GATCOM Weekly News - October 2019 (3)


Local Industrial Strategy

Coast to Capital LEP consultation on the draft economic profile to inform the Local Industrial Strategy for the LEP region. Closing date for comments is 31 October 2019.

Click here to see press release. Click here to see draft economic profile for consultation.


  • Thomas Cook: The final flights - Business Travel News 07.10.19

The last of more than 700 flights deployed to bring home passengers stranded overseas by the Thomas Cook collapse are due to land in the UK this morning, Monday 7 October, as the Civil Aviation Authority's Operation Matterhorn winds down. Read more

  • London City Airport targeted by Extinction Rebellion protestors - Travel Mole 10.10.19

Passengers flying from London City today are being advised to check their flight status before travelling due to an ongoing protest at the Docklands' airport. Dozens of Extinction Rebellion activists are staging a sit-down protest at an entrance to London City. Read more See also Extinction Rebellion: Man climbs on top of plane in climate protest BBC 10.10.19

  • Airlines ground Boeing 737s after emergency checks ordered over cracks in planes - Independent 10.10.19

The regulator ordered about 165 US planes be checked within seven days when cracks were found in planes undergoing work in China. The cracks are in a part called a pickle fork because of prongs that extend under the wings. Ryanair are among companies ordered to carry out checks on older jets. Read more

  • MPs to quiz Fontenla-Novoa and Green over Thomas Cook collapse - Travel Mole 11.10.19

Thomas Cook's former chief executives Manny Fontenla-Novoa and Harriet Green will be quizzed by MPs investigating the company's collapse. However, the first people to be questioned will be the leadership team at the time of the failure, including chief executive Peter Fankhauser. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee will grill Fankhauser, chairman Frank Meysman, chief financial officer Sten Daugaard, and the head of Thomas Cook's remuneration committee Warren Tucker at a session next Tuesday. The committee, chaired by the Labour MP Rachel Reeves, is expected to focus on executive salaries, corporate governance, the firm's high debts and the role of its auditors. Read more


  • Club Aspire boost for Gatwick - Business Travel News 07.10.19

Airport Dimensions, a subsidiary of the Collinson Group, in partnership with Switzerland-based aviation services provider Swissport, has opened a Club Aspire lounge at Gatwick's South Terminal. Accommodating 130 passengers, the facility is split into three main zones, including a business area with workstations. Passengers also have access to a quiet lounge and rest area with a view of the runway and a dining area next to a servery and bar. Read more

  • A brutally honest review of Gatwick Airport - and the worst part about it - MyLondon 08.10.19

I was jetting off to Florida for some sun, just as London was turning grey and gloomy. I was excited to go through a bigger airport. As I live in Essex, I've always travelled via Stansted to holidays in Europe. The smaller airport does the job, but it's always overcrowded to the point where you can hardly move. I was intrigued as to what Gatwick had to offer. Here's my brutally honest review of the airport, including all the highs and lows. Read more

  • New logistics hub for Gatwick Airport set to be built - Crawley Observer 09.10.19

The unit will be built at St Modwen Park Gatwick, a new logistics hub located one junction south on the M23 from the neighbouring airport. Construction was due to start this month and expected to be completed in 12 months' time. Designed to provide significant improvements to Gatwick Airport's efficiency and handling times, the unit will feature 14 dock-level loading doors, nearly 20,000 sq ft of office space and a 50m yard depth. Read more

  • Air Transat marks first transatlantic A321neoLR flight - 09.10.19

Canadian carrier Air Transat has landed its first transatlantic flight to the UK operated by the Airbus A321neoLR single-aisle aircraft. The airline claims to be the first to operate a transatlantic service to the UK using the new aircraft and the first to bring one to Gatwick. The flight from Toronto Pearson airport arrived at Gatwick on 8 October. According to Air Transat, the A321neoLR consumes more than 15 per cent less fuel, generates 50 per cent less noise in the cabin and for communities surrounding airports, produces 5,000 fewer tonnes of CO2 per year and lowers NOX emissions by 50 per cent when compared to previous generation Airbus aircraft. Read more

  • BA steps into launch Antalya summer holiday route - Travel Weekly

British Airways is filling a void left by the collapse of Thomas Cook by launching a new service to Turkey. Tickets have gone on sale today for the Gatwick flights to the Turkish Turquoise coast gateway of Antalya. Read more

BA will run six Airbus A320 flights a week on the summer-only route starting on April 30, 2020.

  • Norwegian to cut frequency on four Gatwick services next summer - Travel Mole 11.10.19

Norwegian is cutting the number of flights from Gatwick to Miami, Orlando, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro next summer. At the same time, it will increase frequency on three other routes to the US. SVP commercial Matthew Wood said: "In line with our business strategy of moving from growth to profitability we are ensuring that we concentrate on key routes across our network where we see strong demand." Read more


  • International Civil Aviation Organization 2019 Environment Report - ICAO website

Over the past three years, the progress and pace of change in international aviation environmental protection has been unprecedented, driven by key decisions from ICAO Member States, technological progress and societal expectations. The ICAO Environmental Report 2019 is the result of ICAO efforts and consolidates this progress in a single reference publication, through various articles and case studies that can best inform the public of the work conducted by the ICAO Secretariat, ICAO Member States, aviation industry and the many other stakeholders involved in this fast evolving topic. Download here

  • Aviation noise must be discussed in a frank and open manner - International Airport Review 02.10.19

ICCAN Head Commissioner, Robert Light, speaks of his ambition to ensure aviation noise is an important consideration within the industry's future growth plans. Read more

  • How aviation could be affected in the case of a no-deal Brexit - The Points Guy 02.10.19

In a no-deal scenario, the UK would immediately leave the European Union with few — or no — agreements about the divorce process. No-deal would also see the UK leave the single market and customs union with immediate effect. For a variety of industries, including aviation, a no-deal Brexit is set to leave question marks in areas that concern future interactions with the EU. Read more

  • Ryanair points a finger at air traffic control - 04.10.19

The airline said 92 per cent of its flights arrived on time last month, up from 89 per cent in the previous year. However, it claimed Europe's air traffic control shortages and disruptions "continue to have a large impact on punctuality", saying a fifth of its services - 15,455 flights - were delayed as a result. It named the UK, Germany, France and Spain as "the worst ATC providers in September". Read more

  • Badly thought-through aviation carbon targets, involving biofuels, risk massive deforestation to grow palm oil and soya - Airport WATCH

A new report shows that the aviation industry's attempts to cut its carbon emissions (caused by encouraging more and more people to take more flights….) are likely to lead to a dramatic increase in demand for palm oil and soy for aviation biofuels. They suggest the amount of tropical forest that would be taken for this could be 3.2 million hectares - an area larger than Belgium. The aviation industry hopes to be able to use as much alternative fuel as possible, and hopes this will be classed as lower carbon than conventional kerosene jet fuel. These hopes are unrealistic. Read more

  • Operation Matterhorn: The inside story of how UK responded to Thomas Cook collapse - Independent 06.10.19

"Twelve hour shifts, no weekends, doing something you've never done before" - that, says Dame Deirdre Hutton, was part of the job description for Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) staff working on Operation Matterhorn. She is the chair of the CAA, and has spent the past 12 days overseeing the UK's biggest-ever airlift from a fifth-floor open-plan office, on the Isle of Dogs in London's Docklands. Thomas Cook went bust at 2am on Monday 23 September. Within an hour the CAA's "shadow airline" had planes in the air, flying to destinations around the Mediterranean and the world to pick up British holidaymakers booked to fly with the bankrupt company. Read more

  • Cathay carbon offset pledge - Business Travel News 07.10.19

Following the recent UN summit on climate action, Cathay Pacific has pledged to triple all carbon offset donations up until 31 October made by passengers who take the action via the Fly Greener website. Cathay says the initiative is the latest step in a continuous drive to become a more sustainable airline. Fly Greener contributions go towards financing projects such as building renewable energy facilities in developing countries. Read more

  • ICAO warns over carbon policies - Business Travel News 07.10.19

The UN aviation agency's 40th Assembly was opened by ICAO council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, who stressed the need for resilient support of the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) framework adopted at the 2016 assembly. "It is important to remember CORSIA was adopted after very difficult negotiations and to avoid a cumbersome patchwork of national measures for operators such as taxes which can impede global connectivity," he said. Read more

  • UN agency vote complicates EU's aviation emission efforts - Euractiv 07.10.19

The International Civil Aviation Organisation, a United Nations agency, decided on Friday 4 October to press ahead with plans to make its emissions offsetting scheme the only global option available to its 193 member states, teeing up a potential dilemma regarding the EU's own system. Read more

  • Is this the in-flight meal tray of the future? - BBC 07.10.19

5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste is generated from passenger flights each year. Read more including video

  • High-tech inflight first for Airbus - Business Travel News 07.10.19

In-flight trials of new developments in Internet of Things (IoT) connected cabin technologies have been initiated by Airbus on board a modified A350-900 aircraft - known as Flight Lab - and are due to be revealed shortly to customers. Read more

  • Eurostar 'Green Speed' initiative - Business Travel News 07.10.19

A proposal to merge the Eurostar and Thalys high-speed train operations into an eco-conscious project known as Green Speed has been published, covering five countries to link London, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Brussels, Bordeaux and Marseille. The companies said the Green Speed project would give passengers "a comfortable, sustainable and European high-speed travel experience" linking the UK with the Mediterranean, the North Sea with the Atlantic and the Benelux countries with the Alps. Read more

  • Travel industry told to fly less - Travel Mole 08.10.19

The travel industry was given a stark warning at this week's ABTA Convention: we need to fly less. Tim Williamson, customer director for Responsible Travel, said the only way to tackle climate change is to reduce the growth of the aviation industry. "There's no way around it. I can't sugar coat this in any way that makes it more palatable". Read more

  • Union slams government following Hays Travel purchase of Thomas Cook retail network - Travel Mole 09.10.19

A trade union has called on the government to halt the insolvency process for Thomas Cook Airlines following the sale of Thomas Cook's retail network to Hays Travel. Unite said the sale proved that various parts of Thomas Cook's business were viable. Read more

See also How will Hays Travel succeed where Thomas Cook failed? - Travel Mole 10.10.19

  • Interview Spotlight: Li Huayu, Assistant President and General Manager of International Civil Aviation at Nuctech - International Airport Review 09.10.19

Li Huayu discusses the current biggest threat to airport security, and further technologies that need to be developed to tackle airport threats. Read more

  • Research reveals evolving priorities for passengers - NATS 09.10.19

Price is the most important factor when choosing an airline, however on-board comfort and facilities are becoming ever more influential according to a study of passenger attitudes by air traffic service provider, NATS. The NATS Aviation Index, now in its second year, shows passengers are placing growing importance on the quality of on-board facilities, with a quarter of people now citing it as one of the most important from a list of factors, up from 15% in 2018. Read more

  • Airlines warn flight delay compensation is threat to air safety - Travel Mole 10.10.19

The European Regions Airline Association (ERA), which represents 51 airlines, wants compensation due under EU261 to be halved for smaller carriers with fewer than 2.5 million passengers a year, arguing that pay-outs place a disproportionate burden on the smallest carriers. The ERA is also asking for EU261 to be amended so no compensation is due for delays of up to five hours. Read more

  • TUI announces massive expansion following Thomas Cook collapse - Travel Mole 10.10.19

TUI has added an extra two million seats to destinations including Turkey, Greece, Balearics, Canaries, Egypt, Mexico and Florida following the collapse of its rival Thomas Cook. A spokesman said TUI is also looking at adding new UK departure airports, with further details due to be announced within the next few weeks. Read more

  • BA to offset emissions on domestic flights - Travel Mole 10.10.19

British Airways will spend £3 million offsetting all domestic flight emissions from next year after its owner IAG became the first airline group to commit to net-zero carbon flying by 2050. Chief executive Willie Walsh said that the company would reach the net-zero target largely through carbon offsetting, that electric or hydrogen aircraft were not an option for most international flights and that the group would also substantially reduce emissions through the use of sustainable fuels and by phasing out older aircraft, including its 33 Boeing 747s. Read more

  • Pilots welcome Select Committee recognition of drone risk to flights - Travel Mole 10.10.19

The British Airline Pilots Association has welcomed calls by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee for the Government to introduce further measures to ensure the safe integration of drones into UK airspace. Read more

  • Willie Walsh urges BA boss to 'make a deal' and resolve pilot strike - Guardian 10.10.19

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG, raised hopes for a resolution to a pay dispute that saw the first pilot strikes in British Airways history, admitting it was "frustrating for me at times" to be on the sidelines of the dispute. He said it was a matter for BA's management, but added that there was a "deal to be done" and he was "sure pilots' issues could be resolved". Read more

  • Jet2 reveals profit boost from Thomas Cook collapse - Travel Mole 11.10.19

Jet2 parent Dart Group is forecasting a profit boost as a result of Thomas Cook's collapse last month. Jet2holidays said it had received good levels of late season bookings, with strong demand for both packages and flights 'continuing to strengthen'. Read more





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