The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 22 May 2019

A weekly bulletin on transatlantic travel, published every Wednesday at 06:00 BST.

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Business Class, WestJet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Business Class, WestJet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: WestJet0

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 22 May 2019, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.

WestJet to operate Boeing 787 on Gatwick – Toronto

WestJet has confirmed that it will operate its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from London Gatwick to Toronto Pearson daily from Thursday 24 October 2019.

This will replace a Boeing 767 and will offer a significant upgrade in comfort in all classes, with WestJet’s first international business class, and new premium economy and economy cabins.

This, with BA also operating the Airbus A350 to Toronto from Tuesday 1 October 2019 will make the route extremely competitive.

WestJet will also extend Boeing 787 Dreamliner on London Gatwick to Calgary year-round, with flights operating four times weekly from Monday 28 October 2019.

As reported last week, WestJet is to be acquired by Onex Corporation. Air Canada has also announced it has entered into exclusive talks to acquire the parent company of Air Transat which would give Air Canada a significantly stronger position in Eastern Canada (and prevent it from being acquired by Onex). This phase of consolidation does leave one major independent Canadian airline, Porter Airlines, which operates from Toronto City airport.

Salt Hotels Opens Asbury Beach Club

Over the past few years Salt Hotels has been building up a small, but perfectly formed, portfolio of properties in North East of the USA.

It has two properties in Cape Cod, Salt House Inn and Eben House and The Chequit on Shelter Island, New York.

It is also opening a second property in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Asbury Ocean Club Hotel on 1 July 2019.

The group does have further expansion plans and it is certainly one to watch.

US Government Withdraws Support for California High Speed Rail

The US is a land of extremes and contradictions.

A case in point is how such an economically powerful nation has such a poor track record on infrastructure investment, which gets caught up in federal, state, and city politics as well as powerful vested interests.

The US federal government has withdrawn $1billion in funding for High Speed Rail in California which has prompted the rail authority to sue the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains) has appointed contractors for a privately funded expansion to Orlando. Governing has a “state of the nation” report on the development of rail in North America.

Also of note this week:

BA moves Heathrow – Phoenix from Heathrow Terminal 3 to 5, and San Diego from Terminal 5 to 3 from Sunday 27 October 2019. (London Air Travel)

The New York Times investigates how hundreds of New York taxi drivers came to file for bankruptcy. (New York Times)

American Airlines and Dallas Fort Worth airport announce plans to construct a sixth terminal. (American Airlines)

American Airlines announces its eliminating charges for oversize bag fees and sports and musical equipment. (American Airlines)

Late Post-Publication Updates

[Reserved for updates during the day.]

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