Airbus beats Boeing to $14bn Delta order

Airbus beats Boeing to $14bn Delta orderAirbus has secured a major coup for its new A350 aircraft with an order reportedly worth $14 billion from Delta Air Lines following a competition with Boeing.

The deal is split between 25 A350-900s, an all-new model, and 25 updated A330neos.

The aircraft will replace Delta’s Boeing 747s and 767-300ERs starting in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

The Airbus win builds on earlier successes at Delta, including an order in 2013 with a list value of $5.6 billion.

Boeing told Bloomberg:  “This was a long and highly competitive campaign. Boeing competed for the order with the 787-9, but we did not have enough 787 positions available in the time frame that met Delta’s requirement.”

The A350-900 is due to make its commercial debut with Qatar Airways in the coming weeks.

Sourced from Travel Weekly


Jess Fishlock experiences the thrill of being at the controls

JessFishlockPress Release by Cardiff Aviation

International Welsh footballer Jess Fishlock was invited by the BBC to “try something a bit different” for Sport Wales. She took the controls of the 747 simulator, as Captain Paul Jones taught her how to fly a big jet. The whole detail was filmed by the production crew for broadcast next week. Jess has spent a huge number of hours as a passenger in jet aircraft flying all over the world, so she found it fascinating to see what actually happens at the “front end”.

She learnt the basic techniques incredibly quickly, so Paul decided to throw in one of the most challenging manoeuvres a jet pilot can face – an inadvertent thrust reverser deployment on take-off. Jess coped with it extremely well and landed the aircraft. Captain Paul Jones commented afterwards “Her natural flying ability was better than I have seen in some student pilots “. Praise indeed.

The program will be broadcast on BBC2 Wales on Friday the 28th of November at 19.00


Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter to stay in the sky

Fears the Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter would be withdrawn from service have been allayed after it was confirmed it will remain patrolling the skies.

The helicopter, which polices Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, will be kept as part of a deal to join the new National Police Air Service (NPAS).

A number of police aircraft will be cut as part of the service.

The force’s helicopter will be managed by NPAS from next year.

Dyfed-Powys Police’s Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said the helicopter, which searches for missing people, suspects and vehicles, would remain at its base in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire.

There were concerns that it would shut when plans to cut the number of police aircraft and bases were announced in October 2010.

The NPAS is designed to save £15m a year and the number of police aircraft is expected to be cut from 33 to 25.

They will be centrally managed by the new service.

Mr Salmon said the the new service would be “great news” for communities across the force area.

“This force covers a huge area – more than half of Wales – and policing locations so far apart brings unique challenges.”

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Policing the skies

  • The police helicopter helps with searches for missing people, suspects and vehicles and casualty evacuation, transporting specialist teams around Dyfed-Powys’s 4,188 square miles
  • It gathers intelligence including using automatic number plate recognition and video
  • A helicopter takes around 12 minutes to search a square mile at a cost of £160 – an operation that would take 12 police officers 454 hours at a cost of around £4,680
  • In 2014, it helped recover property worth more than £120,000, locating 23 vulnerable and missing people, and transporting seven people with life threatening injuries to hospital
  • It also played a key role, working with neighbourhood police teams, in closing down several drugs factories and supply chains
  • Flying times include from Pembrey to Aberystwyth in 24 minutes; the equivalent road journey of around 64 miles takes around 112 minutes
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The Dyfed-Powys Police Authority had opposed plans to remove a dedicated helicopter for the force area and also rejected the idea of a using a cheaper fixed wing aircraft.

The deal, due to take effect next year, will see Dyfed-Powys’s own helicopter replaced by an Airbus EC135 helicopter owned and maintained by the NPAS.

Staff at Pembrey will be cut from nine to seven as the base is transferred to the NPAS.

The Dyfed-Powys Police force area will also be covered by bases at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, Rhuddlan in Denbighshire and Halfpenny Green in Wolverhampton.

The new service will cost the force around £890,000 a year. The existing service cost the force around £1.1m in 2013-14 and is budgeted to cost around £1.2m in 2014-15.

A helicopter shared by south Wales and Gwent police forces, based at St Athan, will transfer to the NPAS on 1 February.

The helicopter for North Wales Police was transferred last January.

Sourced by BBC News Wales


Cardiff Airport used by Welsh Government Ministers only five times out of 80 for trade missions

Cardiff International Airport,Rhoose,South Wales.Labour ministers on official business rarely use Cardiff Airport, which they bought for £52m, figures uncovered by the Welsh Conservatives confirm.

Some 80 trade missions have been undertaken between May 2011 and November 2014 but just five used Cardiff Airport for ministers and delegates.

Ministers didn’t even fly from Cardiff when they were going to destinations with direct routes from Wales’ state-owned airport like Dusseldorf, Barcelona or Orlando, the material disclosed by Transport Minister Edwina Hart shows.

Cardiff Airport’s map of destinations shows how passengers can fly from Cardiff to more than 100 destinations around the world via Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

Yet on more than 40 trade missions to cities like Washington DC, Istanbul, Dubai, Mumbai and San Francisco, delegates used Heathrow and other UK airports instead of Cardiff.

Heathrow has been used on 49 separate trade missions, representing two-thirds of all trips.

Manchester and Gatwick Airports were used on five occasions while Birmingham used on seven trade missions.

Shadow Transport Minister Byron Davies said: “Welsh Conservatives disagreed with Labour’s decision to spend £52m buying Cardiff Airport but now it is state-owned Welsh ministers should work to improve it and could start by actually using it themselves.

“Labour ministers are not using the airport they bought, even when flying to cities served by direct flights from Cardiff, but at the same time are encouraging and expecting others to use it.

“One of Cardiff Airport’s biggest selling points is the ability to access 100-plus routes via Schiphol in Amsterdam to cities around the globe but it’s difficult to convincingly market this when Labour ministers find it more convenient to fly from Heathrow.

“Cardiff Airport has the potential to be a massive success as a fast-track gateway from Cardiff to the big financial centres in Europe and the powerhouse economies of the USA, India and China as well as the way for overseas tourists to explore Wales.

“Labour ministers must display confidence in their own airport and work to improve the passenger experience, expand routes and attract new airlines.

“Since Cardiff Airport was nationalised we’ve seen a decline in passenger numbers, a number of airlines pulling out and withdrawing routes while Labour ministers seem to sit on their hands.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We use Cardiff Airport whenever practical – indeed, delegates for the trade mission to Berlin in September and this month to Dubai flew from Cardiff Airport.

“We will also be using Cardiff Airport for several other trade missions in the near future, including another trade mission to Dubai for the Arab health event in January. In assessing practicality we consider the overall travel time and the number of changes as well as the cost.”

A Welsh Government source added that companies in North and Mid Wales often fly from Manchester or Birmingham and meet with the rest of the mission at a connecting airport – usually Amsterdam – or the final destination.

“We have negotiated deals to include those flying from other UK airports as part of our group booking to ensure companies can use their most convenient airport at no extra cost,” said the source.

The five listed occasions when ministers used Cardiff Airport involved trips to Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Dubai (twice) and Berlin.

Sourced by Wales Online


Cardiff Airport to get loan fund of up to £13m to attract new airlines

British Airways Airbus A380A loan fund of up to £13m is to be made available to Cardiff Airport to attract new airlines, BBC Wales understands.

The first £3.5m of the loan, from the Welsh government, will be drawn down by the airport next year.

Welsh ministers have described the loan as the most significant step since they bought the airport 18 months ago.

On Tuesday, First Minister Carwyn Jones said its future lies in long-haul flights, not competing with Bristol on closer destinations.

Because the funding is in the form of a commercial loan the airport will by-pass many of the EU regulations on state aid.

The last time such a fund was made available was in 2006 when £4m was used by the then privately-owned airport.

Cardiff Airport has had mixed fortunes under public ownership.

It was bought by the Welsh government for £52m in March 2013 and has invested about £10m in improvements at the terminal.

A general decline in passenger numbers was halted, although figures for September showed a 7% reduction on the year.

Earlier in November, the German airline Germanwings announced it was ending flights between Cardiff and Dusseldorf in 2015, following on from Cityjet scrapping a service to Glasgow.

But Ryanair has returned to the airport after an eight-year gap with a weekly flight to Tenerife.

Stability

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Wales radio programme, Welsh Conservative assembly leader Andrew RT Davies said looking at the figures, the government had “not done a very good job” since taking over the airport.

“Regrettably, there’s been a year-on-year decline of 7% in passenger figures. We know of a series of airlines that have chosen to pull out… and we know the most senior executive there, the managing director, left very quickly at the end of August,” he said.

“There doesn’t seem to be much stability there, but what we need to do is make sure an airport works for Wales and the Welsh economy.”

However he added he did welcome the route development fund announcement but said the government had been slow to put it in place.

“For an airport to be successful, you need airlines to use it and you also need those routes to bring people in as well as take people out because obviously the more people you bring in that’s a greater boost to the Welsh economy,” he said.

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Analysis by BBC political editor Nick Servini

One of the huge challenges that we have had all along since the government announced it was going to buy the airport is how to try to challenge this highly successful commercial operation in Bristol airport, which has something like 5m passengers a year.

Cardiff is around the 1m mark.

The route development fund is an attempt to deal with that. We are moving into the second phase now following the decision to put the airport into public ownership.

From a passenger’s perspective, all they want to know about is what kind of routes and what kind of offer there is going to be and there is a big hope this can make a difference.

Sourced by BBC News Wales


Glasgow Airport announce further expansion of airport terminal


19 November 2014

Glasgow Airport has announced plans to invest more than £3 million into expanding the
terminal building to help service more flights and rising passenger numbers.

This latest expansion of Glasgow Airport will see the construction of a new two storey,
1,400 square metre extension to the airports East Pier with work due for completion by
spring 2015.

The extension to the East Pier, which is home to low cost airlines including Easyjet and
Ryanair, will result in the creation of five additional boarding gates.

The expansion is in direct response to the airport’s growing success and popularity amongst
passengers and airlines. Earlier this week it was revealed that Glasgow Airport has recorded
its 21st consecutive month of growth and this fantastic growth is set to continue well into
2015 as the airport has secured an incredible 29 new routes, 10 of which will be operated by
Easyjet and Ryanair from the airports newly extended East Pier.

In October, Ryanair opened its new Glasgow Airport base with 55 weekly flights to 9 European
destinations with the airline expecting to carry over 850,000 passengers from the airport
within its first year of operating.

October also saw budget airline Easyjet launch Scotland’s only direct flights to Morocco with a new twice-weekly service from Glasgow to Marrakech and the airline will further strengthen its route network from Scotland’s largest city in June with the launch of new direct flights to the French city of Bordeaux.

The expansion to the East Pier will not only provide much needed additional capacity for low cost airlines, it will also free-up existing capacity at the airports Central and West Piers to accommodate expansion from other airlines including Jet2, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and West Jet.

Earlier this year Jet2 announced its own expansion plans at Glasgow Airport for 2015 with the introduction of a sixth based aircraft and the launch of five new routes including Larnaca, Malta and Prague, plus increased flights on existing popular routes including Murcia. The expansion will see Jet2 operating its biggest ever flying programme from Glasgow Airport in 2015.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “2014 has been a momentous year for Glasgow Airport and this latest project brings our total investment figure for the year to £20 million. The extension of the East Pier is in direct response to our success in securing a number of new routes and services. Not only will it significantly enhance our facilities, it will improve the passenger experience for the millions of people who travel through our doors every year.”

Sourced from Air Glasgow


Airlines hit out at Labour plan to charge visitors to enter the UK

Airlines hit out at Labour plan to charge visitors to enter the UKImage via Shutterstock

Airlines have hit out at suggestions that a Labour government would impose a new charge on visitors from countries that are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK.

The unspecified income would fund 1,000 additional Border Force staff.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the party would fund the staff with a charge for visitors from the US and 55 other countries with a visa waiver agreement with the UK.

People in countries with a visa waiver system of fast-track permission to enter the UK would be charged about £10 per visit under the plans.

Labour estimates about 5.5 million travellers a year would have to pay the new fee – many from the US, Australia and Canada.

But British Air Transport Association chief executive Nathan Stower said carriers have “significant concerns” about the proposal.

“Visitors from countries like the USA and Australia already pay the highest air passenger tax in the world to fly to the UK – £71 from next April – contributing billions of pounds to the Treasury. Adding yet another charge will make the UK more uncompetitive in attracting tourists, businesses and inbound investment,” said Stower.

“It is not clear how this proposed charge would be collected. The vast majority of visitors from those countries that are not required to obtain a visa to enter the UK, such as the USA, do not currently provide information to UK authorities ahead of their visit.

“Furthermore, if more money were to be raised from airline passengers alone, it would only fair for this to fund improvements in the border at airports and not at other ports of entry such as Calais.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly


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