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INDUSTRIAL ACTION


Half of UK travellers cancel business trips to France due to strikes


TRAVELDOO ASKED its customers to share their views on the transportation strike in France, and its impact. The online survey was aimed at business travellers in France and the UK. More than 50 per cent of UK respondents said they had chosen to postpone or cancel their business trips to France, while business travellers in France shared a more positive picture, with less than 50 per cent choosing to cancel or postpone their domestic travel. More than two-thirds of respondents were informed about the strikes, having been briefed by their TMC or through their own personal research. Traveldoo, a travel and expense technology company that is part of Expedia Group, also asked if the strikes affected levels of stress and fatigue for business travellers. On a scale of one to ten, business travellers rated stress levels as a result of strikes, at seven.


AIRLINES


Accorhotels expresses an interest in Air France KLM


ACCORHOTELS IS EXPLORING its options for acquiring a stake in Air France KLM.


Air France is under financial strain after strikes this year in a row with staff over pay. After his offer was rejected by the unions, chairman and chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned. French paper Les Echos reported that the government is considering selling its 14.3 per cent stake in Air France KLM. Accorhotels said it has “resumed its reflections on the matter”.


AIRPORTS


An artist’s impression of the Pier 6 Western Extension


Gatwick announces five-year £1 billion investment plan


GATWICK AIRPORT CHIEF EXECUTIVE Stewart Wingate has announced a new five-year capital investment plan worth £1.11 billion. The airport says it predicts passenger numbers to grow to nearly 53 million by 2023 and needs to “grow sustainably” and improve its facilities to support the increased traffic. Since the airport changed ownership in 2009, it will have invested £3.14 billion in its facilities by 2023. One project set for completion this summer is the South Terminal long-stay car park decking, which will provide an additional 1,200 spaces. Future projects involved in the new five-year plan include a Pier 6 Western Extension, which will start with enabling Pier 5 to handle A380 aircraft. The work will involve the widening and reconfiguration of a taxiway to accommodate the wingspan of the super-jumbo.


Other projects include a new domestic arrivals facility and baggage claim in the South Terminal; a mezzanine level extension in the


North Terminal departure lounge to accommodate new restaurants; trialling of biometric self-boarding technology in the North Terminal; redevelopment of the South Terminal’s hotel capacity and extending the roll-out of self- service bag drops across both terminals. The airport will also develop a new road system and taxiway entrance to the new Boeing aircraft hangar to connect the airfield with the facility. The hangar opens in 2019 and Gatwick says it will service the growing number of long-haul aircraft using the airport. It also aims to increase the use of electric vehicles in an effort to reduce its environmental impact and support its sustainability goals. The investment is also set to enable


Network Rail’s planned upgrade to the railway station, as well as joint equipment for ground handlers, which Gatwick says will drive efficiency to the airfield and baggage operations. Finally, the airport is planning to build a new reception centre in the North Terminal for passengers with reduced mobility.


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