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A Tale of Two Airways

Lockdown continues to weigh down on people and business. A high-flying private jet brokerage and high-flying DJ tell us how they’re adapting. Abigail Parkin

Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly 

For us, operating from home is a relatively easy task since we’re a tech-focused charter provider. We already used things like Zoom and are keeping things tight as a team.

Demand patterns in March have been significantly higher than we would have expected. But across the industry this was short-term demand with people repatriated home. April’s not as bad as we feared but it’s still about returning people who are out of position.

We’re not seeing normal types of private jet demand but we are seeing lots of new customers using private jets for the first time.

Talking to other providers, we’re seeing fractional ownership falling off. We don’t own our jet fleets and charter providers are busier because of our flexibility. Leisure market trips and events of the sort Red Carpet writes about would normally make this a busy time of year but we won’t see the summer peaks now.  

Future flying

Looking ahead to when border restrictions are lifted commercial airlines will still need time to mobilise their operations. Customers of ours who use both commercial and private jets have said they’d feel a lot more comfortable not being a in a shared cabin or moving through busy airports. We we will be more agile and won’t be taking weeks to resume operations like airlines, so there will be opportunities for us when we come through the other side of this.

Financial planning

We are not complacent and will cut costs and scenario plan like any responsible business. As a group we’ve taken a voluntary salary deferral scheme to defer a portion of our salaries. Employee uptake has been as high as 80% throughout our group. This is unique, certainly in our industry. The idea is to keep our loyal teams together and be able to respond effectively when this is over rather than lose people and rebuild.

Customers will ask new questions about aircraft cleansing and how crew greet passengers. The model will change but there will be a bright future again for our industry.

Aimee Vivian, DJ, Capital FM

I would say I’m coping pretty well actually. I’ve got myself a little structure so it feels as 'normal' as possible. But I can’t lie, this industry is so social, I am missing everyone like mad. Instead of popping to the pub after work, I’m popping to the back garden. It’s not quite the same as mixing with everyone at events. I’m a really social person, so I’m spending a lot of time chatting with people over Zoom, which is better than nothing (and if anything I’m saving a heck of a lot of money)! I just can't wait for the parties and holidays next year.

It's not challenging in a bad or difficult way, but it is something I’ve never had to do before so it took some getting used to. Transforming the spare room (for show broadcast) was pretty exciting to be honest! I’ve got the set up as close to the studio as possible - I am doing live links, calls with listeners, and can see all the texts which is lovely, so I still feel really connected.

 Nation’s mood  

I think every radio show has a slightly different vibe in the current climate, but we are really embracing this ‘new normal’. At Capital we are all about being positive, keeping the listeners entertained with the biggest and best tunes right now, getting listeners on to hear the unique ways that they’re keeping themselves busy during lockdown etc. It's actually a really special time to be a presenter - we feel like part of a community with our listeners. I’ve always wanted it to feel like I’m a ‘friend in the afternoon’ for my listeners, and it really does feel like that at the moment.


Everyone seems to be doing really well - we WhatsApp and chat most days. I'm really close with Will Manning, so am missing seeing his face every day (our shows are one after the other) but we, just like everyone else, are doing Zoom quizzes with the rest of the Capital gang on a weekly basis (not that I’m very good at them!)

Sanity tips

Routine is key. I’ve been getting up in the morning as if it were a normal working day and getting dressed in ‘normal’ clothes. I have this weird thing of eating ‘weekday’ breakfasts to remind myself it’s a working week - boring jam on toast or something. That differentiates between the bacon/ sausage sarnies on the weekend for me!

Keep busy and set yourself daily tasks. I’m back on duolingo brushing up on my Spanish, doing zoom Pilates classes with the girls on a Monday and having virtual drinks with my friends on Wednesdays just like we would normally.

Stay positive. It's ok to have ‘meh’ days, but when they hit, try to do something that makes you happy. Do a facemask, play your favourite album and dance around acting silly. Remember this isn’t permanent but try to take advantage of some probably much needed down time to focus and plan for the future. Positive Mental Attitude - all day every day!

Is your wine ban still in force?

NOO WAYYY - that would be expecting too much! I need a nice glass of pinot noir to keep me sane and three days off wine was enough!

Listen to Aimee from 1-4pm Monday – Saturday on Capital Fm


Earth Day 2020

WASHINGTON Over 100 million people took action in 192 countries in honour of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary despite the Covid pandemic. Chris Page

Mayors, national governments, and multilaterals made commitments on a wide range of environmental issues, including climate literacy and renewable energy. Elsewhere people pledged to vote, parents and teachers educated millions of their students and children about environmental issues, and hundreds of millions of trees were planted. 

Earth Day Network (EDN) also hosted a live-streamed broadcast around the globe and across platforms. With teach-ins and artist performances, the all-day event featured global leaders, activists, actors, artists and musicians.  

Highlights of Earth Day’s 50th include:

The Earth Day 50 livestream reached more than 8.5M views and while EDN’s website had more than 2 million unique visitors.

His Holiness Pope Francis gave a global message to the planet.

Just after midnight on Earth Day, the Roman Coliseum was lit with EDN’s 50th anniversary logo. Global musical artist Zucchero Fornaciari played the piano in its shadow. With Bono off-camera together they sang “Canta La Vita” adapted from Bono’s “Let Your Love Be Known” to Pope Francis. More 2.1 million people downloaded a multi-Grammy award winner song Dharti Ma

Women’s participation in Earth Day in 22 MENA countries this year was 50% higher than any other year.

Speeches and performances included the Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres, VP Al Gore, Roger Waters and Prince Albert of Monaco.

Hollywood actor and environmental activist, Ed Begley and his daughter writer and actor, Hayden Begley, co -hosted Digital Earth Day.  Words cannot describe how honoured I feel to have taken part in Earth Day 2020,” she said.

“Despite much of the world sheltering in place and the tragedy of the pandemic, tens of millions of people participated in Earth Day in 192 countries,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of EDN.


The Longleat Lock-In

WILTSHIRE England's cultural colour was drained by the loss of two of our great eccentrics in the past fortnight: the Marquess of Bath and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge musician, poet and occultist. Sat Bal warmly remembers one of the defining Longleat parties of the era.

The ‘Burleski’ bash vividly reflected the colourful chatelain of Longleat, staged at his 16th-century stately home, to celebrate the 30th birthday of son Ceawlin. Vogue and Tatler put the party in its top 5 but we'd go higher.

Here we raid the vaults to resurrect our fabulous night, in pictures.

Raise your glasses: Alexander George Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath, 6 May 1932 - 5 April 2020.     

Party organising supremo Danielle Nay with Viscount Ceawlin Thynn


Virus Tears Through Events

The global events industry has predictably been hit hard by the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic with incalculable repercussions. Sat Bal

Foot and mouth disease all but decimated outdoor events back in 2001 but Covid-19 is already attacking indoor and outdoor fixtures. At the time of writing we're alerted that the latest casualty is Samuel Beckett's production of 'Endgame' at the Old Vic, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The theatre's digital pages said '... given the new travel and other restrictions in place it is nevertheless becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre.'

In the film world Disney’s blockbuster remake of 'Mulan' is the latest big major release to be pulled, as Hollywood joins the anxiety, questioning the film's scheduled opening on March 27 in UK cinemas. Disney is to revert with a new date.

James Bond has fared little better with the push back of 'No Time To Die' to November, from its expected April release.

Fresh from her Brit Awards success, teen pop sensation Billie Eilish (above) has apologised for postponement of her US tour dates as health officials warn against mass gatherings of people.

Eilish said: 'I am so sad to do this but we need to postpone these dates to keep everyone safe. We’ll let you know when they can be rescheduled. Please keep yourselves healthy. I love you.”

The Who and Pearl Jam have postponed their tours but Glastonbury Festival has held fast, announcing rapper Kendrick Lamar as its third headliner, alongside Sir Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift.

Organisers said they were “working hard” to ensure the event goes ahead in June.

Coachella, one of the world’s biggest music festivals, attracted around 250,000 attendees over its two weekends last year and was set to take place in the Colorado desert in April but has now been moved to October.

Industry giants Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents (the corporate behind Coachella) have suspended all tours in North America in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, say sources.

The loss of the cash generating power of live performances is likely to affect the musical community in different ways, with the spectre of loss of earnings all round.

Allen Kovac, manager of Mötley Crüe, summed up: “It’s chaotic and stressful, from agents and managers to artists, their families and their support teams.”

See you at Glastonbury, Taylor?

PwC has predicted the global market for ticket sales and sponsorship for live music at nearly $29 billion in 2020, with the lion's share of revenue going straight to performing artists. Yet recorded music is estimated at $22 billion in sales, with artists’ royalties at far slimmer pickings.

Insurance providers are already facing public opprobrium for excluding coverage of Covid-19 in new travel policies. So-called force majeure clauses guard promoters and artists against 'acts of God' to cover cancellations but coronavirus's serious risk status is seeing insurers exclude it from new policies.

This was the plight of South by Southwest. The Texan festival was cancelled and, with no insurance coverage for coronavirus, was forced to dismiss around one-third of its full-time employees last week.


Flybe 'Writing on the wall'

The Flybe administration was an inevitable result of confused business model, desultory investment and competitive pressures said analyst GlobalData. Mick Hyare

Coronavirus is being cited as a main cause for Flybe falling into administration, but the writing has been on the wall for the airline since its profit warning in 2017.

Ralph Hollister, analyst, travel & tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, told us: “Flybe blamed a number of external factors for its prolonged demise such as maintenance costs, the weaker pound and rising fuel costs. However, its competitors had to deal with these issues too. The main difference is that Ryanair and British Airways possess focused business models. Flybe was caught between the two, offering short-haul flights for prices that were not necessarily low cost.

“The impact of coronavirus may have also provided the perfect opportunity for a Virgin Atlantic led consortium to stop injecting money into a business that seemed to be some way away from achieving profitability.

“Attempts by major European carriers to dominate the market have led to an ongoing price war, which has resulted in a growing list of airline casualties. One of the first was UK airline Monarch, which went into administration in 2017. This incident should have set alarm bells ringing for Flybe. Unprofitable routes should have been scaled back much sooner than they were.

“Coronavirus could determine the fate of other struggling airlines on a global scale as world-wide demand for travel plummets. Larger airlines are also not immune from the impacts of the virus. Virgin itself announced emergency measures, including cutting executive pay, and urging other staff to take unpaid leave.”


Kaws, Retna and Hirst at 'XXI'

LONDON Banksy, Jeff Koons and Damian Hirst are just some of the luminaries showing at ‘XXI’, a landmark contemporary art exhibition launched at the new HOFA Gallery in London’s Mayfair.

UPDATE - The Covid crisis has seen the HOFA Gallery take this exhibition online.

Ground-breaking digital art investments platform, ARTCELS, in partnership with HOFA Gallery, is launching a new virtual contemporary art exhibition, titled 'XXI' on Monday 4th May at 6pm (BST) / 1pm (EST).

ARTCELS is set to create a new art experience which their investors and the global art community can enjoy from the comfort of their homes.  Press can access the exhibition three days earlier for a special preview from Friday 1st May from 3pm.

It will be the first-of-its-kind to feature blue-chip contemporary artists—Banksy, George Condo, Kaws, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons— together in a virtual art exhibition, and other leading international artists, including Ilhwa Kim, Retna, Daniel Arsham, Anthony James and Joseph Klibansky, in a 3-dimensional, HD virtual show designed to be immersive, interactive and realistic.


At ‘XXI’ rare and unseen works by contemporary artists such as Kaws, RETNA and Damian Hirst are set to cause a stir. These include the Blame Game Portfolio, a set of 10 prints by Kaws which has been shrouded in mystery since its shadow début in 2016. Its sprightly colours have the intrigue of a jigsaw puzzle, both playful and ominous. Blame Game is poised to be a favourite and is the most valuable artwork on display at ‘XXI’.

RETNA’s Los Ne El Barrio (headline image) also brings rarity to the exhibition with its abstract lettered painting, finished with rare blue diamond dust in the abstract art sought so many art connoisseurs.

Heart Spin Painting

The radial symmetry of Heart Spin Painting by Damian Hirst evokes the large reproduction spin painting which covered the floor of the stadium for the closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games of 2012. 

 ‘XXI’ features a portfolio of carefully sourced artworks collectively worth more than $1M and other participating artists include Joseph Klibansky, George Condo, Zhuang Hong Yi and Ilhwa Kim.

HOFA co-founder, Elio D'Anna, said "We are proud to unveil this project which has been over 12 months in the making. It’s going to be an extravaganza of contemporary art. We are bringing the crème of contemporary art together for a ground-breaking show which we know viewers will enjoy.”

HOFA’s new gallery is at 11 Bruton St in Mayfair.


BRIT Awards

LONDON The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard hit the O2 Arena with its 40th show last night with three stages and a carousel of lively performances. Sat Bal

Broadcast exclusively on ITV and YouTube worldwide, host Jack Whitehall took us through nine awards presentations and nine performances.

Mabel got the show off to a lively start and went on to win Best Female Solo Artist - for her gold-certified hit single ‘Don’t Call Me Up’ performed alongside 100 dancers.

The exclusive live debut of ‘No Time To Die’, the new James Bond official theme song, performed by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr. She later picked up International Female Solo Artist.

In a first, The BRITs gave the artists performing on the night creative control over their performances leading to some memorable performances.

The Mastercard Album of the Year award went to Dave, for his critically acclaimed and chart-topping debut Psychodrama. He performed the album’s first single ‘Black’ earlier in the show, a politically-charged, stripped down version accompanied by just a pianist.

Lewis Capaldi - who performed his breakout No. 1 single ‘Someone You Loved’ - followed last year’s Critics’ Choice nomination with a double win, for Best New Artist and Song of the Year. Ahead of the main show, the Scottish singer-songwriter was the first artist to ever perform on The BRITs’ red carpet with an exclusive performance for the ITV2 Red Carpet show broadcast and as part of TikTok’s exclusive red carpet live-stream.

Head of music operations UK, Paul Hourican, said it was about ‘taking advantage of TikTok's unique creativity to engage with their fans and connect with a new global audience to get their music discovered and build a strong, highly engaged fanbase.'

The Rising Star award (formerly Critics’ Choice) was presented as part of the main show, which also saw winner Celeste perform her single ‘Strange’ - both BRITs firsts.

Stormzy was honoured with Male Solo Artist, following his win in the same category in 2018, ahead of a show-stopping medley performance featuring hundreds of dancers, a choir and guest appearance from Burna Boy.

The show also saw spirited performances from Lizzo, and Sir Rod Stewart was back to perform solo as well as being joined by Faces bandmates Ronnie Wood and Kenny Jones to close the show with their hit song ’Stay With Me’.

Towards the start of the show, Whitehall addressed the audience to pay tribute to presenter and broadcaster Caroline Flack whose tragic suicide, again, raises issues of stress and mental health in the industry and at large.

Earlier in the day, Fred again.. was presented with Producer of the Year on the red carpet; the youngest ever recipient of the award.

On the event production side, Neptunus provided the temporary overlay and MD Ben Keast said: 'We're delighted to once again have been asked to provide the support facilities to The BRIT awards which is always one of the great nights for the British music industry.'

Amazon Music were digital music partner and event hosts of the Official BRIT Awards 2020 playlist, making music available to stream post-event on Amazon Music Unlimited.

The Winners (in order presented on the night)...

BEST NEW ARTIST - Lewis Capaldi

Presented by Clara Amfo and Niall Horan


Presented by Jorja Smith and Ellie Goulding


Presented by Ronnie Wood


Presented by Kiefer Sutherland and Paloma Faith


Presented by Hailee Steinfeld, Courtney Love and Anne-Marie


Presented by Sam Fender and Adwoa Aboah


Presented by Melanie C

SONG OF THE YEAR - Lewis Capaldi ‘Someone You Loved’

Presented by Sir Tom Jones


Presented by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell


British Airways Boosts Holiday Flights

LONDON British Airways is to increase its flight frequency for holiday spots from Gatwick. Mick Hyare

Cancun, St Lucia and Cape Town are set for extra flights this winter in a rostering that offers nine weekly flights to St Lucia, with extra services on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

This follows news that Virgin Atlantic is dropping St Lucia from its Gatwick schedule in June after some 20 years.

From December, British Airways will also boost its LGW-Cancun route with an extra weekly Sunday flight, taking the total to six per week.

From 10 January 2021, there will also be two extra flights a week to Cape Town making it a total of 19 from London.

Adam Carson, British Airways’ MD at Gatwick, said: “We know our customers crave some winter warmth as these are incredibly popular destinations. To make it even easier to get there we’re increasing the number of flights to St Lucia, Cancun and Cape Town from London Gatwick and we’ve put them on days that work well to maximise travellers’ time and annual leave.”

Our review: Hard Rock Resort in Cancun
...and Secrets Maroma Beach, Cancun

Screen Actors Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES It was all smiles at the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards with a roll call of Hollywood names in attendance at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020. Laura Booth

Brad Pitt and former wife Jennifer Aniston (below) crossed paths, and smiles, backstage after winning awards. He: best supporting actor for his part as a stuntman in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. She: best actress in The Morning Show.

Wifey opts for vintage Dior by John Galliano

Briton, Phobe Waller-Bridge also toasted success in LA with best actress in for Fleabag.

But it was South Korean film Parasite that happily confounded pundits by winning the best ensemble cast award, ahead of Hollywood's biggest stars. Its SAG award sets it up as a big prospect for the Oscars next month.

(L-R) Meryl Streep (standing), Zoë Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern (standing)

Picking up his statuette, Brad Pitt joshed that he would have to update his Tinder profile with news of his SAG Award. Of his role as Cliff Booth he joked: 'It was a difficult part - a guy who takes his shirt off, gets high and doesn't get on with his wife. It was a big stretch...'

(L-R) Margot Robbie, Zoë Kravitz, Meryl Streep, and Charlize Theron

Best supporting actress went to Laura Dern for Marriage Story putting her in pole position for an Oscar. Scarlett Johansson (below) shimmered in a teal Armani Privé gown for her outstanding female actor in a leading role award in Marriage Story.

Elsewhere, Peter Dinklage was crowned best actor in a drama series for Game of Thrones, while Tony Shalhoub won best actor in a comedy series for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

The Irishman star Robert De Niro picked up lifetime achievement award and picked up the rhetoric on Donald Trump's 'blatant misuse of power' adding, 'But we're in such a dire situation and it's so deeply concerning to me and so many others, I have to say something. '

Robert De Niro accepts the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award from Leonardo DiCaprio

... and gets congratulated by old pal Al Pacino

Renée Zellweger (best actress) wears Maison Margiela with Jennifer Lopez in a Georges Hobeika black gown - and $9 million of Harry Winston jewellery inc 73.55 carat (count 'em!) diamond necklace set in platinum

Cliff Booth and Leonardo DiCaprio, maybe

Charlize Theron and Quentin Tarantino. Definitely

Pics : Getty Images


Tewkesbury Park Goes Gatsby

COTSWOLDS Luxury hotel, Tewkesbury Park is set to hosting an extravagant three-dayer to welcome in 2020. Abigail Parkin

A decadent afternoon tea and prosecco welcome awaits guests arrriving 30th December followed by a bracing gin tasting experience with the family-owned Chase Distillery.

Expect the whole field-to-bottle process, and some of their award-winning brands. Then it’s a hearty, locally-sourced, three-course dinner, dished by  the talent of the hotel’s head chef and team.  

New Year’s Eve promises relaxation and revelry at Tewkesbury Park with a leisurely breakfast followed by guests’ own choices of fun. These include the on-site spa, hot tub and barrel sauna, and the 18-hole golf course in expansive greenery.

The highlight to 2020 sees a Great Gatsby themed night with champagne and canapé reception in the party-ready Cotswold Suite. A five-course feast with the pick of local produce, live band and dramatic fireworks display is set for the stroke of midnight.

On the first day of January guests can relax with a soothing bubbles brunch  and the cosy fire before heading home.

Prices for two-night/three-day retreat from 30th December - 1st January 2020 start at £675 based on two people sharing and includes all mentioned meals, drinks, receptions and entertainment.

Other food and drink, as well as golf and spa treatments are charged extra unless stated within the programme. Guests wanting to book an extra night at the hotel can take advantage of a discounted rate. 

Tewkesbury Park also offers a one-night New Year package.

Prices start at £375 based on two people sharing and includes access to the champagne reception with live band, the gala dinner, fireworks display, bed and breakfast/lunch, and access to the hotel’s leisure facilities.

visit www.tewkesburypark.com