GATCOM Weekly Newsletter - January 2020 (2)


CAA Draft Decision for comment - Departure Route 4

The CAA is inviting comment on the draft report's findings. The objective of this is ensure that the CAA has not missed, misunderstood or misinterpreted any relevant matters. The deadline for comments is 3 February 2020.

CAA Consultation - Airspace classification review 2019-2020

The CAA would like help to identify volumes of controlled airspace in which the classification could be amended to better reflect the needs of all airspace users on an equitable basis. Submissions by 3 March 2020 via the website. Click here for supporting documents and Survey.


  • Civil Aviation Authority strategic priorities - 08.01.20

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has today published correspondence between the UK Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP and the Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority, Dame Deirdre Hutton regarding strategic priorities for the Civil Aviation Authority. Read more

  • Government announces measures on regional connectivity - Gov.uk 15.01.20

The Government has today announced additional measures to support and enhance regional connectivity across the UK, to ensure all corners of the country drive the economy, and fully benefit from prosperity in years to come. Read more


  • Norwegian 56% lower fare to US than airlines from Heathrow - Anna Aero 03.01.20

Long-haul for Norwegian is big and controversial business, although at Group level it only represented 15% of its total seats in 2019. Despite its ongoing Group-wide rationalisation to improve overall performance, it flew nearly six million seats between Europe and the USA last year. The coming partnership with JetBlue will further help to transform its transatlantic performance. Read more

  • 9 things you probably didn't know about Gatwick Airport - MyLondon 11.01.20

Next time you're jetting off to one of the airport's 230 destinations in over 70 countries, you might remember some of these interesting facts about London's "other airport". Read more

  • Gatwick's second largest shareholder quietly sells its remaining stake - Telegraph 12.01.20

Gatwick's second largest shareholder has quietly sold its remaining stake in Britain's second-busiest airport to partners in its own fund. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is understood to have transferred its 21pc stake in Gatwick into a so-called continuation vehicle. The arrangement will allow GIP's investors to continue owning the asset after the 13-year-old fund's life cycle ends. Read more

  • Travel disruption possible due to snow, rain and strong winds - Travel Mole 14.01.20

Weather forecasters are warning of further possible travel disruption later after Storm Brendan forced airlines to divert a handful of flights [Monday]. Gales of up to 40mph meant at least seven Gatwick-bound flights were diverted to other airports. Read more

  • EasyJet to resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh - Travel Weekly 15.01.20

The budget carrier will offer two flights a week from both Manchester from June 7 and from Gatwick from September 30. It will be the first time easyJet has flown to Sharm in five years and follows the FCO's change in travel advice to the Red Sea destination in October last year. Read more

  • Planned Gatwick flight path change will mean 'misery' for Reigate and Redhill, says campaign group - Surrey Live 14.01.20

A campaign group has claimed the "misery" of aircraft noise will return for people living in areas including south Reigate, Redhill, Brockham and Betchworth after the latest Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ruling on a controversial Gatwick flight path. Plane Wrong says a draft decision by the CAA, that in effect deletes changes made to Route 4 since 2012, will mean aircraft fly 1,000 metres further to the north, resulting in more noise for a swathe of towns and villages beneath. Read more

  • Flybe switches Newquay-London route from Heathrow to Gatwick - Travel Mole 17.01.20

Flybe will switch its four-times-a-week Newquay-London route from Heathrow to Gatwick for the summer season. The airline has also announced a new, six-flight-per-week route to Amsterdam Schiphol as well as an extra flight flights each week to Manchester. To service the extra fights, Flybe will base a second aircraft at the airport. Read more


  • Electric debut for Rolls-Royce plane - BTNews

Gloucestershire Airport near Tewkesbury has witnessed the latest step in Rolls-Royce's future aviation ambitions with the unveiling of what the company is aiming to be the world's fastest all-electric aircraft. Read more

  • Uber partners with Hyundai on flying taxis - BBT 08.01.20

Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative. The South Korean firm will produce and deploy the vehicles, while Uber will provide air space support services, connections to ground transportation and customer interfaces through an aerial ride-share network. Both parties are also working on infrastructure concepts to support vehicle take-off and landing. Read more

  • Iata voices concern over geopolitical tensions and strikes - Travel Weekly 09.01.20

International airline demand in November was pegged at the previous month's level amid clouds hanging over the sector. Global passenger traffic results from Iata showed a 3.3% year-on-year rise in demand. Read more

  • How profitable are ultra-long-haul routes? Pioneering research gives answers - Anna Aero 10.01.20

Ultra-long-haul flights over the past decade have been typically famous for two things: unparalleled public attention and extreme vulnerability to internal and external factors. At an event at BA's head office on 09 January, Linus Benjamin Bauer presented the numbers from Qantas' direct Perth - London flight. Read more

  • Iran overflying eases - BTNews 13.01.20

UK airline schedules were returning cautiously to near-normal over the weekend as tensions over the latest Iran-US flare-up eased following Iran admitting responsibility for accidentally shooting down a Ukrainian Airlines Boeing B737. Read more

  • Disabled passengers failed by poor airport accessibility services - Which 13.01.20

A survey of disabled people commissioned by Which? Travel found that lack of confidence in accessibility services has left almost half feeling that their disability has restricted their ability to fly in the last two years. Read more

  • American goes for the spoken word - BTNews 13.01.20

Special technology is being harnessed by American Airlines to remove one of the stresses of travelling for foreign language-speaking passengers by becoming the first airline to introduce the Google Assistant's interpreter mode in its airport lounges. Read more

  • High-tech helpers for British Airways - BTNews 13.01.20

Autonomous robots are being deployed on a trial basis by British Airways at its home at Heathrow Terminal 5 this year to help passengers to find their way through the airport. The airline says some 90,000 people travel through the terminal each day and bringing in the high-tech helpers will leave its airport hosts available to help customers with more complex queries. Read more

  • Travel 'foodprint' can outstrip impact of flying, report claims - Travel Weekly 14.01.20

Activist travel firm Responsible Travel is demanding a "radical review" of tourism to cut the carbon impact of holidays. The call comes as a company-commissioned report reveals how holiday 'foodprints' - what travellers eat - can even outstrip the impact of flying. Read more

  • What airport self service means for the future - International Airport Review 14.01.20

Analysing the evolution of terminal technologies, Chris Wilson, Head of Terminal and Capacity at Birmingham Airport, looks at the rise of self service and how this has affected the overall terminal operation. Read more

  • What happens during an airborne security event? - NATS Blog 14.01.20

You might occasionally see news reports on airborne security events. The response is always managed by the Military, but NATS still has a role to play. Read more

  • Meet the Pilot who took on the CAA over HIV and won! - UK Aviation News 14.01.20

James Bushe is HIV-positive which means that in addition to the Class 1 Medical every commercial pilot needs, he also needed an Operational Multi-crew Limitation (OML) which, because the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was bound by EU regulations, he couldn't get. Having HIV put James into a Catch-22 position as the regulations meant that only pilots with existing commercial licences, and contracting HIV since obtaining that licence, would be allowed the accreditation. Effectively banning anyone with HIV from becoming a pilot, the only profession to do so apart from the Armed Forces. Read more

  • EasyJet extends global reach with new Etihad deal - 14.01.20

EasyJet has started selling connections to Etihad's flights after the UAE carrier became the latest to join its Worldwide by EasyJet service, which was launched in 2017. The two airlines have signed a partnership agreement which means that easyJet customers can book connecting flights between 68 cities in Europe to Abu Dhabi and beyond. Read more

  • Flybe agrees rescue deal with gov't and shareholders - BBT 14.01.20

Flybe has agreed a rescue deal with its shareholders and the government to stay in operation after it was reportedly on the verge of collapse earlier this week. Sky News reported yesterday that the airline had been in rescue talks on Sunday evening, less than a year after it was acquired by Connect Airways for £2.8 million. Read more

  • Flybe plays a critical and unique role in UK aviation system - AQA 14.01.20

Comments welcoming the Government's announcement regarding Flybe, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, Karen Dee. Read more

  • Why Flybe's survival matters - Travel Mole 14.01.20

Flybe might be a minnow of the airline world, carrying the same number of passengers in a year as easyJet carries in a month, but it is nevertheless a very significant player in the UK travel market. Read more

  • No justification for cutting APD to save Flybe, says AEF - AEF 14.01.20

Comments from AEF Deputy Director Cait Hewitt in response to reports that the Government is considering cutting APD on all domestic flights in order to save Flybe from having to cease operations. Read more

  • The government's responsibility is to tackle the climate crisis, not to bail out failing airlines - Independent 15.01.20

If a company is badly managed or has failed to charge economic prices for its services, it is not the Treasury's job to pick up the bill. Read more

  • Flybe: Government to 'defer' struggling carrier's £106m APD bill - Travel Weekly 15.01.20

Flybe's outstanding £106 million Air Passenger Duty bill is believed to have been deferred until the spring as part of the government's rescue deal for the troubled carrier. The agreement will allow Europe's biggest regional airline to get through a winter cash-flow crisis. Read more

  • IAG submits complaint to the EU over Flybe rescue plan - Travel Mole 16.01.20

IAG has submitted a complaint to the EU Competition directorate about the 'state aid' given to Flybe. It comes after the airline group's outgoing chief executive, Willie Walsh, wrote to the UK's transport secretary Grant Shapps calling the government's rescue of Flybe a 'blatant misuse of public funds'. Read more See also Ryanair's response to Sajid Javid

  • North-South wage gap widens in travel - Travel Mole 16.01.20

The average travel job in the south paid £28,746 compared to £23,233 in the north, meaning the average travel employee in the south earned just over 21% more than a worker in the north. Read more

  • Ryanair wins court case against Skyscanner - Travel Mole 16.01.20

Ryanair has claimed a victory in a court case against flight comparison website Skyscanner in Germany. A Hamburg Court has granted interim injunctions against Skyscanner to stop it displaying Ryanair's fares with a hidden mark-up, displaying a total flight cost without disclosing the website's fees, and displaying a price for checked-in luggage higher than the price charged by Ryanair. Read more

  • Research: Majority of [business] travel programmes not ethical - BBT 16.01.20

Statistics from a recent poll show 60 per cent of European travel buyers admit they do not have an ethical programme in place, with many saying travellers are driving the change to sustainable travel. Read more

  • Airbus carries out first fully automatic vision-based take-off - UK Aviation News 16.01.20

European Airframer Airbus has today successfully carried the first fully automatic vision-based take-off using an Airbus A350 test aircraft. The flight forms part of Airbus' Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing (ATTOL) project which is being used by Airbus to understand the effects of autonomy on aircraft. Read more and watch the ATTOL flight.

  • UK travellers reassured that Brexit won't affect their holidays this year - Travel mole 17.01.

ABTA Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "The UK is primed to enter a new Brexit phase from 31 January, when trade talks begin, and when it does nothing will change when it comes to travel. "This means that valid passports can still be used, EHIC cards will still be valid and the same gates can be used at border check points. People can continue to make their travel plans with confidence that things won't change until at least the end of 2020." Read more

  • BA hits back at report that claims it's the worst carrier for CO2 - Travel Mole 17.01.20

British Airways has hit back at a Which? Travel report that accuses it of 'emitting more CO2 per passenger than rival airlines'. BA has responded by saying Which? carried out 'shoddy' research, using statistics that are out of date. Which? has refuted BA's response. Read more

  • Heathrow flights diverted and delayed as airspace closed on RAF orders - Travel Mole 17.01.20

Flights to Heathrow were diverted or delayed this morning after the airport closed its airspace following an RAF request. A spokesperson for the airport said the RAF use of the airspace was 'unplanned'. At least five British Airways flights were diverted to other airports, while other aircraft were stacked in the sky waiting for clearance to land. Passengers onboard affected flights reported pilots said the situation was caused by a 'security incident'. Read more

  • Giant jet engines aim to make our flying greener - BBC 17.01.20

Still under development, Rolls-Royce says the Ultrafan will be quieter and more fuel efficient than anything it has made before. It will certainly be bigger. T £25m facility Rolls-Royce near Bristol has also developed robots that can make fan blades from carbon fibre, a process that has taken more than 10 years to perfect. Read more

  • Flybe confirms it will get a tax and duty holiday - BBC 17.01.20

Flybe has dismissed reports it received a payment holiday of up to £100m from the government. The regional carrier said it has agreed a payment plan with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for "less than £10m". It said the arrangement would be for a "matter of months" before the tax and duties are paid off. The airline defended the move as "a standard Time to Pay arrangement with HMRC that any business in financial difficulties may use". The government's support is thought to centre on giving Flybe extra time to pay outstanding Air Passenger Duty (APD). Read more


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