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Why Benidorm is home from home for North West ex-pats

Fans of ITV's hit comedy Benidorm will have noticed that series seven got underway on Friday night.

And while millions tune in to watch on telly, there's tens of thousands of people from our region who are drawn to the resort every year.

We sent our reporter Vicky Grimes to the Costa Blanca to meet some of those from the North West who go to Benidorm to work, rest and play:

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Airport says de-icing is responsibility of airline's ground staff

Manchester Airport remained operational throughout yesterday's snow and took several diverts from other airports. Due to the adverse weather and the safety of our passengers and staff being paramount, several flights were delayed whilst necessary snow clearing and de-icing took place.

As an airport we have over 40 pieces of snow clearing equipment and have invested over £2m in upgrading this fleet in recent years.

Regarding the flight in question the pilot would have been waiting for the airline's ground handling agents to respond, as it is they who look after the de-icing of the aircraft, not airport staff

– Spokesperson for Manchester Airport

Manchester airport strike action suspended

Manchester airport strike suspended Credit: PA Images

A two-day strike planned by ground handling workers at Manchester airport has been suspended after a new pay offer was made.

Members of the Unite union had been due to walk out tomorrow, but will be balloted on revised proposals.

Unite regional officer Kevin Hall said: "Unite is pleased to confirm that strike action has been suspended following a revised offer which better reflects the contribution our members make to the company.

"All of this could have been avoided if the company hadn't refused requests to negotiate and go to Acas a number of weeks ago. We will now be putting the details of the revised pay offer to our members over the coming weeks."

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First direct flights to China fly from Manchester today

The first direct flight to Hong Kong from Manchester Airport jets off today.

Manchester Airport Credit: Press Association

It's hoped the service will help strengthen business links between the North West and China.

It makes Manchester the only airport outside London to have an ongoing scheduled flight to Hong Kong.

"It is an incredibly important and exciting day here at Manchester Airport and a delight to see our direct flights to China commence.

"Obtaining the route has been a key objective of ours for several years and to achieve it two years ahead of schedule is testament to the continued growth, development and role Manchester Airport has to play in UK aviation."

– Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group

Rail firms warn against Christmas travel on West Coast Main Line

Virgin Trains have warned against festive season travel Credit: PA

Rail bosses are warning passengers to avoid the main train line between the North West and London over Christmas, due to engineering work.

The West Coast Main Line will shut from Stafford to Crewe after the last trains on Christmas Eve. It will not re-open until Sunday 28 December.

The route will also close between London's Euston Station and Hemel Hempstead, after the last trains on Christmas Eve until Monday December 29.

There is never a good time to carry out this type of work and we have liaised closely with the train operators to plan for it to take place at a traditionally quieter time on the railway.

– Jim Syddall, Network Rail
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