Road Warrior: Norwegian UK gets US air carrier permit
More Yotels on the way, Netflix looks to boost in-flight wifi while Uber seeks forgiveness
The US department of transport has granted Norwegian UK an air carrier permit to allow it to operate flights between Europe, the UK and the US. File photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Norwegian UK receives US air carrier certificate
The march of Norwegian continues. The airline has been granted permission to operate transatlantic services from the United Kingdom. The US department of transport has granted Norwegian UK an air carrier permit to allow it to operate flights between Europe, the UK and the US. The airline employs more than 1,000 pilots and crew at Gatwick. It will use the current passenger jet, 787-Dreamliners, across routes to the US, Singapore, Argentina and other future long-haul markets. Norwegian already flies from five UK airports, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast, carrying more than five million UK passengers each year to over 50 destinations.
The smallest hotels get big money
The dinky Yotel group has secured an investment of $250 million (€213m) from Starwood Capital Group for a 30 per cent stake in the company. The investment will help the company to invest in new properties in Europe, Asia and North America. Yotel rooms are called cabins and no space is wasted. The bed can be adjusted to become a sofa, the bathroom with power shower has vacuum-assisted toilets. Many rooms have no windows, just a mirror and a large flat-screen television. There is a small desk with a selection of power points, high-speed wifi and mood lighting enhances the room. Despite the size the rooms are surprisingly comfortable. Rates though are more than you expect, New York downtown from $259 (€220), London Heathrow from £120 (€137) and Singapore, which opens on Sunday, from €105. Starwood has already secured city centre sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Amsterdam, which are expected to open as “Yotels” by 2019.
Netflix pitches enhanced streaming tech to airlines
Netflix claims it can improve wifi performance in commercial aviation. The on-demand video-streaming company says its product Netflix Inflight 2.0 can boost performance at 30,000ft and reduce airlines’ bandwidth costs by as much as 75 per cent. Over the past two years Netflix has partnered with several airlines on in-flight content-streaming including Virgin America, Aeroméxico and Qantas. “We’ll be able to monitor our video playback metrics to ensure [passengers] have the greatest experience on your flight,” said Spencer Wang, vice-president, Finance and Investor Relations at Netflix Inc.
Right shock for Uber
Uber must have got a right shock when they heard their licence for London was going to be revoked by Transport for London from September 30th. The reasoning is that Uber’s approach and conduct “demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public-safety and security implications”. The new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi in an open letter pleaded for Uber to be given a chance to redeem themselves. There are about 40,000 Uber drivers in London. A petition signed by more than 750,000 people also pleads for allowing Uber operate in the city.