Latest GATCOM Weekly News - August 2019

  • Boeing denies 737 Max 'cost pressure' claims - Travelweekly 29.07.19

Boeing has denied claims that work on the production line of the 737 Max was not adequately funded. A former Boeing engineer made the allegations on the BBC's Panorama programme The aircraft is currently grounded after two crashes which killed 346 people. The US manufacturer said it is committed to making the 737 Max one of the safest aircraft ever to fly. Adam Dickson worked at Boeing for 30 years and led a team of engineers who worked on the 737 Max. He claimed they were under constant pressure to keep costs down. "Certainly what I saw was a lack of sufficient resources to do the job in its entirety," he told the programme. Read More

  • Ø Pilots defeat BA strike legal challenge- Buying Business Travel 31.07.19

The Court of Appeal has rejected a second attempt by British Airways to gain an injunction against a proposed strike by pilots. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said the decision 'affirms' the legality of a ballot in which BA's pilots voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay. BA had earlier tried to legally stop the industrial action in the High Court, but the judge ruled against the airline. Losing the appeal means BALPA will now consider a schedule for a walk-out. BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton commented: "BA's attempt to defeat the democratic view of their pilots in court, rather than deal with us across the negotiating table, has sadly wasted huge amounts of time and money that could have been put into finding a peaceful resolution. Now the window for renegotiation and compromise is closing fast." Read More

  • Ryanair allegedly warns staff of swinging job cuts in next few weeks - Travelmole 31.07.19

Ryanair is allegedly planning to axe up to 900 jobs across the airline in the next few weeks. Boss Michael O'Leary apparently warned staff to be prepared for job cuts in a video message, according to the BBC. Ryanair has confirmed the existence of the video but declined to comment on its content. O'Leary allegedly told staff redundancies would be announced by the end of August, saying that the airline has an excess of more than 500 pilots and 400 cabin crew at the moment, adding that it will need 600 fewer cabin crew next summer. However, he didn't put a number on the job losses. Read More

  • UK aerospace firms fleeing the CAA over Brexit concerns - IET 29.07.19

The Guardian reported on Sunday that more than 600 firms have now applied to join the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as third-country parties that are cleared to do business within the single market. The CAA regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the UK and currently gives approval for British-made parts to be used across the EU: a power it will lose once the UK leaves the bloc. Without joining the EASA, British aerospace companies could lose huge swathes of their European business. In October, the EASA opened the new scheme for aerospace firms concerned about losing access to the single market. It is estimated that 800 companies could make use of the scheme. Read More


  • Gatwick strike: Security staff to walk out for two days - BBC News 01.08.19

Security workers at Gatwick Airport are to strike for 48 hours this summer in a dispute over pay. Employees who scan passengers' luggage will walk out at 6am on 10 August in a move anticipated to "cause travel disruption", Unite said. The union said most of the 130 workers, employed by ICTS, are paid less than £9 an hour, which it described as "poverty pay". Gatwick Airport and ICTS have been contacted for comment. British Airways pilots are also due to strike in August. Jamie Major, Unite regional officer, said: "It is high time the airport got its priorities right and starts investing in its hard-working staff, instead of paying millions to its shareholders."

  • Flight delay left man with Parkinson's 'totally fatigued'- BBC News 31.07.19

A man with Parkinson's says he was left "totally fatigued" when he ran out of medication because his flight was delayed. Parkinson's UK trustee David Allan was told his British Airways (BA) flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh on Friday would fly from Heathrow the next day. The change meant his requirement for assistance was not transferred and the 57-year-old, who takes 27 tablets a day, was left short on his medication. BA and the airports have apologised. Mr Allan, who is the Scotland trustee on the board of the charity, had been due to depart Gatwick at 21:25 BST but could not fly until 22:00 from Heathrow on Saturday. He contacted NHS 111, Crawley Hospital and a chemist but there were no supplies of his medication available. Read More


  • BA's first A350 arrives- Buying Business Travel 29.07.19

British Airways has welcomed its first Airbus A350 at Heathrow featuring the airline's new Club Suite business-class seat. The aircraft touched down at the airport over the weekend and the airline is due to take delivery of 18 A350s, with four joining its fleet before the end of 2019. Passengers will see the first A350 start to enter service on the Heathrow-Madrid route this August, which BA says will allow its crew to familiarise themselves with the new cabin lay-out. Then from September, the aircraft will begin long-haul flights to Dubai, followed by services to Toronto, Tel Aviv and Bangalore later this year. Read More

  • EasyJet strike at Stansted called off - Travelmole 01.08.19

EasyJet check-in staff who were threatening to disrupt services from Stansted tomorrow have called off their strike action at the last minute after reaching a pay deal with bosses. Unite, the union representing the 43 workers, said the offer from Stobart Aviation amounted to a 13% pay rise from April 2019. Stobart, provides check-in services for easyJet at Stansted airport, has also agreed to recognise Unite as the union for collective bargaining purposes. In a statement, the company said: "Stobart is pleased to confirm that, having worked closely with Unite, it has reached a pay agreement with its front of house employees based at London Stansted Airport. As a result, there will be no strike action impacting easyJet operations at the airport." Read More

  • UK tops international passenger rankings - Travelweekly 31.07.19

People from the UK were the top nationality flying on international airline routes last year ahead of the US and China. The UK represented 126.6 million or 8.6% of all global passengers taking international flights in 2018. Those from the US totalled 111.5 million, or 7.6% of the total, followed by China at 97 million, Germany 94.3 million and France 59.8 million. The data was revealed by Iata in performance figures for 2018 showing that global air connectivity continues to become more accessible and more efficient. A total of 4.4 billion passengers flew in the year with the real cost of flying more than halving over the last 20 years. Read More

  • COMMENT: Time for take-off, Mr Shapps- BTNews 29.07.19

Nobody said it was easy, but Grant Shapps, our incoming secretary of state for transport to give him his full title, is probably better placed than most to confront what is heading down the runway toward him. His arrival follows the diplomatic resignation of Chris Grayling, whose tenure was beginning to look increasingly at risk and subject to growing criticism from his political enemies, among others. The breath of fresh air the new prime minister's Cabinet reshuffle seems to have ushered in is sorely needed. As we were saying Shapps has a full in-tray to deal with but the key will be what he selects as his first task. BTN's view is that Crossrail is the most urgent priority but just this week the waters have been muddied again. Read More

  • Ø BA envisions 'Flight of the Future'- Buying Business Travel 31.07.19

British Airways is exhibiting the findings of a report on what travel will look like in the future during the BA 2119: Flight of the Future installation at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Taking place during August in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, the exhibition features art created by post-graduate students, including a "one-of-a-kind", full motion virtual reality experience called Fly. The experience enables visitors to take a look at the history and potential future of human flight. The BA 2119: Flight of the Future Report was commissioned by the airline to mark its centenary year in collaboration with data-led trends agency Foresight Factory. It features a survey of 13,000 consumers across ten countries, as well as consultations with sector experts and futurologists to look at what flying will look like in 20, 40, 60 and 100 years in the future.Read More

  • Comment: The industry needs to act as one to tackle climate change - Travelweekly 29.07.19

Travel could find itself a pariah industry for future generations, warns Digital Drums chief executive Steve Dunne. I'm not long back from a summer cruise around Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It was fabulous for many reasons, but perhaps the most striking thing to me was the lifestyle and ethos of the people in those countries. They are all about community, humanity, wellbeing of society and, most strikingly, the environment. They may pay eye-watering taxes, but they seem so content with life - and very determined about the environment and climate change. Taxi drivers, tour guides and locals told me of their universal approach to climate care; from Sweden deriving more than half its national energy supplies from renewables, to nine out of 10 Danes owning a bike. Read More

GAL Press Releases Events & Updates

Gatwick welcomes the world: Airport and partners reveal tourist gems on its doorstep


  • 'Gateway Gatwick' group of local partners and Gatwick release new series of visit itineraries for the local region - advising time-pressed tourists where to visit
  • Latest figures reveal visitors travelling through Gatwick spend 9.7 million nights in the local area
  • These overseas visitors spent £1.3 billion annually in the region supporting 5,100 jobs

Passengers wondering how to spend their precious time when visiting the UK have been given a helping hand with a new series of guides. The 'Gateway Gatwick' group, comprising Gatwick Airport and local tourism partners, has compiled a series of guides recommending where the 5.5 million international visitors who travel through Gatwick annually should visit.

Bespoke itineraries within the guides advise visitors on how to get the most from the local area even if they have only limited time to spare. Advice includes where to visit with three hours available, four hours available, five hours available, six hours available right up to 12 hours.

As well as being handily organised by time, the guides cater to all interests with thematic itineraries focused on:

  • Active Outdoors
  • Amazing Gardens
  • Castles and Stately Homes
  • English Wine, Gin and Ale
  • Instagrammable Moments

Local attractions recommended by the guides include Arundel Castle, West Sussex, Hever Castle, West Kent, Seven Sisters, East Sussex and RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey as well as the South Downs National Park and the Surrey Hills - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The guides are the latest initiative from the Gateway Gatwick group; partners from across the South East committed to showcasing the region to the world and harnessing the benefits of Gatwick as a gateway to the region's visitor economy. This builds on research showing overseas visitors travelling through Gatwick spend 9.7 million nights and £1.3 billion in the region annually while supporting 5,100 jobs in the South East, excluding London.

The Gateway Gatwick partners committed to harnessing the benefits of having the UK's second largest airport in the region comprise of; West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Surrey Hills Enterprise, Sevenoaks District Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, Visit Surrey, Surrey Hills - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Rural West Sussex Partnership, Coastal West Sussex Partnership, South Downs National Park Authority, Gatwick Diamond Initiative and Coast to Capital LEP.

The new itineraries will be showcased within Gatwick's terminals, on its website and promoted through social media to help drive international visitors to outstanding tourist attractions on the airport's doorstep.

Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate said:

"Overseas passengers are now able to benefit from quick, clear itineraries compiled by local experts, to ensure that even passengers with only a few hours to spare, can discover the unrivalled attractions our doorstep. We're committed to showcasing our local area to the rest of the world with this initiative which enhances the experience of our passengers whilst further developing the pivotal role we play supporting tourism - creating jobs and supply chain opportunities as a gateway to 46 million passengers each year."

Experience West Sussex, Partnerships Manager, Jo Williams said:

"Working in partnership with Gatwick Airport and the Gateway Gatwick Group has provided Experience West Sussex with new destination partnership marketing opportunities. This project will showcase the very best of the West Sussex tourism offer, along with visitor highlights from the surrounding region, to Gatwick's 5.5 million international visitors each year. Experience West Sussex Partnership looks forward to seeing work with this partnership grow from strength to strength, from delivering this initial pilot project that provides inspirational ideas for visitors, to reaching new international audiences, through Gatwick's growing route network."

East Sussex County Council, Lead Member for Economy, Cllr Rupert Simmonds said:

"East Sussex County Council is delighted to have worked in partnership with Gatwick to market our beautiful and fascinating county to visitors passing through Gatwick. We hope that this collaboration will be the start of a fruitful partnership which will encourage more visitors to the region and benefit our local businesses."


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