11 NOVEMBER 2019

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Park Hyatt arrives in Kyoto

Continuing its Far East expansion, Hyatt last week launched the Park Hyatt Kyoto, a 70-room low-rise guesthouse-style hotel in one of the best preserved historic districts in Japan’s ancient capital, the Higashiyama hills.

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COMMENT: A Spanish step too far for Walsh?

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, is known for his love of Spain and all things Spanish. His British Airways chief executive, Alex Cruz, comes from Bilbao – in an earlier life Walsh ran the failed Majorca-based airline Futura. Vueling is Spanish and Level operates out of Barcelona.

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A business jet ban

The Labour Party pledge last week to ban corporate aircraft by 2025 if it were in power from 12 December has produced an emotive response today by British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) CEO Marc Bailey. See link for his full statement.

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Air France-KLM on the offensive

Top airline officials in Paris last week unveiled a plan to enable Air France-KLM to “recapture a leadership position” in Europe. Elements include managing fleet and product more flexibly and lobbying authorities for a more competitive environment.

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Airline chief on first MAX flight

Speaking at the Aviation Club in London last week, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said he would be a passenger on the first Boeing MAX service once the aircraft is recertificated. 

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Channel Islands air wars

Concern is growing on Guernsey over the future of air services to and from the island after its state-owned airline, Aurigny, was reported last week to be facing record losses of nearly £10m next year.

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Crossrail buried

In a classic piece of burying the news, Crossrail put out a press release last Friday lunchtime updating the Elizabeth Line situation.

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EasyJet snaps up Thomas Cook slots

All the take-off and landing slots owned by Thomas Cook at UK airports were snapped up last week after a bidding war. Slots at Gatwick and Bristol went to easyJet for £36m, those at Manchester, Birmingham and Stansted to Jet2.

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High-tech tracking for Heathrow expansion

A state-of-the-art centralised tracking system set to become the nerve centre for the Heathrow expansion project was unveiled by the airport last week. The system will connect the project’s UK-wide network of offsite construction hubs.

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Southern Access scheme moves forward

A comprehensive overview of the strategic objectives behind the scheme to provide a southern access to Heathrow was published by the Department for Transport (DfT) last week to set out the government’s thinking and desired outcomes for the project.

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Thomas Cook brand goes to China

The historic Thomas Cook brand has been sold for £11m to the Chinese travel group and Club Med owner Fosun Tourism in a deal covering the Cook brand along with the hotel brands Casa Cook and Cook's Club.

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WTM goes aviation

World Travel Market came and went last week with the Monday given over to VIP attendees, Tuesday extremely busy in terms of trade visitors and Wednesday dying in the afternoon, rather like the old Thursday. A rethink is needed.

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ON TOUR Bristol Airport

With Lufthansa set to launch a new direct flight between Bristol and Frankfurt from 30 March next year (see BTN last week), Andrew Sharp checks out what the UK airport has to offer its passengers.

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NOVEMBER ROAD TEST: Nissan Qashqai Tekna

A fine family workhorse.

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AND FINALLY: Nuclear wish list

 Just when you think you’ve heard everything the travel business has to offer, up comes something else.

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American's New Zealand challenge

The battle for business across the Pacific is set to intensify next year with the only non-stop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Christchurch (New Zealand), a distance of 11,086km (6,888mi), being planned by American Airlines.

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Eastern revives Cardiff Aberdeen

Starting today, 11 November, regional carrier Eastern Airways is re-introducing a Flybe franchise service linking Cardiff with Aberdeen with 10 flights a week Mondays to Fridays between the national airport for Wales and the UK’s offshore capital.

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IAG sets sights on Air Europa

The second half of next year has been earmarked by British Airways parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) member Iberia for its acquisition of Air Europa from the Globalia holding company.

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Kempinski opens in Nanjing

European style in the heart of the Ming capital has arrived in China with the opening of the 336-room Kempinski Hotel Nanjing, positioned according to the company for “the modern business traveller”.

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New Falklands air service

A new weekly flight to Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falkland Islands from São Paulo with a monthly stop in Cordoba, Argentina, is being launched by LATAM Airlines Brazil from 20 November.

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Ryanair summer boost for Southend

A total of 16 routes are being offered by Ryanair out of Southend for summer 2020 including six new to Bergerac, Bucharest, Girona, Marseille, Venice Treviso and Vilnius.

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Second new taxiway for Luton

A second new taxiway has been opened at Luton Airport as part of its £160m transformation programme. Taxiway Foxtrot follows Taxiway Bravo, which opened in early 2018.

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The Wow saga rolls on

The tangled tale of creating a new Icelandic airline to replace Wow Air, which collapsed earlier this year, took a fresh turn last week with new backers (below) coming forward to announce the formation of a carrier called Play.

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UK Crowne Plaza on the way

The Kingston (Surrey) Holiday Inn, part of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and overlooking the marina at Thames Ditton, is being transformed into a new riverside Crowne Plaza in January with a focus on business travellers.

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