British Civil Aviation in 2001

5 February
Manchester Airport opens its second runway, at a cost of £172 million. This is the first full scale runway to be built in Britain for 20 years and the additional capacity will meet the expected increase in passenger numbers from 18.5 million a year to 40.7 million by 2015.

Stansted based HeavyLift Cargo Airlines announces its intention to expand activities into the passenger market with a new charter division called Breeze.

Virgin Atlantic announces the provision of in-flight email and Internet type services to passengers from late 2001.

11 May
Virgin Atlantic announces it is in talks with Boeing to become a launch customer for the 650mph Sonic Cruiser.

2 July
Liverpool Airport is renamed Liverpool John Lennon International Airport.

17 July
British Airways test-fly Concorde with modified fuel tanks.

British Airways and American Airlines announce plans to resurrect their alliance.

7 November
Concorde resumes transatlantic flights for fare paying passengers.

In response to the downturn in commercial aviation following the 11 September attacks, bmi British Midland cuts 600 jobs and grounds 8 of its 62 aircraft for the winter.

11 December
British company Starchaser announces plans to launch a modified version of its Nova booster, carrying a passenger on a low altitude, sub-orbital flight by the end of next year. The flight is preparation for Starchaser’s bid to win the $10 million X prize, the race to put a civilian into space in a privately owned and built machine.