11 JANUARY 2021


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

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Hugh Field

A stalwart of Flight International, where he was associate editor from 1969 until 1979, Hugh Field has passed away aged 91.  He was Master of GAPAN 1980-81, the most prestigious of civil aviation honorary appointments.

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Indonesian plane crash

A Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 (PK-CLC) crashed in the sea shortly after take-off Saturday (9 January) with the loss of all 62 people on board.  At the time of writing the cause is not known but the "black box" has been recovered.

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Updates from the Travel Corridor list


From 4am on 15 January 2021, pre-departure testing will be required for all inbound passengers to England.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Tim Alderslade - CEO Airlines UK

“We must work hand in hand with government regardless,” says airlines’ chief.

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, the trade body for UK-registered air carriers, is the collective spokesman for the British airlines.  For him it has been a delicate 12 months facing a government that does not seem to realise how important aviation is to the UK economy, prompted by an impatient industry that fears for the future.  

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Aviation Club returns

It’s not all doom and gloom says Aviation Club chairman Karl Brünjes announcing the next Club gathering.  “Our Webinars have proved an astonishing success with guests participating from all around the globe.  The Royal Automobile Club is our home, but it’s great to share the speaker with the world of aviation.  Something to think about for the future.”

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BA catering changes

British Airways is to partner celebrated Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, who has designed a number of gourmet food items, which include signature pies and sandwiches, to pre-purchase for the airline’s Euro Traveller (short-haul Economy) customers.

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Gatwick expansion for easyJet

EasyJet is in a bullish mood regarding Gatwick and for the summer is adding four new aircraft, further routes and more frequencies.  However with the present lockdown there is over the next few weeks a severe cutback of flights. 

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Heathrow – Passenger numbers and runway closures

December figures for Heathrow show that 1.1 million passengers travelled through the airport last month - down 82.9 per cent compared to 2020.  January could easily be the smallest number in decades. 

Luton fared even worse, down 86% YoY. Last year it handled 5.5m passengers in total, down 70% on 2019.  This includes January and February, which traded as normal. 

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MAX makes a return

After two fatal crashes the Boeing 737-MAX is finally back in airline service, American Airlines leading the way with US domestic flights.

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New chairman for IAG

International Airlines Group (IAG), which comprises of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level, has a new chairman, businessman Javier Ferran. He takes over from the retiring Antonio Vazquez, also a Spaniard, in place since the Group’s creation in 2011.

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Qatar ban lifted

With the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours last week a bullish mood is prevailing in the Middle East. 

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Shapps brings in new rules

All international passengers will soon have to test negative for Covid-19 before travelling to the UK, transport minster Grant Shapps has announced.  No firm date has been set at this time in order to allow those abroad to return back to Britain in good time.  Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary was vociferous in saying that it was too little too late and predicted airline failures in the next two months.

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UK and EU – An update

New traffic rights between the United Kingdom and EU began on 1 January.

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ON TOUR: Clarkson – Really?

Clarkson is rubbish.

As Lotus Cars PR manager I once loaned out press cars to journalists writes BTN editor-in-chief Malcolm Ginsberg.

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Once again a very big thanks to Rod Simpson of Air Britain in helping to put it together, to our main prize supplier, easyJet, for a return flight for two anywhere on its extensive system and Aspire Lounges have come in with three sets of double passes for one of their lounges.  The winners will be announced next week.

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AND FINALLY: Travelodge's Annual Lost and Found Inventory

Budget hotel brand, Travelodge, has revealed some of the interesting items left behind in its 563 hotels during the last 12 months.

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Welcome to Aspire

Business Travel News has a new supporter, Aspire Airport Executive Lounges.

Each month we will be publishing 'Travel News Update', available on-line and in printed form at their UK airport lounges.  This is a bold marketing step by owner Swissport, the world’s largest aviation provider, and a statement of their confidence in the future of the industry.

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Australia woes

More Australian states and territories are reimposing travel restrictions to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus from new outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria states Singapore-based Travel Daily.

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Boeings for Amazon

Amazon has confirmed the purchase of 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft.  These include seven from Delta and four from WestJet, all of which are expected to join the network after conversion by 2022.

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Emirates goes Premium Economy

Whilst other airlines are either disposing of their A380s, or grounding for the time being, Emirates has announced that it will deploy its latest flagship aircraft featuring new Premium Economy seats and luxurious enhancements across all cabins to Heathrow.  The airline is currently situated in Heathrow T2.

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JetBlue takes first A220

Already flying with Delta, JetBlue Airways has become the second US airline to receive the Airbus A220.  It is the first of 70 on order offering 25 ‘Mint’ seats and 115 in coach class.

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LNER January/February

Some major Network Rail planned engineering works are taking place on the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) in January and February.

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London City Airport developments

The Civil Aviation Authority has approved the new parallel taxiway at London City Airport.  When fully operational the airport can easily operate up to 45 movements per hour, but that is a long way off. Eight additional stands are now available, suitable for larger wingspan aircraft such as the Airbus A220-200.

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St Regis Hotel Cairo opens

Marriott International has announced the opening of The St Regis Cairo, seen as a forward moving confidence setter in these difficult times.

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Travel Agents get reprieve

The UK Government has published amended regulations that explicitly reference retail travel agents as businesses that are required to legally close in Tier 4 areas within England.

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Update on Hong Kong

Hong Kong will complete an e-booking system for Covid-19 vaccine inoculations this month and is in talks with other countries to allow the records to be used for travel, local media has reported.

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