BA unveils its subsidiary airline OpenSkies, the first UK carrier to fly non-stop from mainland Europe to the US.
Hand-baggage restrictions are relaxed at most UK airports, although there is confusion as
some facilities keep the one-bag rule in place for several more months.
Airmiles revamps its loyalty scheme, creating new redemption values which include taxes and
Thistle Hotels announces it is to spend £100 million revamping 25 of its UK properties.
Ryanair’s reservations website shuts down for three days for “essential upgrades”.
BA announces all-business class transatlantic flights from London City airport, due to launch in 2009.
- Varig drops flights between Brazil and Europe, just months after they had been reinstated.
- Virgin and BA launch a website for the refunding of illegal fuel surcharges to passengers.
- The first authorised in-flight mobile phone calls are made on an Emirates flight from Dubai
- The first Singapore Airlines A380 passenger flight between Singapore and London arrives into Heathrow.
- Problems with baggage-handling systems cause chaos at the opening of Heathrow’s T5, leading to BA delaying the transfer of long-haul flights to the terminal.
- The Open Skies agreement between the US and Europe comes into effect, leading to a raft of new transatlantic services from London Heathrow.
- Safety checks cause United Airlines’ 52-strong fleet of Boeing 777s to be grounded.
- Turkish Airlines joins Star Alliance, in the same year as the carrier celebrates its 75th
- All-business class airline Eos and long-haul budget carrier Oasis Hong Kong Airlines both go into liquidation.
- Hilton debuts it Doubletree brand in the UK, with the conversion of the Cambridge Garden House hotel.
- Air France announces a new long-haul premium economy class, code named C38.
- Easyhotel announces it will open its first budget hotel in Dubai in 2009.
- Swiss unveils its next-generation business class seating, due to appear on its long-haul fleet from 2009.
- British carrier Silverjet goes bust, the third all-business class airline to fail in six months.
- US carrier Delta announces it is dropping its London Gatwick-New York JFK service in the
same month that the airport celebrates its 50th birthday.
- FlyDubai says it will commence low-cost flights from Al Maktoum International airport in 2009.
- Continental announces it is to defect from Skyteam to Star Alliance, as it forges a closer relationship with founder Star member United Airlines.
- BA buys French all-business class carrier L’Avion, intending to integrate the airline into its OpenSkies subsidiary.
- Kingfisher Airlines unveils its new long-haul economy and business class products, ahead of the launch of flights from London to Bangalore.
- Egyptair becomes the 21st Star Alliance member.
- The price of oil reaches a record high of nearly US$150 per barrel.
- Emirates launches A380 flights from Dubai to New York, with features including showers for first class passengers and fully-flat beds in business class.
- Sofitel opens its new property at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, the only hotel attached to the terminal building.
- Low-cost Canadian carrier Zoom goes bust, citing “acutely difficult trading conditions within the aviation industry”.
- Lufthansa announces it is to buy Brussels Airlines.
- United Airlines abandons plans to trial paid-for in-flight meals across the Atlantic.
- Starwood announces its first W hotels in the UK with properties planned for London and Manchester.
- Eurostar services are severely disrupted by a fire in one of the tunnels under the English Channel.
- Qantas takes delivery of its first A380 aircraft, featuring a four-class product and a lounge for business class passengers.
- Computer problems at an air-traffic control centre in Hampshire causes flights to be suspended from several UK airports.
- A strike at Boeing’s Seattle factory leads to V Australia postponing its December launch of flights between Australia and the US, as aircraft delivery cannot be guaranteed.
- Brazilian carrier TAM announces it is to join Star Alliance.
- Jumeirah announces it will open a “five-star super-deluxe” hotel and serviced apartment property in Glasgow.
- Bmi’s chairman Sir Michael Bishop exercises an option obliging Lufthansa to buy his majority stake in the airline
- BA announces a 91 per cent drop in before-tax profits, and plans to cut several short and long-haul services, including Gatwick-Zurich and Heathrow-Kolkata.
- Oneworld member-elect Mexicana launches a twice-weekly service from Mexico City to London Gatwick, commencing in January.
- Capsule hotel group Yotel signs an agreement to open two properties in Abu Dhabi.
- Anti-government demonstrations lead to the closure of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.
- Low-cost long-haul carrier Air Asia X announces the launch of flights from London Stansted to Kuala Lumpur.
- Virgin says it is in talks with Lufthansa over the future of Bmi.
- Kingfisher Airlines announces it is to fly London Heathrow-Mumbai from January 5.
- Belgian carrier Brussels Airlines announces it is to join Star Alliance.
- Oil prices fall to US$45 per barrel, around one-third of their peak earlier in the year.