For week ending October 28th
While we prepare to say farewell to October, there was plenty of travel industry news to catch up on over the past week: we all heard a lot of noise around the Government's £18 billion decision to support Heathrow expansion, but our attention was also caught by Marriott planning to launch its eco-conscious brand in Egypt, Croatia Airlines quitting Heathrow for another London area airport and Singapore Airlines beginning daily direct flights to San Francisco. All this and much more in our weekly round-up!
Heathrow Airport chosen by UK government for expansion
The UK government has finally chosen Heathrow for the location of an extra runway. The Department for Transport has claimed that the new runway will bring economic benefits to passengers and the wider economy worth up to £61 billion. Up to 77,000 additional local jobs are expected to be created over the next 14 years and the airport has committed to create 5,000 new apprenticeships over the same period. The total cost of Heathrow airport is estimated at around £18bn but will be mainly paid for by the private sector. The true cost expansion to the taxpayers is not being divulged by the government but the commission report estimated a £5bn bill for new roads and rail links, while Transport for London put the potential cost as being as high as £18.4bn.
Norwegian launches new Manchester Canaries routes
A new twice-weekly service departs for Gran Canaria on October 30 with a second one lined up twice-weekly service for Tenerife launching shortly after. Norwegian’s new route to Gran Canaria will operate throughout the winter while services to Tenerife will continue year-round.
British Airways to launch Gatwick-Fort Lauderdale service
British Airways has announced a new route from Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale, starting on July 6 next year. The three times-weekly service (four times-weekly during the summer peak period) will be operated with a three-class B777-200 aircraft configured with World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and Club World cabins.
Thetford Travelodge opens in Norfolk
Travelodge has opened its first hotel in Thetford, built on the site of the famous Anchor Hotel featured in Dad’s Army. The 18th century coaching inn was the site of the 1970’s sitcom’s first-ever scene, filmed in the Anchor’s Norvic Room in 1968. The site was demolished by Breckland District Council in 2012 and replaced by an £8 million leisure complex, of which Thetford Travelodge is now part.
Icelandair joins Airlines for Europe
Icelandair has joined Airlines for Europe, the Europe’s new and largest airline association, based in Brussels. Launched in January 2016, the association now consists of Aegean, airBaltic, Air France KLM, easyJet, Finnair, Icelandair, International Airlines Group, Jet2.com, Lufthansa Group, Norwegian, Ryanair, TAP Portugal and Volotea, and plans to grow further.
ANA and Vietnam Airlines enter new partnership
All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Vietnam Airlines will begin code sharing on ten international routes linking Japan and Vietnam, along with 25 domestic routes in both countries, starting October 30. In addition to the routes, the two airlines have entered a frequent flyer partnership that will enable ANA Mileage Club and Lotusmiles members to accrue air miles on codeshare flights. Members will also be able to redeem rewards on all flights marketed and operated by the two carriers.
British Airways launches Apple Pay through app
British Airways has added Apple Pay to its iPhone app, allowing customers to store payment card details and pay for flights with just the swipe of the finger. The payment option is available for purchases made using UK billed cards, for British Airways flights departing UK airports, although BA intends to roll it out to include customers departing other airports flying to the UK “over the coming months”.
Singapore Airlines launched non-stop service to San Francisco
Singapore Airlines (SIA) just began daily direct flights between Singapore and San Francisco, as well as a new service to Los Angeles via Seoul, South Korea. The San Francisco non-stop service augments an existing connection between Singapore and San Francisco via Hong Kong, but uses one of SIA’s new A350-900s for the route.
Hilton to open Doubletree in Hull
Hilton Worldwide is to open a Doubletree property in Hull next year, as the city prepares to be UK City of Culture in 2017. The 165-room Doubletree by Hilton Hull will feature a branded destination restaurant and bar and a 1,000 sqm pillarless ballroom.
Croatia Airlines to quit Heathrow for another London area airport
Flying to Zagreb departing from Heathrow won’t be possible anymore, but flights will be taking off from Gatwick or Stansted. In a bid to raise cash, the Croatian national airline intends to sell its Heathrow slots and move to another London area airport. This development is reported in Total Croatia News, and the slot sale (Croatia Airlines has nine Heathrow slot pairs) will enable the carrier to fund its restructuring programme.
Radisson Red to open Kuala Lumpur property
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has announced its first Radisson Red property in the Malaysian capital. The new-build Radisson Red Kuala Lumpur City Centre will be located around 800 metres from the Petronas Twin Towers, in the City’s Golden Triangle area. The hotel will feature 166 rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and gym, the brand’s signature F&B outlet Ouibar and Ktchn, and meeting rooms with views of the towers.
Marriott announces plans for Element Cairo
Marriott has announced plans to debut Element Hotels, the company’s eco-conscious brand, in Egypt. Element Cairo is slated to open in 2019 and will be the largest Element property in Africa and the Middle East at 334 rooms. The hotel will be located in Cairo’s Heliopolis district as part of eco-friendly development complex, The Gate, created by Abraj Misr Urban Development.
Low-cost carriers could account for two thirds of short-haul airlift in 10 years
Speaking at the Capa Acte Global Summit in Amsterdam,Wizz Air founder and chief executive Jozsef Varadi said the low-cost sector currently accounts for more than 40% of short-haul capacity at the moment. However, he argued that this could increase to between 60% and 70% within 10 years, forcing legacy carriers to rethink their business models in order to survive.