Virgin Atlantic aims for growth, calls for more slots at Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic aims for growth, calls for more slots at Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic has called for changes to Heathrow Airport’s slot regime ahead of Heathrow’s expansion. The airline is currently limited to just 30 slots at the London hub, though it hopes with the construction of a third runway to grow this to 160. Although it is still an estimated seven years away, the third runway at Heathrow is anticipated to increase flight capacity by nearly 60% over the next 30 years, according to TTG Media….

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British Airways cancels nearly 100% of flights as pilots go on strike

British Airways cancels nearly 100% of flights as pilots go on strike

British Airways has cancelled nearly all of its flights today as pilot union BALPA began a two-day walkover over pay. “Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work, or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100% our flights,” British Airways said in a statement this morning. The strike comes as…

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Virgin Atlantic announces launch date of São Paulo route, codeshare with GOL

Virgin Atlantic announces launch date of São Paulo route, codeshare with GOL

Virgin Atlantic confirmed yesterday the launch date of its new London-São Paulo route. The flight is scheduled for 29 March 2020, and will be operated by one of the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.  Virgin Atlantic will join British Airways and LATAM in offering flights to the Brazilian city, with the route becoming the airline’s first ever to South America. The service will operate daily all year round.  Detailed route information can be seen below:…

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Norwegian offers slots to delay bond repayments

Norwegian offers slots to delay bond repayments

Scandinavian low-cost airline Norwegian is requesting to delay the repayment of bonds in exchange for its takeoff and landing slots at London Gatwick. The airline says it is requesting extension of the maturity dates for two sets of unsecured bonds – NAS07 and NAS08 – until November 2021 and February 2022, respectively. The two bonds were originally set to mature in December 2019 and August 2020. Norwegian claims that its Gatwick slots are valued at…

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Japan Airlines A350 enters service

Japan Airlines A350 enters service

Japan Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 (JA01XJ) officially entered service yesterday, operating as Flight 317 from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka. The aircraft departed Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport 16 minutes past schedule at 12:26, arriving at 14:14. JAL has decided to deploy the A350 exclusively on domestic routes, starting with Fukuoka, with plans to expand to Sapporo (New Chitose), Okinawa (Naha), and Osaka (Itami). The aircraft will feature 369 seats across three cabins, including “First Class” and…

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Gatwick starts planning to use second runway

Gatwick starts planning to use second runway

Gatwick Airport has formally started the process to bring its standby runway into routine use by submitting a notice to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The airport — which is currently the second busiest single-runway airport in the world — is hoping to make use of its existing “Northern Runway” to increase capacity for departing flights. The runway is currently only used during emergencies. Gatwick will submit a ‘Scoping Request’ to PINS next month, which sets out…

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AirAsia X orders further 12 A330neo aircraft

AirAsia X orders further 12 A330neo aircraft

AirAsia Group has placed an order for a further 12 Airbus A330-900s, in addition to the new long-range A321XLR. The southeast Asian budget carrier signed for the aircraft at an event in Kuala Lumpur on 30 August, adding to the 66 A330neos that it currently has on order.  In addition to the A330-900, the airline also placed an order for 30 A321XLR aircraft. The engine selection for the latter has yet to be disclosed, though…

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LATAM showcases new business class

LATAM showcases new business class

LATAM Airlines Group has revealed the first Boeing 777 retrofitted in its new ‘Premium Business’ cabin at an event in São Paulo. The Latin American airline holiding company is investing $500m (£410m) in improving the overall passenger experience, $400m (£330m) of which will go towards rennovating 200 cabins in over half of its fleet.  The launch event took place in LATAM’s largest maintenance facility at São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport, kicking off with a colourful performance…

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China’s Fosun Tourism Group to acquire 75% of Thomas Cook

China’s Fosun Tourism Group to acquire 75% of Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook has agreed to a rescue deal with China’s Fosun Tourism Group, its banks, and a majority of its bondholders worth £900m, the group confirmed. The deal will see Fosun, which already owns 18% of the Thomas Cook Group, acquire 75% of the tour operator business and 25% of the airlines unit in return for a £450m capital injection. Meanwhile, Thomas Cook’s lending banks and bondholders will contribute a further £450m for 75% of…

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Renaming 737 MAX off the table for Southwest

Renaming 737 MAX off the table for Southwest

Southwest Airlines will not be renaming the 737 MAX once the type returns to service, the airline has announced. The announcement comes as the Dallas-based airline recently extended cancellations of MAX-operated flights until at least 5 January 2020, amid uncertainty over when the Boeing aircraft will be allowed to fly again. Some airlines — most notably Ryanair — have opted to rebrand their MAX aircraft in an effort to distance themselves from the negative reputation…

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