3 FEBRUARY 2020
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A packed Airlines UK annual dinner last Wednesday (29 January) at the Royal Institute of British Architects heard guest of honour Paul Maynard MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, say how much he was enjoying the job. His responsibilities include Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2, Crossrail, East West Rail, the TransPennine route upgrade, and aviation.
Maynard noted Blackpool Airport, in his constituency, was in focus, now reduced to a general aviation operation, having closed temporarily in 2014.
He joked, in the style of Yes Minister. Holding the aviation portfolio did not mean longevity in the job, he said, but "I plan to be around tomorrow as I have important announcements to make in respect of Doncaster Airport”. Baroness (Liz) Sugg, a guest and holding much the same portfolio two ministers back, grinned.
Two days before the dinner, Maynard was at Birmingham Airport to help launch a £30m terminal expansion, while on Flybe he was positive. "Let me stress," he said, "Flybe remains a going concern. Flights continue as scheduled; passengers should continue to go to the airport as usual."
Airlines UK chairman Jane Middleton hosted the event with guest CEOs including Richard Moriarty (CAA), Alex Cuz (BA), Mark Anderson (Flybe), Alistair Wilson (Titan Airways), Dawn Wilson (Tui Airways), Martin Rolfe (NATS) and Nick Barton (Birmingham Airport).
See also ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIAL Monday 27 January with Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade
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