15 FEBRUARY 2021


© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.

European airports 2020

Airports Council International (ACI) has published its traffic figures for the full year.  It is the only air traffic report that includes all types of commercial flights to, from and within Europe (full service, low-cost, regional, charter, full freight and others).

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Low level airline

2Excel Aviation, a fully-fledged air operator and a member of Airlines UK, has been performing some very low-level flights.

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VeriFLY and BA

British Airways quickly moved ahead with the very cleverly named VeriFLY app (see last week’s BTN) announcing that from today (15 February) it will trial the scheme for the product across all international flights operating into the UK.

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The latest Travel Updates from Government

Under current UK Covid-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Limited domestic flights still operate.  It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

See also  "UK QUARANTINE MEASURES" in this BTN issue.

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Mark Tanzer, chief executive ABTA

ABTA is the internationally recognised voice of the British travel industry, its members employing 2.6m staff. ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. Across media all were vocal in responding to the comments made by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, on booking holidays.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA's chief executive, is emphatic:  “The travel industry can’t wait,” he says.

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BA – How many current flights?

The grim situation for British Airways, and reflected by all European airlines, is demonstrated by some figures obtained from within the airline by Head for Points, a frequent flyer information source.

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Canada cruise ship ban extended

If you were thinking of taking a cruise from Vancouver towards Alaska this autumn forget it.

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Delta blocks them off

The middle seat is sacrosanct with Delta Airlines.

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Flybe moves?

The saga that is Flybe moves on with the CAA setting a date for a hearing to revoke the airline's operation licence for 26 February.

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Gatwick to introduce drop-off charges

Following an initial announcement that it was to introduce drop-off charges Gatwick Airport is to introduce the scheme from Monday 8 March. (see BTN 12 October 2020)  initially at the North Terminal.

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Heathrow passenger charges

Unheralded Heathrow Airport raised its passenger taxes by £8.90 on Saturday 6 February.

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JetBlue boost

Jayne O’Brien, well known to the British travel trade, has joined jetBlue as head of marketing and loyalty, responsible for the airline’s brand, marketing and advertising, e-commerce, and the TrueBlue loyalty programme.

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Loganair goes live

Jonathan Hinkles, CEO of Loganair, is guest of honour at an Aviation Club Zoom lunch on Wednesday (17 February).

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Qantas and the future

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is still confident in the Airbus A380’s future and expects the carrier’s ‘Project Sunrise’ ultra-long-haul flights to kick off in three years’ time Flight Global reports.  The fact that Australia is literally ‘cut off’ from the rest of the world does not seem to worry him for the future.

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Ryanair winter 2021


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UK quarantine measures

From today (15 February) all arrivals at English ports will be required to undertake two mandatory Covid-19 tests – on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine.

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ON TOUR: Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a remarkable city with a short heritage.  Its first airfield did not open until 1955, oil was discovered in 1958, and Etihad, the national airline established in 2003.

It is very much on the‘Wish List’ of BTN’s editor-at-large, Jeff Mills, for a quick return.  Here he tells why.

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AND FINALLY: The Real Elise - Part 2.

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Aspire has introduced a 10% discount on their UK & Irish lounges this week to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They currently have lounges on sale up to the end of 2022, so while you might not have any immediate plans to fly, make sure you take advantage of this offer – it can be used against lounge bookings for any travel date subject to availability.


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Air Canada – Air Transat deal goes ahead

The long-expected takeover of Air Transat by Air Canada, reported by BTN last October, has been approved by the Canadian Government, in spite of the pandemic.

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Cornwall plea by Heathrow

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO, has gone public on a plea to Nigel Blackler, service director – transport and infrastructure at Cornwall Council to decide as soon as possible on reinstating the Newquay – London Public Service Obligation (PSO).

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Seaplane problems

The first step in the recovery of a WWII seaplane which became stranded on Loch Ness has taken place.

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SITA and ‘Health Protect’

A multinational information technology owned by the travel business SITA announced the launch of ‘Health Protect’ – an industry solution, to help airlines, airports, governments and passengers safely and securely share information on health tests or vaccinations needed during travel.

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Southwest and the MAX

The Boeing MAX will return to airline service with Southwest on 11 March, following an extensive internal retraining programme and a series of validation flights without passengers.

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Stobart becomes Esken

It is all change at Southend Airport with owner Stobart Group becoming Esken and chief executive Warwick Brady moving on.

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