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Seven of the best

Twenty five years ago, Frankie Dettori achieved the remarkable feat of riding seven out of seven winners at British Champions’ Day at Ascot Racecourse.

Dettori’s achievement – winning aboard Wall Street, Diffident, Mark of Esteem, Decorated Hero, Fatefully, Lochangel and Fujiyama Crest – became known as The Magnificent Seven.

And now, to help Ascot Racecourse and Frankie Dettori to celebrate the quarter century anniversary, we have asked our clients, partners, colleagues and friends to tell us their favourite airlines and airports, in order to produce our own Magnificent Seven.

Here’s what they came up with…

Magnificent Seven airlines

British Airways, easyJet, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, SAS, Swiss

And some selected comments about these airlines

British Airways “I like to travel with British Airways personally especially for long flights as I find them more comfortable and they provide  decent food and drinks”.

easyJet “Of course low-cost is what it is, but I believe they are a cut above the rest in how you are treated, and how fair and clear they are about their policies and extra charges. With most of the other low-cost carriers, I always get the feeling that they are trying to somehow trick you into spending extra at every single step, be it online check in, or lack thereof, constantly changing cabin bag size limits, etc, but easyJet are much more upfront about everything, and you know where you stand”.

Lufthansa “Lufthansa offers everything I need for business trips and seems to get better and better every year”.

Qantas “Modern cabins, good schedules, but above all, their people are amazing throughout, from check in to baggage reclaim through, of course their cabin crew. I´ve flown both business and economy with them, and they treat you like a star all the way, every time, every class of service”.

Qatar Airways “Long haul I like Qatar Airlines – definitely the best business class I have experienced.  Only once been upgraded to first which was brilliant!”

SAS “Efficient. On time. The routes serve my purposes perfectly”.

Swiss “I have only ever had excellent services when flying on Swiss”.

Some of the other airlines mentioned in the favourite category include Virgin Atlantic, Ryanair and, pre-pandemic, Flybe.

Magnificent seven airports

London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Dublin, Manchester, Singapore Changi, Southampton

The poll was unscientific and based entirely on opinions. Do you agree with the lists? Do you have a different favourite airline or airport? If so, join the conversation on Twitter, with the hashtag #MagnificentSeven and tweet us on @globaltravelmgt

City Airport hits pause on terminal extension plans

London City has provided an update on its Development Programme, including a decision to temporarily pause the development at the end of this year upon completion of new aircraft stands, a full-length parallel taxiway and new passenger facilities.

At the height of the Covid-19 crisis, the airport took the decision to suspend commercial flights, re-opening on 21 June. During that period, the airport worked with contractors to adapt working methods to meet new health and safety standards and made significant progress with crucial elements of the scheme.

Flights to Luxembourg are suspended until September. Routes will be added on 31 August (Vilnius) and 7 September (Frankfurt and Belfast)

By the end of 2020, the airport will have completed a number of projects to deliver significant new airside infrastructure and capacity. This includes eight new aircraft stands capable of accommodating the new generation of cleaner, more sustainable aircraft such as the Airbus A220, and the Embraer E2-190, along with a full length parallel taxiway providing the ability to allow 45 aircraft movements per hour, when demand returns.

A new immigration facility will be opened to passengers at the start of September which will include 10 new E-gates, further improving the airport’s ability to offer the fastest passenger proposition in London. Construction of a new baggage facility with increased capacity and resilience, and featuring the latest security screening technology, will be operational next summer.

Since recommencing commercial flights, the airport has welcomed back four airlines, including its home-based carrier, BA City Flyer, and is now connecting to 15 domestic and European leisure and business destinations. Further airlines are set to return over the next several months, and frequencies to key business destinations are expected to increase over the autumn.

The airport has decided to re-evaluate the timing of the next phases of the development programme, including the new terminal extension.

Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport said:

Robert Sinclair
Very confident about the long-term prospects of London City and the vital role in re-connecting London and the British economy

Given our location in the heart of London, and the resilient nature of aviation, the airport and our shareholders remain very confident about the long-term prospects of London City and the vital role we can play in re-connecting London and the British economy as we recover from the shock of Covid-19.
 
For the time being, we have taken the decision to focus our attention on delivering the vital additional airfield infrastructure which will provide our existing and prospective airline customers with the potential to bring new generation aircraft to this airport in greater numbers, which will be a crucial aspect of how we build a better, more sustainable airport.
 
Completing the terminal extension and new east pier very much remains part of our future, and, with the foundations for both in place, we stand ready to take those projects forward when demand returns. 
 
In the months ahead we will work with airlines and Government to help restore confidence to the UK aviation market and we will continue to support our local authority and our communities as they plan for life beyond the crisis.

If you’re planning to fly from London City Airport, contact your GTM Account Manager.

Teesside regains London Heathrow route with Eastern Airways

Teesside International Airport will regain its link to London Heathrow with Eastern Airways launching its first ever schedule flights from London’s world hub airport.

From 14 September 2020, the Teesside–Heathrow service will be served by a 76-seat E-Jet Embraer 170 aircraft, following a gap of more than a decade. The airline will initially offer a daily service to the capital which will offer passengers from Durham, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Hartlepool, Teesside and North Yorkshire hundreds of onward connections to the world.

This latest news at Teesside is a further expansion of Eastern Airways’ developing route network from the north east airport. Since restrictions have been eased following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the airline has reintroduced Teesside flights to Aberdeen and Belfast City while starting new routes to London City and Newquay.

The daily departures are timed to maximise the array of world-wide connections available while also supporting quick and easy access to London and the South-East on the circa 1-hour flight.

Roger Hage, Eastern Airways’ General Manager Commercial & Operations, said

As the UK’s Regional Airline, the opportunity for Eastern Airways to connect Teesside to London Heathrow, the UK’s primary hub for worldwide connections is significant in the region’s economic prosperity and economic recovery. Offering an initial daily e-Jet operated service helps add further London capacity and makes reaching the capital or getting to the North East a little over an hour away, with the array of connections world-wide this opens up. We look forward with our partners at Teesside International Airport and London Heathrow Airport to restoring such a major air-link missing for over a decade.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said

Ben Houchen – we have flights to one of our most-requested destinations

Since I did a deal to take back control of our airport last year to save it from closure, we’ve announced some brilliant new daily and seasonal routes.

But whenever I’ve revealed a new service people have said, ‘that’s great, but what about a connection to Heathrow?’

Well, I can now say we have flights to one of our most-requested destinations, and it starts next month. Whether people from Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are looking to travel for business or pleasure, they now have a range of options for getting to London.

This is another massive vote of confidence in our airport and I’d like to thank Heathrow and Eastern Airways for working with us to realise a key route for any serious airport.

Our airport is much more than just flights though; it is hugely important to our local economy and it is playing a key part in my plan for jobs. I’ve always said that investment won’t come on a bus, it will come through our airport terminal which in turn will create good quality local jobs for local workers.

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, said

John Holland-Kaye – delighted that Eastern Airways will launch a Heathrow connection

We are delighted that Eastern Airways will launch a new connection between Teesside and Heathrow for the first time in over a decade. Adding the UK’s hub airport to Teesside’s network demonstrates the growth ambitions of the Tees Valley region, and will provide a vital levelling-up boost – unlocking a huge amount of potential for the region as we build the UK’s economic recovery.

Heathrow is committed to strengthening our regional connections across the UK with our discount on domestic routes, and we believe this new service will be a springboard for the great businesses in the region to reach out to the world. We’re looking forward to welcoming the first passengers in September.

Initially Eastern Airways’ usual complimentary on-board service will be limited to facilitate reduced customer contact.

Services continue to be carefully reintroduced since Covid-19 restrictions began to ease with extensive cleaning measures on-board and throughout all aspects of the airport. A full anti-bacterial wipe down of all touch points between every service operated and also a comprehensive aircraft night-stop sanitisation is implemented.

Eastern Airways was formed in 1997 and had moved quickly, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, to return back to its own standalone booking facilities after its former franchise partner, Flybe, went into administration earlier in March.

The Humberside Airport-based carrier offers a network of routes from airports including Aberdeen, Anglesey, Belfast City, Cardiff, Dublin, Humberside, Isle of Man, Leeds Bradford, London City, Manchester, Newcastle, Newquay, Southampton and Teesside International and a broad array of contract and ad-hoc charters with a mixed jet and turbo-prop fleet.

If you need to fly between Teesside and London – or any other route offered by Eastern Airways – contact your GTM Account Manager.

British Airways spreads its wings with limited edition Marmite

British Airways and Marmite have teamed up to create a limited-edition jar to celebrate the airline’s centenary, launching today, 1 May.  As Marmite is the most confiscated brand at airport security, the centenary jar is conveniently sized to fit within the liquid allowance.

For Brits travelling abroad, it is clear they cannot go without the British spread that has divided the nation since 1902. Based on data from London City Airport, Marmite is the most confiscated branded food item at airport security. Other branded items that did not make it past security are Harrods jams and spreads and Lyle’s Golden Syrup.
 


London City Airport donates the majority of confiscated food items to a local charity, Community Food Enterprise (CFE). Since the partnership started in April 2017, the charity has distributed three tonnes of items to 16 smaller charities in East London, to ensure the confiscated items can help vulnerable people locally.

The airport has seen deserted jars of Marmite increase 50% in the first three months of 2019, from four to six jars a day, and the airport forecasts it could seize over 2,000 jars this year alone. British Airways customers can now get their Marmite hit when away. 

The special edition spread will be exclusively available to customers on board all flights from today. The jar weighs 70 grams so if they do not get through it on holiday they can safely take it through security as it falls within the liquid restrictions.

It’s clear that customers like to enjoy their favourite brands like Marmite while travelling or when they’re abroad.  We work with some of the best of British to bring them to our customers on board our flights and now, in our centenary year we will have even more brands alongside Marmite that our customers can enjoy. 


Hamish McVey, British Airways’ Head of Brand and Marketing

British Airways will be releasing a series of centenary editions in partnership with British brands during its milestone year. Earlier this month the airline announced a partnership with Scottish craft brewers, BrewDog, who have created a transatlantic IPA for customers and in a world first brewed the beer on a flight. The airline has also partnered with luxury British watchmakers Bremont on the launch of a new limited-edition timepiece, featuring metal from one of the most famous and iconic planes in history – Concorde.

With 4.8 million passengers travelling each year through London City Airport, many of whom are returning to the continent or heading on holiday, it’s little surprise that Marmite is such a treasured item and demonstrates just how loyal Brits are to their favourite brands. Whether you love it or hate it, we’re looking forward to ensuring passengers can continue to get their Marmite fix. For any other liquids, pastes and gels over 100ml, it’s best to pack them safely in the hold.


Ian Cowie, Director of Customer Operations at London City Airport

Global Travel Management’s Scott Pawley with GTM’s anniversary craft ale, The Globe Trotter

Global Travel Management managing director Scott Pawley commented on the latest British Airways celebration product.

Everyone at GTM would like to wish British Airways a fun and successful centenary year.

Like British Airways, we recently celebrated an important anniversary. But, instead of just using the yeast extract by-product from the brewing industry, we went one stage better: we brewed our own anniversary ale, Globe Trotter.

So, whether you like your toast spread with Marmite, or you prefer to drink a toast of golden, bottle-conditioned craft ale, we’d like to say: cheers!

LOT Polish To Launch New London City – Warsaw Route.

LOT Polish Airlines is pleased to begin operating a new service between its base at Warsaw Chopin Airport and London City Airport.

Starting this coming Monday, 7th January 2019, LOT Polish will begin twice daily services using four new Embraer 190 aircraft with 106 seats and configured in a 2 x 2 set-up and a 3 cabin service of Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class.

The airline’s schedule from London City will be as follows:

LO288 (daily except Sunday)  0930-1300 & LO290 (daily) 1820-2200

And on the return, departures from Warsaw Chopin Airport leave at:

LO287 (daily except Saturday)  0715-0900 & LO289 (daily)  1605-1750.

Please contact your GTM Travel Consultant for availability and fares.

Self Service Bag Tagging Now At Heathrow T1.

Self Service Bag Tagging has now been introduced at London Heathrow Terminal 1. This option means BA’s customers will be able to print and attach bag tags at a self-service kiosk,  then drop their bag at a bag drop desk.

As well as easing congestion, it is hoped this new service will add speed, efficiency and convenience for BA’s customers. British Airways also has self-service bag tagging at LHR Terminal 3, London City Airport and London Gatwick airports.

What more could you possibly want!

London Heathrow & City Airports Affected By Fog.

London’s Heathrow & City airports have been affected by fog, both last night and this morning, Wednesday 12th December.

The rule of thumb, as always, is check in online, alternatively you can check the status of your flight via web sites such as www.flightstats.com.

Please also bear in mind that our emergency out of hours team will be busier than usual, particularly with Heathrow affected. Our office opens at 0830 this morning and our team will do all possible to assist you at that time too.

The Met Office advises that the weather warning for fog and freezing conditions will be in place until 1100 GMT.