AQA BUSS4 Research Theme for 2015 - Manufacturing in the UK

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Dr Dre V Jay-Z – Focus V Diversification

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

As we all know, the mean streets of my adopted home town of Solihull share many similarities with Dr Dre’s Compton and Jay-Z’s Brooklyn, so I always take a keen interest in their progress.

This PowerPoint task asks students to research two of hip-hop’s biggest stars, use Ansoff’s Matrix to organise the many roles and businesses that they are involved in and then discuss how their contrasting strategies have impacted on their net worth.

Is Jay-Z’s “empire [building] state of mind” the best strategy, or is Dr Dre’s focus on music “still” the way to make the most money? Students can use the evidence that they have collated to complete the evaluation question on the final slide.

Hope it helps!

Advertising bans - fun activity called ‘Wordsnake’ to test students’ recent knowledge

If you've noticed the story about the Wongo TV advert that was banned recently for failing to clarify the level of interest charged on their loans, you may find this activity of interest.  Using a technique called 'Wordsnake' developed by our own Graham Prior, the activity lists 5 businesses with adverts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority in 2014 (other than Wonga).

At first glance it appears to be a wordsearch as you see a grid of what appears to be 100 random letters. However, the name of the business 'snakes' around the grid rather than being up, down or diagonal as in a normal wordsearch.

Students are given a clue about the the business hidden in the grid. Who can be the first to spot the answer and call out its location?

If the answer is not obvious at first, the teacher can press the space bar and the letters reveal themselves one at a time. 

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Manufacturing in Action - The Kit Kat Supply Chain

Monday, October 06, 2014

This production line in York makes 5 million Kit Kat bars every day. What is involved in the manufacturing process? Have a break and take a look!

The short video focuses on the local sourcing of milk from Scotland which supplies the ingredient preparation (crumb) plant at Girvan. Reference is made to the concept of "food miles", an important idea linked to resource sustainability.

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A tonic for new BUSS1 students

Friday, October 03, 2014

Here is a fantastic article from the BBC website for new AQA Business students and other students following courses that currently look at entrepreneurship and business start-ups.


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Manufacturing: Textiles in Lancashire - Last Mill Standing

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Some important historical perspective here on the long-term decline of manufacturing in the UK. 

This video (from 2011) focuses on the decline of the cotton mills in Lancashire and the attempt of one cotton factory owner to stay alive.

Three years on, and Lancashire Textiles is still alive!

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Manufacturing: Does the UK Steel Industry Have a Future?

The FT produce some superb videos that are ideal for use in the Business & Economics classroom - and this one on the UK steel industry is another excellent teaching resource - particularly for students researching UK manufacturing.

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The Biz Quiz - 2 October 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The latest edition of The Biz Quiz is ready to roll!

Launch The Biz Quiz - 2 October 2014

Download printable version (pdf)

Download teacher answers (pdf)

BUSS4 UK manufacturing

As BUSS4 students start on their research into UK manufacturing, one piece of data that they should keep an eye on is the CIPS Purchasing Managers Index. This is produced monthly by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply by surveying managers responsible for purchasing materials in manufacturing industries, and so it gives an indication of the level of activity. A reading above 50 (shown by the red line on the graph above) shows growth in activity, below 50 shows a decline.

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Business start-ups - advice for fish fryers

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BBC Radio 4 has a 5-part series this week which follows eight budding entrepreneurs on a course in Leeds, specialising in how to run their very own Fish and Chip shop. I caught the first episode yesterday; with each episode only 15 minutes long, it seems like a very good set of programmes for students who are beginning a Business studies course, as it covers a wide range of the issues that they will be learning about.

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Business Objectives in the Shark Tank

Monday, September 29, 2014

My students are usually very keen to watch a Dragon's Den / Shark Tank pitch, particularly in an afternoon lesson (but if it means less of me droning on and them avoiding doing some work then any lesson seems like a good idea to them). So I am very keen to find suitable clips that give them some occasional entertainment as well as provide for excellent discussion of some relevant point of theory. The Soy-Yer Dough pitch does just that!

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AQA BUSS4 Section A CPD Briefings for June 2015

We are ready to roll with our AQA BUSS4 Section A Teacher Briefings on Manufacturing in the UK. Details of the dates and locations are provided below together with booking links.

Our resource-packed programme covers the following ground as we once again attempt to significantly reduce the teaching preparation burden for supporting the BUSS4 research theme:

Session 1 - Getting into Manufacturing: lesson activities to get students into manufacturing

  • Home or Away - Where Are These Products Made?
  • The Manufacturing Eliminator - The True False Challenge
  • Sector Sort - What are the UK's Leading Manufacturing Industries
  • Sector Match - Match these manufacturers to their correct sector

Session 2 - The Big Picture: a selection of the most important themes likely to be addressed by the two essay questions

  • Deindustrialisation in the UK
  • Globalisation of Manufacturing & the complexity of supply chain
  • Competitiveness and location
  • Innovation & R&D - can it make a difference?
  • Foreign investment in UK manufacturing: good or bad?

Session 3 - Location, Location, Location: a more detailed look at the issues around the location of manufacturing

  • Offshoring, nearshoring and reshoring - who, what, why?
  • Dicey exchange rates
  • Foreign ownership of UK production - examples and implications
  • Five case studies to follow

Session 4 - SWOT analysis of UK Manufacturing: focusing on core lines of analysis and evaluation for BUSS4 students

  • Competitiveness - what is it and why does it matter?
  • Comparative advantage - does the UK have it and in which industries?
  • Skills shortages - where are the engineers?
  • Technological change & High value added manufacturing
  • "March of the Makers"? - UK industrial policy

Session 5 - Developing higher-order skills and essay writing for BUSS4: ways to improve your students essay writing skills for Section A

  • Research collaboration: tools and techniques
  • DCD Questioning
  • Integrating BUSS4 research with BUSS2 & BUSS3 - topics and sources
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DCD Questioning - Developing Analysis, Evaluation and Higher Order Thinking

Saturday, September 27, 2014

DCD questioning is a very, very simple questioning technique that promotes higher order thinking; allows students to discuss different viewpoints and helps the teacher to facilitate a discussion (within a business studies lesson).

DCD questioning is simple. D stands for 'develop' and C stands for 'challenge'.

How it works is simple. After the teacher has posed a question and either asked a pupil to respond or waited for a pupil to volunteer an answer the teacher then selects another student to 'develop' that students response further. The teacher then selects another pupil to 'challenge' the argument that has been made. The teacher can then select another pupil to 'develop' this even further (DCD).

The beauty of this is that the teacher becomes the facilitator of the discussion by simply asking students to develop and challenge other students responses.

This strategy is perfect for business studies given the need for students to analyse and evaluate key concepts and topics.

For example, the teacher might pose the question, 'what is the best strategy for the 'big four' supermarkets to adopt in response to the rapid growth of Aldi and Lidl?' 

Here, a student may respond by saying that the best strategy to adopt is to cut prices further. The teacher would then ask another pupil to 'develop' this argument further. Once the argument has been developed the teacher would select another student to 'challenge' this response (perhaps by pointing out the flaws in this strategy or by outlining a different 'best' strategy).

The teacher can even ask another pupil to 'challenge' both of the previous arguments.

One point to note is that students need some 'wait time' after being selected to allow students to carefully consider their response.

Top 20 UK Grocery Brand Crossword Quiz

Thursday, September 25, 2014

If you enjoyed this morning's crossword quiz on Brands, here's one more on specific grocery brands.  The downloadable quiz, which can be set as a short activity or homework, lists the Top 20 grocery brands in the UK.  The clues show the aisles within a supermarket where those groceries would reside.  Follow up questions might include 'can you name a competitor for each brand?' or 'how many of these brands are British?'.

Click here to download the Top 20 UK Grocery Brands Crossword Quiz

Click here to download the Top 20 UK Grocery Brands Crossword Quiz answers

Business Brands Crossword Activity (starter or homework quiz)

Here's a 10 minute crossword quiz to set for your students. It lists 20 famous brands from around the world and each comes with a clue linked to that brand or its marketing.

We've included the answers as well should you feel the need to double-check!

Click here for the Business Brands Crossword Activity

Click here for the Business Brands Crossword Activity Answers

The Biz Quiz - 25 September 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It has been another busy week in the economics and business news. Have you been keeping in touch? It's time to find out...

Launch The Biz Quiz - 25 September 2014

Download printable version

Download teacher answers

How to increase your cash by 40% in one day – buy shares in Alibaba!

The Chinese internet giant, ran by former English teacher Jack Ma, has become the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in History.

Having studied them last year, I considered buying shares in them, hemmed-and-harred, and didn’t. What a mistake! Shares started at $68 and rose to $92.70, an increase of 38%. Had I invested my spare £5mil (left-overs from the Apple shares I bought in 1999), I would have been up by a cool £1,900,000!

I used this as a way to introduce Public Limited Companies, but also linked it to risk and reward, raising finance and working out percentage increase.

Here is the link to a previous research task on Alibaba (suitable for most BUSS4 topics) and the more current BBC news article.

Hope it helps

AQA BUSS4 Section B Essays Volume 1

During the run-up to the previous sitting of BUSS4 (18 June 2014) we received numerous requests to provide a resource that illustrates how BUSS4 Section B essay titles can be answered effectively. So here it is! A collection of 20 Section B Essays covering a wide range of potential topics for the next BUSS4 exam in June 2015.

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BUSS2 Worked Answers (2013-14)

The time pressures created by two long case studies often contribute to students under-performing in the AQA AS Business BUSS2 exam. Students also occasionally let themselves down through poor response structure, not answering the question set and making best use of effective application and analysis methods. This new resource from tutor2u's experienced BUSS2 team is designed to support students as they prepare for the final BUSS2 exam in May 2015 and help them maximise their performance.

read more...»

BUSS3 Worked Answers (2013-14)

The AQA A2 BUSS3 examination is a tough challenge every sitting and student performance is to a large extent determined by their exam technique. This new resource from tutor2u's BUSS3 team, which we aim to have ready for dispatch in early December, aims to support teachers and students preparing for BUSS3 by illustrating just what is required to maximise performance.

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BUSS1 Worked Answers (2013-14)

BUSS1 Worked Answers is a new printed resource from the tutor2u BUSS1 team which we expect to be available for dispatch from early December 2014.

read more...»

Teaching and Learning Webinar - Talkabout

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Following my recent webinar on Thinking Skills Bingo I will be hosting a further teaching and learning webinar this Sunday (28th) at 7:45pm on another one of my favourite teaching and learning strategies , 'Talkabout'.

Talkabout is just perfect for Business Studies and can be applied to virtually any topic

During the free 20 minute webinar I will explain the origins of the idea and a number of different ways in which Talkabout can be used within a lesson in addition to some extension activities.

Register for free here smile

Tesco’s fall from grace

Tesco's share price slid again today, although the firm has announced that the new Finance Director Alan Stewart started work three months earlier than expected. 

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Every little counts against Tesco

Monday, September 22, 2014

News about Tesco's troubles comes thick and fast, today's bad news about overstating profits has wiped off 11.59% of the share price. It fell by 26 pence to £2.03.  

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Networked Manufacturing - The Complexity and Culture of Global Production

A fascinating video here from the excellent Peter Marsh of the FT which explores the complexity of manufacturing operations at the world's largest eyewear maker Luxottica.

You probably haven't heard of Luxottica, but you will almost certainly be familiar with their broad product range. Luxottica's best known brands are Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley. It also makes sunglasses and prescription frames for a multitude of designer brands such as Chanel and Prada, whose designs and trademarks are used under license.

In total, Luxottica is estimated to have around 80% of the global market for eyewear. It is also a vertically-integrated business with over 7,000 retail outlets around the world, many them trading under the Sunglass Hut brand.

Luxottica has six plants in Italy and two in China.

In the video, Peter Marsh introduces the concept of networked manufacturing. This concept is explained further by this excellent Economist article. The close integration of marketing (new product development & brand / product portfolio management) with operations is a key theme explored in the video.

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UK Manufacturing - A Short Video Introduction to the UK Automotive Sector

The UK automotive manufacturing sector is one of the most successful and vibrant parts of manufacturing in the UK.

To get students excited to learn more about great case studies like JLR, Nissan, Honda and JCB, show them this short video. It's packed with useful research stats too - how many can they jot down on first viewing (and then show them again!)

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Choosing a Business Location: Manufacturing in South-east Asia?

Where should multinationals base their manufacturing operations? What are the risks involved in changing location? How can these risks be mitigated? 

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The Biz Quiz - 18 September 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The latest edition of The Biz Quiz is now live! Good luck everyone...

Launch The Biz Quiz - 18 September 2014

Download printable version

Download solution (teachers only)

Lesson Activity - Cashflow-Cluedoh!

Cashflow Cluedoh!, our free murder mystery game for business teachers, has just reached the 20,000 download level! Grab this popular lesson activity below.

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The Young Millionaire’s Dilemma

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An interesting and inspirational story for all AS Business Studies students. Nick d’Aloisio wrote an app called Summly at his parents’ home when he was 15. At 17 he sold it to Yahoo for £20million. He now works for the internet giant in California, project managing the rebranded app News Digest… whilst still sitting his A-level exams!

The young entrepreneur is now deliberating whether or not to go to University. Attached is a short research task with videos and articles that asks students to create a balanced, evaluative argument about the pros of cons of Nick going to university. They must then apply the same question to themselves to see how the reasons differ.

It works well to introduce the key skills of application, analysis and evaluation, whilst learning about one of the UK’s most successful young entrepreneur.

Face-It! Business CEOs (Lesson Activity)

How well do your students know their CEOs? You are about to find out - if you choose to try this lesson activity - Face-It CEOs.

Face It is a resource that has proved very popular when we've used it during our business teacher CPD events.

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Business Cafe - New Case Studies for the New Term

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Andy Reeve and the teacher team on Business Cafe have just uploaded six new mini case studies and articles as the first contributions to a new year of resources on Business Cafe.

We've made these available as a download for everyone - for these resources only - so you can see the excellent materials that the Business Cafe team produce.

A school subscription to Business Cafe is just £50 the rest of this school year. This also provides access to the hundreds of case studies and articles that have been published by Business Cafe over recent years.

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Business Simulation - The Trading Game

Friday, September 12, 2014

There is nothing that better epitomizes the concept of being entrepreneurial than trading - buying and selling - hopefully profitably!

That's the idea behind The Trading Game - an interactive teaching and learning resource developed by tutor2u.

To request your free copy of The Trading Game simulation, please submit the following form and we will automatically send you the download link

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Welcome to Business!  Make the Most of Twitter!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of business students have just started their new courses and we wish them and their teachers every success!

A key part of doing well in on any business course is to develop knowledge and understanding of how businesses operate in real life. The theory and terminology can appear a bit daunting at first, but it become much easier if you take a little time each week to watch and read the business news stories. It helps bring your studies to life.

There are so many easy ways of doing this. Here are some of our top suggestions.

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The Biz Quiz - 11 September 2014

The latest version of The Biz Quiz is now ready for you to attempt!

Launch The Biz Quiz - 11 September 2014

Download printable version

Download solution (pdf)

WOW Business 2015 - A Sneak Preview

WOW! Business 2015 is our brand new resource packed CPD for ALL business teachers. It follows in the huge footsteps of TBBLE (The Best Business Lesson Ever) and provides teachers with a set of brand new resources that can be used immediately within the classroom. 

The format of WOW! Business is simple. A day dedicated to making business lessons more engaging with a set of resources and strategies covering key topics within the business curriculum. We find that the best way to experience the resources is to have a go which makes for a fun and interactive day.

WOW! Business 2015 consists of over 35 different resources developed by a team of experienced and passionate business teachers. I have briefly described a selection of the new resources below

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Apple - Perfect timing for teaching so many things…

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

As I am sure you will have all seen on the news, Apple have launched their new products this week.

This is the first new product they have launched since the sad death of Steve Jobs a couple of years ago and the first new product since they unveiled the ipad!!

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The Business of Religion

As an interesting way to introduce 3 of the 4 functional areas (and illustrate to students that business studies concepts are everywhere), I used these 3 news stories about how different religions have changed their strategies this year.

Pope Francis stamps out corruption in the Vatican Bank - By refusing to “do business” with certain unscrupulous customers, the profit at the Vatican Bank has dropped from £68m euros to just £2.3m. A strong move from Il Papa, but should a church make any profit at all?

Jehovah’s Witnesses change their marketing strategy - Instead of the door-to-door approach, Jehovah’s witnesses are trying to increase awareness of (and recruitment to) their “brand” by targeting train stations and shopping centres. Will this new tactic prove successful?

Church of England vote for women bishops - Traditionalist believed that as Jesus only “employed” male apostles, only men should lead the church. A recent vote has put an end to this misogyny, but one member of the church said “This is a show for the media. It's the end of the Church as we know it”. Should the church be exempt from the Sex Discrimination Act?

The lesson has now ended. All go in peace.

The Eliminator - Welcome to Business!

Here's an engaging teaching activity that you might want to try with your new Business Studies classes!

The Eliminator is a PowerPoint slideshow quiz that asks 10 'True' or 'False' questions (e.g. Samsung is one of China's leading companies: true or false?).

Print off the True/False cards from the resource and hand out one to each of your students.

Ask them all to stand and then show the first question. Students must then hold up the card that reflects what they believe is the answer. After revealing the answer, those students who were incorrect must sit down (they are 'eliminated') and those that were correct can continue with the next question.

Can any of your business students survive all 10 questions and best the last ones standing?

Click here to download the resource.

The Perfect BUSS1 Video – Steve Jobs Billion Dollar Hippy

Monday, September 08, 2014

The story of Apple, from inception up until 2011, is told beautifully in this 50 minute BBC documentary (available on Netflix or via this link) and literally covers all 15 sections in the BUSS1 specification (and quite a few from BUSS2 too). As an added bonus, I’ve created this 30-question worksheet to keep students focused.

A fantastic insight into one of the biggest companies in the world, a ready-made lesson... and chance for you to put your feet up for an hour!

Hope it helps!

Technology & Manufacturing - Innovation in Diesel Engine Design & Production

A great video here from the Royal Institution which illustrates how technology and manufacturing move together through the process of new product development.

The location for the video is a JCB engine factory and our guide explains how technological change impacts on the development of the next generation of high-powered diesel engines.

read more...»

New A Level Business Specifications - Teacher Survey

Sunday, September 07, 2014

A request to all our fellow A Level business teachers! Please complete this brief survey form about the new A Level Business specifications.

We' like to get a sense, from the aggregated survey responses, about which of the new specifications are likely to prove most popular (or unpopular!)

Business Studies Revision Quizzes - Master Listing

Try these multiple choice revision quizzes for key business studies topics!  We've indicated in brackets where the revision quiz is particularly suitable for GCSE. All other quizzes are designed for AS & A2 business.

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Free Business Studies Resource! ‘Whilst you were away’ Quiz!

Friday, September 05, 2014

'Whilst you were away' is a resource that is ideal as a starter to stimulate discussion in the classroom. The resource shows a montage of images with questions that relate to business stories from around the world during the summer. The montage remains on screen with a 3 minute timer fading away at the bottom of the screen - ask your students (individually or in small teams) to answer all 9 questions in the 3 minutes available.

Then go through the answers one at a time - there is an individual slide showing the answer to each question plus a supplementary question for each image to stimulate discussion about key business studies concepts all relating to the images on the resource. This is a Powerpoint resource so feel free to edit the questions as you see fit

Click here to download your free resource

The Biz Quiz - 4 September 2014

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Biz Quiz returns for the new academic year with 10 more questions on the recent business news!

Launch The Biz Quiz - 4 September 2014

Download printable worksheet

Download quiz answers (teachers only)

EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 - Bin Business Challenge

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

This year's student challenge for EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 is Bin Business. The first parts of Bin Business also make a cracking induction activity for all business students by getting them to use their imagination, teamwork and creativity to come up with new product idea. All you need for this to work well is a nice selection of recycled household items and lots of imagination. Enjoy!

To download Bin Business, please complete the following short online form

EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014

We are pleased to announce details of EntrepreneurLIVE! 2014 - our enrichment event that connects students with fantastic entrepreneurs - LIVE!

Download a booking form here or contact Janet Cahill in the tutor2u office with your required numbers

You can also download some promotional flyers to use to encourage your students to attend - details at the foot of this blog entry!

read more...»

BUSS4 research theme and the impact of technological change on businesses manufacturing in the UK

Monday, September 01, 2014

With brilliant timing to coincide with the first bullet-point for the new AQA BUSS4 research theme, today's Deloitte Monday Briefing focuses on Technology and Human Welfare. The piece considers the paradox between the very considerable effect that communication technologies have had on our daily lives, and the far less noticeable effect on output; measured productivity – effectively the efficiency of production – has improved far more slowly than the capacity of computers.

read more...»

Poor leadership examples!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This great BBC article looks at 'The worst CEOs of 2013'   Whilst this was written at the end of last year, it is a great starting point to consider some of the leadership issues that these businesses were suffering from, and then evaluate whether anything has changed for the positive since the start of 2014.

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AQA A2 Business BUSS4 - Section A Research Theme 2015

The research theme for AQA BUSS4 Section A has now been published. For June 2015 the theme is Manufacturing in the UK.

Download the AQA Research Theme here

tutor2u is the leading provider of teacher and student support for BUSS4. Below we have outlined how you can fast-track your support for students taking BUSS4 in June 2015 with tutor2u’s unrivaled teacher and student resources.

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What do you mean by ‘Business Class’?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Which airline boss has said for many years that “an airplane is nothing more than a bus with wings on”?

Of course, the answer is Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair - Europe's biggest budget airline. 

But, as Ryanair's passenger figures show that 25% of their customers are actually travelling on business, they have decided that now is the time to introduce a 'Business Class' service.

read more...»

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