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We have heard about different ways activists have tried to stop Heathrow’s expansion, but recently they came up with a novel idea – buy a piece of land (almost an acre is size) in the middle of the planned site for expansion. Celebrities like Emma Thompson, Alistair McGowan; millionaire Tory Zac Goldsmith and a lot of activists contributed to buy the piece of land now called “Airplot”.

From Mizozo.com

Celebrities like “actress Emma Thompson, the comedian Alistair McGowan,
millionaire Tory Zac Goldsmith”, greenpeace and activists bought a
portion a land in the middle of Heathrow’s expansion project.The land plot is called “airplot” and a thousand of brits have their name on it’s registration.

Cons 

  • More planes, more pollution = more carbon emissions
  • More planes – more noise

Pros

  • More planes – More jobs
  • More planes – More money for London or UK (since every person flying through or from London pays airport tax)

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Kingfisher Airlines recently announced the start of its new service between Mumbai and London (Heathrow Airport) starting January 5th 2009. The airline will use an Airbus A330-200 (28 seats in First and 169 seats in Kingfisher Class).

Mumbai – London Flight Schedule IT 007
Departure from Mumbai – 13:45 Mumbai Local Time
Arrival at London – 17:55 London Local Time (Terminal 4)

London – Mumbai Flight Schedule IT008
Departure from London – 20:30 London Local Time
Arrival at Mumbai – 11:00 Mumbai Local Time (next day)

Other Services Launch –
Kingfisher also plans to launch Mumbai-Hong Kong operations from January 12 and Mumbai-Singapore flight from January 16. In addition, its flights from Bangalore and Chennai to Sri Lanka capital, Colombo, will start from January 19.
(from Hindu)

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January 17th 2009, Mexicana (or Compañía Mexicana de Aviación) will launch twice-weekly flights from Mexico City to London’s Gatwick Ariport (return flight leaves London at 10:30am and arrives in Mexico City at 17:35p). The airline will be using a Boeing 767-200ER for the service. Mexicana’s plans are to fly to Sao Paulo Grarulhos (GRU), London (LGW)
and Madrid (MAD). “The arrival of a second -200 the following month will allow it to
double the frequency. The aircraft also will be used on a new
five-times-weekly Sao Paulo Guarulhos service scheduled to start Dec.
10.
” The Madrid flight is supposed to start in February
2009 (on Airbus A330).

“Passengers on these flights will enjoy bed seats, an exclusive
in-flight meal prepared by Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and a select
list of handpicked Mexican wines.”

Mexicana is Mexico’s largest airline and is the first airline that was established in the country. It has been Mexico’s national airline since 1924.

From ATWOnline

Mexicana has been hit by the current industry downturn like many
carriers, but it remains in “adequate” financial health and is focused
on a long-term plan that includes oneworld entry and the launch of its
first European services early next year, CEO Manuel Borja said
yesterday at the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Cancun.
All three routes are underserved, he said. The GRU and LGW flights
largely will cater to corporate customers, with a “small percentage” of
leisure travelers, while MAD is “more of a mix.” He conceded that MX
will post a “small” loss in 2008 but expects a “neutral” 2009.

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London’s Stansted Airport, operated by BAA, received the permission from the UK government to increase its flight capacity by 10% to accommodate a further of 23,000 flights a year (extra 10 million passengers). Earlier the local authority had rejected the request due to noise and environmental issues.

From M2

The maximum number of passengers able to use the
airport would increase by 10m a year, from 35m to 25m, as a result of
the capacity increase and the number of possible flights would be
raised from 241,000 annually to 264,000, Reuters reported.

Opposition on the Plan from BBC

The National Trust opposes the expansion, claiming increased air traffic will have an adverse impact on nearby Hatfield Forest.

It has described the site as one of Europe’s last remaining
medieval royal hunting forests and believes an increase in flights and
noise will hit visitor numbers. 

Uttlesford District Council leader Jim Ketteridge said:
“Allowing BAA to increase the amount of air traffic marks a further
erosion of our quality of life, particularly for all those living near
Stansted Airport.”

Stop Stansted Expansion, the campaign group which has led
opposition to further development, said it was “considering the
implications” of the Government’s decision before commenting further.

And the Liberal Democrats have also criticised the move,
claiming there is a “gaping void” between the Government’s rhetoric on
the environment and its actions.

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Singapore Airlines announced that on Thursday September 18th 2008, it received its 6th Airbus A380 from Airbus. The airline is supposed to use the super jumbo jet for a second daily flight between Singapore and London.

It is good news for Airbus and Airbus Investors since the company seems to be sticking to its delivery target and schedule of 12 Airbus A380 by the end of the year (despite delay rumors).

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Kingfisher Airlines (merged into Deccan Aviation) became the second major private Indian Airlines after Jet Airways to get the permission to fly to foreign destinations. The aviation ministry of India has approved the airlines for seven flights a week between Bangalore and London on a Airbus A330 from August 26th 2008.

Kingfisher Airlines is run by Vijay Mallya who seems to be the Sir Richard Branson of India.

From Wikipedia – “Kingfisher is one of six airlines in the world to have a five-star rating from Skytrax, along with Asiana Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways.

From Press Trust of India

According to guidelines an Indian
carrier can fly abroad only after serving the domestic market for five
years and having a fleet of 20 aircraft.



Kingfisher Airlines was merged into Deccan Aviation with the
sanction of the Karnataka High Court. Following this, all the 43
aircraft on the Scheduled Operators Permit (SOP) of Kingfisher were
transferred and endorsed on the SOP of Deccan Aviation with the
approval of the DGCA.”

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