It is time, once again, for a conversation about additional runways at London airports. With the third runway at Heathrow stalled, Gatwick is pushing to activate its shorter North runway for departures, boosting capacity and reducing congestion at the airport. Community consultations are slated to begin in two weeks.
Designing and building a new, market-leading seat design is no easy feat. Mirus Aircraft Seating will soon be able to perform another portion of the process in house. The company received a grant to build the largest commercially available aircraft seating test facility in the UK. The facility is expected to enter service in July 2022.
Aer Lingus UK finally secured its operating certificate from British authorities, paving the way for the carrier to launch its operations from Manchester to the US and Caribbean islands later this year. But broarder expansion may be hampered by the fine print in that AOC document.
The new Aer Lingus base in Manchester, UK is officially open for business. The carrier confirmed its first four destinations in the Americas – New York City, Orlando, Barbados, and Boston – with flights beginning from 29 July. These are the first non-stop flights from the UK across the Atlantic for the airline.
Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network could soon be part of a hydrogen-powered regional flying scheme in the United Kingdom. The effort, driven by the UK government, will also explore the option of single-pilot operations for commercial flights, using the data network to offer support for that pilot while in the sky.
Earlier this summer rumors were swirling about a possible UK base for some Aer Lingus planes. It now appears that Manchester is the airport of choice for those operations. The carrier secured just over 1,500 new slots at the airport, enough to operate a full summer of flights with four long-haul aircraft.
Virgin Atlantic filed for bankruptcy protection in the US courts on Tuesday, a move that initially sparked concerns among travelers about the future of the company. Fortunately the filing, made under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code, is more of a procedural play than anything to be concerned about.
The UK government and Indian telecom giant Bharti Global Limited won the assets of aspiring satellite operator OneWeb in a bankruptcy auction. Each party will invest $500 million in the company as part of the recapitalization plan. Subject to further government and regulatory approvals and funding, OneWeb will resume manufacture, launch and operation of its satellite constellation.
Nokia found a new opportunity to deploy its air-to-ground inflight connectivity hardware. The company behind the ground station antennae for Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network secured a deal with EE, part of the British Telecom group, to deploy a nationwide, dedicated, airborne communications network for Great Britain’s emergency services.
JetBlue still intends to launch service to Europe. CEO Robin Hayes believes that “the need for us to enter that market and bring more competition” remains relevant. Just don’t expect it to happen quite so soon, and that may be a good thing.