Stobart Air to operate British Airways services at London City

British Airways Embraer at London City Airport

Irish media is reporting that Dublin-based Stobart Air will be operating a number of flights for British Airways at London City airport.

Aviationtribune.com reports that Stobart will be leasing two Embraer 190s (the aircraft type operated by BA at LCY) over a three-year period complete with crew, maintenance and insurance.

The news follows on from our report last month that Stobart (which operates on behalf of Flybe at Southend) would be axing six routes from London Southend over the coming months.

Luke Hayhoe, BA’s GM commercial and customer is quoted as saying:

“We’re looking forward to working with Stobart Air within this new significant lease agreement. This relationship will ensure we will continue to provide punctual and reliable services for our customers.”

Earlier this year British Airways announced that Loganair would operate its flights between London City airport and the Isle of Man under a wet lease agreement.

ba.com

Loganair expands at Edinburgh

Loganair

Scottish regional carrier Loganair will add several new routes from Edinburgh in 2019.

The most important one for Scotland will be the first ever link between the capital and Islay Hebrides.

Flights start on March 31 using a 33-seat Saab 340 turbo-prop.  Initially there will be four services a week rising to daily by May.

The significance of the new route to Islay will be Loganair’s ability to offer travellers global connectivity via Edinburgh thanks to links forged with the likes of British Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways.

It means easier access to/from Islay for global travellers. While visitors to Edinburgh (note that the capital gets very busy during the Festival) can now make side-trips to Islay.

Says Jonathan Hinkles, MD of Loganair, “This should be a tremendous boost to Islay’s burgeoning tourist industry. We’re also forecasting extra business uptake, acting as a convenient link to Edinburgh alongside significant volumes of inbound travel from customers eager to experience Islay’s distilleries, golfing attractions and new luxury hotels.”

Other developments include the introduction of year-round flights to Stavanger and Bergen in Norway and a seasonal link to Guernsey. These routes will be operated by 37-seat Embraer 135 jets.

loganair.co.uk

Norwegian plots further route cuts as airline braces for winter

Norwegian DYG_LANDING

Low-cost carrier Norwegian will make decisions “in the coming weeks” that may see changes to its winter schedule as it embarks on a cost-cutting push.

CFO Geir Karlsen yesterday said the airline was evaluating its whole route program, including short- and long-haul flights in the coming winter period – traditionally a challenging time for airlines.

Karlsen said Norwegian would be taking out routes that are not performing well enough, shifting capacity and taking out capacity.

Founded in 1993, the airline has grown rapidly in recent years to become the world’s fifth largest low-cost carrier, reporting a profit in July and increasing revenue 33 per cent year on year. It charmed passengers with its incredibly cheap long-haul flights, especially on transatlantic routes, though some complained of shoddy complaint handling.

It has gained an 11 per cent market share of Gatwick’s 50 million annual passengers, regularly connecting the airport to New York for less than £200 on its cheapest flights.

Fleet renewal over the last two years has pushed the average age of Norwegian’s aircraft down to 3.7 years, and it has been named the most fuel-efficient airline on transatlantic routes (see data above), soaring above British Airways which came bottom in the International Council on Clean Transportation ranking.

But its planes still need fuel to fly, and along with airlines across the board Norwegian has struggled with rising oil prices as well as grounded planes due to problems with the Rolls Royce engines on its Boeing 787s.

It expects to spend one billion Norwegian krone (£93.6m) on compensation in 2018.

“Without the engine issue our long-haul results would look very different,” Karlsen said yesterday, announcing an internal cost-saving program aimed at saving two billion krone (£186.3m) in 2019.

Norwegian shares surged last week when it announced it was in advanced talks with an unnamed partner to help it fund aircrafts it has already ordered (and potentially no longer wants). Karlsen said there would be an update on the deal before the end of the year.

In September the airline cancelled its Gatwick-Singapore route and all transatlantic services from Belfast and Edinburgh. It has instead been building up less competitive routes to and within South America.

Turbulence is rumbling across the industry. Low-cost carriers Primera and Cobalt both folded this month, highlighting the risks – rising costs, increased competition, technical problems – facing many airlines.

Last week Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary predicted “more and larger failures this winter.”

For now – on its joint venture fleet, route changes and future profitability – Norwegian is keeping both its critics and its cheerleaders guessing.

Ryanair and Wizz Air introduce new hand luggage policies

Wizzair

Tomorrow (November 1) sees changes take effect for the hand luggage allowances of two of Europe’s largest carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air.

As previously reported, Ryanair is limiting non-priority customers to one small piece of carry-on luggage, measuring a maximum of 40cm x 20cm x 25cm.

Non-priority customers wishing to take a larger wheelie bag on their flight can now purchase a new 10kg limit for £8 at the time of booking (£10 when added after the time of booking), but note that this bag must be checked in at bag drop.

Priority customers will continue to be able to carry on two pieces of hand luggage – the small carry-on bag, and the larger 10kg bag.

Ryanair says that 60 per cent of its customers will not be affected by the changes, “since 30 per cent of customers already buy Priority Boarding and 30 per cent already travel with only one free (small) carry-on bag.

Meanwhile similar new Wizz Air restrictions also come into force tomorrow, with standard passengers entitled to take on board one small piece of luggage measuring no more than 40sm x 30cm x 20cm.

Priority customers can also carry on a trolley bag up to 55cm x 40cm x 23cm in size, and a new 10kg checked luggage allowance has been introduced costing from €7.

Wizz Air said that the new policy was aimed at decreasing baggage-related delays, adding that “The airline’s new clear and fair baggage policy is the policy of choices for our passengers as it allows Wizz customers to choose among more than 50 carry-on and checked in baggage variations based on their individual preferences”.

ryanair.com, wizzair.com

Marriott opens Bankside hotel in London’s Blackfriars

Bankside

Marriott International has opened a new design-led property close to London’s Blackfriars Bridge.

The 161-room Bankside hotel is housed within a six-storey glass building on Blackfriars Road, within walking distance of Blackfriars station, and attractions including the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank of the River Thames.

The property is part of the group’s Autograph Collection, and is the sixth hotel under the brand in the UK. Other London properties under the Autograph Collection umbrella include Hotel Xenia, St Ermin’s hotel, and Threadneedles.

Features include all day dining restaurant and bar Art Yard, which has an outdoor terrace and offers “seasonal British produce with European influences, alongside classic cocktails, local beers and an unexpected selection of wines”.

There is also a creative space known as the Makers hub on the ground floor, which will be used for emerging artists to showcase and create work, with a series of talks, previews and events taking place throughout the year.

The first Makers in Residence will be London-based urban landscape painters Luke M Walker and Andrea Tyrimos, who use art to raise awareness about environmental issues.

The hotel’s design was created by film set art director-turned-hotel designer Dayna Lee, who said that “The design of Bankside has an art-school style with added polish, an appreciation for mid-century collection and black line drawings”.

Ceramicist and illustrator Laura Carlin was commissioned to design two wall murals composed of illustrated tiles which “bring to life the cultural narratives of the South Bank”, while London-based artist and designer Malgorzata Bany has created a series of tables for the hotel.

Rates at Bankside start from £290 on a bed and breakfast basis.

marriott.com

Emirates Skywards launches new taxi booking app

Emirates Skywards Cabforce

Emirates Skywards has launched a new on-demand taxi booking app, available in 27 countries and 117 cities worldwide.

Emirates Skywards Cabforce has been created in partnership with travel technology platform Car Trawler, allowing members to book private taxis, executive cars and minibuses through the app.

Members earn one Skywards mile for every US$2 spent via the app, with miles being credited within 48 hours of completing journeys.

Similar to rideshare app Uber, users can check the estimated arrival time and fare for their journey, receive electronic receipts, and share their live location with friends and family during the ride.

The Emirates Skywards Cabforce app is available to download for free on Apple or Android devices.

The Gulf carrier’s loyalty programme recently launched the Emirates Skywards Go app, offering members two-for-one discounts at over 4,400 restaurants and spas.

emirates.com

Tourism Australia partners with ESPNcricinfo for content series on Australia

Tourism Australia partners with ESPNcricinfo content series on Australia

Tourism Australia, in partnership with ESPNcricinfo has launched a content series- UnDiscover Australia ahead of India’s upcoming cricket tour of Australia.

This content series aims at highlighting the offbeat travel experiences in Australia. It features Shibani Dandekar, ESPNcricinfo presenter and actor, exploring the five Australian States that are hosting matches including Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Additionally, the series also focusses on interactions with Australian cricketers Shaun Tait, Brad Hogg, Brad Hodge, Ed Cowan and Andy Bichel who along with sharing their cricketing knowledge, will also showcase their hometowns and Australia as a holiday destination.

John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia said, “Tourism Australia is keen to gain a greater share of the Indian outbound travel segment and attract more High Value Travellers to Australia by best leveraging the growing influence of the digital medium, especially through effective content partnerships that best showcase the diverse range of Australian experiences. Our renewed marketing focus is on fewer but bigger, bolder and more impactful campaigns and the partnership with ESPNcricinfo is in sync with this strategy.” tourism.australia.com

Tourism Australia, in partnership with ESPNcricinfo has launched a content series- UnDiscover Australia ahead of India’s upcoming cricket tour of Australia.

This content series aims at highlighting the offbeat travel experiences in Australia. It features Shibani Dandekar, ESPNcricinfo presenter and actor, exploring the five Australian States that are hosting matches including Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Additionally, the series also focusses on interactions with Australian cricketers Shaun Tait, Brad Hogg, Brad Hodge, Ed Cowan and Andy Bichel who along with sharing their cricketing knowledge, will also showcase their hometowns and Australia as a holiday destination.

John O’Sullivan, Managing Director, Tourism Australia said, “Tourism Australia is keen to gain a greater share of the Indian outbound travel segment and attract more High Value Travellers to Australia by best leveraging the growing influence of the digital medium, especially through effective content partnerships that best showcase the diverse range of Australian experiences. Our renewed marketing focus is on fewer but bigger, bolder and more impactful campaigns and the partnership with ESPNcricinfo is in sync with this strategy.” tourism.australia.com

Hakkasan Dubai opens in Atlantis, The Palm

Hakkasan Dubai opens in Atlantis, The Palm

Hakkasan Group has announced the launch of its popular Cantonese restaurant- Hakkasan in Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

Located at the entrance to The Avenues, Hakkasan Dubai features intricate carved wooden screens and latticing that is inspired by the interiors of the brand’s flagship restaurant in London.

Signature dishes on the menu include Peking duck served with Royal Beluga caviar, grilled Chilean sea bass cooked in honey and the famous stir-fried black pepper rib-eye beef.  Some of the dishes that are exclusive to the Dubai outlet are crispy roasted chicken with garlic and sesame, osmanthus Wagyu beef rib eye and wok-fry Australian rack lamb with black garlic.

Additionally, the restaurant will also host special experiences and weekly events such as a daily Taste of Hakkasan menu, a Friday brunch and the signature Hakatini night.

Gert F. Kopera, Executive Vice President, Hakkasan Group, said, “This is an extremely exciting time for Hakkasan in Dubai, as we continue our Dubai journey with Atlantis, The Palm. We’re thrilled to welcome our first guests through the doors, to experience our authentic cuisine, in a relaxed and stylish environment.”

Time: 6pm-11.30pm for dinner, the bar will be open from 5pm-1am. atlantisthepalm.com

Hakkasan Group has announced the launch of its popular Cantonese restaurant- Hakkasan in Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai.

Located at the entrance to The Avenues, Hakkasan Dubai features intricate carved wooden screens and latticing that is inspired by the interiors of the brand’s flagship restaurant in London.

Signature dishes on the menu include Peking duck served with Royal Beluga caviar, grilled Chilean sea bass cooked in honey and the famous stir-fried black pepper rib-eye beef.  Some of the dishes that are exclusive to the Dubai outlet are crispy roasted chicken with garlic and sesame, osmanthus Wagyu beef rib eye and wok-fry Australian rack lamb with black garlic.

Additionally, the restaurant will also host special experiences and weekly events such as a daily Taste of Hakkasan menu, a Friday brunch and the signature Hakatini night.

Gert F. Kopera, Executive Vice President, Hakkasan Group, said, “This is an extremely exciting time for Hakkasan in Dubai, as we continue our Dubai journey with Atlantis, The Palm. We’re thrilled to welcome our first guests through the doors, to experience our authentic cuisine, in a relaxed and stylish environment.”

Time: 6pm-11.30pm for dinner, the bar will be open from 5pm-1am. atlantisthepalm.com

SpiceJet operates India’s first TaxiBot for towing aircraft to the runway

SpiceJet operates India’s first TaxiBot for towing aircraft to the runway

SpiceJet has operated India’s first TaxiBot for towing an aircraft to the runway. The low-cost carrier’s Boeing 737 aircraft, flying to Goa was towed to the runway at Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

TaxiBot, a semi-robotic towing tractor helps in saving fuel in addition to reducing CO2 emissions and noise level.  It is connected to the nose wheel of the aircraft and enables the pilot to move the plane to the runway without putting the engine on.

Following this new addition, SpiceJet has moved a step closer towards an environmental-friendly air transport. Recently, the airline also operated India’s first biofuel flight, which was powered by 25 per cent biojet fuel and 75 per cent air turbine fuel (ATF).

The TaxiBots have been designed by Israel Aerospace Industries and have been manufactured by France’s Top-level Domain (TLD). KSU Aviation is supplying the TaxiBots to airlines in the country.

Along with SpiceJet, Jet Airways and IndiGo are also expected to use TaxiBots soon. spicejet.com

SpiceJet has operated India’s first TaxiBot for towing an aircraft to the runway. The low-cost carrier’s Boeing 737 aircraft, flying to Goa was towed to the runway at Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

TaxiBot, a semi-robotic towing tractor helps in saving fuel in addition to reducing CO2 emissions and noise level.  It is connected to the nose wheel of the aircraft and enables the pilot to move the plane to the runway without putting the engine on.

Following this new addition, SpiceJet has moved a step closer towards an environmental-friendly air transport. Recently, the airline also operated India’s first biofuel flight, which was powered by 25 per cent biojet fuel and 75 per cent air turbine fuel (ATF).

The TaxiBots have been designed by Israel Aerospace Industries and have been manufactured by France’s Top-level Domain (TLD). KSU Aviation is supplying the TaxiBots to airlines in the country.

Along with SpiceJet, Jet Airways and IndiGo are also expected to use TaxiBots soon. spicejet.com