Telluride Regional Airport welcomes Boutique Air

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Colorado’s Telluride Regional Airport (TEX) has gained a new commercial air service, thanks to Boutique Air, which will offer a year-round service from Denver International Airport (DEN) to TEX.

Located just 10 minutes from town and the popular Telluride ski resort the airport is renowned for its stunning location, on a mountain-side plateau, and 9,070-foot elevation.

Commenting on the new route, Boutique Air CEO, Shawn Simpson, said: “Telluride is a world-class destination, and we are thrilled to be connecting it to our Denver International hub later this month.” He added “our strong partnerships with both Colorado Flights Alliance as well as United Airlines have paved the way to this launch, which is just in time for the Telluride Film Festival. We look forward to making it a great success.”

Boutique Air’s flights between the two airports began on 29 August with fares starting at an introductory rate of $149 each way. Its modern fleet of Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 and Beechcraft King Air 350 Aircraft offers amenities that include reclining leather seats, lavatory and power outlets.

The commercial airline partners with United Airlines, enabling passengers to book and connect through the global United network. It is also part of the Colorado Flights Alliance, an economic development organisation that provides non-stop air services within the region.

Colorado Flights COO, Matt Skinner, exclaimed his excitement about partnering with Boutique Air saying: “Boutique Air brings a proven, high-quality operation and a worldwide partner network, a great fit for both our community and our guests coming to visit throughout the year.”

Precision aviation relocates to Jerome County Airport

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Jerome County Airport (KJER) in south central Idaho, about 10 miles north of Twin Falls, is to become the new home for Precision Aviation.

The aircraft charter and aviation services business is relocating its operations from nearby Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport over the coming months. It has ambitious plans to invest around US$1.4 million in two facilities and leased ground at Jerome County and will expand its services to include a fixed-base operation for aircraft refuelling, hangar rental, car rental and concierge services.

Precision Aviation initially started up at Jerome County’s airport in 2002, but the decision to relocate all of its operations to this location will help “promote growth to our airport and our community,” said Justine McMillan, Jerome County Airport’s manager.

The airport has plans to resurface the runway to make it thicker for heavier aircraft and plans to extend the runway by at least 500 feet.

Precision Aviation’s owner, Mark Doerr, added that the additional fuel sales will help attract small business jets to Jerome County.

Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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Strasbourg Airport to enhance business aviation infrastructure

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France’s Strasbourg Airport has ambitious plans to expand its business aviation infrastructure by adding a fixed-base operator (FBO) and VIP lounge as well as a dedicated MRO facility and fuel station reserved for business aviation.

The airport is seeking one or more partners to participate in the development. In its request for proposals (RFPs) the airport highlighted that the implementation of this project is “planned in the short term and must allow a quick response to requests from users of the platform, be they diplomatic staff, VVIPs or other business aviation users.”

Located in the Alsace region – one of the leading French regions in terms of direct foreign investment over the past 25 years – Strasbourg-Entzheim Airport is strategically positioned, both economically and diplomatically in the centre of the EU. The area is home to 21 European institutions, including the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and Eurocorps, as well as more than 1,000 subsidiaries of foreign companies. And as the airport is situated just 10km southwest of Strasbourg city centre, it is a convenient choice for business and general aviation passengers.

With nine taxiways and two aircraft aprons, the airport has already committed to a 48,600 square metre expansion of the ramp area to accommodate any type of diplomatic or business aircraft. Its Bravo apron will also be extended and dedicated to business aviation, integrating new aircraft positions to cover an area of 8,400 square metres.

Interested parties must submit their bids before 15 October 2018. Work is expected to start in 2019 and finish in June 2021.

Inset images:  Top – Artists image of the planned VIP pavilion; bottom – aerial view of Strasbourg Entzheim Airport

Written by: Chloe Greenbank
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Primera Air launches new Stansted-Washington DC route

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Low-fare carrier, Primera Air, has launched its latest long-haul route from London Stansted to Washington Dulles Airport.

The new route will be operated five times a week and will complement the airline’s existing services to New York, Boston and the Canadian city of Toronto, which all launched earlier this year.

Commenting on the new direct service to the US capital, Mark Souter, London Stansted Airport’s Aviation Manager said: “The launch of Primera Air’s new service to Washington Dulles Airport is a great addition to the airline’s long-haul offer from London Stansted and a clear reflection of the demand that exists across London and the East of England for convenient and affordable connections to the USA and beyond.”

With over 190 destinations across 38 countries, London Stansted is firmly positioned as a popular choice of airport for short-haul travel across Europe. The introduction of long-haul, low-fare routes is all part of the airport’s ambition to provide passengers with more choice and opportunities to travel beyond Europe. As well as including services to the US, Souter added that the airport intends to add new routes to China and India and “the launch of this new service is another step towards delivering that goal.”

Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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European airports report steady growth

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Airport Council International (ACI) Europe’s Q2 & H1 Air Traffic Report has found that Europe’s airports have experienced steady passenger growth of 6.7% during the first half of 2018.

Commenting on the continued growth across the sector, Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s director general said: “Our expectations for the first half of the year were cautiously positive, not least because of the extraordinary rise in passenger traffic Europe has enjoyed last year. But the results we are issuing today reveal just how robust air traffic growth has remained so far.

In the EU, airports in the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia achieved double digit growth. Meanwhile, airports in Sweden posted the lowest growth within Europe (+1.5%). The report reveals this was due to the combination of the new national aviation tax introduced last April, the bankruptcy of regional airline Nextjet and lower outbound demand in the wake of local currency hitting its lowest value in years.

Secondary and smaller hubs as well as some medium sized and larger regional airports also reported strong growth – reflecting ever evolving competitive dynamics largely driven by low-fare carriers and non-EU full service airlines. The top five airports catering for less than five million airports during the first half of the year were: Foggia (+48.5%), Batumi (+45.5%), Poznan (+39.7%), Varna (+37.1%) and Lublin ( 32.2%).

Jankovec did warn however that the rise in passenger traffic is clearly putting Europe’s aviation system under pressure – “with the impact of both a lack of airport capacity and Air Traffic Management inefficiencies becoming more and more acute and now directly affecting air travellers.”

He also stressed that “diminishing growth in freight traffic points to the economic risks from trade disputes and their escalation. Higher prices, disrupted supply chains and wavering exports are likely implications – which would inevitably end up affecting demand for air transport. The increasing odds of a “no-deal” Brexit scenario are just adding to the stress – and could soon start weakening consumer confidence.”


Header image: Batumi Airport, Georgia;  Inset: Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s managing director.



Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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Ryanair cancellations cause major disruptions

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Airports throughout Europe are bracing themselves for major disruptions this weekend following the news that Ryanair is cancelling a further 250 flights on Friday, as it is revealed that German pilots have confirmed a 24-hour walkout following a dispute over pay and conditions.

The budget airline had already cancelled around 150 flights on Friday ahead of pilots’ strikes in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden. Meanwhile Dutch pilots in the Netherlands are still considering calling for strikes.

Some 25,000 passengers are expected to be affected by the cancellations, as are various airports including East Midlands, Manchester, Dublin, Stockholm Skavsta, Stansted, Berlin Schonefeld and Frankfurt .

During a press conference on Wednesday 8 August, Martin Locher, president of Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) – the professional association of cockpit personnel in German – said: “We demand improvements in pay and working conditions.” He also asserted that “improvements are inconceivable without an increase in personnel cockpit costs. During negotiations Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases. At the same time, Ryanair has not shown any interest to find solutions. It is only Ryanair, which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place.”

In response to the call for industrial action, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs said: “We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action…. Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 per year and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year.”

He added that “we asked VC to provide us with at least seven days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds, but they have refused to do this and instead call an unnecessary strike in Germany in just two days’ time.”

The pilots’ strikes follow a summer of strife for the low-fare carrier which has also been affected by Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes in France and elsewhere in Europe.



Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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Primera ceases short-haul operations from Birmingham

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Latvian low-fare carrier, Primera Air, is to stop all of its European short-haul flights from Birmingham Airport in the UK.

Services between Birmingham and Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona will be cancelled from 3 September, while flights between the West Midlands hub and Malaga, Alicante, Las Palmas, Reykjavik and Tenerife will end on 29 October.

According to a spokesperson at Primera Air, the decision was taken to cease these short-haul operations as the routes in question haven’t performed “as well as expected.”

The news follows the announcement back in June that Primera Air was suspending its transatlantic service from Birmingham to New York and Toronto until next year. The airline said it had been forced to cancel these flights due to the late delivery of its new planes, although it hopes to reinstate transatlantic services in the new year once the aircraft are available.

Additionally, Primera Air has said it will reduce the frequency of its flights between Stansted and Malaga and will end its service from Stansted to Alicante on 1 October.


Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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New low-fare Sacramento-Leon link

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As of November 2018, Mexican ultra low-fare airline, Volaris, will offer a twice-weekly nonstop service between Sacramento in California and Leon in Mexico.

Leon is the largest city in the Mexican state of Guanajuato and part of the economic powerhouse microregion of Bajio within the Central Mexican Plateau. Known for its production of high-quality leather goods as well as premier hotels, restaurants and leisure activities, it’s a prime holiday destination for those seeking a winter getaway over the Christmas period.

“The recent announcement that Volaris Airlines will begin a direct service to Leon, Mexico is yet another example of our airport system’s commitment to convenience for the travelling public,” said Sacramento county supervisor, Phil Serna, whose district includes Sacramento International Airport.

He was joined by Mark Haneke, manage of air service development and marketing for the Sacramento County Department of Airports, who said: “We’re thrilled that Volaris is adding a service to Leon, a popular destination among the Hispanic community for visiting friends and relatives.”

The new link will operate from Sacramento to Leon after midnight on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while flights from Leon to Sacramento will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays. The new service will be added to the 39 destinations already served from Sacramento, which currently offers 155 daily nonstop flights on 11 domestic and international carriers.

The regional economic impact of Sacramento County’s airport system is more than $4 billion annually.



Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s masterplan met with overwhelming support

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has revealed overwhelming public support for development plans following the launch of its draft masterplan and subsequent public consultation.

The masterplan is part of the airport’s ambitious plan to become the major international gateway for the East side of the UK. The public consultation took place over a 10-week period with over 1,600 responses received from the public, stakeholders and private and public sector organisations taking part.

“Our airport is already seeing success in terms of new routes, rising passenger numbers and increased demand for cargo facilities,” said Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Sheffield City region. “But there is immense further potential which the draft Masterplan sets out a sensible path to deliver. Seeing this level of public support for it only hardens my desire to do our/ my bit to deliver it,” he added.

Over 90% of respondents expressed strong support for the objectives set out in the masterplan including an East Coast Mainline station at the airport site. Enhanced surface access through the delivery of a station at the site will help boost passenger growth to 11.8 million by 2050. The station could be operational as early as 2024. Adding a main line railway station will “put the region’s airport firmly on the map for people all the way from London to Edinburgh, making it a first choice for business and leisure travellers nationwide,” reiterated Jarvis.

Other standout highlights included 97% support for expansion of the terminal building services and 96% support for proposals to deliver new employment developments which are expected to create up to 13,000 new jobs at the airport.

When fully realised the proposed developments are forecast to deliver £3.7 billion to the local economy by 2037, including £900 million construction investment and £159 million to the region’s tourism economy.

Commenting on the support so far for the airport’s masterplan, Robert Hough, chairman of Peel Airports Group, which owns DSA, as well as Durham Tees Valley and Liverpool John Lennon airports, said:

We are humbled by the level of engagement we have seen in this public consultation for our draft masterplan. It is more than a plan for the airport, given the economic prize it is a plan for the economic future of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire which clearly people are keen to take an active role in shaping, to which we are most grateful.

With 90% of respondents expressing their strong support for our plans, this is exactly the clear and positive signal that you could wish for, as we pursue more routes, cargo, new housing, highly skilled jobs, tourism, inward investment and rail connectivity. With the right support we can deliver all of this here at DSA.

The positive support for development plans coincided with an announcement this week that Wizz Air will offer a new three weekly service to Budapest Airport. This means the low-fare carrier will offer five flights per week and almost 100,000 seats to Hungary, from DSA, making it the best connected airport to the Hungarian region from Yorkshire and the North of England.


Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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Cotswold Airport partners with World Fuel Services

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World Fuel Services, which is headquartered in Miami, has won the tender to supply fuel and equipment to Cotswold Airport near Kemble in Gloucestershire, UK.

The former RAF Red Arrows base and home to the Cotswold Airport Revival Festival which takes place in September, the airport is now home to a growing general and business aviation network.

Mark Amor, VP, World Fuel Services stated that as well as “supporting the site’s growth, our new relationship will also see us sponsoring the airport’s Aviation Scholarship which gives 10 young people the chance to experience all aspects of careers in aviation. This is another great example of how we can craft unique, innovative solutions that positively impact an airport’s long-term future.”

World Fuel Services now supplies both jet fuel and Avgas at the airport and is assisting with technical developments for purpose refuelling and storage equipment. The agreement also includes extensive support for repair and maintenance.

Customers landing at the airport can use their Avcard to request and pay for fuel, which will simplify fuel and services purchases.

Commenting on the new partnership, Christian Ackroyd, airport manager at Cotswold Airport said: “We are pleased to be welcoming the World Fuel Services to the site and increasing the fuel and equipment we have on offer for our customers. World Fuel Services has a competitive offering and has developed a proposal which addresses the needs of our growing customer base.”

Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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