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14 JUNE 2021

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LETTER OF THE WEEK

"Touch and Go"

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Blue Plaque for Sir Stirling Moss

Last Friday (11 June) a Blue Plaque was unveiled at the famous Shelsley Walsh hill climb for the finest driver never to become World Champion.

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COMMENT: Where do we go from here?

Where on ‘earth’ do we stand regarding international travel?  “Always look on the bright side,” says Business Travel News.

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Emma Gilthorpe, Jet Zero Council

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Stobart Air collapses

The planned sale of Dublin-based Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional services on a franchise basis collapsed on Saturday (12 June).

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Airbus and Qatar Airways in row

Qatar Airways has reportedly halted deliveries of its A350 jets due to dissatisfaction with the finish on the aircraft. According to reports, the surface below the paint is degrading unusually quickly and it will not take any more deliveries until Airbus resolves the issue.

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BA and Ryanair condemned

Both British Airways and Ryanair have come in for harsh words from the Competition and Markets Authority.

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Connecting at CDG

Our regular contributor Alison Chambers yesterday (Sunday 13 June) flew to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the island of Sint Maarten (French: Saint-Martin) as a guest speaker at Caribavia, the Caribbean Aviation conference.  From Heathrow she went Air France via Paris.  A full report will follow.

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Electric bike confusion

Last week Transport for London (TfL) and participating boroughs organised a photocall to promote a trial scheme for electric scooters in Canary Wharf, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond which will last 12 months.  The City of London will join later.

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IATA's Walsh slams ‘Atlantic Charter’

In one of the most controversial utterances ever by a man known for his outspoken views new IATA Director General Willie Walsh has blasted out at a joint statement by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden.

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Jazeera Airways to Heathrow

Middle East low-cost carrier (LCC) to fly into London.

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Passport update

Home Office exaggerates.

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Travel Trade ‘Day of Action’

Trade bodies from across the aviation and travel industries have announced plans for a travel industry day of action on 23 June to put pressure on the UK government to support a safe return to international travel in time for the peak summer period.

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ON TOUR: Belfast Northern Ireland

Our intrepid Editor-at-Large Jeff Mills reviews a UK city that needs a flight (or sea travel) for people in England, Scotland and Wales.  Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. Not a ‘staycation’. A proper holiday visit. And an opportunity to go up in the air.

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JUNE ROAD TEST: Honda Jazz. Two cars tested

What do you do when a car manufacturer offers you back-to-back tests of the same model but different variants?  You take up both submissions and after a fortnight decide which one is for you.  It’s not easy.

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AND FINALLY: A proper Stag affair!

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Christine Ourmières-Widener for TAP

A former Air France executive and previously CEO of failed Flybe (and also CityJet) Christine Ourmières-Widener, has been chosen by the Portuguese Government to “turn around” struggling TAP, the Lisbon newspapers report.  For a short period she was also on the Board of IATA.

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Denmark opens up

Whilst still on the highly controversial British Amber list Denmark has reopened to fully vaccinated British tourists.

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Isle of Man and Loganair

Loganair is increasing its flights to and from the Isle of Man from July as restrictions on travel to and from the island are progressively eased. 

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London Classic Car Show

Diminutive TV presenter Richard Hammond is revving up to reveal his latest business venture to the public at The London Classic Car Show, 25–27 June, at Syon Park, west London under the Heathrow flight path.

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Michael O’Leary at Westminster

Tuesday 15 June (09:30) will see Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary appear before the House of Commons Transport Select Committee regarding the skyjacking of flight 4978 Sunday 23 May.  It is live on Parliament TV.

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Munich Airport reopens Terminal 1

Things are looking up at Munich Airport.  Last week the airport recorded its highest traffic volume in over nine months, with around 400 flights and 36,000 passengers, still well below a typical 100,000 plus pre-pandemic.

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OAG June stats

Here is the OAG seat capacity report for June.  It does not make for brilliant reading but is an indication of what the airlines think they require for the month.

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Private charter recovery

Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service (ACS), has seen global private jet business travel booking numbers for the first quarter of 2021 reach 76% of 2019 levels – exceeding its original forecast.

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Scots ban cruise ship

Holyrood last Wednesday (9 June 2021) banned the Italian cruise liner MSC Virtuosa from visiting Greenock, outside Glasgow, hours before she was due to arrive.  On board were 1,000 passengers, all British, who had embarked at Southampton.  All had met the cruise line’s stringent embarkation requirements regarding the pandemic.

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