Aspire Road Test

KIA Picanto

With its seven-year 100,000-mile warranty KIA has been successfully nibling away at the UK car market. What you get with Kia is a car comprehensively equipped at prices from £11k upwards.

Travel News Update Editor Malcolm Ginsberg, a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, has been trying the smallest car in the range, and one of the most successful, the Picanto.  This is what he has to say reporting in Business Travel News.

Read the newspapers

Newspapers and magazines cannot be easily sanitised and cleaned in-between use, and have been withdrawn in the UK & Ireland Aspire Lounges.  Visitors can now log into to PressReader, free of charge and download via the lounge wi-fi. 

By clicking guests have access to 7,000 newspapers and magazines from over 120 countries in over 60 languages. Readers can instantly translate articles in up to 18 languages. You can download as many titles as you would like to read later on the plane, on your holiday or whenever you chose. 

Heathrow drop-off fee

Following the introduction of a drop-off cost by Gatwick earlier in the year, from 1 November, Heathrow is following suit with a similar fee. Manchester Airport Group (Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports) have required payment for some time.

All terminals are charged at £5 in the designated drop-off zones located directly outside the airport terminals.  There are exemptions “for blue badge holders, operational vehicles, emergency services, motorcycles, coaches, and (what it calls) "colleague buses”. The payment can be made online, via mobile phone or automated telephone service.

Electric Plane

Always at the centre of technical advancement for more than 100 years, Rolls-Royce has flown ‘Spirit of Innovation’ a throwback in some ways to its Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine seaplane of the 1930s. They even look alike.

The plan is to set a new electric aircraft world speed record of 300mph in the coming months.  But don’t expect to fly in a plane with that sort of energy source in the near future.  A four-passenger aircraft is planned.  Heavy batteries make anything larger less than feasible. The 1931 plane is a replica.

Qantas for London?

Don’t hold your breath, but Qantas says it plans to restart international flights in time for the Christmas holidays.

The target date is 18 December, in line with the National Cabinet’s plan, which involves the gradual reopening of international borders once Australia reaches an 80% vaccination rate expected by that time.

The plan is to reintroduce services from Sydney to London, Los Angeles, Singapore and Vancouver.  Melbourne also starts, the London flights presumably operating as previously via Perth, with Singapore returning too.  The next day the airline is scheduled to resume services from Melbourne to Los Angeles, Brisbane to Los Angeles, Brisbane to Singapore and Sydney to both Tokyo and Fiji, followed by Sydney to Honolulu on 20 December. 

Qantas planned to celebrate 100 years (of safe) flying.  It never happened, but at least they painted an aircraft.


For a full weekly update on travel, sign up for your copy of Business Travel News distributed by email in the early hours of Monday morning. It comes free of charge, and your address will never be given out.  Colloquially known as BTN it is a mixture of the latest travel news, and less serious material written in a lighter vein.  Each week there is a travel feature story and it offers monthly cruising and motoring reviews. Click here to view on site 24/7.

"Travel News Update" is produced by the Business Travel News team | PAGE 1 PAGE 2