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The weekly Head for Points travel trade newsletter

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Welcome to your weekly trade round-up of UK business travel and travel loyalty news as well as our latest reviews and features.

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Malcolm’s new monthly forward-looking Travel News Update is available at travelnewsupdate.co.uk.

The latest UK business travel news:

Etihad is bringing back four aircraft from its A380 fleet. They will operate exclusively between Heathrow and Abu Dhabi.

The final Boeing 747 came off the production line at Everett. We look back at the Queen of the Skies.

WestJet is launching flights between Edinburgh and Calgary. It replaces the Toronto route.

Rail workers and Border Force staff are both staging strikes over Christmas. Rail strike dates are here whilst the Border Force dates are here.

Santa says: if it ain’t Boeing I ain’t going. A retired 747 at Cotswold Airport offers the ‘world’s first grotto experience aboard a jumbo jet’.

King Charles enjoys a ride on Luton’s DART train. DART will offer better connections between train and terminal when it finally opens – but when?

Nouvelair is boosting flights between Gatwick and Tunis following a successful first Summer season.

BA Euroflyer finally gets CAA approval. Fleet and crew will now transfer to the new Gatwick subsidiary.

The InterContinental Carlton Cannes hotel is becoming a Regent when it reopens in 2023.

Heathrow is giving away 10,000 presents this Christmas to random passengers, all sourced from airport retailers.

Business travel stories we recommend from other sites:

Korean Air offers to facilitate Virgin Atlantic launching Heathrow – Seoul in return for Asiana merger clearance (Flight Global)

Interview: Belfast City CEO Eyes Traffic Growth, International Routes (Routes)

Transcript: Mark Tanzer, CEO of ABTA, addresses the ABTA Travel Matters conference (ABTA

Virgin Atlantic boss blasts CAA over Heathrow price cap (Travel Weekly, Shai Weiss also expressed his feelings over Heathrow in his Aviation Club lunch address last week)

Menzies Aviation launches new London headquarters (UK Aviation News)

TAP maintenance hanger Lisbon

Visit of the week:

We go behind the scenes at TAP’s maintenance hangar in Lisbon. Ever wondered what it takes to keep an aircraft flying?

Our latest travel reviews:

Down in Spain, we review Iberia’s flagship Velazquez lounge at Madrid Terminal 4S. It’s surprisingly good.

Rob reviews the Holiday Inn Express Heathrow Terminal 4. For the price, it is exceptional value.

We linked to this last week, but for comparison we also recently reviewed the Crowne Plaza at Terminal 4 which shares the same building.

Did you know there are four baths in the British Airways arrivals lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5? In the spirit of public service, we give them a try. Image below.

The latest UK travel loyalty news:

The travel loyalty news this week has been dominated by substantial changes to the Avios scheme. The following four articles will get you up to speed:

BA Reward Flight Saver comes to Club World. British Airways has made some big changes to how long haul flight redemptions are priced. Surcharges are capped but Avios requirements are well up.

It’s good news for anyone with a ‘new style’ American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher.

It’s bad news if you live outside the UK or US. You will need up to 92% more Avios for your ticket but your taxes are NOT reduced.

At the same time, you can now also use your Amex 2-4-1 companion vouchers on Iberia and Aer Lingus. This is genuinely good news.

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading.

Head for Points is the UK’s largest business travel and frequent flyer website with 2.3 million page views per month. The majority of readers are London-based professionals who travel heavily for business and leisure. We have won five Business Travel Journalism Awards including ‘Editor of the Year’.

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See you next Monday.

Rob, Rhys and Sinead @ Head for Points

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