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17 MAY 2021


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It was not easy to choose one this week as BA’s public relations appointment gained good, mainly positive, coverage.  Go to www.btnews.co.uk/article/17589 and see for yourself.

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Heathrow and British Airways

British Airways will be trialling new intelligent queuing technology from Qmatic, that will enable customers to virtually queue at check-in by pre-booking their slot time in advance of arriving at the airport.

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These can alter at no notice.  If travelling abroad, or thinking of it,  CHECK.

Automatically changes when the new rules are announced.

SAFER AIR TRAVEL - Announced AM 17 May 2021

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ON THE SOAPBOX: Robert Courts, Aviation Minister

Today is a special day when international travel returns.  BTN is honoured by these exclusive words from the Minister for Aviation Robert Courts, MP.  Mr Courts, the Member for Whitney & West Oxfordshire since 2016, a barrister, has been Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport since 2020.  He previously served on the Parliamentary Select Committee for Transport.

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Club Aspire Gatwick North reopens

The Club Aspire Lounge at Gatwick North will re-open Friday (21 May) followed by Heathrow T5 the next Tuesday (25 May).

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A380 factory goes A321

Originally built for production of the A380, the unit at Lagardère on the other side of Toulouse-Blagnac Airport from the main Airbus site, is to become an A321 facility by the end 2022.

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Arabian Travel Market

Sunday (16 May) saw the opening of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).  It runs until Wednesday and virtually 24-26 May.  From the UK the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is on the 'Red' list. 

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Avelo Airlines

A pandemic might not be the most obvious time to start a new airline. Andrew Levy disagrees. The former CFO of United Airlines has premiered his latest venture, low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines, the first new mainline carrier in the United States  for 15 years.

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BA’s quick test

British Airways is the first airline in the world to conduct a trial of an ultra-rapid Covid-19 antigen test that displays results within 25sec.

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Discover the World wins JetBlue

When will the services commence?  That is the question.

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Face coverings and TfL

At the end of a lengthy press release issued last week to encourage travellers back to the Tube, buses and Overground Andy Byford, Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), made a very important statement.

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Green corridor flights and PCR

A number of ‘Green’ list countries remain off limits because of entry restrictions David Starkie of CASE reports.

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P&O Iona named with cider

With the restrictions regarding cruising still in place Dame Irene Hays named P&O’s new flagship Iona at Southampton yesterday.  Chosen for the customary ship’s christening was Alex James' celebratory cider.  No mention of the traditional Scots brew!  On her maiden cruise the ship will moor off the Hebridean island after which she is named with a promised party at the late dusk.

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Smartwings for Heathrow

A new airline arrives at Heathrow on Thursday 3 June.

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ON TOUR: Visit Portugal It’s 'Green’

With the opening up of Portugal by virtue of the Government’s ‘Traffic Lights' scheme now seemed a fine opportunity to highlight Britain’s oldest ally once again.   Editor-at-large Jeff Mills takes a look at the city and beyond.

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AND FINALLY: Will Michael O’Leary attend?

Not exactly best known for its client relationship Ryanair has launched what it calls its “Customer Advisory Panel”.

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Catalytic converter theft

Toyota (GB) is spending more than £1m to covertly mark more than 100,000 parts on older cars which could be the target of catalytic converter theft, to help police arrest and charge criminals. The service is free to owners.

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Crossrail and London City Airport

The Elizabeth Line (nee Crossrail) is now due to open in the first half of 2022.  The £20bn project is four years late but will be a huge boost for London when it is finally delivered. 

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CT scanners for Amsterdam Schipol

Amsterdam Schipol Airport has become the first major gateway it claims to switch from X-Ray to CT scanners.

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Farnborough Airport’s new boss

One of London’s major dedicated business aviation airports, Farnborough, has officially introduced its new CEO.

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More lounges for Priority Pass

Priority Pass, part of the Collison Group, has added 32 lounges to its portfolio this year in spite of the pandemic. By the end of 2021 it is expecting to have grown by more than 150 offerings.

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New British cruise line

Ambassador Cruise Line is a brand-new Tilbury-based sea holiday operator planning to set sail next April.

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NHS vaccine passport

The NHS app vaccine passport will be on-line from today when the ban on foreign travel is eased, but only for those who have had both doses of the jab.

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St Helena hardly ‘Green’

Although the British Overseas Territory of St Helena is on the British Government ‘Green’ list local businesses are unlikely to benefit on the loosening of the rules. Or visitors with it on their ‘bucket list’.

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The Hoxton Rome opens

Part of a now 10-strong group that includes properties in Amsterdam, London and Paris, The Hoxton Rome has opened.

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