CARLISLE AIRPORT OPENING DELAYED HOW DO YOU reach six days before the first flight before realising you do not have the number of air traffic control officers you need? These people do not grow on trees and the shortage must have been known months ago. Opening a “new” airport and starting new air services to support a tourist destination on the day the schools return at the end of the summer holiday seems like very bad planning indeed.

Alan Bowen (via BBT website)

CARDIFF AIRPORT LAYOUT [Cardiff airport to set future plans following growth] AT THE AIRPORT on 3 June for a 0700hr flight; called to the departure gate; had a very, very long walk to the departure gate; then had to wait 20 minutes in a long passage before we could board; then had to walk to the aircraft. Come on Cardiff, this is 2018. On return on 10 June, we landed at the furthest bay away from the terminal so had another long walk. I did not count the number of times we went up and down stairs before we reached the passport check-in. You state that passenger numbers are going up, but what I heard from passengers on Sunday was its swan song: “Never Cardiff again.”

Alan Griffith (via BBT website) BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM

BBTWEETS Travel tweeters: follow us on

@BBT_online and @matt_parsons @mbdyson

@Farina_Travlaw Back home after a fantastic @TheGTMC conference in Ireland. Amazing venue, speakers and delegates. Well done to @TheGTMC for such a well organised conference! #GTMCConf18

@haveigotnews Chris Grayling hails third runway at Heathrow an “historic moment”, as it’ll make flying to work easier for commuters whose trains have been cancelled.

@SteveDunne Staggering fact from

@AmadeusITGroup this morning – 53% of young people would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology!

@TheGTMC Netflix, Amazon... we’ve had a few well-known brands name- checked as examples for how TMCs should be approaching service when it comes to personalisation and recommendations. #GTMCConf18 #businesstravel

@JustineGreening Heathrow third runway is a bad deal for my community and for our country. It’s expensive and polluting. We need a 21st century UK airports strategy – regional airports with more connectivity on people’s doorsteps and helping regional economic growth.

ARE UK AIRPORTS DOING SO BADLY? [UK airports ‘underperforming’] PERSONALLY, I AM more impressed by the quality of the operational offering, where UK airports rank pretty highly for safety of the airside operations away from the ramp area. The baggage handling issues and ground service provider issues come down to the airlines wanting Mercedes-type performance at less than Ford prices. That means fewer personnel, frequently minimal investment in ground equipment and, as a consequence, no extra whatsoever for covering even normal day-to-day variations, such as passengers with reduced mobility, etc, taking longer to board.

If the public wants only to pay Poundland prices, then they are just not going to get even Waitrose levels of service, let alone Harrods. The whole issue is not helped by journalists who rave about tickets costing less than £10 or £20, when the smallest research would reveal that UK APD alone swallows that up. It just needs some realism and questioning of the sustainability of prices for seats, when the actual cost is fairly easily worked out to within a few pounds per seat per hour by just taking the fuel burn and multiplying by four times the cost of Jet A1, which per-metric ton is ten times the price per barrel in US$. Martin George Alder (via BBT website)

AIRLINE RETALIATION AGAINST AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL STRIKES [IAG and Ryanair to complain about ATC strikes] AN INTERESTING THOUGHT – IAG and Ryanair combining comments. Is there an Irish connection? The reality is that the airlines complaining about strikes and capacity seem to be the same ones complaining about the costs of providing the services and opposing increases in charges, regulatory costs and airport expansion in capacity that might cost them anything. A balance has to be struck between cost and income, but why would you oppose a 1 per cent or less increase in your costs for providing these services, at the expense of the cancellations, disruption and delays, due to inadequate capacity and system resilience? Is this another sign of an unsustainable business model for airlines that have expanded rapidly? After all, we have shortages of trained personnel, often through no other reason than operators just do not want to fund the very expensive cost of training – be it pilots or engineers.

Martin George Alder (via BBT website)

AIRPLUS’S EUROPEAN CORPORATE CARD IT’S A POSITIVE SURPRISE to see the Swiss market included. A long-time expected need for a real global payment solution. Andy Holzer

(via BBT website) BBT July/August 2018 93

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