8 MARCH 2021

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Classic Car Show

With the lockdown hopefully coming to an end the timing for The London Classic Car Show is perfect.  It will take place 25-27 June at the lovely Syon Park in West London, just off the Great West Road. 

Depending which runway is being used, and where you are sitting on the plane, you can view the park from above. It sits by the River Thames. 

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For railway buffs

“Britain’s historic railway buildings: a gazetteer of structures and sites”

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Scottish hotel opening

May is expected to see the debut of a new IHG brand ‘voco’ in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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THE LATEST TRAVEL COVID UPDATES FROM GOVERNMENT   

Do check daily.  The Netherlands has lifted the travel ban to the United Kingdom

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Gatwick drop-off charges

From today (8 March) Gatwick Airport North is charging a minimum of £5 per vehicle for drop-off and collection.

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ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIAL: Simon Calder and APD

Self-described as a “Travel Journalist and Broadcaster” Simon Calder has been at The Independent since 1994. 

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The Budget

“Universally condemned”.  That was the travel industry view of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s first real Budget last Wednesday (3 March) summed up by a onetime leader of the industry. “No direct support” was the common theme.

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Air Astana recovers

Kazakhstan national airline Air Astana is estimating financial performance for the combined months of January and February 2021 at its highest level since 2017, after reporting a loss of $94m in 2020. The 2020 figure, the airline’s second-ever annual loss, was the result of total or partial shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in capacity and revenue falls of 47% and 55% respectively. Total passengers carried fell by 28% to 3.7m.

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Aviation skills retention platform announced at BBGA.

Minister unveils plans to business aviation conference.

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British Airways discounts Covid tests

To give its customers peace of mind when planning future travel, British Airways is offering discounted rates with government-approved Covid-19 testing providers.

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Empty seats at Emirates

Emirates' Economy Class customers can now enjoy even more personal space and privacy onboard with the ability to purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight.

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Flybe – The saga continues

On Friday 26 February the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) held a hearing regarding the operating licence for Flybe, which is still current.

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Global Travel Taskforce meets

On Tuesday 2 March Grant Shapps, secretary of state for transport chaired the first meeting of the new Global Travel Taskforce to set out a plan for restarting international travel in a safe and sustainable way.

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London City update

A national representative survey commissioned by London City Airport following the Prime Minister’s 22 February lockdown roadmap points to optimism amongst UK travellers.

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Mesa Airlines for Europe?

US regional Mesa Airlines is looking to start its own European airline from the end of this year Bernard Lavelle reports.

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Virgin ups its class

The airline publishes its current schedule.

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ON TOUR: The Twin Otter Story – Part Two – Resurrection

In a momentous announcement on 17 July 2006, at the Farnborough Airshow, Viking Air Ltd unveiled its intention to offer a new de Havilland Canada Twin Otter, a 21st century version of the ubiquitous twin-engined 19-passenger turboprop.  Aircraft production had been halted many times in the past with various planes and all sorts of reasons, but never for 18 years!  The last DHC-6 Twin Otter had been produced in 1988.

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MARCH ROAD TEST – Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint

Back in September 2020 BTN described the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio as “a true Italian Express”, albeit an expensive one coming at around £75k. Here is an alternative, less pricey, but still distinctive Alfa.

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AND FINALLY:

In case you have forgotten!

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LETTER OF THE WEEK

The Scottish rules

BTN is introducing “Letter of the Week”.  No prizes unless someone wants to sponsor.

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Aer Lingus financial support

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s former prime minister and current deputy prime minister, has confirmed to The Dáil, the lower house of the Irish parliament, that the government is engaged in confidential talks with Aer Lingus regarding financial support and that the airline will survive the current crisis.

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Belfast City and Ryanair

Just 12 months after the demise of Flybe, Belfast City Airport’s then largest carrier, Ryanair has returned after an 11-year absence.

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CAA boss speaks

Sir Steven Hillier, chairman of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, is the guest of the Aviation Club of the United Kingdom for a webinar Thursday 11 March 12:00 noon (GMT) hosted by Club chairman Karl Brünjes.

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E10 petrol available

A new greener form of petrol will be available on forecourts this autumn under government plans to cut emissions – though the new fuel will probably be more expensive and is not suitable for older cars.

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O’Leary Zooms Parliament

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary was mostly on his best behaviour when he appeared before the House of Commons Transport Select Committee last Wednesday (3 March) and actually praised the British government for its vaccination programme.

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Tradewinds goes to sea

Thursday 1 July, Britain’s newest, and most environmentally friendly, cruise ship will literally ‘sail’ from Harwich bound for Leith (Edinburgh).

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Update on Rolls-Royce ‘Spirit of Innovation’

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the taxiing of its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft, the latest milestone on its journey to becoming the world’s fastest all-electric plane.

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