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Old June 22nd, 2005, 08:53 PM   #141
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Air traffic phone fault delayed London flights

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Flights from British airports returned to normal on Monday after a problem with air traffic control's telephones and severe storms delayed some flights from the nation's capital by up to three hours over the weekend.

Authorities and airlines blamed a bottleneck at London's Heathrow Airport on a problem with the phones at National Air Traffic Services' (NATS) control centre at Swanwick, southern England, on Sunday.

The problem was compounded by heavy storms in Britain's north and an aircraft which blocked the runway at Heathrow for 40 minutes, airlines and airport operator BAA Plc said.

"It was a small glitch with the telephones at Swanwick which imposed some flow restrictions in the morning ... the impact was quite minimal," a NATS spokeswoman said.

However, airlines said flights were delayed up to three hours. Some passengers reported long delays on the tarmac at Heathrow while waiting for a backlog of disembarking passengers to clear.

A British Airways spokeswoman said it cancelled 16 flights and reported "a lot" of delays. Flights had returned to normal Monday.

NATS denied a media report the delay was caused by a computer malfunction.

British airports were thrown into chaos a year ago when a computer failure briefly grounded all aircraft in Britain at peak time in the morning.

NATS, 49 percent owned by the British government, is closing down its operation centre near Heathrow to transfer operations to an enlarged base at Swanwick as part of a 1 billion pound modernisation programme.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #142
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Friday June 24, 2005
British Airways Increases Fuel Surcharge

AP - British Airways PLC announced Friday it was again raising its fuel surcharge for tickets bought in Britain and blamed the increase on rising oil prices.

BA said it would charge travelers 24 pounds ($44) per long-haul flight, or 48 pounds ($88) for a return long-haul trip. That was up from 16 pounds ($29) per one-way, long-haul flight.

The short-haul fuel surcharge rose from 6 pounds ($11) per flight to 8 pounds ($14.50), or 16 pounds ($29) for a return journey.

The new surcharge rates only apply to tickets issued from Monday and bought in Britain. They do not apply to tickets already paid for and issued, the airline said.

"The continuing rise in global oil prices to almost $60 a barrel means a further surcharge increase is regrettably unavoidable," BA's commercial director Martin George said in a statement.

For tickets purchased in Britain, short-haul refers to any flights within the United Kingdom or Europe, and long-haul refers to all others, BA spokeswoman Becky Thornton said.

Earlier this week, BA increased its fuel surcharge for flights purchased in the United States and departing or arriving at a U.S. airport to $41 per flight, up $10, Thornton said. The surcharge for an onward short-haul flight within Europe purchased in the United States will remain at $12.

BA hasn't decided whether to increase fuel surcharges for tickets bought in other parts of the world, Thornton added.

The current surcharges for flights bought within Europe are $11 for short-haul trips, and $28 for long-haul journeys. For tickets purchased in other parts of the world, in most cases the surcharges are $31 for a long-haul flight and $12 for a short-haul trip _ meaning any onward flight within Europe, Thornton said.

BA introduced fuel surcharges in May last year. Since then, it has increased them four times. Other European airlines have raised surcharges amid surging oil prices.

George said BA expected its fuel bill for the current financial year to reach 1.6 billion pounds ($2.9 billion), up some 450 million pounds ($817 million) from the last financial year.

Last month, BA said it earned 251 million pounds ($467.31 million) in the financial year ending March 31, up from 130 million pounds a year ago.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 02:41 AM   #143
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Airline levy scheme sparks dispute with Treasury
By Barrie Clement
25 June 2005
The Independent

A plan to impose a £1 levy on all 50 million passengers travelling by air every year from Britain has sparked a dispute within the Government.

While the Department for Transport is understood to be in favour of the supplement, which would cover travellers when an airline went bust, the Treasury is making a last-ditch effort to block the initiative.

Supporters of the scheme are seeking to ensure its inclusion in the Aviation Bill which is receiving its second reading on Monday.

The Treasury is arguing that it is a superfluous piece of regulation and that customers themselves should ensure they are covered.

The Department for Transport is understood to back the plan on the grounds that it would replace existing regulatory law which is unsatisfactory because it covers only a proportion of passengers.

Those who book their flights through tour operators are repatriated free of charge under the statutory Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL), but passengers who book direct with airlines could find themselves without cover.

The plan was proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority, the industry"s regulator, and has attracted the backing of much of the travel industry and the House of Commons Transport Committee.

Supporters of a blanket scheme point out that after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, which caused virtually unprecedented financial problems for the airline industry, there is a need for more comprehensive cover. Rising oil prices are causing severe problems for airlines and industry leaders believe a major financial collapse could be imminent.

The Treasury"s opposition to the plan is backed by an unholy alliance involving British Airways and Ryanair, although Virgin is understood to have sent a letter to ministers in support of the policy. A spokesman for Virgin said the airline believed the present system was "antiquated" and supported the CAA"s proposal because it would be an industry-wide arrangement replacing ATOL.

Proponents of the scheme point out that 98 per cent of passengers were covered by ATOL in 1997, but that this has declined to nearer 60 per cent because of the growth of direct booking with airlines and "DIY" holidays. If passengers pay through credit cards they enjoy a degree of protection. Debit card payments and travel insurance offer no cover.

Tour operators believe the present system is haphazard and leads to widespread confusion about whether customers are protected. They also calculate that the ATOL system costs them £100m a year.

The Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) argues that a system funded by the whole of the industry would mean reduced prices for package holidays.

A Mori survey commissioned by the association of British Travel Agents and the FTO last autumn found that 81 per cent of respondents would be willing to pay between 50p and £2 for comprehensive financial protection.

The Trading Standards Institute believes the law has failed to keep up with changes in the way people arrange holidays.

A BA spokesman said: "We are a well established airline and it is unfair that our customers should have to fund compensation for those who choose to travel on less established airlines. Due to our passenger volumes, we would have to provide the lion"s share of the funding to provide protection against other airlines" bankruptcy."

A spokeswoman for Ryanair said it was wrong for passengers booking on successful airlines to be asked to subsidise passengers booking on "financially flaky" airlines.

"It is like asking Chelsea to give points to relegated teams at the end of every season or like asking Labour to give seats to the Tories after every election win. This proposal is stupidity personified and we totally oppose it," she said.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 06:14 PM   #144
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Heathrow is showing signs of terminal decline
The world's busiest international airport - with its shabby appearance, wonky trolleys, uninspiring shops and poor traffic flow - paints the UK in a very poor light.

By TYLER BRULE
25 June 2005
Financial Times

The world's busiest international airport does its best to be anything but international. This is both offensive and a wasted opportunity

Of all the terminals in all the world, I probably spend the most time in Heathrow's terminal one. I've never been much of a fan, but if you want to reach most places on the continent, if you frequent LAX and Narita and BA is your carrier of choice, then you come to accept T1 as a frustrating fact of life. Over the past few years there have been some decent improvements but the sum of these innovations are still outweighed by poor traffic flow, outdated signage and a general feeling of shabbiness. I have a slightly odd relationship with Heathrow - I love it because it just manages to function on a daily basis and loathe it because it is a rather scruffy representative for London, the UK and even Europe.

This week I managed to make an early escape from London's West End and made my way to Heathrow early Wednesday morning for the first BA flight to Stockholm. Most mornings the Heathrow Express whisks me westward with little fuss but when a flight is closer to 7 than 8, I'm occasionally tempted to call a car to enjoy 45 extra minutes of slumber in the back seat. Pulling up to T1 during the morning crush is a particularly off-putting experience. Even at the unsociable hour of 6.30 there are usually at least two baggage trolleys sitting listlessly kerbside - one has lost a back wheel and will spend the rest of the day blocking hassled travellers. It will in turn be kicked, shoved and manhandled but no one will ever remove it to administer necessary first aid. Further down the drop-off area, another trolley has been backed into and has taken on the appearance of a kneeling camel. It too will remain there for the day, perhaps two, maybe a week. It will meet an undignified end by being backed over again by a mini-cab driver in an equally clapped out Nissan Bluebird.

I've often wondered where Heathrow's baggage trolleys hail from? The only DNA they might share with trolleys at other airports is that they (usually) have four wheels and a push bar. They are otherwise unlike the baggage trolleys at Frankfurt, Changi and Schiphol, which feel like they've been produced by companies familiar with the process of making a chariot that's easy to push, can ride on escalators and keeps bags in place.

The best thing that's happened to T1 was the opening of a dedicated British Airways/Oneworld premium check-in area. In an ideal world the passenger should have the possibility to go straight into the lounge after security rather than trip over the latest fragrance launch from Calvin Klein or a skincare promotion, but these things happen when an airport operator can't quite decide if it wants to be in the business of hosting the world's airlines and their passengers or running a shopping mall.

BAA cannot be faulted by shareholders for maximising available retail space by cramming in as many shops as possible and keeping the weary traveller on their feet. They can be scolded for having an uninspiring mix of shops and still not mastering the art of keeping their loos clean and odourless. Heathrow's loos are far better than many others around the world but the benchmarks should be Kansai, not Lagos.

The recently opened retail expansion at T1 is about as dynamic as a suburban mall in a provincial market town. The worst offender of the lot is WH Smith. For a company that's been churning out less than stellar results, the assumption should be that Heathrow is an environment in which to shine and to demonstrate its competence as a seller of newspapers and sweets. This is far from the case. Not forgetting where we are (a place populated by high-spending travellers from across the planet), the expectation is that the newsstands should be teeming with titles appealing to the Danish shipping executive heading to Hong Kong, the Edinburgh history professor jetting to UCLA for a seminar and the Spanish luxury goods analyst off to Madrid to scout for some new acquisitions. Instead, the titles on offer are parochial and hopelessly middle England - tons of trashy weeklies, a few predictable glossies and news titles and virtually nothing international other than Stern, Oggi and Paris Match. The newspaper selection is even worse. Just as Heathrow as a transport hub does little to engage with non-English speakers, WH Smith's management seems to think it's catering to charter passengers who only fly once a year. Should you be fortunate enough to find something to purchase, the check-out process seems to move slower than the security queues.

With terminal five looking like it could easily be completed by Christmas, BAA and its partners need to work on the culture of the place as much as the construction. Some people argue that grocery stores say everything about a country, but I say its airports reveal more. In its current state, Heathrow says a lot for the UK. None of it particularly good.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #145
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Virgin Atlantic launches inaugural flight to Havana ahead of regular, twice-a-week service
27 June 2005

HAVANA (AP) - Virgin Atlantic was to launch an inaugural flight to Havana Monday ahead of regular, twice-a-week service from London's Gatwick Airport beginning in July.

British billionaire and Virgin Express Holdings Plc chief Richard Branson and British boxer Amir Khan were among those to be on Monday's flight, set to arrive in the afternoon.

Weekly flights on Thursdays and Saturdays between London and Havana were to begin July 7.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 07:29 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Heathrow is showing signs of terminal decline
The world's busiest international airport - with its shabby appearance, wonky trolleys, uninspiring shops and poor traffic flow - paints the UK in a very poor light.
LOL... "Wonky"
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Old June 28th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #147
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Virgin Atlantic plans 1,000 new posts by 2007

LONDON, June 27 (AFP) - Virgin Atlantic on Monday said it planned 1,000 new jobs over the next 18 months as part of a major expansion for the airline, despite being faced with extra costs as oil prices surge to record high points.

Virgin, 51-percent owned by British tycoon Richard Branson's Virgin Group and 49-percent by Singapore Airlines, said it would recruit a total of 1,500 employees by 2007, though 500 of the positions would result from natural staff turnover.

Virgin Atlantic currently employs about 8,500 staff worldwide.

The recruitment drive is part of an expansion programme announced by Virgin last year, which includes also the introduction of new routes and planes.

The airline launched on Monday new routes to Cuba and The Bahamas, coinciding with an increase to the fuel surcharge on all of its flights by up to 50 percent, as the price of crude oil headed towards 61 dollars for the first time.

"We are delighted to announce that Virgin Atlantic is continuing its expansion plans with the recruitment of 1,500 staff and the addition of more exciting destinations to its route network," Branson said in a statement on Monday

He said that at a time when the airline industry is up against high oil prices, with many companies "struggling to survive", Virgin Atlantic has recently added services to Sydney, Mumbai and Havana and will launch services between Manchester to Barbados later in 2005.

The 1,500 positions would meanwhile mainly be for operational staff, with as many as 1,100 cabin crew positions, 150 flight deck and 150 posts, including many engineering jobs, based at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

About 100 further staff would be required at Virgin Atlantic's headquarters and in office-based positions.

Over the next 18 months, Virgin plans to increase services to Shanghai, Las Vegas, Orlando, Port Harcourt, Dubai and Jamaica.

In addition, Virgin's fleet was set to expand with seven A340-600 aircraft entering service by the end of 2006, taking the total number of aircraft to 39.

Virgin Atlantic has joined rival British Airways in hiking the fuel surcharge on one-way long-haul journeys to 24 pounds (36 euros, 44 dollars) from 16 pounds.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 05:12 AM   #148
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Britain's Virgin Atlantic inaugurates flights to Cuba

HAVANA, June 27 (AFP) - Britain's Virgin Atlantic Airways inaugurated direct flights to Cuba on Monday with a Boeing 747 carrying the airline's gregarious owner Richard Branson.

The airline tycoon posed on the jet's wing with two Cuban dancers after the plane touched down at Havana's Jose Marti airport, as flight attendents hoisted the Cuban and British flags.

The British jumbo jet was met by an official welcome committee including Cuba's minister of tourism Manuel Marrero and the president of the Institute of Civil Aviation Rogelio Acevedo.

Branson hopes to tap into rising British tourism to this communist-ruled Caribbean island.

The number of British tourists visiting Cuba passed 46,000 in 1997, and 161,200 Britons visited Cuba last year, according to Cuban figures.

Tourism is vital to Cuba's economy, generating some 40 percent of its foreign currency earnings.

Last year, a record two million tourists visited Cuba, according to Marrero.

Virgin will operate two flights a week to Havana from London's Gatwick airport.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:26 PM   #149
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UK's bmi to launch Saudi flights from September

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - British airline bmi [BMID.UL] said on Tuesday it would start flying three times a week from London to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia from September.

Bmi has been eying the new route since British Airways suspended its flights to Riyadh and Jeddah in March, citing reduced demand.

"Bmi will be the only British carrier offering scheduled services to Saudi Arabia," Chief Executive Nigel Turner said in a statement.

The airline said flights would operate from London on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Bmi, formerly known as British Midland, is looking at other new long-haul routes as it seeks to expand. It started flying to Bombay in India last month.

Bmi Chairman Michael Bishop owns 50 percent plus one share of bmi, while Germany's Lufthansa has 30 percent minus one share and Scandinavia's SAS owns 20 percent.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #150
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anyone got any recent T5 construction pics?
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Old July 4th, 2005, 09:02 PM   #151
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British Airways Revised Profit Report
4 July 2005

LONDON (AP) - British Airways PLC revised its annual profit upward Monday as it announced figures in line with International Financial Reporting Standards.

The airline said net profit for the year ended March 31 was 377 million pounds ($664.18 million), up from the 251 million pounds it reported under the old accounting guidelines in May. Full-year revenue was 7.77 billion pounds ($13.69 billion) under the new guidelines, compared to 7.81 billion under the old guidelines.

"The impacts of new accounting rules on our income statement are minor. However, there will be a significant impact on our balance sheet," said John Rishton, British Airways' chief financial officer.

Rishton said under the international standards net assets at March 31 were reduced by 1.3 billion pounds ($2.29 billion) to 1.4 billion pounds ($2.47 billion), mainly due to moving the pension deficit onto the balance sheet.
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Old July 4th, 2005, 09:05 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobRit
anyone got any recent T5 construction pics?
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Old July 7th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #153
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BA's June passenger traffic rises 4.7 pct

LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) - British Airways posted a 4.7 percent rise in June passenger traffic on Tuesday as it sold more premium seats than a year earlier and said it recently increased hedging to protect against soaring fuel costs.

Europe's second-largest airline said its passenger load factor, which measures how efficiently it is filling its planes, rose 1.2 percentage points to 78.9 percent in June. Premium traffic was up 8.6 percent.

"That was at the very top end of our expectations," George Stinnes, BA's head of investor relations, told reporters on a conference call.

A 1.6 percent fall in cargo volume meant BA's overall load factor was unchanged from the same month a year earlier at 71.2 percent.

BA said market conditions were broadly unchanged but it had increased its hedging on oil. Hedging cover for the financial year to next March 31 is now 70 percent of its fuel needs at an average cost of $42 a barrel versus earlier guidance of 60 percent at an average of $40.

For the year to March 2007, it now has 30 percent cover in place at an average of $46, up from 20 percent at an average of $44, a spokesman said.

The airline reiterated a forecast made two weeks ago that fuel costs for the year to March 2006 were expected to rise by 450 million pounds ($790 million).
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Old July 9th, 2005, 03:13 AM   #154
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Edinburgh airport secures Helsinki route
Alastair Dalton
7 July 2005
The Scotsman

EDINBURGH airport yesterday secured a second new European route in a week with Finnair announcing a twice-weekly service to Helsinki.

The airline hopes the link to the Finnish capital from next April will attract passengers en route to Asia by claiming the fastest connections to the continent.

Finnair will launch a new service between its Helsinki hub and Guangzhou in southern China in September to supplement its routes to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. The Edinburgh flights will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays. .

The news comes days after Polish no-frills carrier Centralwings announced thrice-weekly flights between Edinburgh and Warsaw from October.

Petteri Kostermaa, Finnair's vice-president for network strategies and management, said: "We are especially expecting a great number of connecting passengers to our Hong Kong and Guangzhou routes thanks to the historic commercial connections between Scotland and southern China."

Richard Jeffrey, the managing director of Edinburgh airport, said: "Finnair has a reputation for quality and a network of routes that stretches across the globe, particularly Asia."
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Old July 12th, 2005, 12:42 AM   #155
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UK NATS June flights up 7.5 pct yr-on-yr to new record of 210,023
11 July 2005

LONDON (AFX) - National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the UK's leading air traffic management provider, said it handled 210,023 flights in June 2005, up 7.5 pct on the previous year and a new monthly record.

NATS said traffic peaked on Friday July 1 when NATS air traffic controllers handled 7,611 flights, a new daily record.

In the first six months of 2005, NATS handled 1,108,587 flights, an increase of 5.7 pct over the same period last year.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 12:43 AM   #156
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UK BAA's June passenger traffic rises 4.3 pct

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest airport operator, BAA Plc, said on Monday June passenger traffic rose 4.3 percent year-on-year, as all its airports recorded higher traffic.

BAA, whose seven airports include London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, said it carried 13.4 million passengers in the month, adding that the European charter market remained subdued.

In the 12 months to the end of June, BAA's UK airports handled 143.0 million passengers, an increase of 4.7 percent on the previous 12 months.

Low-cost airlines have driven passenger growth in recent years and BAA said European traffic rose 5.7 percent in June.

The company, due to hold its annual shareholder meeting this week, has previously flagged a slowdown in the recent high rate of passenger growth this financial year.

British Airways , Europe's second-largest airline, said last week its June passenger traffic rose 4.7 percent year on year.

BAA said while air transport movements rose 4.6 percent in June, cargo tonnage grew 0.4 percent, "reflecting a worldwide slowing in air cargo growth".
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Old July 13th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #157
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Swedish budget carrier FlyMe delays Stockholm-London route launch following terrorist attacks
11 July 2005

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Swedish low-cost carrier FlyMe Europe AB said Monday it will delay the start of a new route between Stockholm and London following the terrorist attacks in Britain.

FlyMe initially planned to start flying between Arlanda airport outside Stockholm and London's Gatwick airport on Oct 3.

"The market development will be decisive for when FlyMe starts flying to Gatwick," acting chief executive Fredrik Skanselid said, adding that the company will decide on a new date in the coming weeks.

"We are a low-cost carrier and want the best market situation. We want to wait for some weeks to see how the attacks in London will affect travel," he said.

The Goteborg, Sweden-based airline flies to destinations in Sweden and Finland year-round and to Nice, France, in the summer.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 04:33 PM   #158
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Short-haul lifts BAA to record Traffic figures for Scottish airports reflect skyrocketing demand
DOUGLAS HAMILTON
12 July 2005
The Herald

BAA said yesterday that its three Scottish airports are handling record numbers of passengers this summer.

Short-haul flights to continental Europe and some of the Persian Gulf states are attracting large numbers of Scottish travellers, the airports operator said.

The company's latest traffic figures show that 1.9 million passengers used Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports in June, an increase of 7.1% on the same month last year.

In the 12 months to June, the airports handled more than 19.6 million passengers, up 6.2% on the previous year.

"All three airports saw international traffic rise substantially last month, marking the start of what promises to be a record summer for BAA Scotland, " said Donal Dowds, managing director of BAA Scotland.

Glasgow Airport was Scotland's busiest last month, with 890,800 passengers, up 4.3% on the previous record June.

Prague was the fastest-growing destination, with services to Barcelona, Dublin, Las Palmas and Dubai also performing well.

In the year to June, Glasgow Airport handled nearly 8.7 million passengers, up 5.3% on last year.

On June 14, GlasgowAirport celebrated an historic milestone as it recorded its 150 millionth passenger since the terminal first opened in 1966.

Edinburgh Airport was the fastest-growing of BAA Scotland's airports in June, handling 790,400 passengers, an increase of 9.6% on last year.

International traffic rose sharply, with flights to Hamburg, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Nice and New York enjoying the strongest growth.

In the year to June, Edinburgh Airport handled 8.2 million passengers, up 6.6% on last year.

The international travel boom continued at Aberdeen Airport, where overall passenger numbers rose by 9.3% to 257,900.

In the 12 months to June, Aberdeen Airport handled 2.7 million passengers, a rise of 7.4% on last year. In annual terms, Aberdeen remains the fastest growing of BAA Scotland's airports.

Meanwhile, Inverness Airport, which is operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, handled 4900 passengers at the weekend, breaking the previous record 4400 passenger total set over the weekend of July 2 and 3.

BAA said passenger numbers for all its UK airports rose by 4.3% in June against the same month a year ago.

The company said travellers to India and China helped helped push up numbers.

BAA said a total of 13.4 million travellers passed through its airports last month, with the fastest growth taking place on long-haul flights other than across the North Atlantic.

Airlines appear to be taking advantage of the increase in business done by the UK in India and China, with growing numbers of firms outsourcing manufacturing and call centre operations to Asia.

In June, British Airways introduced a service from London to Shanghai after restrictions on direct routes between the UK and China were eased last year.

In addition to Shanghai, BA is also increasing the number of flights on its routes to Beijing and Hong Kong.

It plans to begin another new long-haul service in October to the Indian city of Bangalore.

Passenger numbers at Heathrow were 1.1% higher than in June last year, with long-haul traffic growth offsetting a contraction in short-haul services caused by the growing popularity of low-cost flights from other airports.

Passengers passing through Stansted increased by 9.2%, while Gatwick added 4.6% and Southampton posted the highest rise in the group, adding 31.7%.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #159
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Asian boom gives lift to UK airports
ALASTAIR DALTON and JOHN ROSS
12 July 2005
The Scotsman

THE boom in UK call centre and manufacturing operations being switched to Asia fuelled the biggest growth in air passengers last month, airport operators BAA reported yesterday.

BAA said numbers of non-transatlantic long-haul passengers, especially to India and China, soared thanks to a series of new routes after restrictions were eased last year.

The firm, which operates the three main London airports in addition to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, said total passengers were up by 4.3 per cent to 13.4 million in June compared to a year ago.

Long-haul markets, other than across the Atlantic, lifted by 11.1 per cent, compared to 5.7 per cent for European scheduled markets and just 0.7 per cent for North Atlantic routes.

New Asian services launched last month included British Airways flights between London and Shanghai. The airline is also increasing flights to Beijing and Hong Kong and plans to start flying to Bangalore in India from October.

However, BAA said it was too early to assess how last week's London bombings were likely to affect passenger numbers.

In Scotland, Edinburgh's passengers increased by 9.6 per cent to 790,400. The rise was smaller than May's 12.3 per cent, but puts the airport's year-on-year total within 500,000 of Glasgow's, at 8.2 million.

International traffic rose sharply, with flights to Hamburg, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Nice and New York enjoying the strongest growth.

At Glasgow, passengers increased by 4.3 per cent to 890,800 - the highest growth for five months.

Prague was the fastest-growing destination, especially due to Flyglobespan's service, with 100,000 using the route in the last year.

Aberdeen enjoyed further strong passenger growth, up 9.3 per cent to 257,900, although the rise was 1.6 per cent less than in May. Its fastest growing European destination was Bergen, followed by Groningen, Dublin and Amsterdam.

* New routes helped Inverness airport to set a new passenger record of 4,900 at the weekend, beating the previous best set just a week earlier.

EasyJet launched flights to Bristol last Thursday and to Belfast International service the previous week.

* National Air Traffic Services said it handled 210,023 flights in June - 7.5 per cent more than last year. The Oceanic area control centre at Prestwick in Ayrshire, which handles transatlantic traffic, dealt with 34,738 aircraft - up 6.6 per cent.

The Scottish area control centre saw flights increase by 1.3 per cent to 52,947.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 01:06 AM   #160
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Lady Thatcher mourns Lord King, the man who rebuilt BA
David Charter
13 July 2005
The Times

ONE of Baroness Thatcher's favourite businessmen, the man who transformed British Airways after masterminding its privatisation, died yesterday aged 87.

Lord King of Wartnaby was chairman of the national flag carrier for 12 years after being appointed by Margaret Thatcher in 1981 and was given the title of BA's president emeritus upon his retirement in 1997.

When British Airways was privatised in 1987, the shares were 11 times oversubscribed and their price jumped by 82 per cent on their first day of trading.

Lord King was a regular at Downing Street and a Boxing Day guest at Chequers who seemed to exemplify the swash-buckling, entrepreneurial spirit of Thatcherism.

Lady Thatcher said last night: "John King was an industrial trailblazer. He was one of a handful of able business leaders who worked to turn around the British economy in the 1980s. I shall very greatly miss him."

Lord Bell, Lady Thatcher's former media adviser, said that Lord King was an irreplaceable part of the Thatcher years. "He was a very active Conservative who transformed British Airways from a state-run company into the world's favourite airline," Lord Bell said. "He recruited Colin Marshall, who very much contributed to that, and he was a standard-bearer for British enterprise and the view that British business needed to serve their customers to succeed."

Martin Broughton, the chairman of BA, called Lord King "a dynamic, inspiring and formidable figure" who had led the airline through one of the greatest periods of change in its history.

It is understood that Lord King died in his sleep at his 2,000-acre estate at Wartnaby, Leicestershire.
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