2020

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Gatwick work begins

A sign of confidence for the future.  The reconstruction of Gatwick Airport station has begun.

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Singapore – Hong Kong

Bookings soar on air travel bubble.

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Denmark, Germany and Sweden have been removed from the Government’s list of travel corridors.

Newquay Airport is closed and from Wednesday only Terminal 1 at Manchester is open. For London easyJet only operates out of Gatwick.

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel

09:30MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER – GRANT SHAPPS AT AOA

Please see letter dated Sunday 8 November from Ryanair to the Department forTransport

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE

A COMPLETE DAMP SQUIB.  That was the description of Transport Minister Grant Shapps recorded speech to the Airport Operators Association this morning by Malcolm Ginsberg, the immensely experienced Editor-in-Chief of Business Travel News.  “A few vague promises but nothing definite.  He has until 2 December to sort things out.”

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COMMENT: Airport crisis comes to a head

Today’s Airport Operators Association (AOA) Annual Conference would normally be the opportunity for the industry to express its views to government on all matters affecting airports.  Whilst keynote speaker Grant Shapps, Transport Minister, is of course welcome perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer should the invited another year.  That person holds the purse strings for the whole sector’s future.

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AOA Annual Conference

This morning, Monday 9 November, sees the AOA Annual Conference likely to be the shortest on record but also one of the most interesting.  But you need to be tuned in early to hear keynote speaker Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP.  He is the lead of a thought-provoking line-up. Whether he has any real news remains to be seen.

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LOCKDOWN CRISIS

British airline and airport operations will essentially come to a halt until the end of the English Lockdown.  BTN has the details.

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American Airlines’ Scousers at work

With the closing of other international call centres, it may surprise readers to learn that American Airlines’ (AA) biggest operation outside the America's is at Liverpool.  No comments about accents please. 

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Axing tax-free shopping

The Government has announced that tax-free airport shopping is to be scrapped from January 2021. And no longer will VAT be able to be recouped by overseas visitors to popular tourist retail sales attractions across the country.

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British Airways and cargo

And a reminder that Richard Forson, President and CEO, Cargolux Airlines International, is a guest of the Aviation Club for a webinar Thursday 12 November at noon (see below).

Whilst its passenger business is more or less non-existent with virtually empty aircraft crossing the Atlantic the one bright spot is cargo, not seen by passengers.

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Drop-off fees at airports

In a bid to recoup some of the horrendous losses over the last few months many of the UK’s major airports are introducing or raising their drop-off fees.  All except Heathrow.  Gatwick recently announced plans to charge next year.

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ON TOUR: VisitEngland - Plan for 2021

If the 2019 figures are anything to go by, once the pandemic is out of the way, VisitEngland is in for a boom. 

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NOVEMBER ROAD TEST: Skoda Kodiaq SEL 1.5 TSI 150PS

In a single week during September I used a seven-seat Skoda Kodiaq for two distinct purposes.  Firstly, for the very smart Salon Privé at Blenheim Palace, and secondly taking grandson back to University on the Isle of Wight, which included a water crossing writes Editor-in-Chief Malcolm Ginsberg.

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The Christmas quiz

See last week’s BTN.

We planned to list the winners but there were too many and the thinking at BTN was perhaps to make the whole thing harder.  But perhaps not?  In any event the quiz is published Monday 21 December and readers will have until Tuesday 5 January to put their entries in, although we would prefer not to have a last minute rush.

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AND FINALLY: The flying car

This is the motoring edition of BTN.

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Aer Lingus franchise

The specialist airline analytical publication anna.aero has reported on a new Irish regional carrier which is believed to be setting up to challenge Stobart Air for the Aer Lingus Regional franchise, which expires in late 2022.

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airBaltic CEO flies Airbus A220

President and Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic, Martin Gauss, has successfully completed his Airbus A220-300 type rating training course, enabling him to perform captain’s duties on the aircraft and becoming the first airline CEO in the world to have gained type rating on the Airbus A220.

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Amazon Airlines?

Retail giant Amazon has confirmed the launch of air cargo operations in Europe after months of speculation.  But a jump into passenger services looks unlikely.

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Canada restricts

As of 21 November, air travellers whose final destination is Canada will be required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before they board their flight.

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Covid-19 testing at sea

Viking Cruises has announced that it has completed installation of the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea.

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Danish travel ban

From last Saturday (7 November) the UK Government introduced the most draconian restrictions yet denying entry for visitors from Denmark.

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Flypop to fly

First announced back in 2016 new airline Flypop says it is going to fly next Spring supported by the UK Government’s Future Fund.

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General Aviation. Pilots or no pilots

Training for professional pilots – two views.

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ME London remains open

One of London’s major 5-star hotels is to remain open during the Government lockdown.

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Newcastle Meliá

Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel group, will open the INNSiDE Newcastle on 14 December.  The timing could not be better hopefully with the lockdown out of the way.

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Ryanair losses

Europe’s largest airline carried only 17m passengers in the six months to the end of September, down from 86m last year.

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Sun Air suspends until August

The British Airways franchise operation Danish airline Sun Air has cancelled all services until August 2021.

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