This could be the dramatic picture if airport computer systems go down, but fear not, it's a picture from a previous Farnborough Air Show. Farnborough Air Show 2018 (35 minutes by rail to London) will be held in July. New permanent exhibition halls and conference centre complex is already open on site, and for hire, by all accounts very busy so get in early! Enquiries to 01252 532800

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SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK (directly wired Ethernet connection on high speed Virginmedia cable) ALSO GLENSOUND ISDN GSGC5 ISDN LOCATION UNITS FOR PROFESSIONAL DRY HIRE Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation, keynote presentations and workshops for corporate organisations on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, cybercrime and DoS issues, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. He operated at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. (PR WEEK TOP 150) Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and featured in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book. Investigative Journalist and Broadcaster. After-dinner speaker and presenter. NUJ LIFE MEMBER & FULL EQUITY MEMBER.

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down. Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment @julianbray.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

UK National Permit to Fly General Aviation (GA) aircraft can now be used in certain circumstances for remunerated commercial training and self-fly hire, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced.


UK National Permit to Fly General Aviation (GA) aircraft can now be used in certain circumstances for remunerated commercial training and self-fly hire, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced.

The move follows extensive consultation with the GA community. 

Owners of 'Permit' aircraft have always been allowed to undertake training in their own aircraft, as this is defined as non-commercial. Today's announcement now allows other pilots who do not own UK National Permit to Fly aircraft, to undertake post PPL flight instruction and self-fly hire using aircraft with a Permit to Fly.

Pilots who do not hold a licence cannot take advantage of the new rule to undertake ab-initio training in rented permit aircraft, unless it is 'Type Approved'. But, if the pilot already holds a valid licence for the same aircraft category, then remunerated flight instruction and examination is now allowed.

Ex-military aircraft that are operated under CAP 632 requirements are also not included under the new rules as they already operate under separate agreements.
The CAA made the announcement ahead of AeroExpo, the largest general aviation event of the year, taking place at Wycombe Air Park on 14th to16th June.

Mark Shortman, Policy Manager for the CAA's General Aviation Unit said, “This is another significant step forward in the delivery of the project portfolio within the GA Change Programme”.

The CAA will have a major presence at this year's AeroExpo to explain its current activities and recent regulatory developments. Members of the CAA's General Aviation Unit will be available over the course of the three-day event to answer queries from pilots, students and commercial organisations.

Full details of the new rule for the use of Permit to Fly aircraft for flight instruction and self-hire can be found here

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DRUNKS ON A PLANE ROUND TWO: Glasgow Airport has launched Campus Watch 2018 to remind air passengers that disruptive behaviour of any kind is not tolerated.

Glasgow Airport has today (Wednesday, June 13) launched this year's Campus Watch drive ahead of the 2018 summer season to remind passengers that disruptive behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.

Campus Watch was introduced in 2013 in partnership with Police Scotland to tackle disruptive behaviour at Glasgow Airport and provides training, advice and support to staff who interact with passengers on a daily basis. This includes check-in staff, security teams, bar and restaurant employees, retailers and airline crews.

One of the key aims of Campus Watch is early intervention. Staff across the campus are encouraged to report the details of any potential incident of disruptive behaviour to the airport's central control room through a dedicated phone.

This information, including passenger description and travel details, is shared with staff across the airport campus via a rapid text alert system.

In addition to this, Glasgow Airport has also invested more than £10,000 this year to introduce a new digital radio system to help disseminate live Campus Watch intelligence across the terminal in addition to the text system.
Disruptive behaviour can cover a broad range of offences and actions can range from a verbal warning to arrest. As an example, if an incident is alcohol related the passenger involved will be warned about their behaviour by Police Scotland officers, refused service across all retail and catering outlets and gate staff will be notified in advance of their arrival. Gate staff can then speak to the passenger and determine if they should be permitted to board the aircraft.
Glasgow also took the unprecedented step this week to launch a national advertising campaign to remind passengers of their responsibilities when travelling through the airport this year.
Francois Bourienne, Chief Commercial Officer for Glasgow Airport's parent group AGS Airports Ltd, said: "For many of our passengers, the airport experience signals the start of their holiday and there's nothing wrong with this. We want to ensure our passengers continue to enjoy a memorable but ultimately safe and disruption-free experience.

"While it's important to stress that the vast majority of passengers travelling through our doors do so responsibly and that incidents are extremely rare, Glasgow Airport continues to operate a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour.
"Our Campus Watch system is effective because we work closely with our airline partners, retailers, caterers and Police Scotland representatives to address and often pre-empt incidents of disruptive behaviour at the airport.

"While we've chosen our peak summer period to promote this drive, Campus Watch is a year-round initiative. Thanks to our early-intervention approach to challenging disruptive behaviour, we've a seen a significant reduction in the number of incidents during the first five months of the year.

"However, one incident will always be one too many, particularly as disruptive behaviour can disproportionately affect a large number of passengers on board an aircraft.   
"Campus Watch sends a clear message to what remains a very small minority of people acting in a disruptive manner that we continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour."

Other steps taken at Glasgow Airport as part of the Campus Watch initiative include:

·         Police Scotland patrols at the drop-off area ahead of potentially problematic flights
·         New Campus Watch marketing material displayed across the airport
·         Airlines make airport-based Police Scotland officers aware of group bookings
·         Police Scotland officers make themselves known to large groups arriving at the airport
·         Duty free staff will also remind passengers the alcohol they purchase is for export only and cannot be consumed in the airport or on board an aircraft
·         Regular Campus Watch drop-in sessions held for staff to learn more and share experiences
·         Campus Watch forum made up of airport partners meets regularly

Sergeant Clare Riddoch, who heads up Campus Watch at Glasgow Airport, said: "We work with our airport, retail, catering and airline partners to ensure incidents of disruptive behaviour are few and far between.
"On the rare occasion someone is disruptive their behaviour can have a significant impact and cause concern and misery for a large number of passengers, particularly if the incident occurs on board an aircraft.
"By creating a single point of contact with Campus Watch and delivering consistent messaging and regular training, thousands of people employed across the airport work together to tackle disruptive behaviour as soon as it becomes an issue.

"Campus Watch works, so much so that we've welcomed representatives from a number of other UK airports to the terminal for an overview of the operation and they've incorporated our approach into their own programmes.
"Key to our continued success is ensuring that we always look at ways to improve. The new radio system is an example of this and ensures we communicate Campus Watch messages immediately as they happen.
"It's completely understandable that people want to start their holiday with a bit of fun, but they should always remember to behave appropriately and drink responsibly, making sure they're fit to fly. Being drunk or disruptive in the airport or on board an aircraft will certainly cost them more than just their flight."

Glasgow Airport, its airline partners, caterers and retailers are also signatories of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers launched last year. Like Campus Watch, the code has been designed to create a common, consistent approach to preventing and minimising disruptive behaviour. 
Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association Karen Dee said: "Glasgow Airport's Campus Watch initiative is a great example of our industry's commitment to tackling the problem of disruptive passengers. Thankfully incidents of disruptive behaviour are a very rare occurrence, with data from the Civil Aviation Authority showing that the number of incidents is stable despite record passenger growth.
"However, where they do happen the impact can have serious consequences. That is why initiatives such as these at Glasgow Airport are so important.
"The AOA and our airport members are part of the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers, which was developed with support from airport police, bars, restaurants and retailers as well as with airlines and the UK Government supports these efforts. The Code enables a common approach across UK aviation to ensure that everyone can enjoy a great start to their holiday.
"Together we make clear that disruptive behaviour, including due to excessive alcohol consumption, is not acceptable. Passengers should be aware that consequences of such behaviour could include losing a holiday because they are denied boarding as well as fines, flight bans and prison sentences for the most serious offences."

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018


   The first direct Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing,
China to Edinburgh, Scotland landed earlier today.

The direct flights from Beijing are the start of a twice-weekly schedule.
Th operators Hainan are confident the route will help attract thousands more Chinese tourists and students, in the process cutting the cost of airfares from Scotland as currently a connecting flight is involved.
The Chinese tourism market is important to Scotland as experts say that some £26.5million has already been 'banked'.
Hainan Airlines Pic: Brian Innes
In addition, two further weekly return flights via Dublin  will also a feature of the new schedule. 
An Airbus A330-300 will fly Beijing to Dublin and then onto Edinburgh, and then direct back to Beijing on Thursdays and Sundays.  On Tuesdays and Saturdays  flying direct to Edinburgh and then Dublin and then back to Beijing.
Hainan Airlines Pic: Brian Innes            
Fiona Hunter, Edinburgh-China Air-link project manager speaking to the BBC said: "Securing a global flight connection on this scale is hugely encouraging of the capital's position as an outstanding place to visit, live, work, study and invest.
"The flight path is the result of many years of hard work and is really just the start of the opportunity for Edinburgh. Based on our research we expect to see the number of flights increase quite significantly over the next few years, bringing with it even more investment and economic influence."
Sources: BBC, China Daily, CNS,

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Joint Statement of President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

The x-treme gap holiday company boss Oliver Bray puts his own unique view on matters

This is the full (corrected) text of the statement signed earlier today ( 12 June 2018 ) at Sentosa Island

Joint Statement of President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of a new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that the mutual confidence-building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un start the following:

1.    The US and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two counties for peace and prosperity

2.    The US and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula

·  Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

·  The US and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified

Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit - the first in history - was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expediently. The US and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

June 12, 2018

Sentosa Island

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Monday, 11 June 2018


Breaking News: Rolls Royce have today (Thursday June 14th) confirmed 4,600 UK jobs are to go, 600 of these in the next six months at the DERBY HQ 
- we previously reported from company sources - job losses would be around 4,000) over the next two years, in an attempt to reduce their costs by £400million
'Bad boy' Rolls Royce Trent 1000...

The iconic Rolls Royce brand is currently suffering a major new setback with its Trent B aero engine products and the cause appears to an unexpectedly ‘short life’ compressor in the Trent 1000 package C engine, which powers Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet.

The recurring problems, effectively grounding planes, forcing repeated inspections, and souring relationships with their major airline clientele.

If this is not bad enough, earlier this week (Monday) Rolls Royce uncovered on a “small number of high life Package B engines”, new issues requiring a one-off inspection of the B fleet and sending its shares down 1 percent, according to Reuters.


Analysts suggest Rolls’ full-year free cash flow target will not be impacted, but is 'inconvenient' as it has erupted as the group is poised to roll out the latest stage of CEO Warren Easts’ much needed major restructuring revenue protection program - said to increase profitability.
Not helping matters is that Farnborough International Airshow, where Rolls Royce traditionally has a major presence is just 39 days away (21st July 2018...) and is certain to be a major topic of interest.
The group is expected later this week to hold a capital markets day, some 4,000 job cuts in the UK, affecting support and management roles will be announced, as part of a wide ranging restructure. Currently some 50,000 people in 50 countries are on the payroll.

The latest grim news about the Trent compressor failures has forced airline customers to expensively lease in alternative planes to fly in the busy summer holiday period.  
One airline operating in the UK has unexpectedly cancelled its Summer transatlantic schedule, as delivery of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner ‘has been delayed due to engineering technical issues outside of our control’  

The existing package C issue had led to around thirty of the affected aircraft being grounded at any one time for checks. These  British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand said earlier this month it would lease two Boeing 777s to cover for 787-9s that are affected by the Rolls engine issue.

Airlines using the package C engine also take the package B engine. Rolls say that some 380 package C engines are in service, while there are 166 package B engines in service.
But it seems engineering glitches are not just limited to Rolls Royce, elsewhere Primera Air has temporarily suspended flights from UK Birmingham to New York and Toronto from June 21st 2018 until 2019.
The low cost airline has blamed the cancellation on the late delivery of its long-haul A321neo from Airbus.

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Thursday, 7 June 2018


Gatwick proposed a second runway,
only to be eclipsed by the Government
decision to back the Heathrow bid.

Saturday June 9th, marks a 60-year milestone for London  Gatwick Airport since it was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 9th June 1958, the first airport in the world to effectively combine air, road and train travel in one place.
The construction project bill in 1958 - some four years after the Coronation was for the post-war UK - an eyewatering £7.8 million, and transformed Gatwick into an efficient integrated global travel hub. The project completed in just over two-and-a-half years.

It was the first airport to have an integral direct railway link, allowing passengers to enjoy a seamless transfer from train to airport terminal. 

The introduction of  the Boeing 747-400 Jumbo, added three runway extensions in 1964, 1970 and 1973 - to facilitate non-stop flights from the US West Coast.  Gatwick opened a  new control tower in 1984.  In the same year the Gatwick Express train service was launched.

In 1988, HM The Queen opened the £200m North Terminal, the main terminal renamed South Terminal. Ten years on, a fourth runway extension was completed, with easyJet’s residence at the airport starting the following year in 1999.

There were further extensions to both the North and South terminals, totalling £60million, followed by Gatwick building what was claimed at the time to be the biggest air passenger link bridge in the world,  some194m in length.

In 2012,  new owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced a £2.5 billion investment programme, 2012 also saw Emirates start its scheduled A380 service at Gatwick – making it one of the very few airports at the time that could accommodate the next generation of passenger airplanes.

 In 2017, in a massive logistical operation easyJet, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic all swapped terminals – all completed in just 72 hours.

Notable events in Gatwick’s history:   

1958: Official opening by Queen Elizabeth II
Following a £7.8 million renovation, Gatwick is officially opened by the Queen.

1964: Runway extended
Gatwick extends its runway by 370m to 2500m. By the next year, the airport has 3 piers, all nearly 300m long, and a terminal area of 9,300m2.

1970: Runway extended further
A second 267m extension of Gatwick's runway is completed, bringing it to 2,766m.

1973: Runway extended even further
The third extension of Gatwick's runway is completed, bringing it to a length of 3,098m and allowing for non-stop flights to the US west coast.

1984: New control tower and Gatwick Express launched
Gatwick opens its new air traffic control tower, the tallest in the UK at the time. The Gatwick Express is launched, while Virgin Atlantic’s first commercial flight takes off from Gatwick.

1985: BA begins commercial Concorde flights from Gatwick
The inaugural flight takes off to JFK.

1988: North Terminal opens
The £200m North Terminal is opened by the Queen.

1998: Fourth runway extension
Due to Gatwick’s increasing global connections, the runway is extended to 3316m.

1999: easyJet move in
easyJet begins operating from Gatwick.

2000: Terminals extended
Both terminals are extended at a cost of £60m.

2005: Making connections
Gatwick’s Pier 6 is built and connected to the airport by the largest air passenger bridge in the world.

2009: New owners
New owners, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announces a £2.5 billion investment programme.

2012: Emirates
Emirates begins its scheduled A380 service at Gatwick.

2016: Making check-in easy
Gatwick opens the newly built Pier 1 in the South Terminal and the airport’s first early bag store. It also opens the world’s largest self-service bag drop zone in the North Terminal.

2017: Airline Moves
Gatwick’s three largest airlines move terminals, with easyJet consolidating its operations in the North Terminal, British Airways moving its operation to the South Terminal and Virgin Atlantic shifting to the North Terminal.

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

UK ministers approve third runway at London Heathrow Airport, however it still has to be voted through by MPs.

Breaking News
+++ After what is a 20 year debate, and the prospect of some 700 'planes a day over west London, UK ministers approve a third runway at London Heathrow Airport, however expect a bumpy ride as it still has to be voted through by MPs and many are very unhappy as villages (such as Harmondsworth, Sipson and Longford) will vanish, as the Airport footprint is almost doubled and swallows up an enlarged site to the north west of the current plot +++ 

It is being suggested tonight (Thursday)that Heathrow Airport could sue taxpayers for "billions of pounds" if the third runway expansion goes wrong, anti-runway campaigner Justine Greening MP has suggested. However this is nothing new as it was always the case that costs may be recovered. The problem is that costs first need to be agreed, and that could take many years...

The former transport secretary, whose Putney constituency lies directly under the Heathrow flight path, pointed to a clause in the Department for Transport's agreement with Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) and claims this would mean the taxpayer footing the bill "when (if) things go wrong".
After some 20 years of wrangling over the London hub airport's expansion, Theresa May's Cabinet made the decision to go ahead with the proposal on tuesday.
Ms Greening secured an urgent question on the issue on Thursday after raising it during Prime Minister's Questions the day before.





The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) is urging governments 'to take a cautious approach when considering airport privatisation'. In a unanimously passed resolution, the IATA membership called on governments to prioritize the long-term economic and social benefits delivered by an effective airport ahead of the short-term financial gains provided by a poorly thought-out privatization. 

"We are in an infrastructure crisis. Cash-strapped governments are looking to the private sector to help develop much needed airport capacity. But it is wrong to assume that the private sector has all the answers. Airlines have not yet experienced an airport privatization that has fully lived up to its promised benefits over the long term.

"Airports are critical infrastructure. It is important that governments take a long-term view focusing on solutions that will deliver the best economic and social benefits. Selling airport assets for a short-term cash injection to the treasury is a mistake," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Currently some 14percent of airports globally have some level of privatization. As they tend to be large hubs, they handle about 40percent  of global traffic.

"IATA research shows that private sector airports are more expensive. But we could not see any gains in efficiency or levels of investment. This runs counter to the experience of airline privatization where enhanced competition resulted in lower pricing to consumers. So we don’t accept that airport privatization must lead to higher costs. Airports have significant market power. Effective regulation is critical to avoiding its abuse—particularly when run for profit by private sector interests," said de Juniac who also noted that five of the top six passenger ranked airports by Skytrax are in public hands.

IATA member airlines resolved to urge governments considering airport privatization to:
  • Focus on the long-term economic and social benefits of an effective airport
  • Learn from our positive experiences with corporatization, new financing models, and alternative ways of tapping private sector participation
  • Make informed decisions on ownership and operating models to best protect consumer interests, and
  • Lock-in the benefits of competitive airport infrastructure with rigorous regulation.
"There is no one-size-fits-all solution. A broad range of ownership operating models exist that can meet a government’s strategic objectives without a transfer of control or ownership to the private sector. Globally, many of the most successful airports are operated as corporatized entities of governments. Governments need to evaluate the pros and cons of different models taking into account interests of all stakeholders, including airlines and customers. The most important thing is that airports meet the needs of customers and airport infrastructure users, at a fair price. And to do that, user consultation must be an integral part of the consideration process," said de Juniac.
Safeguarding consumer interests when pursuing privatization
Recognizing that when airport privatization is pursued, a key determinant of success is the effective balance of the interests of consumers, airlines, investors, citizens and economies IATA’s member airlines called for:
  • Governments to protect consumer interests by establishing robust regulatory safeguards to ensure cost efficiency in charges and improvements in investments and service levels
  • Expectations for performance improvement to be set in consultation with airport users and the consumers
  • Periodic monitoring of airport privatization through public consultation, with corrective action taken to ensure benefits are realized for the passengers, for airlines and for cargo consumers.
"Efficient and economical air transport contributes directly to a community's prosperity. Poorly thought-out airport privatizations put this at risk. The balancing role of effective and strong economic regulation is essential," said de Juniac.

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Thursday, 31 May 2018

IATA 74th AGM and World Air Transport Summit heading for 'quest' led UK hotel sector flat.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announces that leaders of the global air transport industry are currently gathering in Sydney, Australia, for the IATA 74th AGM and World Air Transport Summit.

Hosted by Qantas, the event includes addresses by Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General of Australia; Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport; and Dr Fang Liu, Secretary General, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

"Sydney will be the capital of air transportation as aviation leaders gather for the 74th IATA AGM and World Air Transport Summit (WATS). The airline industry is in its ninth consecutive year of profitability. And solid progress is being made on the top priorities of safety, security and sustainability. The big issue of the day is infrastructure. A global infrastructure crisis is being complicated by governments considering an acceleration of private sector involvement in airports," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Julian Bray Aviation expert comments: What is claimed to be a highlight of the World Air Transport Summit is a CEO Insight panel featuring Sir Tim Clark (Emirates), Peter Elbers (KLM), Rupert Hogg (Cathay Pacific) Christopher Luxon (Air New Zealand) and Calin Rovinescu (Air Canada). No problem wit that and the line up is impressive, but will the panel be able to get a word in edgeways as the moderator billed is none other than CNNs Richard Quest?  Quest is fabled for allegedly being able to talk in rapid-fire whole paragraphs before pausing for breath. Hopefully oxygen masks will be placed above the panel, ready to drop down should circumstances dictate!  

Hot topics include sustainable aviation fuels, airport privatization, benefits and risks of tourism, gender equality, making the best use of data, next steps on aviation security, and preventing human trafficking. Mr Quest has his hands full with that and no doubt it will quickly become apparent which airlines have not purchased forward fuel options as simply they could be out of business within 18 months, such is the continuing rise of world fuel rates - all accounted for in US dollars, but that is a whole new story!

Meanwhile back in the UK, not such good news from the hotel sector as its being reported  that Hotels in the UK saw a 0.9 per cent year-on-year drop in room occupancy to 77.8 per cent in April, as room rates increased 0.8 per cent to £112.56.

Profit per room at hotels in the UK fell by 0.9 per cent to £47.98, representing a sixth consecutive month of year-on-year profit decline, according to the latest HotStats report.

Pablo Alonso, CEO of HotStats, said: “Demand levels have softened since the beginning of 2018, which may be attributed to the poor weather, the slowing in the UK economy and, this month, the timing of Easter.

“But it’s also clear that the increase in minimum wage and employer pension contributions have caused an increase in payroll levels. So, despite a rise in TrevPAR, payroll as a percentage of total revenue has grown and taken a bite out of profits.”
Hotels in Aberdeen recorded increased in both room occupancy (6.3 per cent) to 69.0 per cent, and average room rate (1.5 per cent) to £60.85, helped by a 36.8 per cent increase in conference revenue.


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AFS Draft Advisory Circulars (AC) Open for Comment for U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. AC 120-85B, Air Cargo Operations has been added, and is now available at


Julian Bray Aviation Expert comments: The FAA has released its latest draft advisory `circular for comment. Its contents for UK based aviation operations in respect of the handling of livestock and carriage of passenger pets is interesting and in some cases may involve physical changes to aircraft hold  and cargo operations. Some may say not before time, but the outcome will be higher costs all round or possibly a shift to all cargo transits for livestock and pets, to accommodate longer loading times required to complete the proposed new systems. Clearly scheduled commercial aviation passenger slots are strictly timed and turnarounds are always under pressure.   

Clearly the FAA is being stung into action by recent events and is set following consultation, to radically change the way animals are handled, also pets with passports may face significantly higher charges and insurance costs, as a direct knock on effect of the proposals

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IATA reports passenger demand growth slowed down in April

IATA reports passenger demand growth slowed down in April
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic data for April 2018 showing that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 6.2% compared to April 2017, which was down from a 12-month high of 9.7% in March. Comparisons with the year ago period are impacted by developments a year ago – including the comparatively late timing of Easter in 2017, which boosted April traffic.

April capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.9%, and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage point to 82.3%, which was a record for the month of April, surpassing last year’s record of 82.1%.

"Demand for air transport continues to be above the long-term trend. However, increases in airline cost inputs, most notably fuel prices, means that we are unlikely to see increased stimulation from lower fares in 2018, compared to previous years," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA  Director General and CEO.  
April 2018
(% year-on-year)
World share¹
Total Market
Asia Pacific
Latin America
Middle East
North America
   ¹% of industry RPKs in 2017   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level   

International Passenger Markets
April international passenger demand rose 4.8% compared to April 2017. All regions recorded year-over-year traffic increases but all were behind the pace of growth reported in March. Total capacity climbed 4.9%, and load factor slipped 0.1 percentage point to 81.4%.
  • Asia Pacific carriers posted an 8.5% traffic rise in April, strongest among the regions. It was the first time since December 2017 that Asia-Pacific airlines led in growth. Passenger traffic has continued to trend upwards at an annualized rate in the region of 10%, supported by robust regional economic expansion and ongoing growth in the number of flight options, which translates into time savings for passengers. Capacity rose 7.6% and load factor improved 0.6 percentage point to 81.0%.
  • Middle East carriers saw demand rise 4.1% in April. Capacity climbed 3.2% and load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to 77.2%. The seasonally-adjusted upward trend in traffic has strengthened since the start of the year, aided by healthy growth on the key routes to/from Asia and Europe, as well as continuing signs of recovery on the market segment to/from North America. Annual comparisons are likely to become more favorable in coming months, owing to the disruptions caused by the proposed travel bans to the US and the since-lifted ban on large portable electronic devices in the year-ago period.
  • European airlines’ April traffic increased 3.4% compared to the year-ago period. While this was down compared to the 9.8% year-over-year growth recorded in March, demand picked up in April in seasonally-adjusted terms. Capacity rose 4.0%. While load factor dipped 0.5 percentage point to 84.6%, it still was highest among the regions. 
  • North American airlines posted a 0.9% demand increase compared to April a year ago, which was sharply down compared to the 9.5% growth experienced in March. Comparisons to the year-ago period are distorted by the huge pick-up in traffic in April 2017. A bounce back is expected in May, supported by the relatively strong economic backdrop in the US. Capacity climbed 2.4%, and load factor fell 1.2 percentage points to 80.7%.
  • Latin American airlines experienced a 6.4% rise in April demand compared to the same month last year. Capacity rose 7.5% and load factor slipped 0.8 percentage point to 81.4%. While the year-over-year traffic increase in April was roughly half that of March, the bigger picture remains bright, with seasonally-adjusted traffic volumes having grown at double-digit annualized rates over the past six months.
  • African airlines’ had a 5.1% traffic increase in April. Capacity rose 4.6%, and load factor edged up 0.4 percentage point to 72.8%. The upward demand trend remains strong, helped by continuing signs of improvement in the region’s largest economies: Nigeria and South Africa. This is only the fourth time in the past 41 months that both economies have been on an upward trajectory at the same time
Domestic Passenger Markets
Demand for domestic travel climbed 8.5% in April compared to April 2017, propelled by double-digit annual growth in India and China, Capacity increased 7.6%, and load factor rose 0.7 percentage point to 84.0%. All markets reported demand increases.   
April 2018
(% year-on-year)       
World share¹
China P.R             
Russian Fed.             
¹% of industry RPKs in 2017   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level 

*Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available  account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs                                           
  • Australia’s domestic traffic increased 3.4% year-on-year in April – a slowdown from March,
  • but still well above the five-year average pace of 1.6%.
  • India’s airlines recorded double-digit annual growth (26.4%) for the 44th consecutive month, with passenger demand continuing to be supported by a combination of strong economic and network expansion.

View IATA April passenger traffic analysis

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