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Flybe service "back to normal"

Flybe, the low-cost airline offering flights to Alicante from Norwich, Southampton and Exeter airports, said on Wednesday.

The airline had been forced to ground part of its fleet aircraft earlier in the day, following recommendations from manufacturer Bombardier that inspections should be carried out on the landing gear on the Q400 aircraft.

Flybe's fleet of 74 aeroplanes includes six turbo-propeller Bombardier Q400s, and the airline had warned that delays and cancellations to services could occur while it carried out checks on the aircraft.

Mike Rutter, Flybe's chief commercial officer, commented in the Scotsman: "Flybe expresses complete confidence in the Q400 and the fact that propeller designs are the future of aviation.

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Students' Spanish holidays combine language with leisure

More students studying Spanish are choosing to combine their fun in the sun with language courses, according to a language centre based in south-east Spain.

The Roquetas de Mar Comunicacion Language School, located close to the shores of the azure-blue Mediterranean in Almeria province, Spain, has reported a large increase in the number of visiting language students.

"We have seen a 90 per cent increase in student numbers over the last 18 months," said Graeme Black, marketing director of the language school.

Breaks in historic cities such as Salamanca, Granada or Barcelona also offer students a way to practice their Spanish while on vacation.

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Virgin: electronic ticketing makes check-in simpler

The end of paper tickets, scheduled for June 1st 2008, will make checking-in a "simpler process" for both airlines and passengers, Virgin Atlantic says.

Electronic tickets will take over from their traditional paper counterparts next summer, following a decision by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) not to reorder paper tickets for its 60,000 travel agents located in 162 countries worldwide.

Anna Knowles, a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic Airlines, hailed the announcement, saying that "e-tickets allow the airline and passengers more flexibility".

"It is how our passengers expect to receive their tickets," she commented.

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Many Brits plan Spanish holidays this autumn

Nine out of ten Britons are planning to take a break this autumn, according to a study conducted by TripAdvisor.

Almost three quarters (70 per cent) of all respondents to the survey said that they wanted to get away from it all within the next few months - a figure that rose as high as 90 per cent when only British responses were counted.

A spokesperson for the TripAdvisor told website TravelMole: "Despite, or maybe because of, the terrible summer weather many of us will be taking a break this autumn."

Almost half of these (43 per cent) will be heading abroad for sun, sea and sand, with city destinations such as Barcelona among the most popular holiday choices.

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Irish couples head for Spain for weddings

Of 150 foreign couples married on Spain's Costa del Sol this year, the vast majority were Irish, according to a priest working in the Catholic Diocese of Malaga.

Many couples from Ireland and other EU countries are now taking advantage of cheap flights to Alicante and other destinations as an affordable way of hosting their wedding in the Spanish sun.

Often couples stay with family and friends in Spanish hotels and holiday resorts, according to Father Manual Torres, parish priest of Benalmadena and diocese and delegate for tourism in the diocese of Malaga.

"They come with all their family and friends, staying together in a hotel for a few weeks of celebrations," Father Torres said.

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Woods wins his 60th Tour title

Tiger Woods won the BMW Championship on Sunday to claim his 60th career PGA Tour title.

Woods became only the fifth man to reach the 60 title mark as he beat Aaron Baddeley, winning by two strokes with a flawless final round of 63.

"I never, ever would have dreamt that this could have happened this soon,'' Woods commented at a post-match news conference.

"I've exceeded my expectations and it's been a lot of fun to enjoy that whole road, that whole process to get to 60," he added.

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ABTA: Spain popular for Christmas holidays

Christmas is the second busiest time of year for travel and many people choose to take their festive holidays in Spain, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Growing numbers of people choose to flee England over the Christmas period, with Spain among the more popular destinations for winter sun, an ABTA spokesperson said.

"Along with August, Christmas is the biggest time people choose to go on holiday. Partly because of the time they get off, and partly because it's just one of those times where things aren't happening in the office," she explained.

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Alicante to offer more beautiful Spanish holidays

Alicante, the first place that many visitors to La Manga encounter as they step off the plane, is set to become even more beautiful, as Alicante City Hall is introducing steeper fines for those caught littering the ancient streets of the medieval city.

The minimum fixed-penalty fine for those who drop cigarette butts, empty crisp packets or other forms of litter will go up from the current level of €6 (around £4), to a massive €100 (almost £68), in a move that should deter litterbugs from spoiling the look of the city.

Local newspaper Informacion reports that relatively minor offences such as washing cars on the public highway, shaking rugs out of windows or balconies or even watering plant pots during unapproved hours will all be met with heavy fines.

Alicante, a city famous for its nightlife and the festival of the Bonfires of St John at the time of the midsummer solstice, is a favourite destination among tourists visiting the Valencia region of Spain.

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Passengers "more aware" of security issues: BA

Now more than ever, flights to Spain and other parts of the world are subject to ever more stringent safety measures. But passengers have become "more aware" of security issues, according to a British Airways (BA) spokesperson.

Since September 11th, airline security concerns have understandably increased. Knives and other sharp objects are banned from the cabin, as are drinks and quantities of liquid above 100ml, following fears that these could be used to make explosives.

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Federer unstoppable in 12th Grand Slam title

Roger Federer beat Serbia's Novak Djokovic to win a fourth successive US Open title in straight sets on Sunday.

Federer won 7-6, 7-6, 6-4, giving the world number one his 12th Grand Slam title - equal to Australia's Roy Emerson, and just two behind Pete Sampras' final tally of 14.

The Swiss star has been victorious in 12 of the 18 slams since his victory in Wimbledon in 2003 and seems set to claim his place in the record books as the most unstoppable man in tennis history.

Sunday's final did not see Federer at his best, with 20-year-old Djokovic having opportunities to win both the first and second sets.

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